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Best Salicylic Acid Toners Worth A Try in 2020

Best Salicylic Acid Toners Worth A Try in 2020
August 13, 2020 Ellis James

What is the Best Salicylic Acid Toner?

Toners have gotten a bad rap for being too harsh, irritating and drying even to oiliest of skin. But actually, they’re pretty helpful in your skincare. In addition to salicylic acid, today’s toners have evolved and now include nurturing and soothing ingredients such as botanicals and vitamins. As such, today we’ll be recommending picks for the best salicylic acid toner for you to try!

Bioré Witch Hazel Pore clarifying Toner, 8.0 Oz, With 2% Salicylic Acid for Acne Clearing & Balanced Skin Purification

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Dermatologists and other skincare experts have a love affair with salicylic acid for good reason. Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid commonly used to treat oily and acne-prone skin. The oil-soluble compound can penetrate the lipid layers of skin and reach deep into clogged pores. Salicylic acid dissolves the dirt and bacteria that are blocking your hair follicles and causing blackheads and whiteheads.

It is also a great chemical exfoliant for sensitive skin, softening and sloughing away dead skin cells and allowing new skin to surface. It is even mild enough to be used to exfoliate dry skin. All of this makes salicylic acid an effective and potent treatment for oily and acne-prone skin.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you’re probably already using some salicylic acid-containing products as part of your skincare routine. The acne-fighter, found in everything from serums to moisturizers, is used to treat even the most severe cases of acne. But you may be shying away from using a toner to help with your oily and acne-ridden face.

Let’s have a look at some of the best salicylic acid toners that you can incorporate into your skincare.


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Best Salicylic Acid Toner Options On The Market

If you’re looking for a great salicylic acid toner for your skin at any price point, check out one of these products.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:


Best Salicylic Acid Toner For Sensitive Skin

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

BENTON Aloe BHA Skin Toner 200ml (6.76 fl. oz.) - Contains 80% Aloe Skin Exfoliating & Moisturizing Facial Toner, Removes Dead Skin Cells and Blackheads, Acne Prevention, Soothing Effect

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With 80% aloe vera water, aloe leaf extract, and aloe vera juice, this toner is super soothing and hydrating for even the most sensitive and dry skin. The mild formula contains 0.5% salicylic acid, further minimizing the chance of irritation, dryness, and redness. It’s ideal for those with sensitive, oily and combination skin looking for good-for-you ingredients.

People love how non-drying and moisturizing this toner is and note that it also helps to even out skin tone and prevent acne. It leaves the skin super soft and, after waiting a few minutes for absorption, it helps moisturizers penetrate better.

You can apply the toner with your fingers or a cotton ball.


Best 2% Salicylic Acid Toner

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant


Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant--Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle

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A cult favorite, this fragrance-free toner unclogs and shrinks pores and smooths and treats uneven skin tone. With 2% salicylic acid, the toner is a mild exfoliant that is gentle enough to be used on the delicate skin of the neck as well as the face. Green tea extract helps to fight wrinkles and free radicals.

Many people with oily and acne-prone skin swear by this product. It has reduced the amount and appearance of oiliness and blackheads on the face, chest, back and arms. It is gentle enough to be used daily and works well under makeup after given a chance to dry down. Many have seen noticeable changes in the texture of their skin.


Best Salicylic Acid Toner For Acne

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4 - 13.5OZ

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As the second step in Clinique’s well-known 3-step skincare process, this toner treats and prevents acne by wiping away excess oil and unclogging pores. The formula was developed by dermatologists to help provide cleaner, smoother and healthier skin. It is free of potentially irritating ingredients such as fragrance, silicone, and gluten.

Users typically experience cleaner and less oily skin after using this toner. They also notice a more refined skin texture. Because it is an exfoliating product, many people say it helps prep the skin for makeup application.

RELATED: Best Tea Tree Oil Brands for Acne


Best Salicylic Acid Toner Without Alcohol

Humane Clarifying Toner

Humane Clarifying Toner BHA Salicylic Acid 2% Pore Minimizer & Facial Exfoliant, 4 Ounce

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If you’re looking for a salicylic acid toner that is free of alcohol, has minimal ingredients, and is made by a company dedicated to creating clean products, try this.

The 2% salicylic acid concentration effectively removes unwanted oil and exfoliating dead skin. Green tea extract helps soothe any redness and inflammation.

People with combination or oily skin appreciate the gentleness of the is product. Non-irritating and non-drying, this product helps users alleviate hyperpigmentation, blackheads, acne scars and pimples. Some tout it as one of the best over-the-counter alternatives to more expensive products.


Best Drugstore Pore Minimizing Toner

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner with Witch Hazel, Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Beta Hydroxy Acid, Oil-Free & Hypoallergenic Facial Pore Cleansing Toner, 8.5 fl. oz

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This popular toner has a combination of salicylic and glycolic acids to break down and remove skin debris. The result is skin that is smoother, more even-toned, and with an appearance of reduced pore size.

Users trust this line because it is dermatologist-tested and recommended. They also like that, because it’s fragance-free, it’s good for sensitive skin or people with allergies.

RELATED: Best Foundations to Cover Acne Scars and Large Pores


Best Drugstore Toner For Oily Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner, 8 Fl. Oz

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This toner is formulated with Neutrogena’s revolutionary Microclear Technology, which is proven to dissolve oil and help the salicylic acid penetrate better. This technology aims to fight acne before it even starts. It also has cucumber and green tea extracts to combat irritation.

Users have noticed less breakouts and oil after using this toner. People seem to appreciate that it works on all types of acne, including cystic, blackheads and whiteheads.

RELATED: Best Face Wash for Sensitive and Oily Skin


Best Drugstore Astringent For Oily Skin

Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin Astringent

CLEAN & CLEAR Deep Cleaning Astringent Sensitive Skin 8 oz

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Made for super oily acne-prone skin, this potent astringent will remove every trace of oil, dirt and makeup from your skin.

The 2% salicylic acid targets existing pimples and helps to prevent new ones. For extreme oiliness, use it up to 3 times a day on your face, chest, and back.

Acne sufferers love this budget-friendly astringent because it just plain works.

Because it’s an astringent and not a toner, you should use it with caution and watch for irritation.


Best Non-Comedogenic Salicylic Acid Toner

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner with Salicylic Acid, 6.76 Fl Oz

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If you’re prone to clogged pores, this toner is for you. It’s non-comedogenic, allergy-tested and dermatologist-tested. The salicylic and glycolic acids clear clogged pores and exfoliate rough uneven skin.

Gentle enough to use twice daily, this toner can reduce redness and inflammation, eliminate dryness, and help heal blemishes. Users with dry and sensitive skin see results as well.

RELATED: Best Non-Comedogenic Foundations for Acne


Best Drugstore Toner For Combination Skin

Insta Natural Age Defying and Skin Clearing Toner

Vitamin C Skin Clearing Face Toner - Natural & Organic Anti Aging Formula with Salicylic Acid & Hyaluronic Acid - Helps Wrinkle, Dark Spot, Fine Lines - Safe for Sensitive Skin - InstaNatural - 4 oz

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This toner has a slew of anti-aging, moisturizing and acne-fighting ingredients that are either natural or organic. Salicylic acid, tea tree oil, niacinamide and MSM target blemishes while vitamin C and hyaluronic acid fight the signs of aging.

Users appreciate the natural and organic ingredients and, more importantly, what ingredients are left out.

The milky texture and light scent make the product feel as luxurious as more expensive ones.


Best Drugstore Toner For Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-In-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner

Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-In-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner, 8 Fl. Oz.

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This toner promises to fight your acne and fade scars overnight. Salicylic and glycolic acids work together to decongest and soften skin while you sleep. The Microclear Technology helps quickly dissolve oil.

Many users saw an improved appearance in skin texture in an impressively short time. Many also claim to have fewer breakouts.

RELATED: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream


Best Drugstore Toner For Oily Acne-Prone Skin

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner


Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner, Face Toner for Oily Skin, 5 Ounces

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Formulated with salicylic acid, witch hazel and lemongrass, this 99.5% natural solution gently clarifies congested skin. Its non-comedogenic and non-irritating formula removes excess dirt, oil and residual makeup.

Users love this product because of its natural ingredients. Although it is not fragrance-free, many users find the scent refreshing.


Best Toner For Blackheads

Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner

Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner With Saw Palmetto And Mint 150Ml/5Oz

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This salicylic acid toner has the added benefit of pore-clearing saw palmetto, soothing aloe vera juice and invigorating peppermint. It absorbs oil, minimizes shine and reduces blemishes.

Thanks to the cooling mint, skin seems alive and refreshed. Many users saw an overall improvement in the look and feel of their skin.


Best Drugstore Toner For Dry Skin

L’Oreal Paris Hydrafresh Toner

L'Oréal Paris Skincare HydraFresh Toner, Alcohol Free Toner with Pro-Vitamin B5 for Face, 8.5 fl. oz.

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This salicylic acid toner is designed with dry skin in mind. Glycerin helps draw moisture to the skin while vitamin B5 helps skin retain moisture. The toner is 99% alcohol-free making it gentle enough for daily use.

Not only do users see clearer skin, but some notice softer and more plump skin after using this toner. Even though it’s meant for dry skin types, those with combination and oily skin appreciate how gentle it is.


Best Toner With Salicylic Acid And Glycolic Acid

Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner


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This toner is super effective at removing extra oil and debris because of the combination salicylic and glycolic acid formula. Botanicals, such as eucalyptus and green tea, provide your skin an extra boost of antioxidant and antiseptic protection.

Users find this toner to not only leave the skin feeling refreshed, but it does a great job at reducing the appearance of oil and removing residual dirt and makeup. Thumbs up for this clean and potent product.

RELATED: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Review


Best Korean Exfoliating Toner

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, 100ml / 3.38 fl.oz | Blackhead Remover | Korean Skin Care, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free

Buy on Amazon


A popular Korean cosmetics brand, COSRX has developed a toner specifically designed to fight blackheads. Salicyic acid and niacinimide work together to unclog and improve the appearance of pores.

Many users love the oil-fighting ability of this toner. People have also reported brighter skin and improved texture.


Best Salicylic Acid Toners: Roundup

Here’s the list of the best salicylic acid toners in 2020:

  1. Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner
  2. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
  3. Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4
  4. Humane Clarifying Toner
  5. Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
  6. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control
  7. Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin Astringent
  8. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
  9. Insta Natural Age Defying and Skin Clearing Toner
  10. Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-In-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner
  11. Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner
  12. Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner
  13. L’Oreal Paris Hydrafresh Toner
  14. Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner
  15. COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid


What’s your recommendation for the best salicylic acid toner?

Comments (8)

  1. Lovely 1 month ago

    This is a great post, thank you for this list, I will be referring back to this when I make my purchase.


  2. Kinga 1 month ago

    I have this toner from Ole Henriksen 🙂

  3. Amazing round-up! I’ve used the Clinique stuff before and I remember having a little tester pack of the 3 step products that worked quite well. I wouldn’t mind going back to Clinique in future, though I’m stuck on Boots (UK) No7 stuff at the moment, which is fab. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar is one I’ve wanted to try for a while now. The price puts me off but it always seems to get such amazing reviews, and my skin definitely needs some help. xx

    • Thanks so much, Caz, and we appreciate all your input! Happy to hear that Clinique worked for you, and we’re certain should you try La Roche-Posay Effaclar it ought to give your skin a bit of a boost!

  4. Aimsy 4 days ago

    Great list of toners! I think when you read the word acid, you think that it is a bad thing, but this can actually help the skin, can’t it? I use a toner from Lush with lavender and rose water combo, but I may have to have a look into some of these on the list!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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