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Once upon a time, you would have been forgiven for shying away from the astringent, skin-stinging, alcohol-infused products that toners used to be. With the modern advent of K-Beauty and the gloriously gentle French reinventions of toners, though, there's no such excuse.

A toner is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers your skin a quenching burst of hydration, also helping to gently remove dead cells from the surface of your skin; the result: a divine, glowy radiance and a supple bounce. Think of it as to your skincare routine, as to how primer is to makeup; it preps your skin for the heavier creams—like moisturizers and sunscreens—by facilitating absorption and restoring your skin to its natural state.

Deciding which toner is best for you, though, depends on your budget, goals, and skin type. Our top 9 picks narrow down the best French toner based on each of these factors. Enjoy!

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Comforting Rehydrating Toner by Lancome, the best French toner.

#1 — Comforting Rehydrating Toner by Lancome

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best French toner overall.

What makes it special? Lancome's iconic 'big pink' lotion is their ultimate hydrating and comforting toner. Enriched with Acacia Honey and Sweet Almond Oil, it removes any remaining impurities leftover from cleansing and leaves the skin fresh, hydrated and comforted. Just pour a generous amount of the milky pink water into your hands post-cleanse, then pat gently on your skin to be greeted with an instantly illuminated result.

Which skin type? No matter what type of skin you have, your skin will *love* you for this! Suitable for daily use.

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Vinopure Pore Minimizing Toner by Caudalie, one of the best French toners for skin-refining.

#2 — Vinopure Pore Minimizing Toner by Caudalie

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best natural skin-refining toner.

What makes it special? This wonderful concoction of natural ingredients swiftly refines skin texture and diminishes the look of pores, all while purifying your skin to inhibit breakouts. The results speak for themselves: in a clinical study, *91%* of participants found their skin was purified, and 83% reported tighter-looking pores. Like a "vacuum for your pores", it's formulated with 100% natural salicylic acid, antioxidant, age-defying grape polyphenols, organic rosewater and antibacterial organic essential oils of rosemary and peppermint to purify skin without drying it out.

Which skin type? Perfect for combination or acne-prone skin types!

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Gentle Toning Lotion by Avene, one of the gentlest French toners.

#3 — Gentle Toning Lotion by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The gentlest French toner.

What makes it special? Completely free from alcohol and enriched in natural silicates thanks to its unique, anti-irritating spring water base, this super gentle toner tenderly softens the skin and protects your natural moisture barrier. Apply it to your skin with a soft cotton pad after their Gentle Milk Cleanser for optimal results.

Which skin type? Ideal for dry to very dry sensitive skin.

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Effaclar Clarifying Solution by La Roche Posay, the best French toner for acne-prone skin.

#4 — Effaclar Clarifying Solution by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best French toner for acne-prone skin.

What makes it special? Enriched with sebo-regulating active and micro-exfoliant LHA (Lipo-Hydroxy Acid), this toner from the #1 acne skincare brand in Europe helps eliminate excess oil, unblock pores, and visibly reduces the appearance of blemishes. Due to its hypoallergenic, gentle, dermatologically tested formula, it is perfectly suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Tone up to twice daily—morning and evening—to leave your skin feeling beautifully refreshed and even.

Which skin type? If you have oily, blemish-prone skin, you need this toner in your life...

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Purete Thermale Toner by Vichy, the best French toner for all skin types.

#5 — Purete Thermale Toner by Vichy

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best French toner for all skin types.

What makes it special? The ultra-gentle, hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, paraben-free Vichy Pureté Thermale Perfecting Toner effortlessly removes makeup residue and impurities for a fresh skin feel. Formulated with glycerin and Vichy's thermal spa water, it moisturizes and fortifies even the most sensitive skin, leaving your complexion soft and hydrated.

Which skin type? For all skin types, even sensitive.

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Floral Toning Lotion by Sisley, the best luxury French toner.

#6 — Floral Toning Lotion by Sisley

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best luxury French toner.

What makes it special? Designed by the luxury skincare experts at Sisley, this soothing, refreshing toner has been specifically formulated with the needs of sensitive and dry skin in mind. It is wonderfully gentle—yet surprisingly powerful—removing stubborn trace elements of makeup and impurities before toning and soothing the skin, preparing it for the rest of a skincare regime. Made with a range of largely botanical active ingredients, Sisley's Floral Toning Lotion is a delightfully refreshing tonic for the skin that should be used morning and night for soft, fresh, more comfortable skin.

Which skin type? Perfect for dry, sensitive skin.

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HydraFresh Toner by L'Oreal, the best budget French toner.

#7 — HydraFresh Toner by L'Oreal

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best budget French toner

What makes it special? The formula refreshes and softens skin "in a splash", revealing a smoother, brighter complexion and leaving skin smooth and supple. A potent BHA ingredient gently sweeps away dull, tired skin while Pro-Vitamin B5 helps protect against moisture loss. Major bang for your buck, but we'd argue that their gentleness claims fall flat with the not-entirely-alcohol-free formula and the inclusion of a powerful exfoliant. A strong contender for best toner dollar-for-dollar, but be wary if you have sensitive skin.

Which skin type? This is for normal skin types; we'd caution those with sensitive skin to avoid this one.

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Immortelle Precious Essential Water by L'Occitane, one of the best French toners.

#8 — Immortelle Precious Essential Water by L'Occitane

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

An alcohol-free toner to help hydrate and prep your skin.

What makes it special? Enriched with Rose floral water—known for its soothing properties—and lightweight Hyaluronic Acid, it helps to hydrate and smooth, revealing skin that feels more toned and plump, ready for your daily skincare ritual. ~85% of women found that their skin was intensely moisturised and comfortable after 28 days of use. We would like to caution those with hypersensitive skin, though, as the fragrance in this toner is very intense, not just from an olfactory standpoint but also for the skin.

Which skin type? For normal skin types.

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Toning Lotion with Iris by Clarins, one of the best French toners.

#9 — Toning Lotion with Iris by Clarins

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

A skin microbiome balancing, purifying toner.

What makes it special? Specially formulated with purifying Iris and Sage extracts for oily/combination skin, the Clarins Toning Lotion helps to purify and hydrate the skin, tighten pores and refine texture, while normalizing surface oils to yield a matte finish. The Iris helps to fight against wrinkles, dryness and skin slackening, whilst the Sage extract has anti-inflammatory effects to soothe the skin. Being alcohol-free, it has no stinging sensation, is gentle on the skin and does not leave the skin feeling greasy. Our only qualm is with regards to the fact that it is hard to get a hold of this product, as they have recently launched an alternative with different ingredients.

Which skin type? For combination-to-oily skin types.

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