Is Toner Good for Oily Skin? Mapping Out the ABCs of Effective Skincare

Usually, the skin produces oil through the sebaceous glands in the skin to keep it from getting dry. However, the sebaceous gland in oily skin produces more oil than the skin needs. This leaves the skin greasy and prone to acne. Is toner good for oily skin?

Yes, it is. 

Using toner on oily skin is an effective way to tackle excess oil production and reduce the risk of breakouts on your skin. You may not need to use a myriad of products to tighten your pores or rid your skin of dirt and that may cause acne.

Using a toner that works for your skin type may be all you need to reduce oil and acne breakouts on your skin. Read ahead to find out what toner is good for your oily and acne-prone skin.

Does Toner Help With Oily Skin?

According to a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, “using toners for oily skin is a good choice because they help to cleanse your pores and remove any debris that is blocking it. They also penetrate your pores to help balance your complexion.”

He went further to say that: “Using a toner can help in removing excess oil, clear blackheads, and slough off other skin concerns for your acne-prone skin.” 

The work of a high-quality toner ranges from restoring balance to your skin’s pH level, to enhancing the effect of your other skincare products. The best toner to use on oily skin is one that can regulate oil production, unclog and decrease the size of your pores. 

It should also contain moisturizing and antibacterial properties to help maintain pH balance and prevent breakouts. Also, ensure that it does not contain alcohol. This is because alcohol-based toners are too harsh even for oily skin to tolerate, especially if you have sensitive oily skin. 

A toner that contains natural ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel, lemon, and so on has great benefits to oily skin. 

Is Green Tea Toner Good for Oily Skin?

A green tea toner is a good product to use for your oily skin. It removes the buildup of dirt from the skin, shrinks pores, rejuvenates the skin, and balances the pH of the skin. 

Using the product on your skin will deep cleanse your pores to remove all accumulated dirt clogging your pores and moisturize your skin to soothe inflammations. 

When it comes to using toner on oily skin, you can’t just pick up any toner. You need one that will help to regulate oil production and reduce acne inflammations and a green tea toner can do all that. 

When you combine it with rice water, it further balances the pH level of the skin and strengthens the skin barrier. 

According to one review, the EGCG in green tea contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that can help to treat acne and oily skin. EGCG is an antiandrogen that can help to reduce your lipid levels. 

This has the same effect as reducing the amount of oil produced in the skin. By reducing oil production in the skin, EGCG can delay or stop the formation of acne. 

It works especially on hormonal acne by stabilizing your hormones. Androgens are hormones that your body makes and when there are high or fluctuating androgen levels, the sebaceous gland produces a large amount of sebum. 

Is Alcohol-Based Toner Good for Oily Skin? 

When looking to purchase toner for your oily skin, try to avoid alcohol-based toner. A toner that contains high alcohol content is not a good choice for you. Even if it starts nice, it may enlarge your pores in the long run. 

It may even increase the oil production in your skin and lead to more breakouts. When the skin gets dry, it signals the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This will again cause your skin to become more greasy.

According to a celebrity aesthetician, Renee Rouleau, alcohol can dry up and strip oily skin if water. This will result in the buildup of dead skin cells and the surface of your skin. This will not only make your skin look dull, but will also trap oil in your pores to cause a breakout. 

Ethanol is a form of alcohol in toners and can also be quite drying for sensitive skin types. So if you have oily, yet sensitive skin, watch out for that. Avoid toners that contain SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol. 

Is Rice Water Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Rice water toner is a good product that helps with your greasy skin. It has a tightening and toning effect when you apply it to your skin and this makes it a good product for oily skin.

The starch in rice water also has a mattifying effect that helps to mop up sebum in your oily skin—making the skin less greasy. The pores tightening effect will also help to stop oil from secreting from the sebaceous glands into your pores. 

The toner will not only help to sop up oil but will also help to clear the skin of impurities and blackheads. Additionally, regular application of the product will help to balance up your skin’s pH and help to reduce acne breakouts.

SEE: How to Use Toner on Oily Skin – A Complete Usage Guide

Is Tea Tree Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Tea tree toner contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to shrink your pores and make your skin appear smoother, clearer, and healthier. This makes it a good choice for you if your skin is oily.  

Tea tree is a skincare ingredient known for its purifying ability to help oily skin. It reduces excess oil production in the skin. A toner that contains tea tree oil will also help to soothe inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties. 

If you are experiencing inflammation on your skin, you can consider using a tea tree toner to help relieve discomfort.

Is Rose Water Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Rosewater contains antibacterial properties that are good for oily skin. It serves as a natural astringent for oily skin types. Using rose water toner will help to balance your skin’s natural oil and regulate oil production in your sebaceous glands. 

The toner will not only draw out excess oil from your skin but will also help to keep blackheads, whiteheads, and other skin problems at bay. Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe irritated, acne-prone skin and hydrate it as well. 

According to a review, rose water contains high levels of vitamin C and phenolics—which makes it an ideal option for treating acne inflammation. These anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce redness, prevent swelling and soothe discomfort.

Is Cucumber Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Cucumber is a natural mild astringent that can be found in toners and is good for oily skin. It can help to balance your skin’s pH level, strengthen your skin barrier, slough off dirt and oil, hydrate the skin and shrink pores. 

Some toners combine cucumber with ingredients such as aloe vera and witch hazel. Aloe vera helps to hydrate and nourish the skin, while witch hazel contains astringent properties that can reduce oil and inflammation. 

A toner that combines both ingredients with cucumber will work wonders on your oily skin without drying or irritating the surface. 

Is Lavender Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Lavender toner is another good option for you if you have oily and acne-prone skin. Lavender oil works to kill acne-causing bacteria, and this can help to prevent and clear acne breakouts. 

The product will help to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells buildup in the pores, and reduce inflammation when you use it on your skin. 

You can make a DIY toner using lavender oil and witch hazel. Mix two drops of laver oil with a teaspoon of witch hazel and use a cotton ball to apply the mix to your face.

SEE: How to Use Toner and Moisturizer: A Detailed Guide for Better Skin Care Routine

Is Vitamin C Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Vitamin C toner is another good skincare product to use on your oily skin. Vitamin C is an ingredient that contains potent anti-inflammatory properties which can help to soothe and manage acne inflammations. 

If you are experiencing acne breakout, using a vitamin C toner will help to protect your skin from free radicals, and promote the production of collagen. Collagen production will help to rid the skin of scars and spots caused by acne.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Apple cider vinegar contains a high level of tannin and that makes it a natural astringent. It is good for you if you have oily skin as it contains antibacterial properties. This antibacterial property helps to tackle and defeat acne-causing bacteria on the skin. 

It also helps to cleanse the skin by removing dirt, dead skin cells buildup, excess oil, makeup product residue, and so on. 

Is Witch Hazel Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Witch hazel toner is known to be good for all skin types especially oily, combination, and oily skin ones.

The product is alcohol-free and contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that will help to prevent and stop acne breakouts. 

It works to cleanse the skin deeply to remove debris from the pores and it also soothes inflammation on the skin. It contains high levels of tannins and acts as antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals.

Is Glycolic Acid Good for Oily Skin?

Glycolic acid is a holy grail ingredient for oily and acne-prone skin. This is because it contains antibacterial and also exfoliates the skin.

Using glycolic acid toner will help to remove excess oil and prevent the sebaceous glands from producing more oil than your skin needs.

The product will help to unclog your pores by removing the debris that is blocking them. The antibacterial in glycolic acid will help to prevent acne-causing bacterias from entering your pores. It will help to exfoliate your skin to keep it smooth and healthy. 

Is Lemon Toner Good for Oily Skin?

Lemon is a natural astringent that helps to tighten your pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, and regulate oil production in the skin. Therefore, lemon toner is another great product to use on oily skin.

You can make a DIY lemon toner by squeezing out fresh lemon juice to clean water. Store the toner in an empty bottle, and apply with a cotton ball as you wish.

SEE: Face Toner: The Missing Link In Your Skincare Routine

Frequently Asked Questions

Can aloe vera toner reduces oil in oily skin?

Yes, it can. Using aloe vera toner can help to mop out excess oil from the skin and regulate the production of oil in the sebaceous glands.  

This will help to prevent and reduce the formation of acne breakouts in the skin.  

Is alcohol-free toner good for oily skin?

Yes, it is. Using an alcohol-free toner is the best option for oily skin. Therefore, try as much as you can to avoid using alcohol toner on your skin.

An alcohol-based toner has a drying effect on the skin and can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The drying effect will cause dead skin cells to appear on your skin, making it look dull. This may even trap oil in your pores, thereby leading to breakouts.

Which homemade toner is good for oily skin?

Witch hazel and lemon toner. You can use these two ingredients to make a DIY toner to use on your skin. 

Witch hazel is an astringent that tightens the pores, while lemon juice helps to remove excess oil from the skin. 


Using toner for oily skin is probably the best thing you can offer your skin. It is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped in your skincare routine. However, it is important to know that not all toners will help your oily skin. 

Toners that contain alcohol may even cause more problems for your skin, so avoid them. Get yourself a toner that contains any or more of the ingredients that work fine for oily skin. 

These toners will help to deep-cleanse and reduce oil production in your skin, while also nourishing it.

Thanks for reading. 

Visit Serum101 for more enlightening guides to help you choose what’s good for your skin.