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!
As a beauty content creator & licensed aesthetician, I create content around all things beauty, with my main focus being skincare. Through my industry insight, honest reviews and educational content, my goal is to help my clients and others navigate the constant influx of products and information in the beauty industry, and achieve their skin goals.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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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.
Ingredients, packaging, and versatility: keep these three things in mind when trying to choose the right Korean toner for your oily skin!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Our Top Choice - A Two-in-One Toner To Exfoliate and Hydrate Your Skin
SOME BY MI
AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Best for Brightening and Creating Glowing Skin
Peach Sake Toner
Best for Tightening Pores With Japanese Sake and Peach Extract
Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner
Best for Maintaining Moisture and Balancing Oil Production
Hyaluronic Acid Toner
Best for Getting Hydrated and Supple Skin
Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
Best Unscented Toner for Sensitive and Oily Skin
SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner
Best for Soothing and Toning Combination Skin
Aloe Soothing Moist Toner
Best for Anti-Inflammation With Aloe Vera
Best for Stressed and pH-Imbalanced Skin
Wonder Pore Freshner｜Old Version
Best for the Tingly and Soothing Feeling of Peppermint
Formulated with AHA, BHA, and botanical ingredients, this toner does more than just exfoliate your skin! It can help in hydrating your skin as well. This convenient mist toner will leave your skin soothed, refreshed, and nourished. It's also fairly gentle on the skin, with a couple of reviewers mentioning it being light enough for use twice a day.
AHA helps exfoliate your skin and balance its pH, which keeps your skin bright and fresh. BHA will help reduce excess sebum production by unclogging your pores, and it also minimizes the appearance of stubborn acne.
However, this product might not be for people with sensitive skin since it caused breakouts and rashes in some users. On the bright side, many said that the product works as advertised. It kept their faces healthy and reduced oiliness. They also confirmed that it gently exfoliates their skin while keeping it hydrated.
Packed with AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs, this product will keep your skin fresh, bright, and nourished by getting rid of dirt, dead skin cells, and impurities. It also helps control sebum production by unclogging your pores! Just soak a cotton pad with the toner and apply.
This toner contains tea tree extracts to nourish your skin. Plus, adenosine and niacinamide help brighten your complexion. However, some reviewers said that people with sensitive skin might be better off with a gentler toner. Be sure to double-check the ingredients to ensure that it will not be too harsh for your skin.
Despite those reviews, many people found this product to be efficient. They said that the product left their skin glowing and bright. Moreover, they also confirmed that this product helped reduce oil production!
Skinfood is a Korean cosmetic brand known to use food ingredients in their products. They believe that incorporating nutritious food in their products gives many benefits to the skin. This particular toner is formulated with Japanese sake and peach extracts, and it's highly recommended for people with oily skin and big pores.
Japanese sake helps tighten pores while the peach extracts are full of vitamins A and C to help minimize large pores and control oil production. However, reviewers warned that this product is not suitable for all skin types, as they said it can be drying. If you have dry patches in addition to issues with oil, you may want another product.
On the bright side, most reviewers loved the scent and adorable packaging. Moreover, they confirmed that the product was effective in keeping their face oil-free throughout the day. The toner also helped minimize their pores.
One thing that makes Korean skincare products stand out is their use of unique ingredients. It's unusual to find products with snail mucin and bee venom anywhere else, but in the world of Korean skincare, they offer many skin benefits!
Snail mucin increases moisture while balancing your skin's oil production, and it also helps keep your skin firm. Bee venom protects, heals, and moisturizes your skin. This product is ECOCERT certified and cruelty-free, too!
A few reviewers noted that the product made their skin sting and caused them to breakout. However, a lot of reviewers said that the toner was moisturizing, refreshing, and efficient. They also confirmed that it minimized their pores. Others said that this is their holy grail toner, and they trust it to keep their face healthy!
This toner provides long-lasting hydration through its moisture-restoring ingredients. The product is formulated with 50 percent hyaluronic acid and contains aloe vera for added hydration.
Hyaluronic acid seeps deep into the skin to moisturize it. It helps in reducing wrinkles and pigmentation, too. This toner also contains aloe vera, an ingredient that can tighten and unclog pores. It's fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic as well.
It did trigger acne for a few reviewers, but most confirmed that the product gently hydrated their skin. They also noted that their pores visibly shrank, and their fine lines faded away after using the product regularly!
If your skin is both oily and sensitive, Klair's Supple Preparation Unscented Toner might be the one for you! This product is specifically made for people with more sensitive skin. This toner is free from fragrances, alcohol, and essential oils since these ingredients can trigger redness and irritation on sensitive skin.
Instead, they use ingredients that will rejuvenate your skin! It uses hyaluronic acid and aloe vera extract to gently hydrate skin. Some reviewers did experience irritation, so we recommend doing a patch test first if you have severely sensitive skin. Others also had concerns about the authenticity of the item on Amazon, so we included another link.
Despite these reviews, many people say this is their go-to product! They found the toner to be effective and efficient. They said that the product left their skin feeling healthy and moisturized. It also helped reduce acne, too.
Etude House, a popular K-beauty brand, released a line called Soon Jung Damage Care solution that caters to more sensitive skin. Products in this line will help in keeping the face relieved and restore it to its healthy state. If you deal with oily skin that's both sensitive and prone to acne, this toner might be the one for you!
This toner is formulated with plenty of plant-based ingredients and its pH level is 5.5. Using this toner will leave your skin balanced and moisturized throughout the day. It also contains glycerin, which is useful in controlling oil production! Plus, ingredients such as panthenol keep the face hydrated and madecassoside helps restore damaged skin.
Some reviewers noted that for people with more reactive skin, this product could cause redness. However, many reviewers found the product effective in restoring and keeping their skin healthy. They confirmed that this product is excellent for people with combination skin, oily skin, and acne-prone skin. They loved how the product left their face hydrated.
This product is formulated with aloe vera extract to help keep your skin hydrated. It also cleanses your skin without the use of chemical preservatives, parabens, and mineral oils.
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, and its antioxidants protect your skin from damage. Moreover, this product eliminates makeup, dirt, and impurities from your pores, which helps minimize sebum production.
Some reviewers noted that it does contain fragrance, which may be irritating for some people. However, a lot of reviewers thought that this product was useful and hydrating. It was gentle and left their skin feeling soft and healthy.
This toner is made to recover tired and overstressed skin! It also helps keep your pH level balanced while keeping your skin hydrated and free from acne.
It uses Milk Vetch Root extract instead of water as its base. This ingredient has a small molecule size, so it can hydrate your skin well! This toner is also free from artificial fragrances and alcohol, so it's much less likely to irritate your skin.
This toner's texture is essence-like and easily absorbed by skin. Some reviewers did experience breakouts and redness, but overall, many users confirmed that the product was gently hydrating and lightweight. They also mentioned that a little goes a long way!
If you love the cooling sensation of peppermint on your skin, then this is the perfect toner for you. Etude House's Wonder Pore Freshener is formulated with peppermint extract to treat acne, balance sebum production, and soothe irritated skin.
This product is water-based, fragrance-free, and mineral oil-free. Other notable ingredients include lemon extract, which is full of antioxidants, and chrysanthellum indicium (camomile) extract, which, in conjunction with the peppermint, helps soothe irritated skin. Plus, it comes in a convenient pump bottle, so no need to pour and waste product!
Some reviewers mention that the product, with a high concentration of alcohol, is drying and not great for sensitive skin. However, many more reviewers appreciated how well it worked on their skin, minimizing the appearance of pores, unclogging them, smoothing skin, and say it works well at taking off residual makeup.
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.
Dealing with oily skin can be frustrating. Here are some other products you can try to help control excess oil production!
Looking for more ideas for what toner might suit you best? Check out Amazon buyers' favorites.
No. 1: COSRX｜AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
No. 2: SOME BY MI ｜AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
No. 3: SKINFOOD ｜Peach Sake Toner
No. 4: BENTON ｜Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner
No. 5: ISNTREE ｜Hyaluronic Acid Toner
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