Toners— they are usually referred to as a clarifier, freshener or an astringent. And toners are that one step you will regret skipping!
However, if you live in America, it is likely that you grew up thinking of toners as alcohol-based liquids that swept unwanted dirt and gunk off your face, typically living a stinging sensation on the skin and leaving you scared to try it again.
In the world of Korean beauty toners, however, it is absolutely nothing like that, changing the whole idea of what a toner is.
Thank you, Korea for finally creating a toner that helps soothe rather than agitate!
Rather than drying up your face and cause irritation and stinging sensation in every application, a Korean-made toner can help cleanse, moisturize and clarify your skin as well as resetting the pH balance of your skin!
Most Korean toners are already gentle on the skin, however, if you got an extra-sensitive skin, there are specialized best Korean toners for sensitive skin that will not cause any irritations or redness on your face.
But, sometimes it seems near impossible to find the right one for your sensitive skin. So, how do you choose the right Korean toner for your already sensitive and easily irritated skin?
Important Factors To Consider
Types of Facial Toner
In general, there are 3 kinds of skin toners you can choose from. These include:
ALCOHOL-BASED SKIN TONERS
These are the most common toners and feature alcohol in its ingredient. In general, they are not the best alternative and gentle in the face toner department, unless you got really oily skin.
GLYCERIN-BASED SKIN TONERS
These are definitely less harmful than the previous type. However, they still contain scent extracts which may cause little harm or sensitivities to your skin, particularly if you are allergic.
WATER-BASED SKIN TONERS
Now, these toners are as simple as they get. This kind of face toner is the gentlest of the three and is normally lacking any harmful ingredients, making them the best toners for sensitive skin. Instead, it features a helpful substance that helps prep your skin for makeup or boosts your daily skincare routine.
When considering the best Korean toner for your sensitive skin, you need to read the ingredient list. Look for the right toner for your skin type and ensure that the products do not contain harmful ingredients that can further irritate your skin.
It is best to go with all-organic and natural ingredients which are known for their gentle and efficiency. Meanwhile, astringents such as menthols, alcohols, and witch hazel need to be avoided skin they can be rough on any skin type. These ingredients can strip your skin of the natural oils and cause extreme redness, irritation, and peeling.
Some ingredients you need include:
This is an oil-removing compound and is a great ingredient that can cause a tingling sensation on your skin. The acid is much gentler than alcohol and possesses some great capabilities in order to dig deep into your pores and clear hem up of dirt and impurities.
In addition, salicylic acid is especially beneficial in terms of removing excess oils from other ingredients.
Quite similar to the salicylic acid, glycolic acid helps in removing debris and dirt from your pores and is quite gentler on the skin than alcohol, making it suitable for those with sensitive or irritable skin.
These compounds, such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, can help your skin retain moisture and keep your skin hydrated and well-moisturized. This is particularly helpful for those with dry and sensitive skin, keeping the skin look dewy and fresh.
Antioxidants are a great compound in toners since they help in restoring the health of the skin cells and help in flushing and rebalancing your skin tone.
They also help in reducing the number of free radicals that can damage your cell and helps slow down the aging process.
These include compounds such as chamomile and other organic ingredients. Soothers serve no purpose other than soothing and calming your skin.
They are particularly essential for those with sensitive skin and help balance the harsh properties of acidic ingredients.
This is another important consideration but usually overlooked by most people.
Toners come in different forms and you may get a vast variety from the heaviest to the lightest. They may in the form of lotion, creams, mist, and liquid. Bear in mind their different properties when browsing and know how quickly and easily they get absorbed in the skin.
The addition of artificial fragrance in a toner can indeed make it so much better smelling. But, synthetic fragrances can sometimes cause redness and irritation on your skin, particularly if you have sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
Thus it is much recommended to avoid those with artificial scents and go with the natural scents of essential oils or herbal ingredients.
In addition, an intense scent can interfere with your preferred smell, so if you plan to use a particular fragrance that is not included in the toner, so try to find a product that lacks scent entirely or which has a light or mild fragrance.
Korean toner can come in various dispensing mechanisms, so you also need to consider this one for a quick application. They usually come in squeeze bottles, sprays, flip caps, twist off caps and more.
Whether you are purchasing your tested and favorite Korean toner or just looking for a new product to try, size is a factor to consider.
In general, the bigger the size means the more discount. So, if this is your second or third purchase and proved that it is quite effective on your skin, then it is best that you get the biggest you can buy.
However, if you want to jump on a new product and need to try it first on your sensitive skin, then you can always get the smaller one for testing.
If you are new to the product, you will not know how effective it is until you try.
But, you can always learn from other people’s experiences first before you give it a try. Therefore, it is highly suggested that you browse through various user reviews in order to determine if the toner indeed provides great results for some people.
Our Top Picks for The Best Korean Toners For Sensitive Skins
#1. Etude House SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner
If your skin becomes easily irritated or feels extremely dry, then the answer is a low-irritant and weakly acidic toner with cooling effects which helps soothe heated skin that is caused by external stimulation.
The SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner features Panthensoside (Panthenol and Madecassoside), a skin-calming ingredient that helps heal irritated and damages the skin. The toner is also hypoallergenic-tested and completed the patch test that measures the degree of skin irritation as well as non-comedogenic tested, proving that it will not make acne-prone skin worse.
The toner is advertised for those with extremely sensitive skin and features a watery consistency that is super easy and quick to absorb into the skin.
#2. MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner
The Time Revolution Clear Toner from MISSHA is perfect for those people who want to keep their skin, smooth, firm and hydrated but without the irritation and stinging sensation. Not only that, but the toner also helps in repairing wrinkles, balancing sebum levels and correcting your skin tone.
The fragrance-free toner offers a mild formula that cleans your skin of dirt and impurities left behind by your cleanser and gently ridding dead skin cells and debris with the mild BHA and AHA exfoliators.
It also features MISSHA’s popular fermented yeast extract that helps encourage cellular turnover and promote a bright, clear and even skin tone. It is mineral oil-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, and silicone-free, making it suitable for sensitive, oily, dry or combination skin.
#3. COSRX Galactomyces Toner
COSRX was derived from the words cosmetics and RX (prescription), with the goal to provide you a customized solution for your skin concern. And this toner from COSRX offers Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, a fermented and filtered ingredient that contains essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids which is highly effective for making your skin glow and brightening your skin tone while improving elasticity. So, if you have uneven and dull skin, then this toner is the perfect solution for you.
In addition, it also contains 82 percent mineral water from Jeju Island which helps nourishes and hydrates the skin, giving your skin a smooth and glowing complexion. The toner is formulated with only a few ingredients in order to be gentle and safe on even the most sensitive skins.
#4. Son & Park Beauty Water Toner
If you are looking for a 2-in-1 product which will act as a multitasking toner as well as cleansing water, then this water toner from Son & Park is your best bet. IT will help soothe your skin, keeping it hydrated and slowing down the aging process. You can use it as an exfoliant when waking up or use it as a toner in order to prep your skin for makeup.
And at night, you can use this product as cleansing water, helping you to remove oil, dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells. The toner features all-natural ingredients such as orange fruit extract, rosewater extract, and lavender water in order to keep your skin hydrated. Meanwhile, the willow bark and papaya extract helps in removing dead skin cells.
With a watery consistency, this toner easily absorbed into the skin while adding a bit of moisture. The toner is also free of paraben and artificial fragrance, making it suitable and safe for sensitive, dry, or combination skin.
#5. BENTON Aloe BHA Skin Toner
Benton offers a soothing skin toner formulated for all skin types, especially acne-prone and sensitive skin. It contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water that deeply hydrates and soothes your skin.
In addition, it contains 0.5 percent BHA, Hyaluronic Acid, Snail Secretion Filtrate and Beta-Glucan which helps in restoring your damaged skin and keeps it stress and irritation-free.
It helps in hydrating and moisturizing your skin as well as removing blackhead and dead skin cells. The toner also helps control your skin texture and pores as well as improving your skin barrier. Registered as an OTC drug for Anti-Acne function, this toner is also suitable for sensitive, itchy and dry skin, oily skins and combination skins.
#6. DearKlairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
Recommended for those that need some deep moisturization and hydration, the DearKlairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner offers a 20 percent more hydration than any other Korean toners.
It contains a lot of hydration including Centella Asiatic Extract. Beta-glucan, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Lipidure that helps in retaining moisture and works in calming down irritation and redness.
Although formulated with a heavy focus on moisture, this facial toner is also suitable for those with extra-sensitive skins thanks to its soothing plant extracts and ingredients blended together for a non-irritating and calming formula. It is also alcohol-free, dye-free and artificial fragrance-free formulations. Instead, it features a pleasant herbal scent that refreshes and deeply revitalizes your skin.
#7. Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner
If you are particularly worried about your pores, then this Wonder Pore Freshner from Etude House should be your pick. This 7-in-1 toner solution provides deep cleansing, pH 4.5 care, sebum control. Moisturizing, offering elasticity, providing clear skin and tightening your pores.
Most suitable for oily or combination skin since these skin types are characterized skin, this toner is specially formulated to tighten your pores and keep your skin young-looking and firm. However, the Wonder Pore Freshner is also suitable for sensitive and dry skin types since it contains no harmless ingredients such as silicone oil, animal ingredients, talc, coloring, artificial fragrance and mineral oil that can irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin.
In addition, it contains a special ingredient— peppermint— that helps effectively clean the inside and outside of your pores, bringing back your skin’s pH balance and restoring damaged skin.
#8. MIZON AHA & BHA Daily Toner
This daily toner from MIZON is not only an exfoliator that helps in dissolving dead skin cells, but also helps in deeply moisturizing the skin with its hydrating ingredients such as salicylic acid and papaya enzymes.
Suitable for dry skin that needs moisturization, this daily toner is also suitable for those sensitive and acne-prone skin, thanks to its mild and gentle formulation. The formula of BHA and AHA helps in removing damaged dead skin cells effectively while smoothing out rough skin texture. This helps promotes skin turnover and keep your face in healthy conditions.
#9. Etude House Moistfull Collagen Facial Toner
If you are looking for a Korean toner that will not only keep your skin moisturized and hydrated but slows down aging and fights wrinkles, then the Moistfull Collagen Facial Toner from Etude House is your best bet. It doubles as a facial freshener to promote healthy and glowing skin.
This gentle and effective toner is enriched with Etude House’s super collagen as well as Baobab water in order to provide intense moisture while rebalancing your pH level. In addition, it has a gel-like formula that is quickly and easily absorbed into the skin and works really well on every skin type, from oily, dry, sensitive to combination skin, giving you a healthy complexion with a natural glow.
#10. Albireo Power Moisture Facial Toner
Albireo’s top priority is to revive the beauty of your skin and make it shine like the stars on a clear night sky. Thus, they created this deeply hydrating and effective toner suitable for dry and sensitive skin.
Featuring high-nutrition and low-irritation ingredients, this facial toner helps give your skin the glow it deserves without causing redness and irritation. Featuring Chamomile extract, this toner helps soothe and relieve itching and irritated skin while increasing antioxidant activity.
In addition, it also contains Saccharide Isomerate and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Fermented Extract that helps provide extreme moisture to your dry skin. Meanwhile, the Gold Extract. Astragalus membranaceous Extract, vitamin C and Mulberry Root Extract help provide enough nutrition to your skin to keep it healthy and glowing.
#11. MISSHA Near Skin Simple Mist Toner
Sometimes simple is best. And the Near Skin Simple Mist Toner from MISSHA is as simple as it gets with minimum ingredients in order to give your face the maximum hydration and soothing effects that your skin desperately needs.
The mist toner is formulated with dill extract that effectively calms and soothes extra-sensitive skin. You can use it as the first step on your skincare routine or take it with you wherever you go and use it as a mist throughout the day for instant moisturization.
Formulated with only 9 ingredients, this toner contains no artificial ingredients for a non-irritating and gentle toning of you sensitive and highly irritable skin.
#12. Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin EX Toner
This balancing toner from reputable company Innisfree features natural and organic Jeju fresh green tea extracts that are rich in minerals and amino acids in order to keep the skin deeply moisturized and hydrated.
It also contains the natural moisturizing agent betaine which is derived from amino acids as that helps in providing intense moisture for dry and combination skin in order to restore the skin’s natural balance. In addition, it also contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and Centella Asiatica extracts to reinforce your skin’s barrier.
Also suitable for sensitive skin, this toner features blueberry fruit extract that relieves skin stress as well as allantoin to soothe and calm irritated skin. Not only that, but the toner also has no mineral oil, synthetic colorants, parabens, animal originated ingredients and imidazolidinyl urea that can cause irritation and burning sensation to the skin.
Boasting a water-like texture, this toner can be applied smoothly and easily and absorbs quickly into the skin without the greasy and sticky feeling.
#13. Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner
A bouncy and hydrating toner from Earth’s Recipe, the Energy Boosting Toner features Tremella mushroom extract that nourishes and balances your skin. It is formulated with brightening White Jelly Natural Herbals and Tremella Fuciformis which are high in collagen that is loved by Korean celebrities thanks to its ability to prevent skin contraction.
The essence-like toner helps brighten dull skin by delivering a refreshing blast of moisture and enhancing the skin’s ability to absorb, allowing the active ingredients of this toner to effectively and intensively reach the deepest layers of your skin.
With a crystal clear and thick consistency, this toner helps hydrate and nourish your skin. Free of parabens, mineral oils, artificial colors, and synthetic dyes, this toner also is suitable and safe for sensitive and highly irritable skin.
#14. The Face Shop Rice and Ceramide Moisturizing Toner
A wonderful starter set for your skincare routine, this moisturizing toner from The Face Shop features natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin. It features various compounds including Rice Extracts, Rice Bran Oil and Ceramide that make a rich and smooth texture that provides intense hydration and moisture to your skin.
The rice ingredients offer various beneficial effects such as moisturizing the skin, exfoliating dead skin cells and has a whitening effect on your skin. Meanwhile, Ceramide which is a natural component of skin cells helps in preventing moisture loss.
And using Nanotechnology, the Ceramide ingredient is reduced to fine particles which allow easier absorption of nutrients through your skin. In addition, the ceramide is produced from organically-grown veggies that help in reducing skin irritations as well as adding a protective barrier to your skin from alien substances.
Perfect for normal to sensitive skin, this toner is free of harsh chemicals including talc, mineral oil, tar color and paraben that may cause irritation and redness.
#15. COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner
COSRX offers another great toner for all skin types, including sensitive skin types. This Clarifying Toner contains 10 percent Willow Bark Water which is a natural exfoliating ingredient that softens and smoothens skin texture, 10 percent Apple Fruit Water which is another natural exfoliating ingredient that provides ad even skin tone.
Not only that it also contains 74.55 percent mineral water from Jeju Island instead of purified water that deeply hydrates and nourishes your skin to keep it glowing and smooth.
Meanwhile, BHA and AHA help in cleaning and exfoliating dead skin cells. In addition, the toner also features other essential ingredients such as allantoin that helps provide nutrition for smooth skin as well as calming irritated skin. Formulated with minimum ingredients, this toner is gentle on sensitive and irritated skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I properly use a toner?
A: First, you will need to wash your face before applying a toner. We are not talking about necessarily use a face wash product.
Consider washing your face with warm water, then splash some cold water on your face to ready it or the next stage.
Dry pat your face.
Next, you will use the toner with balls or cotton pads. There is no real difference between balls or pads, although some argue that cotton balls help in conserving toner.
Dab the toner onto the cotton ball or pad. Wipe the pad or ball over your neck and face. Keep it away from your lips and eyes. Take your time to spread the toner.
After that, give it a few minutes to be absorbed by the skin before you continue on to your next step in your beauty routine.
Q: Can I use a toner with other skincare products?
A: Of course! Korean toners are designed to be a part of the 10-step beauty skincare routine, thus it makes sense that you can use it with other products.
Just never combine a toner with other skincare products at the same time. Always complete a single product routine entirely before you move to the next one.
Q: When should I use a toner?
A: This actually varies from person to person. However, it is a good idea to apply toner in the morning and in the evening, before and after you have got about your daily activities.
This is due to the fact that your skin will have an unbalanced pH level as the skin creates oil for the day. Using toner before and after your skin is exposed to work can help in keeping your pH level well-balanced for as long as possible, while you are asleep.
However, if using toner twice a day leads to overly dry and irritated skin, then you can use it only at night.
Koreans are quite serious about their skincare. One look at their glowing, glass-like skin and you will know this to be true!
They know what they want, crazy about innovation, love gentle ingredients, offers pleasing package and definitely do not want to pay bucks for it. And their toners— especially the ones mentioned above— can help scrub off dirt and grit on your delicate, sensitive skin, removing dead skin while hydrating your face in a much gentler way!