Which Is The Best Toner For Oily Skin?

Which Is The Best Toner For Oily Skin?

Authored by : Shreya Dalela
  • 18 September 2020
  • 12 mins read
Reviewed by : Dr. Kanchan Kachroo

Cleansing, steaming, scrubbing, moisturizing, you may have been following all these steps to take care of your oily skin. This article will talk about how, along with these steps, even toning the skin of utmost importance. If using a toner is not a part of your skincare routine, this article would state all the reasons why it should be, specifically for those under the oily skin category.

That dreadful yet inevitable sweat buildup that crops up on oily-greasy skin can be eliminated quite easily with the help of an effective toner along with the perfect cleanser and light-weight moisturizer.

Conventionally, toners were used to restore the pH-balance of the skin. However, with the continuous evolution in the cosmetic industry, the toners now available can harness many other benefits for the skin as well, unlike previous times. 

natural toner for oily skin

Read - How To Use Toners - The Complete Guide To Skin Toners

The following sections would emphasize the need to incorporate the best toner for oily skin in your skincare regime and the different criterion that need to be considered before zeroing down on the toner best suitable for the oily skin type.

Why is toning your skin with the best toner for oily skin essential?

Our skin is the first and the chief barrier that protects the vital internal organs from the outside atmosphere. It also shields us against numerous impurities, dirt, oil, and harmful radiations every other day. Hence, there is no reason why you should not be following a skincare routine and pamper it with your love and attention. 

Amongst the care that you provide, one of the primary procedures that need to be followed is toning your skin. The toner's fundamental function is to refresh, tone, and cleanse your skin without stripping away the moisture but, at the same time, clearing the stubborn dirt that could have remained after cleansing.

The following pointers will explain the useful functions of toner for oily skin in detail.

  • Reduces the pore size

Toners help decrease the gaps between cells and bring them closer by tightening them. This process makes the skin firm and slows down the early signs of aging. The tightening of the pores also has some other benefits like eliminating the possibility of penetration by any impurities or contaminants that adversely affect the skin. Using a toner regularly will prevent bacterial buildup on the skin surface, even if you have oily skin.

  • Safeguards the skin

Toner isn't only for your facial skin. If you have acne formation on the chest, shoulders, or back (which is a common issue for those who have oily skin), the toner could be applied to all these affected places. It safeguards the skin by minimizing further breakouts and keeping it clean.

  • Restores the skin barrier

Our skin has a protective layer called the stratum corneum. It secures the skin from foreign invasion by creating an acid mantle. Now, it's interesting to note that this layer is acidic. Often, individuals with oily skin tend to use harsh products to eliminate oil, which could lead to disturbance of this barrier formation, worsening worries caused by oily skin. A good toner aids in restoring and balancing the usual pH level that is 5.5 for the skin and thereby fortifies the acid mantle.

natural skin toners

Shop Kama Ayurveda Natural Skin Toners

  • Avoids the formation of ingrown hair

Any skin type could have ingrown hair. Ingredients like glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids present in some toners are known to reduce this complication. They have exfoliative elements that prevent ingrown hair by escalating cell turnover and supporting cells' regeneration.

  • Improves the efficacy of the next skin-care process

Toning is an in-between step that is followed after the cleansing and before the moisturizing process. Toners create an undertone for the next procedure and prepare the skin to imbibe all the moisturizer's benefits. In case one is undergoing any skin-based treatments to combat excessive oiliness of the skin, the toner is a perfect product that preps the skin efficiently.

Now, as we know the reasons why you need to incorporate toner in your skin-care routine, next, let us understand how to go about to choose a toner that is best suitable for the oily skin type.

How To Choose The Best Toner For Oily Skin

There are many toners available in the market globally. Many of them serve to care for different skin types. Because of this, there is a need to know the ingredients that should be present in a toner that would suit the oily skin base.

A) Stay Away From Alcohol-based Toners

The traditional toners had too high alcohol content, which kept the uses of toner in low light. In recent times, the issues faced by using alcohol-based toners like causing aggravated skin issues, have been addressed. However, they are still not considered entirely safe.

Following are the reasons why we suggest to avoid using alcohol-based toners -

  • Increase in skin dryness

The solvent-type of alcohol is known to evaporate quickly and even pull out the water content present in the skin. In short, they strip away the essential as well as the excess oil from the skin. Even though one may say that the oil is eliminated, the intention of using the toner is not to remove every moisture content from the skin but only the oil amount that is in excess. The ability to retain the essential moisture and maintain the skin’s hydration is necessary.

Therefore, this harmful property of the alcohol-based toners could lead to excessively dry skin and rashes, burning sensation, and redness.

  • Increase in acne break out

Many among us are on the lookout for a long term cure from acne. But did you know the excessive drying of the skin that occurs after topically applying alcohol-based toners could signal the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum and oil? This could result in more severe acne break-outs. The skin can become even oilier and counteract the short term de-greasing effects such toners may provide.

Now, as we know why one should refrain from utilizing alcohol-based toners, let us understand how one could confirm the type of skin they possess and know whether the skin is oily or not.

B) Confirm If Your Skin Type Is Oily

Having natural and minimal amounts of oil on the skin is essential for every individual as it provides the required hydration and moisturization to the skin. However, when the skin gets excessively oily, it becomes a major concern as it invites way too many skin issues like acne, blackheads, etc.

Now, to confirm that your skin type is oily, there are two methods. One could either follow the blotting method or lookout for the signs, as mentioned ahead.

1. Blotting Paper Method

This method begins by washing your face with a mild cleanser and water—Pat the face dry, with a soft towel. Next, leave the skin free for about an hour. Do not apply any products and refrain from touching the skin. 

Finally, use a blotting paper or tissue paper and gently dab the paper on your face's T zone. This includes the forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin then, check out for oil stains on the paper. Now, dab the paper on the cheeks and again check the blotting paper. In case you find oil present on it both the times, it is an indication that you are having oil-based skin-type.

2. Signs That Indicate An Oily Skin Type

  • The face tends to get shiny and greasy by the end of the day.
  • Makeup gets smudged or slides off and does not remain for a long time.
  • You are often traumatized by the frequent acne breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads formation.
  • Pores are significantly enlarged, especially in the T-zone.

So, by following either of these methods, it is possible to determine your skin type and confirm whether it is oily or not. If you’re still unsure, you can book a free consultation with our Ayurvedic beauty experts.

book free consultation with ayurveda beauty expert

C) What To Avoid For Oily Skin Type

Now let us understand which ingredients we should avoid when looking out for a Toner for oily skin.

  • Alcohol-based toner

We already spoke about the unfavorable impediments an alcohol-based toner could cause, and we cannot emphasize it more. When it comes to oily skin, it is a big-no to an alcohol-based toner. It can hamper sebum production or signal the over-compensatory mechanism to initiate excess sebum production; both ways would do more harm than good.

  • Higher content of salicylic acid

Excess amounts of salicylic acid could create havoc with the normal pH balance of the skin. Its high concentrations could result in redness, allergies, hives, stinging, itching sensation, etc. Along with this, it even dries out the skin entirely and thereby ramps up the harmful effects.

  • Higher content of benzoic acid

This ingredient is commonly found in over-the-counter toner starting to work against acne formation. This acid indeed has antiseptic properties that keep bacterial attacks at bay. However, using this ingredient in higher concentrations could cause the skin's peeling due to excess dryness and could even spark the onset of premature aging.

  • Synthetic and fabricated fragrances

Many times synthetic fragrances are added to the toners. Their aroma might be quite pleasing, but these scents are often made by adding numerous chemicals that aren't revealed. The topical application of these ingredients could cause adverse issues ranging from headaches, dermatitis to allergies. The usage of these chemicals for extensive periods could invite significant health issues.

After knowing the harmful side-effects these ingredients could manifest it is best advisable to abstain from their use.

D) What to look for in toners for oily skin

Now, as we have understood what ingredients we are supposed to avoid, next, let's know in detail which are the ingredients one should be looking out for when selecting a toner.

  • Vetiver Water

Vetiver water holds natural astringent properties. It maintains the natural pH level of the skin. It works against aging symptoms, clarifies, and tightens the skin effectively. It even contains healing effects and could diminish acne breakouts caused by oily skin. Use only Pure Vetiver Water obtained from steam distillation of the roots from perennial Vetiver grass. Only Pure Vetiver Water with no additives or artificial fragrances can provide the best benefits for oily skin. 

  • Witch Hazel

It is an extract that is derived from the hazel plant. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that work effectively against oily skin and its related problems. It is effective as a toner as it wipes out the excess oil from the skin and does not strip away the required oil content. It maintains the balance and hence is a better alternative than alcohol-based toners. It even combats enlarged pores and balances sebum production.

  • Rose Water

Rose Water also carries astringent properties that are alcohol-free. Astringents present in Pure Rose Water are known to tighten the skin, reduce oil formation, and considerably attenuate the pore size. Hence it is a perfect ingredient to be considered for a toner.

rose water for oily skin
  • Willow Bark

It is an extract derived from the bark of the willow tree. It possesses salicin, an effective anti-inflammatory ingredient that works against acne, clears pores, and smooths skin irritation. The salicylic acid is derived from this extract. However, the harmful side effects of high salicylic acid content are not experienced when using this ingredient.

  • Essential Oils

Numerous essential oils are presently available, and few of them work as beneficial toning agents and give out unique natural fragrances. The Geranium essential oil is known for diminishing the fine lines, Cypress essential oil is renowned for lessening excess sebum production and reviving the radiance of the skin. Also, the Lavender essential oil is famous for its ability to soothe and calm inflamed skin. These ingredients are all known to tone the skin and reduce excess oil production as well.

With the examples of these ingredients, it is quite understood that it is always recommendable to opt for Water-based toners than alcohol-based ones. Also, it’s highly recommended to opt for natural toners that are free from all chemicals. These do not have side-effects and could be used safely even multiple times during the day.

Best Toners for Oily Skin 

After deciphering the ingredients that need to be avoided and the ones that need to be included while looking out for toners, the following are the two toners that we suggest could be utilized and considered best toners for those having oil-based skin.

Kama Ayurveda’s Pure Vetiver Water is steam distilled water derived from the roots of Vetiver grass. The plant belongs to northern India’s Aligarh region and is known to have a misty and earthy fragrance. It contains properties that would maintain the natural pH balance of the skin, hydrate as well as clarify and tighten the pores. 

It has natural astringent properties and can rejuvenate, heal, and purify the skin as a whole. It is very well suited for those who have oily skin. To use this product one could directly spray the liquid onto the face and reapply as and when needed.

best toner for oily skin

The Rosewater used in Kama Ayurveda Pure Rose Water is derived from the roses grown on rich white soil, which is favorable for its growth, found in the Kannauj region of northern India. Rosewater, as described earlier, is a natural alcohol-free astringent. 

It maintains the skin’s pH levels, tightens and diminishes the pore-size, working effectively for oily skin. It also cleanses the skin and eliminates any residue that could have remained after the cleansing process. To use this product, one could spray it directly on to the skin as the need arises and could also reapply it when required.   

rose water for oily skin

Read - 5 Secrets About Kama Ayurveda Rose Water

So, these were the two products that could be used as toning agents that would suit any oil-based skin type.

How to Take Care of Oily Skin

  • Keep the face clean

This is to be followed by everyone, but those with oily skin should take this point even more seriously. Oil formed on the skin acts like a magnet that could attract unwanted bacteria and environmental pollutants. It is important to wash the face at least twice a day with a gentle cleanser and toner. 

Refrain from using chemical-based face washes and products and opt for products made of natural ingredients to clean the face. Also, after washing the face, only pat your skin dry; do not rub or wipe vigorously. This would only irritate the skin and cause redness and inflammation.

  • Use oil-free cosmetics

As you already have oily skin, it would be ridiculous to invest in oil-based cosmetics. This would not only fail to eliminate your problem but also aggravate the skin issues you may face. Check the labels of the products you are interested in and make the purchase only if it's mentioned to be oil-free or water-based cosmetics.

  • Use moisturizers

Many individuals having oily skin believe that their skin does not need any further lubrication as it is already oily. Well, this is not true. Moisturizing is a step that needs to be followed by everyone irrespective of the skin type. However, the point of concern should be the type of moisturizer one is using. Do not use oil-based moisturizers as they would only close the pores and clog the skin all the more. It would be beneficial to reach out for the moisturizing products tailor-made specifically for the oily skin type or Natural moisturizers recommended for all skin types.

  • Do not over-wash the skin

Those with oily skin may often feel tempted to wash their face many times a day, do not overboard and over-wash the face. This would dry out your skin and lead to irritation.

  • Refrain from touching the face

The facial skin is comparatively quite sensitive than the skin present on other parts of the body. Hence, it is essential to keep the face protected from exposure to untoward bacteria and greasy substances. Train yourself to keep your hands and hair away from the face.

  • Use natural home remedies and face masks

Using natural products and following home remedies have fewer or no side-effects at all. Face packs like honey, oatmeal, and lemon juice are known to control the oil-formation and hydrate the skin.

  • Have a healthy diet

Finally, the importance of having a healthy and well-balanced diet cannot be compromised as its benefits are numerous. Eating a healthy diet that includes sufficient nutrients, minerals, vitamins are essential to facilitate and balance oil production.

Lastly, with all this information compiled, it is now possible to pick out the right toner for oily skin. It is always advisable to check with your dermatologist or physician before implementing any product in your skincare routine. Book a free virtual consultation with our Ayurveda Beauty Expert. 


  1. Care for Oily Skin
  2. Efficacy of a twice-daily, 3-step, over-the-counter skin care regimen for the treatment of acne vulgaris
  3. 5 Toner Ingredients To Avoid
  4. Effects of Alcohol On Acne
About the Author
Shreya Dalela
Shreya Dalela

Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.

About the Reviewer
Dr. Kanchan Kachroo
Dr. Kanchan Kachroo

Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.

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