Looking for a toner that will nourish your skin and keep oil at bay? Try a Korean toner! Unlike some toners that can be overly moisturizing or drying, many Korean toners are full of ingredients that will gently exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate your skin. And if you have oily skin, you know that you sorely need a toner that reduces excess oil while balancing your skin's pH level.
That's why we've done our research and compiled a list of the best Korean toners for oily skin. Right on top of that list is COSRX's AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner! It's a two-in-one toner that helps exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Don't forget to check other products in our list and use our buying guide with tips from aesthetician Devan Jesmer to help you choose one on your own as well!
Devan Jesmer is a beauty content creator and licensed aesthetician who creates content centered around all things beauty, with her main focus being skincare. Through her industry insight, honest reviews, and educational content, her goal is to help her clients and others navigate the constant influx of products and information in the beauty industry, and achieve their skin goals.
It can be a little confusing to figure out what different skincare products actually do, especially if you're just starting to build your skincare routine. Cleansers and toners are often confused, but they actually do different things for our skin.
Cleansers play the role of cleaning your face, while toners help balance your skin's pH levels. To be more specific, a cleanser helps remove makeup, dirt, and oil on your skin after a long day or washing your face.
Applying toner is the next step after cleansing. Toners balance your skin's pH level and help restore the moisture stripped away by the cleanser. They also help control oily skin and reduce large pores resulting from excess oil production.
Toners were originally designed to balance the pH of the skin, after cleansing. However, most cleansers are now pH-balanced! Therefore, the reason we use toner has shifted over time, and they still provide benefits, just in a different way.
Toners add hydration to the skin, they typically help also to balance the skin's oil production, but can also provide gentle chemical exfoliation as well. Combined, toners help to keep skin healthy, while also prepping the skin for the rest of your skincare steps.
Here are three Korean toners we selected especially for oily skin based on their ingredients, properties, and more.
※Please note that these products were not picked by Devan Jesmer, but chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest.
|Formulated with||AHA, BHA, botanicals|
|Formulated with||AHA, BHA, PHA, tea tree extracts|
|Formulated with||Sake, peach extract, vitamin A, vitamin C|
SOME BY MI
AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Peach Sake Toner
Our Top Choice - A Two-in-One Toner To Exfoliate and Hydrate Your Skin
Best for Brightening and Creating Glowing Skin
Best for Tightening Pores With Japanese Sake and Peach Extract
|Formulated with||AHA, BHA, botanicals||AHA, BHA, PHA, tea tree extracts||Sake, peach extract, vitamin A, vitamin C|
While the following products didn't quite make our best three list, we do still think they're great products that can be useful for more specific worries. Read on to find out more about these other options and why they could be a better choice for you.
|Formulated with||Snail mucin, bee venom|
|Formulated with||Hyaluronic acid|
|Formulated with||Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extracts|
|Formulated with||Glycerin, betaine, panthenol, madecassoside, green tea extract|
|Formulated with||Aloe vera extract|
|Formulated with||Astragalus membranaceus root extract, arginine|
|Formulated with||Peppermint extract, chrysanthellum indicum extract, rice bran extract|
Ingredients, packaging, and versatility: keep these three things in mind when trying to choose the right Korean toner for your oily skin!
Korean Toners are known for their hydration, gentle exfoliation, and balancing properties, and you can often find all three benefits in one toner. Therefore, if you have oily skin, it is a great place to start!
Hydration is key for oily skin, because it typically helps balance oil production and keeps your skin barrier strong, which is key in preventing breakouts. Exfoliating ingredients like PHA, BHA and AHA can help to exfoliate and clear pores of dead skin, oil, and other debris.
Knowing your skin is an essential part of picking the right toner. Oily skin is characterized by different things and is not the same for everyone! Oily skin can be caused by your hormones, the temperature, the climate, and your general well-being.
More often than not, people with oily skin tend to have a shiny sheen on the face, enlarged and clogged pores, and excess sebum production that can cause blackheads and pimples.
If you have oily skin, your T-zone may be an area of concern. Your T-zone is the part of your face that forms the letter T, including your forehead, nose, and chin. These areas are often the oiliest, and it's also where you can find larger pores, blackheads, and acne.
Luckily, many Korean toners are formulated with ingredients that can combat various types of oily skin. If you struggle with any of these issues, look for ingredients in a toner that will aid your skin. Check out the sections below for more information!
Look for ingredients that will help your skin stay healthy and oil-free. Take note of what particular type of oily skin issues you have to help you pick out the right ingredients!
A lot of Korean toners are rich in beneficial acids! Look for products with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), or polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). You can specifically look for lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids; these acids are exfoliators that help clean your pores and reduce oil production.
These acids do more than just controlling excess sebum. AHAs help lighten blemishes and evens out the skin tone. They also lock in moisture to give your face a healthy glow. AHAs are also great for mature skin since they help with lessening wrinkles and fine lines.
BHAs help unclog pores to reduce acne and blackheads. Lastly, PHAs hydrate your skin. You can also use astringents to help tighten pores and reduce oil production. However, they might not be suitable for everyone because they contain alcohol that can be harsh on your skin.
AHAs, BHA, and PHA's are chemical exfoliants that gently exfoliate the skin, but in different ways. AHAs are water-soluble acids that help to peel away the surface layer of the skin, for soft and supple skin.
BHA goes beyond the top layer and is able to dissolve sebum and dead skin cells within the pore. PHA's work similarly to AHA's by staying on the surface, but they are known for being the most gentle, and are great for those with oily but sensitive skin.
For some people, oily skin and acne often come hand in hand. If you struggle with oily skin and clogged pores, go for an alcohol-free toner with beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid. There are lots of Korean toners formulated with BHA to help you with this problem!
In addition to controlling excess sebum, BHAs help treat acne and blackheads. They also contain anti-inflammatory qualities to tone down redness. One type of BHA is salicylic acid, an ingredient commonly found in Korean toners. Salicylic acid exfoliates your face and unclogs pores, which helps reduce breakouts.
Other ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties include green tea, aloe vera, and calendula extract. These natural ingredients can unclog your pores and lessen breakouts. Dealing with oily skin is a struggle, especially if you're also experiencing acne. Make sure to look out for products that can combat both!
There are plenty of anti-inflammatory ingredients that help prevent and calm inflammation in oily and acne-prone skin, and keep the skin barrier strong and protected to prevent further acne flare-ups.
Aloe vera is especially unique because not only is it anti-inflammatory but it's incredibly hydrating, and it's loaded with antioxidants. BHA is also a major anti-inflammatory, although it's often overshadowed by its exfoliating abilities.
When dealing with oily skin, you want to control oil production without stripping all the moisture from your face. To ensure that a toner won't dry you out, go for a product that contains natural ingredients that can hydrate your skin. Make sure to still conduct a patch test as these ingredients aren't universally great for all skin types.
One of the reasons why K-beauty products have taken the world by storm is their use of natural ingredients. K-beauty brands love to incorporate natural ingredients in their skincare. Some are even entirely natural! Certain Korean products will contain unique elements that you may not find elsewhere.
Unique ingredients that you can find in K-beauty products include snail mucus and bee venom. These are filled with antioxidants! Some other elements include niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, honey, and tea tree oil; these ingredients help bring back moisture to your face after cleaning.
K-beauty is known for its use of natural ingredients. Aloe vera and glycerin are hydrating and anti-inflammatory, while hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin. Snail mucin and bee venom help to balance oil production and keep your skin barrier strong to prevent future breakouts. Willow bark extract is a natural BHA that helps exfoliate the skin, and most AHAs are made from the acids of sugary fruits.
Some ingredients can be too harsh and damaging to your skin. If you know that your skin is particularly sensitive, then it might be better to go for a toner that does not contain any alcohol or astringents. These ingredients might strip your skin of its natural moisture and dry it out, which can cause excess oil production. However, it instantly mattifies the face, gets rid of oil, and can unclog pores.
However, this isn't the case for all alcohols, as there are some alcohol-based toners reported to be quite effective in tightening and unclogging pores, and they are all quite safe to use. You can also consider a toner that does not have parabens and fragrances, as these may cause redness, irritation, and breakouts.
It might also be beneficial to choose a toner that does not have any extra oil, such as coconut or mineral oil, to avoid clogged pores. However, not all oils are bad for oily skin! Jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and hemp seed oil contain non-inflammatory and non-comedogenic properties that won't clog your pores.
To keep your skin safe, it's important to know what nourishes your skin and what might trigger adverse reactions. If you're not sure if it will work for your specific skin type, check reviews, consult your dermatologist, or do a patch test.
When it comes to toners you want to avoid using anything with denatured alcohol, as this ingredient is drying to the skin, and can actually make your skin produce more oil to make up for the lack of hydration. It is also a good practice to avoid any toners with added fragrance if your skin is sensitive to it.
Toners can be packaged in different ways. Go for a smaller container if you want to bring it on the go or while traveling. Opt for one with more product if you will use it at home and don't want to run out of it after a few weeks.
Toners also come with different caps and dispensers, like screw or twist caps, flip tops, pumps, and sprays. To decide between these choices, think about how you prefer to apply your toner. Some people like to use cotton pads, cotton balls, or reusable pads, while others like to use their hands instead.
Products with screw, twist, or flip-top caps are easy to work with; you can easily apply the product if you're using cotton pads or cotton balls. However, if you prefer to avoid cotton pads, consider a product that uses a pump or spray nozzle. These types of packaging can also be useful for traveling!
Toners often either come with a controlled top, so you can shake several splashes into your hand or a cotton round, with a pump, or in spray form. It really comes to personal preference on which type of packaging you prefer. Some toners are thicker in texture, and won't come in a spray bottle for that reason, but it is something to consider when you are making a purchase. Select a toner with packaging you'll enjoy using!
If you need more than just exfoliation and sebum control, you'll be able to find a K-beauty product that will meet your needs. Some Korean toners do a lot more than just balancing the pH level of our face!
You can opt for ones that have anti-aging or brightening properties. Seek out ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide if you want an anti-aging toner. These ingredients boost collagen and improve skin elasticity, which minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
If you want to achieve glowing skin, look for toners with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to help even out and brighten your skin tone. Vitamins C and B3 can also work their magic to brighten your skin!
One of the best parts of Korean toners is that they often come with many multitasking ingredients. In addition to hydration, you can find toners that have brightening benefits from chemical exfoliation, niacinamide or licorice root extract. You can also find toners that have additional antioxidant protection, such as through green tea extract, or peach extract.
To apply toner, typically, you want to use enough of it to soak a cotton round or pad, and gently sweep along your face. Some people prefer to pat them into the skin directly, which is fine too! Do whatever works best for you. Because toners are gentle, you can use them after each cleanse, so typically twice daily is sufficient.
Did you know that all cotton pads are not equal? Some are worse at soaking in and using every drop of your toner than others. That's why you should try these amazing cotton pads, recommended and used by beauty blogger Adeola.
Dealing with oily skin can be frustrating. Here are some other products you can try to help control excess oil production!
Oily skin can be a struggle to manage; however, toners can help you out! Oily skin occurs due to the excess production of sebum. Applying toner is an essential step in addressing this problem.
There are many toners available on the market; however, Korean cosmetic companies offer products that help control sebum production and nourish your skin! To help you make a confident choice, be sure to pay attention to its ingredients, packaging, and extra features.
Author: Janina Maddatu
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