There’s no doubt that one of the biggest conundrums of the beauty world is combination skin. Yup, we’re talking about skin that is oily in the T-zone and dry in other areas of the face, such as the cheeks, or around the eyes. Sounds familiar?
If you’re on this article, we’re guessing that you have combination skin. We understand – it may seem tricky to find the right skincare products to balance out your complexion.
This especially applies to products such as toner, which brings to mind stinging, harsh solutions that dry out your face, or too-rich formulas that can cause breakouts.
This doesn’t mean that you should skip out on toner entirely, though. After all, toners for combination skin have a multitude of benefits: they balance the skin’s pH levels, they help rid your skin of any remaining oil or debris, and they also hydrate, hence evening out your complexion.
What to look for in toners for combination skin
1. A pH-balanced formula
Our normal skin pH is around 5, so if the pH of your toner swings too acidic (below pH 4) or too alkaline (above pH 7), it can create an environment that allows harmful bacteria to thrive.
A pH-balanced formula should help recalibrate your skin’s pH, so that your skin will feel calm and balanced after cleansing.
2. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or Beta hydroxy acid (BHA)
AHAs, such as glycolic or lactic acid, and BHA (salicylic acid) are good additions to toners for combination skin. In low concentrations, these gentle chemical exfoliants are what dermatologists often recommend.
They help to slough off dead skin cells, keeping your pores clear. Plus, they can help control the production of excess oil and may also lighten pigmentation.
3. Hydrating ingredients
To keep the dry areas of your skin in check, you’ll want a formula that’s also hydrating. With combination skin, you’ll need a formula that does double duty to target excess shine and ease dry patches at the same time.
Soothing and hydrating ingredients like glycerin, allantoin, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, and beta-glucan will ensure that you accomplish both.
To help you find the right toner for your skin type and budget, here are the recommendations by Daily Vanity of the best toners that work for combination skin types.
Best toners for combination skin from S to S
M.A.C Mineralized Charged Water
Shine bright like a diamond with this toner from M.A.C. Imparting a luminous, dewy glow, this lightweight mist is perfect for our hot, humid shores, and even contains actual crushed diamonds in its formula. With it being both replenishing and enhancing for combination skin types, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
The M.A.C. Mineralize Charged Water is available at all M.A.C. boutiques as well as at their beauty counters at Isetan, Tangs, and Sephora. It retails at S$23.
Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera
A known cult classic amongst combination skin types is the Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera. Don’t let its simple, no-frills packaging fool you: this powerhouse contains a winning formula of witch hazel and rose water, which controls inflammation all while moisturising your skin. There’s no wonder that it has over 10,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, really.
The Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera is available at Watsons, and retails at S$23.90.
Mario Badescu Cleansing Cucumber Lotion
Supple smooth skin is what this toner promises to deliver on, with its formula of soothing cucumber extract and just 4% alcohol. It thoroughly cleanses, but not at the expense of your skin’s moisture, and it does so all whilst smelling of fresh cucumbers.
The Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion is available at Sephora and retails at S$30.
Pixi Glow To Go Toner Exfoliating Pads
Convenience is the name of the game with the Pixi Glow To Go Tonic Exfoliating Pads! Infused with its glow tonic solution, this toner allows for fuss-free brightening, hydrating and exfoliating while you’re on the go. Pop this in your work bag to give your skin a quick pick-me-up throughout the day.
The Pixi Glow To Go Tonic Exfoliating Pads is available at Sephora and retails at S$30.
Simple Soothing Facial Toner
Proving to be budget-friendly and effective, the Simple Soothing Facial Toner is alcohol-free, gentle, and doesn’t dry out your face, making it ideal for combination skin types. It’s also odourless, giving users a refreshing feel after use.
The Simple Soothing Facial Toner is available at all Watsons outlets, and retails at S$12.90.
Best toners for combination skin from S to S
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Smell as fresh as a rose with this balancing mist from Jurlique. It’s safe to use daily and is also specially formulated for combination skin types, containing marshmallow root extract that rebalances and protects the dry parts of your skin while the hints of rose softens and balances your overall complexion.
The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is available on Tangs and retails at S$42.30.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
Yet another cult classic amongst combination skin types, this toner by Paula’s Choice knocks it out of the park with a blend of soothing plant extracts, antioxidants, and hydrating ceramides. It balances and evens out your complexion, and is also vegan and fragrance-free.
The Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner is available on Shopee and at Beauty Collective (#03-36) in Novena Square 2, as well as Front Porch (#02-15A) in Tanjong Pagar Plaza. It retails for S$36.
Origins United State Balancing Tonic
According to online reviews, this toner by Origins is a real game-changer for those with combination skin. It de-shines the T-zone without stripping or stinging, protects moisture levels, and reinstates your skin’s proper pH. Plus, it has the added bonus of smelling like lavender and spearmint, leaving a tingling-cool feeling after. We’re sold!
The Origins United State Balancing Tonic is available at all Origins boutiques as well as at their beauty counters in Isetan, Metro and BHG. It retails for S$42.
Murad Clarifying Toner
A little goes a long way: only a small amount of this clarifying toner by Murad is needed each time to help your skin restore the balance it needs. With a myriad of ingredients that help eliminate excess oil without drying or irritation, this product is truly a dream for those with combination skin.
The Murad Clarifying Toner is available at selected Sephora outlets such as Tampines 1, Great World City, and Bugis +. It is also available at all Robinsons beauty counters and retails for S$48.
Son & Park Beauty Water
The Korean skincare industry has pulled off a miraculous feat once more with this innovative toner. A multitasking toner and cleansing water, Son & Park’s Beauty Water promises to exfoliate away dead skin cells, hydrate, and provide a clean base for makeup application. Sounds like a perfect ten to us!
The Son & Park Beauty Water is available at Qoo10, and retails at S$39.90.
Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris
Specially formulated for combination skin, this toner lotion by Clarins contains extracts of iris and sage that helps soothe, hydrate, and purify. Not just that, it also contains properties that help fight against wrinkles and skin slackening, which makes it a multi-tasking powerhouse in its own right!
The Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris is available at Clarins boutiques and beauty counters at Metro, Takashimaya, Isetan and Tangs. It retails at S$46.
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Toner
This toner by Elizabeth Arden has just the right amount of balancing effects that those with combination skin needs. And not just that, it is also know to deeply cleanse skin, leaving it with just the right amount of moisture to receive maximum benefits from the rest of your skincare routine. What a team player!
The Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Toner is available at all Elizabeth Arden boutiques and beauty counters in Metro, Takashimaya, OG, and BHG. It retails at S$43.
Best toners for combination skin from S to S0
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
A favourite amongst celebrities and makeup artists, this toner by Caudalie contains essential oils and plant extracts that help clarify, brighten, and refresh your complexion. Its lightweight mist formula is an added bonus considering Singapore’s climate, and it also helps set your makeup for those long workdays.
The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is available at Sephora and retails at S$72 (100ml) and S$24 (30ml).
Fresh Rose Floral Toner
Calming, hydrating, and clarifying, this toner promises to keep your skin refreshed and baby smooth throughout the day. Made primarily from rose water, it is known to remove impurities without being too harsh. In fact, it apparently even keeps your skin moisturised for up to 24 hours!
The Fresh Rose Floral Toner is available at Sephora and retails at S$63 (250ml) and S$24 (60ml).
Lancome Tonique Confort
Don’t get distracted by its pretty pink exterior— this toner from Lancome packs a major whammy for those with combination skin. Moisturising, purifying, and hydrating, this product is also non-comedogenic and leaves skin feeling soft, clean, and fresh.
This can be attributed to its unique formula of honey and sweet almond extract, which makes it suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.
The Lancome Tonique Confort is available at Lancome counters and Sephora, and retails at S$79 (400ml).
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Pamper yourself with this toner from SK-II! With over 90% Pitera and an effective formula that remains unchanged over the past 35 years, this product ensures less visible spots, refined skin texture, improved firmness, and a radiant complexion
The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is available at all SK-II beauty counters in BHG, Metro, Takashimaya, Isetan, Tangs, Sephora, and Zalora. Prices range from S$365 (330ml) to S$210 (160ml). You can also read more about our editor’s review of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.