Best Affordable Toners Based on Skin Concerns 

Toners are a great way to add extra actives into your skincare routine, so in the text below you can find the best affordable toners categorized by their function and benefits for the skin.

The best affordable toners are the ones that offer you solutions for your skin concerns, in other words, beneficial ingredients that will perfect your skincare routine, without bringing along harmful ingredients.

best affordable toners

Niacinamide (a white powdery texture that is water soluble) is a great ingredient for toner. That is the case because it can reduce irritation caused by strong active ingredients, so adding an extra layer of protection is a very smart move. This is very important for people with skin of color since misused strong active can lead to hyperpigmentation and a long fight with dark spots.

This is one of the ingredients that have a variety of benefits for the skin. Niacinamide is great for anti-aging because it prevents water evaporation from the skin, stimulates collagen production, hydrates skin, and reduces the rate of glycation (aging of the skin due to excessive intake of sugar). Other benefits for the skin include reducing acne, improving eczema, and reducing hyperpigmentation.

Since you are looking for the best affordable toners, here is one tip for you. Including niacinamide in your skincare routine can be a great substitution for expensive vitamin C serums. As you already know vitamin C has a stability issue (loses benefits over time), so if you are trying to be financially responsible, you can swap vitamin C for niacinamide because they have similar benefits for the skin.

Always look for toners that have up to 5% niacinamide, because niacinamide in a higher percentage can lose its benefits and be irritating.

CeraVe Hydrating Toner for Face

CeraVe Hydrating Toner for Face Non-Alcoholic with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides for Sensitive Dry Skin, Fragrance-Free Non Comedogenic, Full Size, 6.8 Fl Oz

CeraVe Hydrating Toner is suitable for dry, sensitive, and normal skin types. This toner is oil-free and non-comedogenic (won`t clog pores), so if you are someone with oily dehydrated skin you can use this toner. Also, it is alcohol-free, non-drying, and fragrance-free.

Piece of advice for you, you should always look for a toner without alcohol. Sadly, there are still formulas with alcohol even though it is proven that it is drying, so you have to read the list of ingredients.

They recommend applying this toner on a cotton pad, but to avoid wasting your product you should apply it directly on the face with your hands. Also, it is very important to note that it is better to apply it on damp skin to get the full benefits of the ingredients.

This is a very well-formulated, hydrating, and gentle formula. Next to the niacinamide it also contains other great ingredients:

  • Glycerin is a humectant that hydrates deeper levels of the skin and improves skin barrier function. Also, it helps to tolerate irritating ingredients like retinol by reducing irritation.
  • Ceramides help to maintain the skin`s barrier healthy by preventing moisture loss. They also have anti-aging properties and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized. It can help other ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin and improve fine lines and wrinkles.

If you are someone with a skin of color and want to find out more about CeraVe products for that skin type here is the link for my post on the topic “Is CeraVe good for black skin”

TheOnleaf Vegan Heartleaf PHA Facial Toner

TheOnleaf Vegan Heartleaf PHA Facial Toner 8.79 fl.oz | with AHA, BHA, Niacinamide, Hydrating, Soothing, Pore Cleaning for Oily Dehydrated Skin | Non-Sticky, Fragrance-Free, Clean, No Anmial TestingFragrance-Free Non Comedogenic, Full Size, 6.8 Fl Oz

TheOnleaf Vegan Heartleaf PHA Facial Toner is great if you have sensitive skin that can not tolerate harsh exfoliators. This toner is gentle, suitable for all skin types including sensitive and acne-prone skin and has a variety of benefits for the skin. It is hydrating, exfoliating, and fights dark spots.

This toner made my list of the best affordable toners because it is safe, hypoallergenic, and clean. Fifteen harmful ingredients are excluded from its formula, it is vegan and FSC-certified packaging is used. Other reasons are related to the ingredients list, it contains lots of hydrating ingredients and niacinamide is high on the ingredients list.

The formula of this toner is very interesting. Next to hydrating ingredients (glycerin, heartleaf extract, 1,2 Hexanediol) it also contains AHA, BHA, and PHA acids.
Here is more about those ingredients:

  • Heartleaf extract is a humectant that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe dryness and irritation, and tone down acne and redness. Usually, it is added to boost the formula`s skin-calming abilities.
  • 1,2 Hexanediol is a humectant that keeps the top layers of the skin from drying out by pulling up water from the deeper layers of the skin and the air. Also, it can enhance the anti-microbial properties of other ingredients in the formula.
  • AHAs stand for Alpha Hydroxy Acids which are used for exfoliating. AHAs help to get rid of dead skin cells leaving skin smooth and with reduced fine lines. Also including them in your skincare routine will lead to reduced sun damage and dryness.
  • BHAs are oil soluble so they can penetrate deeper into the skin. They clear up blackheads, and whiteheads and dissolve excess oil and sebum.
  • PHAs function similarly to AHAs by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, giving the skin a more uniform tone and texture. Also, they make other ingredients more efficient.

Since this toner contains exfoliating ingredients, it is best to use it as a part of the nighttime routine and to apply sunscreen the day after. For the same reason, fon1t use it every day, start with every other day to see how your skin responds.

Blithe Vital Treatment 9 Essential Seeds Niacinamide Brightening Toner

Blithe Vital Treatment 9 Essential Seeds Niacinamide Brightening Toner - Korean Skin Essence Green Tea Toner for Face, Clarifying Oily Skin Vitalizing & Brightening Dark Spots 1.83 Fl Oz

Blithe Vital Treatment toner is suitable for all skin types, and it has a unique list of ingredients which is why I included it on the list of the best affordable toners. A combination of nine seeds and niacinamide will brighten and even out your skin tone, hydrate, moisturize, reduce blemishes and strengthen your skin.

It is important to note that this toner is Phthalate Free, Sulfate Free, BHT Free, Paraben Free, Mineral oil Free, and Formaldehyde Free. Since it doesn`t contain parabens (which is good for skin, but bad for formula), you should keep it in a dark cool place, like your cabinet.
Blithe Vital Treatment toner contains 78,9% extracts from 9 seeds:

  • Baobab Tree extract is packed with vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin C which helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Also, it fights free radicals, heals dry skin, and promotes a healthy skin barrier.
  • Green Tea Tree extract is very beneficial for the skin since it contains many vitamins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. It helps to reduce sebum production, treat acne, improve moisture and minimize puffiness.
  • Chia seed extract is beneficial for all skin types. It protects the skin from free radical damage, improves dryness and itchiness, and moisturizes and hydrates the skin. Since it contains fatty acids, it is highly recommended to include it in your skincare routine.
  • Fennel extract is also suitable for all skin types, but it is more beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin. It is great for fighting dark spots and wrinkles.
  • Lotus is packed with antioxidants and gives instant moisture to the skin. It has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, which means it reduces redness and irritation.
  • Rosehip extract contributes to skin`s elasticity, brightens the dull or discolored complexion, and helps to protect skin from environmental stressors.

Naturium Niacinamide Essence 3%, Soothing & Hydrating Skin Optimizing Treatment

Naturium Niacinamide Essence 3%, Soothing & Hydrating Skin Optimizing Treatment, 5.7 oz

Naturium Niacinamide Toner is primarily for hydration and soothing your skin because the only brightening ingredient that it contains is niacinamide. It is great for preparing your skin for following the steps of a skincare routine.

Their formula is a combination of natural and advanced synthetic ingredients. Also, the formula is cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free, and non-toxic.

Best Toners for Exfoliating On the Budget

Exfoliating is very important for all skin types because it can help to clear clogged pores from dead skin and debris. There are two types of exfoliating, mechanical (brushes, sponges, etc.) and chemical (hydroxy acids). I would recommend the chemical type of exfoliators because mechanical exfoliators tend to make little tears in the skin which leads to much more serious problems.

Toners are a great way to introduce exfoliators to your skin since often they have additional beneficial ingredients, and they are not too strong. It is very important to note that they are not harmless, it is easy to overuse them too. Start implementing them into your skincare routine gradually. For example, once a week few times, then follow with twice a week to see how your skin responds. In the text below you can find the best affordable toners with three types of exfoliating acids. 

Hydroxy acids that are used in toners are:

  • AHAs include several types of acids but the most used and the best researched are glycolic and lactic acids which are less likely to irritate. AHAs don`t penetrate deep into the skin. In addition to their primary task (exfoliating), AHAs can do so much more. They can brighten the complexion, prevent acne breakouts, and increase product absorption.
  • BHAs can penetrate deeper into the skin. Also, they are oil soluble, so they can dry out excess oils and dead skin to unclog pores. They are primarily used for oily and acne-prone skin. If you have sensitive skin, go for lower concentrations because at a low percentage BHAs can calm your skin. BHAs include salicylic and citric acids and if you plan on including them in your routine do as I stated at the beginning.
  • PHAs stand for polyhydroxy acids, and they are the least popular form of exfoliator. But they are very gentle and have many benefits for the skin. They have anti-aging effects and lead to brighter, smoother, and more hydrated skin. They are ideal for sensitive skin and for someone that is just starting to implement exfoliators into a skincare routine. The best types of PHAs are gluconolactone, lactobionic acid, and galactose. They are safe to use three to four times a week since they are much more gentle than other acids but to be on the safe side start to include them into your skincare routine gradually.

To learn more about exfoliating acids for the face visit this link. 

SOME BY MI Aha.Bha.Pha 30Days Miracle Toner

SOME BY MI Aha.Bha.Pha 30Days Miracle Toner 150ml, Anti-acne, Exfoliation, Hydration, Brightening, Calming, Refining Pore and Remove Dead Skin Cells, Mild, Teatree Leaf Water

SOME BY MI toner is a toner that contains all types of exfoliating acids (AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs). It is suitable for all skin types, acne prone, dry oily, and combination skin. It has a very interesting formula. In addition to those exfoliating acids, it also contains niacinamide, papaya extract, and witch hazel extract.

They have stated that this toner is dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, but it contains witch hazel which tends to irritate sensitive skin, so use it with caution if that is your skin type.

Papaya extract is beneficial for the skin due to the many nutrients found in it. It gently exfoliates the skin which leads to acne soothing and helps with healthy skin aging, Since it is rich in vitamins A and C it helps to restore sun-damaged skin and lead to brighter skin. There is one interesting thing about papaya extract, it slows down facial hair growth due to an enzyme called papain.

Witch hazel has astringent properties, so it is mostly used as a treatment for oily skin. It removes excess oil, soothes irritation and itchiness, and dries out blemishes.

The formula is clean, it is free of artificial fragrance and colors, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, and silicone.

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, 5.07 fl.oz / 150ml | Exfoliating Facial Spray | Korean Skin Care, Hydrating, Mild Exfoliation, Vegan, Animal Testing Free, Paraben Free

COSRX toner is suitable for all skin types, sensitive, oily, combination, dry and normal. Their formula is skin-friendly because it is hypoallergenic parabens-free, sulfates-free, and Phthalates-free. It clears pores, softens skin texture, and restores skin`s PH.

They recommend applying it with a cotton pad, but I would apply it with my hands to avoid waste of the product.

Next to 0,1% Glycolic acid and Betaine Salicylate it also contains:

  • Apple fruit water has natural tightening properties which means that it can make aging skin look firmer and reduce the appearance of the pores. It also reduces water loss without clogging the pores and locks in moisture.
  • Willow bark water is great for reducing signs of aging, acne, and excess oil. It gives smoother look because of its ability to refine pores. Also, it has gentle exfoliating abilities for more radiant skin.

The INKEY List Polyhydroxy Acid Toner

The INKEY List Polyhydroxy Acid Toner, Gentle Chemical PHA Exfoliant for Sensitive Skin, Improve Skin Texture and Hydration, 3.38 fl oz

The Inkey toner made my list of the best affordable toners because it is suitable for all skin types and gentle enough for sensitive skin.

The formula is very gentle. It contains exfoliating and hydrating ingredients. On the ingredient list, you can find niacinamide, PHAs, glycerin, and aloe vera leaf juice. Aloe vera leaf juice has antioxidant properties which can help to repair skin damage caused by UV rays. Also, it helps to hydrate, exfoliate, and revitalize the skin.

Description of niacinamide`s and glycerin`s benefits for the skin you can find in the section about the best affordable toners with niacinamide.

They recommend using this toner as part of morning and nighttime routine, but since it contains exfoliating ingredients, I would use it just at night and wear sunscreen the day after.

Bolden Skin Brightening Toner

Bolden Skin Brightening Toner | Made with AHA Glycolic Acid, Pore Minimizer Niacinamide, and Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid | 7.5 Fl Oz

This toner is suitable for all skin types even though it is intended for acne-prone skin. It is a mostly exfoliating toner because of glycolic acid, but it also contains hydrating and brightening ingredients.

Brightening ingredients in this toner are niacinamide, licorice root and algae extract. Licorice root also helps to soothe itchy irritated skin and to fight signs of aging since it has antioxidant properties. Algae extract also can contribute to healthier skin because it helps to hydrate, revitalize and reduce problems with acne and wrinkles. Hydrating ingredients are niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, a humectant that hydrates and moisturizes the skin.

The formula is great, it is alcohol, parabens, phthalates, and sulfate free, but it is not perfect because it contains fragrance and witch hazel. Because of that, I would not recommend it to people with sensitive skin because fragrance and witch hazel can irritate it. Other than that, it this is a great toner, and if fragrance doesn`t bother you go for it.

Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Exfoliating AHA Treatment

Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Exfoliating AHA Treatment, Exfoliating Toner, Hydrating Skin Booster [5.07 fl. oz. (150ml)]

Hanskin real complexion toner is suitable for dry skin. The formula of this toner is a combination of glycolic acid, lactic acid, and four types of hyaluronic acid. As you know two of those (glycolic acid and lactic acid) belong to the group of AHAs and hyaluronic acid is a humectant that hydrates dry skin, increases elasticity, and strengthens the skin`s barrier.

That is a great combination that leads to better absorption of hyaluronic acid because AHAs dissolve dead skin which allows better absorption. Since AHAs can increase skin`s sensitivity to the sun you have to wear SPF the day after.

Keenoniks Cream Toner for Face - Potentilla Calming Face Toner

Keenoniks Cream Toner for Face - Potentilla Calming Face Toner with PHA Mild Exfoliator Essence helps Exfoliating, Skin Soothing Skin Barrier Balance Control - Daily Skincare Facial Toner (5.07 Fl Oz)

Keenoniks cream toner is gentle lightweight toner suitable for all skin types. It has amazing formula without harmful ingredients like fragrance, essential oils, and alcohol and that is why this toner made it into my list of best affordable toners.  It is hypoallergenic and it can be used on acne-prone skin because of the absence of essential oils.

They claim that this toner ensures gentle exfoliation, skin soothing, and skin barrier care. Based on the ingredients list these claims are justified. It contains:

  • Lactobionic Acid is a gentle exfoliator that exfoliates the top layer of the skin with shallow penetration which makes it suitable for sensitive skin. It has antioxidant properties that lead to better texture and reduced hyperpigmentation. This acid also helps to strengthen the skin`s barrier and to protect the skin from environmental damage.
  • D-Panthenol is a synthetic form of vitamin B5, an ingredient with many properties. It has anti-inflammatory, hydrating, anti-aging, and protective properties. Also, it reduces water loss and helps to even out skin tone.
  • Allantoin is not exactly exfoliating ingredient, but specialists have noticed that products that contain allantoin improve cell turnover. It is used for moisturizing and locking in moisture which contributes to healing acne-prone skin because usually, that skin type is dehydrated. It helps to reduce losing elasticity and reduces irritation.

Best Affordable Toners For Hydration

In the text below you can find the best affordable toners that are moisturizing and hydrating. Toners are a great way to add extra hydration into your skincare routine, just make sure to use them the right way. After a double cleanse apply toner with your hands to avoid waste of the product.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Calming Toner

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Calming Toner, 6.4 Ounce Bottle Toner for The Face, for Sensitive Facial Skin and Dry Redness-Prone Skin

Paula`s Choice toner is without artificial dyes and fragrances to reduce sensitivity. Its formula is a combination of many hydrating ingredients to target dryness, dehydration, redness, and dullness. This toner contains oils, but they are lightweight and contain compounds that can help acne, so using this toner on dehydrated acne-prone skin is not wrong.

Some of the ingredients are:

  • Evening primrose oil is a lightweight oil that can manage several skin concerns including dryness and unevenness. It contains linoleic acid that plays important role in the synthesis of ceramides and antioxidants that help to protect the skin from environmental stressors. This oil helps to maintain hydration, reduce signs of anti-aging, and even out skin tone.
  • Borage seed oil is used to hydrate and restore skin which leads to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging skin. It helps to maintain the skin`s suppleness, softness, and radiance. Also, it is great for soothing acne and preventing future outbreaks since it contains linolenic acid.

Other ingredients that are not just hydrating in this toner are panthenol, allantoin, glycerin, and niacinamide.


Clear Collective Balancing Capsule Toner from Hero Cosmetics

Clear Collective Balancing Capsule Toner from Hero Cosmetics - Daily Facial Toner for All Skin Types, Hydrating Serum for Redness Relief and Dry Skin, Fragrance and Paraben Free (4.39 fl oz)

Clear Collective Balancing Capsule toner made it on the list of the best affordable toners because it has a great formula with many beneficial ingredients, and without alcohol, parabens, fragrances, silicones, and artificial colors. This toner is suitable for all skin types, normal, sensitive, combination, and acne-prone skin.

Some of the ingredients that are present in this toner are:

  • Betaine is an amino acid that is derived from the sugar beet and is a humectant that helps to keep the skin hydrated, plump, and youthful. It is one of the gentlest humectants that is suitable for all skin types. Betaine has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties and including it in your skincare routine can be helpful for soothing skin irritations and preventing acne from getting infected.
  • Green tea leaf water has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it helpful for acne-prone skin and for reducing inflammation and protecting skin from environmental stressors.

Other ingredients that make Clear Collective Balancing toner great are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, willow bark extract, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, etc. This toner contains witch hazel extract, so if you have especially sensitive skin be careful.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner, Alcohol-Free Calming Toner

Like other toners on my list, first aid Beauty toner is free from alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oils, sulfates, petrolatum, and other harmful ingredients. This toner has a very interesting formula that hydrates, soothes, and strengthens the skin.

Next to hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalene, other ingredients that make this formula interesting and helpful are:

  • Oat milk is a humectant that has antioxidant properties that repair skin from damage caused by UV radiation, and pollution and helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Since it is a humectant, it helps to retain water, decrease water loss, and keep skin hydrated and soft.
  • Honey is a humectant that hydrates and moisturizes the skin. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, redness, and signs of aging. Also, honey fights acne and cleans pores.
  • Propolis extract has antioxidant properties that neutralize damage of the free radicals on the skin which means that it reduces wrinkles, and signs of fatigue and smooths the skin.

This post is written and managed by Hannah West

Hannah West

Hello there, lovely readers! I’m Hannah West, and I’ve had the incredible journey of serving as a Skin Health Researcher for over a decade. My passion for skincare started early, and I’ve dedicated my life to research healthy, glowing skin. Through my years of reading about it, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of proper skincare routines. From addressing common concerns to tackling complex issues, I’m here to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you so you don’t have to research it yourself.

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