Struggling with acne and blemishes can be frustrating and leave you feeling self-conscious about your skin.
Enter salicylic acid. A salicylic acid toner could be a game-changer for your skin if you’re looking to banish breakouts and achieve a clearer complexion.
These toners work by gently exfoliating the skin, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation, making them a go-to solution for many skincare enthusiasts.
But with so many options on the market, how do you know which ones are worth trying?
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Well I’ve done the research for you and put together a list of the best salicylic acid toners that are sure to leave your skin looking flawless.
Table of Contents
Before we dive in, here are my top picks.
These toners are effective and versatile enough to work for a variety of skin types and concerns and they all contain salicylic acid as a key ingredient to unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, and reduce breakouts.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant -This salicylic acid toner is a fan favorite for a reason. It’s gentle yet effective, exfoliating dead skin cells and unclogging pores to reveal brighter, smoother skin. This works for all skin types, but if you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin, it’s definitely worth trying out!
- Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner – This toner is an excellent option for acne-prone skin. It contains salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce breakouts, while also providing soothing and calming effects. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, making it perfect for oily or combination skin types. This toner contains salicylic acid, witch hazel, and aloe vera to fight acne and soothe the skin. It’s great for oily and sensitive skin and is available at most drugstores.
- COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner – This toner is a powerhouse when it comes to exfoliation. It contains both salicylic acid and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. It’s great for all skin types, but especially beneficial if you have uneven texture or dullness.
The best salicylic acid toners: 22 great options to choose from
- The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Toner – This affordable toner is gentle on the skin while still effectively exfoliating and unclogging pores. It’s great for acne-prone skin and affordable.
- Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – This Korean beauty favorite contains 4% BHA and effectively removes blackheads and whiteheads, yet is gentle enough to use daily.
- Murad Clarifying Toner – This toner is another good option for acne-prone skin, not only does it contain salicylic acid, but also tea tree oil, which helps to calm and soothe irritated skin.
- Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion – This refreshing toner contains cucumber extract and salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin and reduce inflammation. It’s great for all skin types and costs around $15.
- Skinceuticals LHA Toner – This toner is formulated with salicylic acid and lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA) to exfoliate the skin and improve texture. It also contains glycerin and sorbitol to hydrate and soothe the skin. This toner is especially beneficial if your skin is oily or acne-prone.
- Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil – This unique face oil contains 1.5% salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce breakouts, as well as chamomile and neroli oil to soothe and calm the skin. It also contains tea tree oil to provide additional antibacterial benefits. This oil is a great option for those with acne-prone skin, but it can also be used to improve overall skin texture and clarity.
- Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Pore Therapy – This toner contains 2% salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, as well as menthol to soothe and refresh the skin. It’s especially beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin, and can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque – This unique product is a combination of a mask and a toner, making it a great multitasker. It contains salicylic acid and charcoal to unclog pores and absorb excess oil and is super affordable
- Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – This serum contains a blend of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; it is especially great for combination or oily skin.
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner – This toner contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, making it great for acne-prone skin.
- Alpha-H Liquid Gold – This toner contains glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is great for most skin types.
- Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner – This toner contains salicylic acid and tea tree oil to help unclog pores and reduce the appearance of blemishes, making it great for acne-prone skin.
- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – These toner pads contain a blend of lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin, improve its texture, and enhance its radiance. Whatever your skin type, these could work for you.
- Youth To The People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner – This toner contains a blend of salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate the skin, improve its texture, and enhance its tone. No matter your skin type, this is a great product!
- Pixi Glow Tonic – This cult-favorite toner contains 5% glycolic acid and is gentle enough to use daily. It helps exfoliate the skin, improving its texture and radiance, and is great for all skin types.
- Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment – This toner contains a blend of salicylic and lactic acids to exfoliate the skin, improving its texture and clarity. It’s great for those with acne-prone or oily skin.
- Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel – This two-step peel works for might skin types and contains a blend of alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids to exfoliate the skin, improving its texture and tone.
- Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner – This toner contains a blend of polyhydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the skin, reducing the appearance of pores. It’s suitable for most skin types and won’t irritate your skin even if you have sensitive or dry skin.
- Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner – This toner contains salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids to exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of pores, making it great for oily or acne-prone skin.
- Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment – Suitable for all skin types, this toner contains a blend of salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids to exfoliate the skin, improving its texture and radiance.
- Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner – This toner contains salicylic acid and moringa extract to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, making it great for those with acne-prone skin.
- Versed Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Solution – This toner contains a blend of alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids to exfoliate the skin and improve its texture and radiance. It is great for all skin types and is fairly affordable.
What is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that’s commonly found in skincare products, including toners.
It works by penetrating deep into your pores to unclog them and exfoliate your skin and is a go-to ingredient for most people dealing with acne and oily skin.
What are the benefits of salicylic acid toners?
Well, for starters, they can help to prevent breakouts by removing excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog your pores.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness and swelling from acne.
See also: 5 Best products to unclog clogged pores
Who should use a salicylic acid toner?
Anyone dealing with acne or oily skin can benefit from using salicylic acid toners.
However, if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to aspirin, it’s best to avoid using products with salicylic acid.
How do salicylic acid toners work?
Salicylic acid toners work by exfoliating the skin and penetrating deep into the pores to unclog them.
This helps to remove excess oil and dead skin cells that can contribute to acne and breakouts.
Are salicylic acid toners safe for all skin types?
While salicylic acid toners are generally safe for most skin types, if you have sensitive skin or you’re allergic to aspirin then you should avoid using them.
And if you’re unsure of how your skin will react to a new product, do a patch test before using it to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction.
How do you use a salicylic acid toner?
Using a salicylic acid toner is easy and can be a great addition to your skincare routine. Here’s how to use it:
- Start with clean skin: Before applying the toner, make sure your skin is clean and dry. You can wash your face with your favorite cleanser or use micellar water to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup.
- Apply the toner: Pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad or cotton ball and gently swipe it across your face, avoiding your eye area. You can also use your fingertips to apply the toner if you prefer.
- Let it dry: Allow the toner to fully dry before applying any other skincare products. This typically takes a few minutes.
- Follow up with a serum and moisturizer: After the toner has dried, follow your usual skincare routine. You can go ahead and apply your favorite serums or moisturizer to hydrate and protect your skin.
Salicylic acid toners can be drying, start slow. Start by using it once a day, preferably in the evening, and gradually increase usage as your skin gets used to it.
Also, remember to wear sunscreen during the day when using salicylic acid, as it does increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
How often should you use salicylic acid toners?
This can vary depending on your skin type, if you’re experiencing any sensitivity and the specific product you’re using.
When in doubt it’s always better to follow the instructions on the product packaging or start by using it once a day and gradually increasing use as needed.
How long does it take to see results from salicylic acid toners?
Well, results can vary depending on the severity of your acne and how often you use the product.
You might see results within a few days, or you may take a few weeks to notice a difference.
Consistency counts for a lot when it comes to skincare, so be patient and stick with it (unless you experience a serious allergic reaction).
And that’s it! I hope this list of the best salicylic acid toners is helpful in finding the perfect salicylic acid for your skin.
Remember, salicylic acid toners are a great addition to your skincare routine if you’re looking to combat acne, unclog pores, and improve your overall complexion.
And remember, a salicylic acid toner can be a great addition to your skincare routine if you’re looking to combat acne, unclog pores, and improve your overall complexion.