The Best Brightening Toner – 2017 Reviews & Top Picks

In order to help you get the even skin tone you’ve always wanted, we’re rounding up the best brightening toner products in this list. The toners that made it to this list were carefully selected based on their ability to treat skin conditions, leading to a dull complexion. We believe these products will help you support your beauty.

Toners are not new players in the skincare industry. They have just made a huge comeback, though. It’s no surprise that they gain more and more followers.

Toners were originally astringents or cleaning agents.

Nowadays, the ones available in the market all have their quirks. You can choose a toner according to your skin’s needs. Fight dry skin, nourish sensitive skin, and even control your oily skin conditions.

All you have to do is to choose a proper product. And this is where we come in to support your beauty.

Probably one of the most common issues is dull skin complexion. To be honest, nobody is insured towards this condition. It can affect literally anyone. The most annoying part is that it can keep going like this every single day.

We know we have to brighten up. And for this job, toners have all the right attitude.

So, we decided to give them a try. We reviewed and ranked our favorites. The scale we used in this list addresses cleansing in the first place. But it is followed straight after by the brightening effects. Our search was for the best products combining those two traits.

Here are our top five picks for the Best Brightening Toner.

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Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for the Best Brightening Toner

OUR TOP #1 PICK - Number one on our list is Burt’s Bees Brightening Tonic. It is made with wild white daisy blossoms extract. This makes it a great brightening perspective. Adding to its qualities is that it may also be used as a makeup remover.

OUR TOP #2 PICK - Second on our list is Super C-22 Toner. It can mainly clean your skin from impurities. The organic ingredients such as Carrot oil and Grapeseed assist the brightening process.

OUR TOP #3 PICK - For the third place, we have Son & Park Beauty Water. This beauty water also doubles as a toner and may be used up to three times a day. You can enjoy it in the morning, the afternoon, or in the evening before applying makeup.

OUR TOP #4 PICK - Coming in at number four is Caudalie Beauty Elixir. It may cleanse, remove impurities, and brighten the skin. Furthermore, it may also tighten the skin and pores.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - Completing our list is CBella Organic Brightening Toner. Vitamin C is the main ingredient in this toner. It also contains different fruit extracts such as papaya, pineapple, and raspberry.

What causes dull skin?

The natural radiant glow we all want is most often a mystery. It seems like it can only be achieved with gaining inner peace and receiving a daily 8-hour sleep. In our fast paced lives, most of us find it difficult to have enough of both.

Nobody is satisfied with dull and lifeless skin. It can affect our confidence, as well as all our daily activities. So what can we possibly do to turn the cards in our favor?

As we mentioned above, not getting that 8-hour sleep is partly to blame. During the sleeping process, your body and your skin cells recuperate and regenerate. Lesser time or no sleep at all may force your body to prioritize. This may lead to the dark circles and dull, lifeless skin.

Inner peace is also of great importance. If you are stressed, it shows.

Cortisol production increases when you are under pressure.

This affects the blood flow to your skin. To put this under control, you might add to your inner peace practices.

Including training into your regimen can boost your blood circulation. The results can be amazing. And they come straight on your skin’s appearance.

Diet is also vital to achieving that natural glow.

Are you are a fan of fast food, burgers, french fries and fizzy drinks? Well, to be honest, we all are. Discipline plays a vital part of the game. In order to have a radiant skin, you should consider limiting these products in your diet.

Twice a week is more than enough for your taste buds to be tickled. The rest of the time, we recommend you to increase the intake of water. Get more fresh fruits and veggies, and avoid fried food.

Salty and processed foods will just swell your tissue as well. Salt traps water in a way that ends up with your face looking puffy.

The fast food diet is devoid of nutrients that may repair skin and encourage regeneration.

It does not have antioxidants or even essential fatty acids. We are stuffing fat, cholesterol, salt, sugar and preservatives. This does not help our skin to glow at all.

Dull complexion may also appear because of your smoking habits.

By now you know that cigarette smoking is bad for your health. We want to emphasize on the carcinogen substance in cigarettes. This is among the main causes of premature aging.

This includes, but is not limited, to lifeless, sallow and waxy appearance. It’s none of our business to make you change your smoking habits. We only want you to be informed of the consequences.

Bearing this in mind, if you are a regular smoker, you should consider at least using quality products. Thankfully, the beauty industry has gone very far, so even if you keep smoking, you can still retain a good-looking skin.

What Can a Brightening Toner Do For You?

Dull skin is a common problem that we may solve if we do some major lifestyle changes. This might take a lot of time and effort. During this process, applying a brightening toner can do us lots of good.

The main cause for dull and lifeless skin is dead cells. This layer has to be taken off.

If you do not cleanse and exfoliate, dead skin cells will just accumulate on the top of your skin. And just like anything dead, they will remain so.

You need to make them regenerate. This can be accomplished when you take further care. Once rejuvenated, your face can brighten up.

Toners may cleanse your skin, and some of them may even exfoliate as well.

Exfoliation is vital not only because it removes the dead skin cells. Moreover, it can also send stimuli to your skin cells. That is when they can finally be replaced with new ones.

The new layer is alive, smooth, and blemish-free. And now you have a shot to keep it glowing.

Aside from inappropriate exfoliation, the dull skin may also be caused by lack of moisture.

Toners may not be your go-to when it comes to deep hydration. That is why we have moisturizers.

But then again, some toners have ingredients that may be of assistance. We’re talking about antioxidants again. They can stop the free radicals of expanding through your skin.

Now that we’ve got the basics, we can hit straight to our Top Five Best Brightening Toners.

Product Reviews: Our Top 5 Best Brightening Toner​


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Our Rating


The first on our list for the Best Brightening Toner may even skin tone. By removing dirt, oil, and impurities, you are one step closer to the desired effect.

It is also important to notice the excess makeup. Always make sure that you clean it up very well. This can provide a real beauty sleep therapy for your skin.

The main ingredient here is Daisy extract. What we liked so much about this formula are the added Glycerin and Lemon extract.

Glycerin is a compound that is colorless and sweet to taste. It may help with brightening your dull skin as it is a humectant.

Humectants are substances that attract and absorb moisture to the skin cells. If dryness is the reason for your dull skin, this may help address the issue.

Lemon extract is well known for its brightening properties. It may also treat skin problems caused or worsened by bacteria. Take for example blackheads. The highly antibacterial lemon may ensure that your pore strips come off cleaner next time.

Lemons are citrus fruits, and they are rich in Vitamin C. They also contain citric acid which is a type of AHA.

Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant. Since dull skin may be caused by free radicals, this vitamin may trap the cells and dissolve the accumulated dirt. On top of that, Vitamin C may also boost collagen production. As a result, you can get firmer and brighter skin.

Being an AHA, the citric acid in lemons may help you exfoliate. AHA hacks the bindings that make your dead skin cells cling to your epidermis. With these gone, a new layer of healthier skin cells emerges.

The main ingredient of this toner is Daisy extract.

You might come across the word hydroquinone. Although it does peel well enough, it comes with the risk of permanently darkening your skin tone if it is not used correctly.

The Daisy extract is nature's alternative to hydroquinone. It contains l-arbutin which interferes with melanin distribution and accumulation.

With these three ingredients, this toner is our top choice for a brighter skin. And it doesn’t end here. It is capable of evening the skin tone, by cleaning and hydrating simultaneously.

What we liked was how it might double as a makeup remover. You can use it both before and after applying makeup. Its light scent can provide you with comfort and confidence to wear it.

What We Like

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    Good makeup remover
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    Light scent

What We Don't Like

  • A bit greasy
  • Not suitable for oily skin

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Coming in at number two for the Best Brightening Toner is a product that comes in a spray-type lid container.

We find this very handy, as the sprayer helped us control the amount of toner we used. By being able to observe the exact quantity of toner applied, we could indeed maximize its use.

We all know how challenging it might be to find a product that lasts long enough. So we really enjoyed the feeling of being covered longer. It is always good to know you’ve got a budget friendly alternative.

This toner may cleanse the skin and pores effectively. Thus, we get to reduce visible signs of aging. And finally, brighten dull skin.

The formula is enhanced with Vitamin C, Carrot oil, and Rosemary seed extract.

Carrot oil may brighten the skin because it contains beta carotene. Moreover, what we can get in the long run, is an even skin tone.

The high beta-carotene in carrots is not the only brightening substance. Carrot oil is rich in limonene. This is a powerful skin lightening substance.

Rosemary seed oil may help cleanse and make the skin younger-looking.

Regarding acne, rosemary oil is an antiseptic. It has the ability to dry it up. If not dried up well, things can worsen pretty quick. That’s because of the microorganisms, which caused the infection at first place.

This oil is also good for hydration. This can encourage your skin cells to regenerate.

Regenerated and hydrated cells lead to a smoother and brighter skin. They can also assist in making it firmer and healthier. We also enjoyed the natural rosy tone on our faces.

Vitamin C in this toner may take care of the free radical cells. We want to get rid of them as they make us look old.

Aside from the spray lid, we also liked the light citrus scent of this toner. It was not strong and overpowering, and it did not linger as well. It felt refreshing and pleased our senses, yet.

What We Like

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    Minimizes pores
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    Light citrus scent

What We Don't Like

  • Visible results may take longer

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Our Rating


The third product on our list might be considered multifunctional. It can be used as a beauty water or as a mist.

It still offers all the cleansing and brightening that we look for in a toner.

You may also use it as a makeup base. This caught our eye, as we know how the foundation can clog our pores. This takes it to the next step of your skincare routine.

The third product on our list might be considered multifunctional. It can be used as a beauty water or as a mist. It still offers all the cleansing and brightening that we look for in a toner.

You may also use it as a makeup base. This caught our eye, as we know how the foundation can clog our pores. This takes it to the next step of your skincare routine.

The ingredients of this toner include Willow bark, Papaya extract, and Rose water.

The papaya extract may be put in charge of brightening and cleansing. It also adds well to reducing the visible signs of aging.

As a brightening agent, papaya extract is known to have Vitamin C. It helps to protect skin from the sun, as well as dissolve free radical cells. Yes, exactly those responsible for darker and dull skin.

Aside from the Vitamin C, Papaya extract also has Vitamin E, another antioxidant. Together they may fade and fill-in the gaps between fine lines and wrinkles.

Willow bark extract may be the exact exfoliant for dull skin’s needs.

Salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), is found in the Willow's bark. This BHA is a natural exfoliant particularly useful for those with rather oily skin.

The exfoliation may not only brighten the skin's appearance. It may also lighten the skin tone and remove the pigmented spots.

The last ingredient for this toner is Rose water. It acts as an antioxidant and anti-aging agent.

Rose water is made with precious rose oil. It is also in charge of hydrating. It can restore the cell's natural barrier function and encourage moisture absorption and retention.

Rose oil is considered one of the best skincare ingredients throughout the world. It comes from the Rosa Damascena.

This is a one of a kind rose variety, which blooms only in the country of Bulgaria. It is very peculiar and highly evaluated due to its hypoallergenic abilities.

Once absorbed, it can serve as a great makeup base. So whether you just want to refresh, or take it a step further - the choice is yours.

What we liked about this toner is how it can be used up to three times a day. So you only get to choose what is your purpose of applying it.

In the morning it may help cleanse and prep your skin before adding creams or makeup.

In the afternoon, you might spray it on like a mist and refresh your dry and hot face.

Finally, in the evening it may cleanse your face, remove the makeup, and soothe your skin. Then it’s your turn to go on with the attempts of getting a good 8-hour sleep.

What We Like

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    Multifunctional
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    Light scent

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for extremely sensitive skin

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Coming up on fourth place is a toner that may not only brighten the skin. It may also tighten the pores. This makes it an excellent base before you apply your makeup on.

It contains glycerin, bitter orange flower extract, and grapefruit extract.

Low moisture may be one of the reasons for your dull skin. Glycerin in this toner may just help you with that.​

As a humectant, glycerin may absorb moisture into your skin cells. This hydration may lose the dullness.

Bitter orange flower extract comes from the Seville orange or what some call the marmalade orange. This ingredient may mostly help in cleansing the skin.

It may clean the pores and remove dirt and impurities. It also aims at excess oil which is the biggest culprit for acne.

It does not strip the skin of moisture though. You can get your skin ready for further moisturizing or makeup.

The grapefruit extract in this toner may help tighten the pores and brighten the skin.

It is high in water content. With grapefruit in the toner, your skin cells skin barrier may be hydrated, and the risk of wrinkles is reduced.

What we also liked is how it may act as a makeup base or a makeup setter.

Before applying makeup, you may put this toner on. You can be sure that your makeup would stick better.

After application, close your eyes and spray it on the face. Thus, the fine mist may help your makeup last longer.

What We Like

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    Good makeup base
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    Good makeup setter
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    Tightens the pores

What We Don't Like

  • Overpowering scent

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Our Rating


Our last product is made up with mostly organic ingredients. It may be used even by pregnant women.

It benefits the brightening of the skin, as well as lightening its tone. It can reduce visible signs of aging, by cleansing impurities.

This toner includes a variety of natural ingredients. We have Vitamin C, Papaya extract, lemon extract. We add to the plant’s support with pineapple and sugarcane extracts.

Vitamin C, the well-known antioxidant, traps and destroys free radicals. It also serves as a protector of the healthy cells from damage.

Also, Vitamin C may boost collagen production giving your sagging skin a lift. It has the ability to fill in the lines for a smooth, supple, and young appearance.

Papaya extract is also very high in antioxidants. It contains papain and chymopapain. These two enzymes are antifungal and antibacterial. They may exfoliate clogged pores and dry out acne.

The lemon extract in this toner may lighten the skin tone due to its high AHA content.

AHA can make perfect exfoliators. This process is of great importance when it comes to acne. The road to blemish-free skin goes straight through deep cleansing. Only then is it possible to maintain a beautiful skin.

We liked how this toner dried fairly quickly. Even if we put it on before applying makeup. We considered it a real advantage, as the time spent in preparing to go out didn't lengthen. It had just dried up to put on our foundation and hit the fun.

What We Like

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    Subtle scent
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    Dries quickly

What We Don't Like

  • Visible results may take longer

The Bottom Line

The spot for our Best Brightening Toner goes to Burt’s Bees Brightening Tonic.

It is mostly organic and doesn't contain parabens that may irritate skin. This applies even to those of you coping with sensitive skin conditions.

It also contains three ingredients that primarily help brighten and lighten the dull and uneven skin. We have Daisy extract, Glycerin, and Lemon extract. They aim for exfoliation, hydration and deep cleansing.

We liked how it can double as a makeup remover. We want to be of help and so again, we advise you to clean your makeup carefully. If not thoroughly removed, makeup products are sure to cause your skin become dull.

The toner may not only remove the makeup completely, but it may also unclog the pores.

So for your next toner, we recommend trying a brightening one. Dull skin is a problem we all share.

And yet, we are not alone in this battle. Choosing a good product can give us the assistance we need. The beauty industry is always there to help and we can make the most of it.