Don’t you hate when your skin appears oily and shiny, even immediately after cleansing? Oily skin is a common problem, and while it’s not harmful, it could make some people feel self-conscious or lower their self-esteem. In addition, oily skin is a big contributing factor to developing acne.

However, you’ll be happy to hear that adding a toner for oily skin to your daily routine can help significantly. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of oily skin and the benefits of toner in promoting optimal balance. Read on to learn more!

What is Toner?

Toner comes in the form of a liquid skincare product that you use after cleansing and before applying your moisturizer, as part of your regular twice-daily skincare routine. An integral component of your regimen, toner removes dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil, and other impurities to unclog the pores.

With regular use, toner can minimize the appearance of pores and promote a smoother, more even complexion. It also tightens the skin, smooths signs of age, and refreshes to prepare your complexion for moisturizer. Using a toner regularly is particularly beneficial for people with oily skin because it helps to control sebum (oil) production.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Oily skin is a common problem that affects 66% to 75% of people [1] between the ages of 15 and 20. However, adolescents and young adults aren’t alone in struggling with oily skin, as many adults have the same issue. Skin is usually defined as oily if it appears shiny and greasy within a few hours of cleansing. There are several possible causes of oily skin, including:

  • Stress: Stress increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum [2]. This is why high levels of stress can contribute to acne breakouts, which often go along with oily skin.

  • Humidity: Environmental changes like an increase in temperature and humidity [3] can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which could make your skin greasy.

  • Genetics: Oily skin may run in families, meaning you’re more likely to have this skin type if one or both of your parents have it. Specific genes [4] can affect the activity and function of the sebaceous glands.

  • Fluctuating Hormones: Higher levels of hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone [5] can increase sebum production and cause oily skin.

Other factors that can contribute to oily skin include a diet rich in sugar and simple carbohydrates, ovulation, enlarged pores, poor-quality skincare products, and regularly skipping or overdoing your skincare routine.


How Do Toners Help Control Excess Oil?

When it comes to controlling sebum production, toner for oily skin is one of the most important products in your skincare routine. It contains ingredients with astringent properties, meaning they tighten the pores and help reduce oil production so your face appears less shiny and greasy.

A could quality toner for oily skin is strong enough to control oil production, but gentle enough to provide other benefits such as balancing pH levels, deep cleansing, and preventing acne breakouts.

It’s important to mention that toners and serums for oily skin usually contain anti-inflammatory ingredients such as witch hazel which work synergically with astringents to remove excess oil from the surface of the skin.

In addition, they often include ingredients with antimicrobial [6] and antioxidant properties which protect the skin from oxidative stress and its negative consequences.

Toners vary in their ingredients, quality, and potency, which is why it’s crucial to choose the best oil control toner for your skin’s specific needs.

Choosing The Right Toner For Oily Skin

As we have said, not every toner on the market is equally good for your skin, and products differ in their ingredients, safety, and quality. The only way to reap the benefits of a good toner is to choose your product wisely.

What toner is good for oily skin? Here are some tips to help you decide what to look for when selecting a product.

  • Choose a Reputable Manufacturer: Purchase a product from a reputable manufacturer that is known for producing high-quality skincare, and in particular toners and serums for oily skin. A good company will focus on innovation and continuous research, so they are most likely to offer effective products.

  • Read the Label Carefully: Many people only read the claims on the product packaging when choosing a toner for oily skin, and skip the label. It’s important to look at the ingredients and research their properties and potential benefits. Pick a powerful formula that can control sebum levels, but avoid products that include harsh ingredients. Make sure the toner contains ingredients with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, like Hamamelis Virgin Extract (Witch Hazel), Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey Leaf), and Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail Extract).

  • Consider Other Skin Issues: If your skin is both oily and sensitive, you should avoid toners that contain alcohol as they can irritate your complexion. Choose a toner for oily sensitive skin with ingredients like glycolic acid to exfoliate and remove excess oil, and soothing, hydrating organics like aloe vera to nourish your sensitive skin.

  • Read the Customer Reviews: The feedback from people who have tried a product speaks volumes about its efficacy and safety. The best oil control toner formulas have reports of positive user experiences.

Why Are Toners Essential For Oily Skin?

The role of a toner in your skincare routine is to remove impurities that your cleanser missed and refresh the complexion. A quality toner does this without stripping the skin of the natural oils that it requires to stay hydrated and healthy.

Specifically, toner for oily skin controls sebum levels and reduces greasiness without irritating the skin. Naturally, the benefits depend on choosing the best oil control toner for your skin’s specific needs.

Toners offer a number of advantages for oily skin, most notably oil control and deep cleansing. Toner for oily sensitive skin effectively removes dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil, and makeup residue that your cleanser may not have eliminated completely. This helps unclog the pores and decrease acne breakouts.

Toners for oily skin provide other benefits such as minimizing pore size, exfoliating, optimizing pH balance, refreshing the complexion, and preparing it for other products. In addition, they promote a smooth, even-toned, radiant complexion.


Toners: Common Oily Skin Mistakes

These are some of the most common skincare mistakes that people with oily skin make, so be careful to avoid the following:

  • Choosing a Poor-Quality Toner With Harsh Ingredients: While a toner for oily skin should be powerful enough to control sebum, avoid products with ingredients that can irritate and possibly damage your skin over time like parabens and sulfates.

  • Not Considering Other Skin Issues: If you have sensitive skin and don’t use the right toner, you could develop irritation or rash. You can avoid these problems by purchasing a toner for oily sensitive skin.

  • Overusing Your Toner: In an attempt to control sebum and minimize a shiny complexion, some people use toners and serums for oily skin more than necessary. However, this can lead to issues like dryness and irritation, so always follow the instructions on the label

  • Using Toner Instead Of Cleanser: Toner is the product you use between cleansing and before moisturizing. Since toner removes dirt, you may be tempted to use it as your cleanser and skip the first step. However, this could leave your complexion inadequately cleansed and prevent you from getting the best out of your toner. It’s not just about what toner is good for oily skin; you have to follow the correct process to get the full product benefits.

  • Not Making Healthy Changes to Your Diet: In addition to following a consistent skincare routine that includes toner and other quality products, if you want to combat oily skin you may need to modify your diet. Follow a nutrient-rich regimen and avoid refined carbs, sugary drinks, saturated fats, alcohol, and other unhealthy foods that can increase sebum production [7].

Toner vs. Serum: Understanding The Difference

Toner and serum are both products that you apply prior to your moisturizer in your skincare routine, but they’re not the same. Toners and serums for oily skin have entirely different mechanisms of action, but they share the common goal of working to combat oily skin and give you a beautiful complexion.

Stemnucell Dermal Regeneration Serum contains active ingredients that penetrate the skin deeply to increase and maintain hydration, repair damage, and promote healing. This formula encourages skin renewal, improves elasticity, nourishes the complexion, and reduces signs of aging.

On the other hand, Maxatone Clarifying Toner cleanses and exfoliates the skin to unclog pores and decrease the risk of breakouts, and it contains nourishing ingredients that soothe redness and irritation. Serums don’t cleanse the skin, toners do.


How Often Should You Use A Toner For Oily Skin?

You should use a toner twice a day if you have oily skin, once in the morning and again before bedtime. If you’re wondering, “What toner is good for oily skin?” follow our tips to choose the best brand for you. Should You Use A Toner Before Or After Cleansing Oily Skin?

You should always apply your toner after cleansing. The cleanser removes dead skin cells, oil, and other impurities, and toner for oily sensitive skin eliminates the dirt and excess debris missed by the cleanser. It also improves skin tone, balances pH levels, tightens the pores, and promotes a radiant complexion.

Can I Apply Serum After Toner?

Yes, you can and should apply your serum after using toner. Choose the best oil control toner to use after cleansing, and wait for about a minute for it to absorb before applying serum.

Can I Use Toner Every Day?

Yes, you can use toner every day. If you’re not sure what toner is good for oily skin, do some research, choose the best formula for you, and begin by using the product a few times a week to see how your skin reacts. If you don’t experience irritation, you can use the formula twice daily.

Can I Use Serum Without Cleanser And Toner?

You can use a serum alone without a toner, but only after cleansing. The purpose of a product like Dermpura Skin Balancing Cleanser is to remove dead cells, dirt, and excess oil so the skin can more effectively absorb other products. If you jump directly to the serum you miss a least one critical step in your skincare routine.


Oily skin can be frustrating, and sometimes it may feel like nothing you do helps to eliminate your greasy, shiny complexion. One solution is to add a toner for oily skin to your skincare routine if you don’t use one already. Make sure to choose a high-quality toner with science-backed ingredients, and adhere to the instructions written on the label exactly. Reducing oily skin may also require lifestyle modifications, so we recommend reevaluating your diet to ensure that you include nutrient-rich foods that do not exacerbate oil production.



Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Zayed, has years of experience in the field and has been contributing to public health awareness. Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. Egypt. Dr. Zayed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. His articles were featured on many websites like HuffingtonPost, Chicagotribune . Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Zayed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayad

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