Why Toners Are Men’s Skincare Secret Weapon

Despite being a relatively straightforward product, for some reason toners tend to be one of the most confusing aspects of a skincare routine — especially toners for men. There are questions abound, from why one even needs a toner to where it fits into a men’s skincare routine.

At Kiehl’s, we’ve always understood the importance of a toner, our uniquely formulated facial toners can refresh a wide variety of skin types, from oily to dry: they’re even great for post-shaving.

Still not convinced? Here are the top three reasons a toner should have a permanent place in your bathroom cabinet.

An Essential Step

In order to understand why you need one, you first need to know what they are. Also known as tonics, the main purpose of a toner is to function as a type of skin prep for the steps and products that follow. While they may be more prevalent in routines for people with oily skin , they can work for almost all types, depending on the formula and ingredients. For men, they are also a convenient and effective way to soothe skin after shaving.

Easy To Use

Incorporating a toner into a regimen is as simple as a few quick swipes of a cotton pad. Toners are meant to be used on your skin immediately after cleansing — unless you are shaving, in which case it will follow that step and serve as an after-shave soother. To apply, simply soak a cotton pad with the liquid (it should be saturated but not dripping) and wipe it over your face in upward strokes, making sure to avoid the eye area. Splash some of the toner on your hands and then pat it gently on your face.


Another benefit of toners is that once you put them on, you’ll forget they’re even there. Because of their liquid texture, they absorb instantly into the skin and won’t leave behind a residue. This means you can layer products like serum , moisturizer, and sunscreen on top and it won’t feel heavy, sticky, or interfere with the efficacy of your other products. You’ll see and feel the benefits, but not the actual product.

Finding Your Toner Match

Now that you know why you should use them, you’ll want to make sure you are picking the right one for your skin type and lifestyle. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our expert picks for your needs.

For Dry Skin: Since men’s skin tends to be drier than women’s, finding ways to add extra moisture is key. The Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner is a non-drying, Cucumber-based toning liquid that provides gentle balancing and mildly astringent effect that leaves skin soft, soothed, clean, and comforted.

For Oily Skin: Toners are excellent for those with oily skin. The Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Toner For Men helps reduce excess oil and mattify shine thanks to amino-based Capryloyl Glycine, which helps restore balance to skin. It also comes in a convenient spray bottle, so you can spritz it on throughout the day, whenever your skin starts looking extra shiny or feeling greasy.

For Large Pores: If visible, enlarged pores are a problem, the Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic is your smart solution. The dual-phase formula is rich in minerals from Amazonian White Clay. This porous clay is a natural detoxifier known to help absorb excess oil and visibly reduce large pores.

For Post-Shave Skin: When you shave regularly, you’re causing micro-damage, as the blade running over your face is physically removing the top layer of skin along with the hair. Press down too hard or neglect to use a shaving cream, and you create more damage, which subsequently leads to cuts, bumps, and irritation. Even if you are shaving the correct way, your skin is still in need of some soothing, which is where the Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men comes in. Made with invigorating caffeine, antioxidant Vitamins C & E, and Bamboo Extract, it provides an instant hydrating effect and soothes post-shave skin on contact.

Give your skin an extra helping hand by trying out one of these specialized toners — it just might be the missing link to your best skin yet.

Video ConsultationBook Your Video Consultation