Korean skincare products are known for their effective and innovative formulas, which reflects the fact that Koreans take skincare very seriously. You’ll often see Korean skincare routines that are comprised of 10 or more steps. While these skincare routines can be complicated, toner is a basic skincare step that follows your cleanser, and helps to prep your skin for the rest of your skincare routine.
No matter your skin type you’re bound to find a Korean skin toner that works for your skin care concerns. The 17 best Korean toners for all skin types are formulated for normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive, and acne prone skin.
The Benefits of Toners
Toners are skincare products used after cleansing and prior to other products and treatments in your skincare routine. Some toners have a watery formula while other toners are thicker in texture. Toners are usually poured onto a cotton pad and then applied to your skin with the cotton pad.
Toners can offer many benefits for your skin depending on the formula. One main benefit is that a toner will help remove any residual makeup, sunscreen, dirt, or oil that your cleanser missed. (If you really want to make sure all impurities are removed from your skin, consider double cleansing.)
Toners also help to balance the pH level of your skin by helping to return it closer to the pH of 5.5 (which is mildly acidic) after using a cleanser.
Toners are filled with actives that treat different skin types:
- Combination, Oily and Acne Prone Skin: Try a toner formulated to help remove excess oil, exfoliate the skin, or reduce the look of pores.
- Dull, Dehydrated, and Dry Skin: Try a toner formulated with brightening, hydrating and moisturizing ingredients.
- Sensitive Skin: Try a fragrance-free toner formulated with soothing non-irritating ingredients.
17 Best Korean Toners for All Skin Types
Here are our picks for the 17 best Korean toners for all skin types:
Secret Key Aloe Soothing Moist Toner is a refreshing lightweight toner that hydrates and moisturizes skin with 13 botanical ingredients. Aloe Vera water hydrates and soothes while snail secretion filtrate moisturizes and repairs the skin.
Portulaca extract and allantoin calm the skin while beta-glucan has healing and moisturizing properties. Green tea extract is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, hydrates and plumps the skin.
Ideal for dry or irritated skin, this toner creates the perfect canvas for the rest of your skincare routine, as it is lightweight, soothing, and non-irritating. Please note that there is a light fragrance added to this toner.
Secret Key offers three additional toners for different skin types: Rose Floral Softening Toner (for dry, sensitive, or irritated skin), and Tea Tree Refresh Calming Toner, and Witch-Hazel Pore Clear Toner (both of which are good for oily and acne-prone skin).
Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is a gently exfoliating Korean toner. It is formulated to get rid of flakes and dead skin cells. This treatment toner also controls excess sebum and oil while helping to keep pores clear. Formulated at a pH of 4.0-5.0, this toner also hydrates to quench thirsty skin.
It contains white willow bark, to control oil production and reduce the appearance of redness. Betaine Salicylate combines salicylic acid and moisturizing betaine to reduce bacteria while decongesting clogged pores. Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliates, brightens, and evens out skin tone and texture.
The toner comes in a convenient spray bottle which should be sprayed onto a cotton pad prior to application. This toner is ideal for all skin types but works particularly well for dull oily and acne-prone skin dealing with excess oil and clogged pores. It is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and alcohol-free.
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Klairs Supple Preparation Toner balances the natural pH level of your skin, creating the ideal canvas for the rest of your skincare routine. This toner is loaded with hydrating and soothing ingredients.
Centella Asiatica extract and Copper Tripeptide-1 both have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. Licorice root extract offers skin-lightening benefits, while sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) hydrates and plumps the skin.
Beta-Glucan soothes and moisturizes while Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is a humectant that moisturizes and offers emollient properties.
This toner is a little silkier than other toners that have a watery texture. It feels like a lightweight essence and hydrates skin beautifully.
Please note that this toner contains citrus oils which Klairs describes as non-irritating. Klairs offers fragrance and essential oil-free Supple Preparation Unscented Toner for those that are sensitive to scent in their skincare products.
Mamonde Rose Water Toner is formulated with 90.97% real Rose Water. This is Mamonde’s bestseller, as one bottle is sold every 50 seconds! The toner uses Damask roses from Rose Valley of Bulgaria. Roses are harvested in their best state only 30 days a year to maintain freshness and scent. Active ingredients are extracted through low-temperature super-high pressure extraction.
The toner combines 100% organic Damask rose water with lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates the skin, sweeping away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and smoother complexion.
This rose toner has a light rose scent and is produced without animal-originated ingredients, mineral oil, polyacrylamide, imidazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, silicone oil, and synthetic colorants.
AHC Aqualuronic Toner is formulated with triple Hyaluronic Acid, ceramides, and French sea water to hydrate the skin and support and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It also contains niacinamide that helps to brighten the skin and has anti-inflammatory and barrier repair properties.
Perfect for dry skin, this toner will leave your skin soft and plump and perfectly prepped for the rest of your skin routine.
This hydrating toner has a gel texture that sinks into the skin to create a solid moisture seal. You can apply it with a cotton pad or even your fingers to ensure that all of the toner makes it onto your skin.
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Facial Toner is formulated with Super Collagen Water (Hydrolyzed Collagen), which are fine particles that have been dissociated by hydrolysis. It helps the skin hold onto water. The result is dewy and bouncy skin.
This toner also contains white lupin. This plant contains seed-derived protein for moisture. Glycerin, a humectant, moisturizes, while beta-glucan offers wound healing and anti-aging benefits.
This watery textured Korean toner does an excellent job of plumping and softening the skin. This is an excellent choice for dehydrated and dry skin.
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Thank You Farmer Rice Pure Essential Toner is formulated with Korean local rice known as “Junam Rice” from Gyodong, Ganghwa-do, South Korea. The rice is extracted using a Low Temperature Ultrasonic Method to retain nutrients and effectiveness.
It’s both a toner and essence 2-in-1 as it removes dirt and impurities and balances and moisturizes the skin. Centella Asiatica extract soothes and repairs while niacinamide brighten and balances sebum production. Ceramide NP supports the skin barrier while Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water soothes the skin.
This hypoallergenic toner is ideal for those with dull and uneven skin tones. It is paraben-free, phenoxyethanol-free, benzophenone-free, ethanol-free, triethanolamine-free, clofenesin-free, artificial color-free, and artificial fragrance-free.
The Face Shop Rice Ceramide Moisturizing Toner uses rice extract to help brighten the skin and improve skin texture. It also helps to reduce the look of dark spots/age spots. Thicker in texture than traditional toners, this toner also contains Ceramide NP, a ceramide to hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier. Sodium hyaluronate adds a boost of hydration and helps to plump the skin.
Ideal for dull dry skin, this toner helps to shrink the look of pores and provides an instant boost of hydration to the skin. It rebalances the pH levels of skin after cleansing, prepping skin for the rest of your skincare routine. Please note that there is fragrance in this toner.
Ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, Benton Aloe BHA Toner is formulated with salicylic acid to clean out clogged pores, helping to reduce breakouts. It also contains aloe, an anti-inflammatory that soothes and helps with wound healing.
Snail secretion filtrate (yes, snail slime!), repairs, and moisturizes the skin. Sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) hydrates and plumps the skin. Arginine, an amino acid, is a natural moisturizing factor and has reparative properties.
This toner is ideal for all skin types, although oily and acne-prone will especially benefit from the inclusion of salicylic acid to clean out congestion in the pores.
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A best-selling Korean toner, Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner is the ideal first toner* after cleansing your skin. Ideal for oily and acne prone skin, this toner removes excess sebum and dead skin cells to reveal a refreshed complexion.
Peppermint vinegar balances pores, Ginko Leaf extract protects skin from fine dust while Mentha Arvensis Leaf extract helps to balance sebum. This toner has a cooling effect and leaves your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.
*The 7-Skin Method in Korean skincare applies from three to seven layers of toner for plumped, hydrated glowing skin.
Skin Food Peach Sake Toner is formulated with rice ferment filtrate (sake) and peach extract, both of which are filled with vitamins A and C. These vitamins offer anti-aging benefits and protect skin from free radical damage.
Sake helps to control excess sebum production and reduce the look of pores. In addition, soybean extract is an antioxidant and is rich in vitamin E, which protects and soothes the skin. Licorice root extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits, and fights breakouts and acne. Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory and calms the skin.
Perfect for those with oily skin and large pores, this toner helps to minimize shine and leaves a matte finish.
Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner contains multiple actives for effective chemical exfoliation. AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), and PHAs polyhydroxy acids) combine with papaya and witch hazel extract to increase cell turnover which reveals fresher skin.
Tea tree water extract supports a clear complexion, has anti-inflammatory properties. Adenosine and niacinamide help to reduce the look of wrinkles and dullness.
Ideal for oily and acne prone skin, this toner is formulated at the ideal pH of 5.5 and has also been dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. It is artificial fragrance-free, color-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, alcohol-free, mineral oil-free, and silicone-free.
Related Post: Some By Mi AHA-BHA-PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner Review
Ideal for irritated and dehydrated skin, Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner contains Centella Asiatica Leaf Water to soothe and calm irritated and inflamed skin. Jeju Island mineral water and sodium hyaluronate hydrate and plumps the skin.
This Korean toner comes in a convienent spray bottle. You can spray a cotton pad and then wipe onto your face and also use the toner as a pick-me-up mist during the day.
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Toner is formulated with 30% snail mucin to moisturize, balance the skin’s pH, and protect the skin. Snail secretion filtrate, also known as snail slime, is known for its ability to hydrate and repair the skin.
It also contains several plant extracts that benefit the skin:
Centella Asiatica extract, an anti-inflammatory, helps with wound healing. Portulaca Oleracea extract is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals which help support irritated skin. Houttuynia Cordata (Tsi) Extract is an antioxidant that soothes the skin.
Scutellaria Baicalensis (Baikal Skullcap) Root Extract is a multi-benefit active, as it’s an antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and it brightens and moisturizes the skin.
It’s a lightweight formula that is perfect for dry, stressed skin. The formula is paraben-free and artificial fragrance-free and suitable for those with sensitive skin.
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If you are looking for a Korean toner that does double duty by offering toner and anti-aging benefits, Cos De Baha Peptide Complex Facial Toner with Matrixyl 3000 & Argireline is the toner for you.
This is the only peptide toner available that combines a peptide complex with pure concentrated chamomile extract. The toner, made with 86% organic ingredients, also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump the skin.
Matrixyl 3000 is a peptide complex that works to reduce wrinkles per manufacturer research. It also helps to stimulate collagen production and improve elasticity and skin texture. Argireline is a peptide complex that helps to smooth wrinkles and fine lines.
This toner is thicker in consistency than a typical watery toner. It absorbs easily into the skin and is the perfect base for other anti-aging skincare products.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Hydrating Face Toner contains 80% green tea extract from Jeju Island, South Korea, an island ideal for growing the best green tea thanks to its climate, soil, and harvest season. Green tea extract, also known as Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental aggressors like UV damage.
Green tea is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic and can even aid in DNA repair.
There are many other plant-based extracts in this toner, some of which help to balance excess sebum (oil). Centella Asiatica extract supports the skin barrier while hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps the skin. Beta-glucan moisturizes and allantoin calms sensitive skin.
Recommended for combination and oily skin, this watery toner has a brown shade due to the tannin found in green tea. You can even use this toner as a mask by soaking a cotton pad in the toner and placing it on your face for a few minutes.
Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner is a very hydrating toner that is formulated with 91.3% Milk Vecht Root extract, rich in minerals and antioxidants. Milk Vecht Root extract, also called Astragalus Membranaceus Root extract, is used in Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory, and antiviral benefits.
Per the manufacturer, Astragalus Membranaceus Root extract has anti-aging properties and helps to firm the skin. The toner also contains Arginine which moisturizes and repairs the skin. This unscented toner helps improve skin elasticity thanks to the antioxidants in milk vecht root extract.
The toner has an essence-like texture, which is thicker than typical watery toners. It is ideal for oily, combination, or acne prone skin and is fragrance-free, dye-free, irritant-free and cruelty-free.
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Toner vs Essence
You may be wondering what the difference is between a toner and an essence. As previously noted, toners are applied after cleansing to balance the skin’s pH and remove any dirt, oil, makeup or other impurities from the skin after cleansing.
Essences are more like serums in that they usually contain more active ingredients than toners. Their textures are usually in between a toner and a serum, although there are some exceptions. Some essences are more water-like in texture while others may be thicker in texture. Essences often hydrate and replenish the skin and some are formulated with actives like serums. Essences are usually applied directly to the skin without using a cotton pad.
You can use a toner, an essence, or both in your skincare routine. Toners and essences each have a step in the 10-step Korean skincare routine!
Thanks for reading, and here’s to your good skin health!