Best Salicylic Acid Toners

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For anyone who has ever experienced a breakout, irritated skin, or a splotchy complexion, using a salicylic acid toner might be the right move for you. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or a combination of both, salicylic acid works to clear away impurities and slough off dead and damaged skin cells for a beautiful and youthful look.

Originally from the salicylate family of over-the-counter drug medicine, salicylic acid has become incredibly popular in the world of skincare since the early 80s. From oils to creams, salicylic acid has made an appearance in many beauty products across the globe.

It is in toners, however, that salicylic acid has been proven to work best. Use a salicylic acid toner commonly for extremely oily and acne-prone skin, or use it sparingly if you just need a little bit of extra care once per week.

Continue reading below to learn more about the best salicylic acid toners available on the market today.

  • Natural ingredients like rose water or witch hazel
  • 5-2% concentration of salicylic acid
  • A low strength formula, especially when it comes to exfoliating toners

Our Top 5 Salicylic Acid Toners

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner

This toner is a great solution for oily, sensitive, and breakout-prone skin.

It can also be used on dry skin if used sparingly and with long breaks in between each use. This formula is a high-potency medicated solution that offers visible results in shorter amounts of time, leaving the skin soft, supple, and evenly textured.

Pros:

Along with a quick result visibility time, using the La Roche-Posay Acne Toner also includes benefits such as:

  • Minimizes pores
  • Removes excess facial oils for healthy skin
  • Provides gentle exfoliation without irritating the face
  • Redefines small wrinkles and fine lines in the skin
  • Removes dead and unwanted skin cells
  • Minimizes the appearance of acne and blemishes
  • Reaches deep to remove blackheads and clogging

Cons:

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner only has a few main cons worth noting including:

  • It can be drying to those who don’t have oily skin

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner

The second toner on our list is the CaudalieVinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner.

Perfect for all skin types, this toner purifies the skin while visibly refining skin’s texture with its natural salicylic acid. It also provides antioxidant, hydrating, and soothing benefits thanks to the grape water and rose water included in the formula.

This pore minimizing toner has become a fan favorite over the past couple of years.

Pros:

The Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner has many benefits to make your skin radiant and glowing. In addition to boasting a majority of natural ingredients, it also:

  • 100 percent-natural salicylic acid
  • Minimizes the visibility of large and dark pores
  • Contains soothing rose waterand grape water
  • Comes in a convenient 1.06-ounce bottle that you can travel with
  • Redefines small wrinkles and fine lines in the skin
  • Removes dead and unwanted skin cells
  • Minimizes the appearance of acne and blemishes

Cons:

While the Caudalie Vinopure Salicylic Acid Toner has many health-forward benefits for the skin, its downfalls include the following:

  • The smell can be too strong for those sensitive to floral scents

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

This salicylic acid toner is great for all skin types as a gentle, non-abrasive formula to exfoliate and purify tired and dim-looking skin.

For a brighter complexion, use this toner once per week and build up to twice per week before bed. Its soothing ingredients will tone your face while you sleep, leaving you with a brighter complexion in the morning.

Pros:

Along with its incredibly high user rating and satisfaction rates, the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant pros also include:

  • Unscented and perfect for those sensitive to smells
  • Gentle and effective
  • Minimizes the look of fine lines and large pores
  • Limits future breakouts without drying the skin
  • Exfoliates without damaging skin layers
  • Comes in Paula’s Choice combos but can be used with all product brands

Cons:

Even though this is considered one of the best salicylic toners on the market today by beauty fanatics and professionals alike, the downsides to the Paula’s Choice toner include:

  • It is exfoliating so should not be used daily
  • It takes a while to see the effects of the product with consistent use

Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner

Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner

The next best salicylic acid toner on our list is the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner.

Pleasantly affordable for its high-quality ingredients, this toner is formulated for acne-prone and breakout-heavy skin. In addition to salicylic acid and lactic acid, it is formulated with a special Green Fusion Complex.

Pros:

Along with its natural Green Fusion Complex formula that utilizes natural botanical extracts from green tea, eucalyptus, kelp, and various Irish moss extracts, the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner also has benefits including:

  • Skin balancing and color-correcting abilities
  • Acne clearing formula
  • Mostly natural ingredients
  • Comes in a large 8-ounce bottle
  • Minimizes pores
  • Removes excess facial oils for healthy skin

Cons:

Though the benefits of the Ole Henriksen Control Toner are great, its cons include the following:

  • The formula is not made for those with dry skin
  • It takes a long time of consistent use to see long term acne-clearing results

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

The fifth best salicylic acid toner on our list is the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. This salicylic acid toner is an 80% aloe vera product for an ultra-moisturizing blend that will heal your skin’s problem areas.

Made for sensitive skin that often reacts badly to harsh products, it is available for use on all skin types.

The best thing about the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner is that it is not only effective but also very gentle.

Pros:

Perfect for those with allergies and sensitive skin, the additional benefits of Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner are:

  • Barbadens is leaf water for a delicious smell and hydrating effect
  • Provides gentle exfoliation without irritating the face
  • Reduces the appearance of existing acne and minimizes the commonality of reappearance
  • Mostly natural ingredients
  • Minimizes pores
  • Removes excess facial oils for healthy skin
  • Comes in a convenient 1.06-ounce bottle that you can travel with

Cons:

Even though this toner is formulated for gentle and sensitive skin, it might be too gentle for some. While it works on soft facial skin, it is less effective on the neck, arms, and chest. Additional cons include:

  • Not for people allergic to aloe vera or botanical essences
  • No alcohol ingredient so does not act as an antiseptic on existing breakouts, blemishes, or small open wounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use My Salicylic Acid Toner Everyday?

The short answer is no. Most salicylic acid toners should not be used every day due to their drying components and because they can often be harsh on the skin. The only toners that can be used daily are those formulated especially for people with oily and acne-prone skin.

Do I Have to Wear Sunscreen Even When I Use Salicylic Acid Toners Only At Night?

Yes. Anyone using salicylic acid, despite whether they use it in the morning or before bed, must wear sunscreen when going outside. Avoiding sun exposure is the best way to avoid burning, added wrinkles, and adverse reactions or irritation from your toner.

What Facial Products Should I Stop Using When I Start A Salicylic Acid Toner?

Stop using all peroxide, retinoids, sulfur drugs, and exfoliating scrubs right away because they can cause the acid toner to damage your skin rather than repair it due to adverse chemical reactions. Ask your dermatologist if you have questions about prescription beauty products or specific contraindications.

Get Toned, Balanced, and Happy Skin

While salicylic acid toners might seem controversial when it comes to skincare these days due to their exfoliating and drying nature, they can be one of the best tools for repairing, renewing, and freshening up dull, dim, and splotchy complexions.

For the best skin of your life, try one of the best salicylic acid toners and watch your skin transform.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.