Cleanser, serum, moisturizer: The three step process (or four if you SPF) that a lot of us follow as our skincare routines. If you ditched using a toner after cleansing, however, you might be selling your skin short. For many, hearing “toner” brings up memories of an alcohol-based product that may have caused dryness or made acne on the skin worse. A good toner’s main purpose is to shrink pores and wrinkles, rebalance the skin after cleansing, and remove excess debris without depriving the skin of its natural oils. Every skin type can and should use a toner, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.

Prefer a cleansing, pH balancing toner without the alcohol? I’m with you.

The innovators of retinal are once again revolutionizing the skincare game, with their newest (and arguably better) alcohol-free alternative. Professional skin care brand, Medik8 crafted an exfoliating, yet gentle, daily toner to help get rid of impurities and reveal a visibly clarified complexion with key ingredient, BHA. We tried the highly anticipated Press & Clear toner that just launched, and it’s our new beauty obsession for clearer and healthier skin. “A true innovation within BHA skincare, Press & Clear was developed to hold a perfect balance between power and gentleness on the skin,” the brand says. Not familiar with BHA? Here’s what you need to know:

Beta hydroxy acid, a.k.a BHA, is an oil-soluble, deep exfoliating acid that fights bacteria and calms the skin. Best known for tackling acne, reducing redness, and calming inflammation, Salicylic acid is the most common BHA, and is formulated within Medik8’s newest toner. The exfoliant sucks up the unnecessary oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores, like whiteheads and blackheads. Salicylic acid is especially pretty special because it’s effective at maintaining the skin’s natural pH. BHA’s are designed for daily use, and Press & Clear is one that is definitely staying in my regimen.

Medik8’s Press & Clear is BHA…but better. This all-in-one, rebalancing toner improves the appearance of oiliness, pores, uneven skin tone, and imperfections. Press & Clear is fragrance-free and is made with dermatologically-tested ingredients, including 2% Salicylic Acid (BHA), 2% Tranexamic Acid (a brightening active), as well as Sake Extract and Aloe Vera that combined, soothe and hydrate the skin.

Press & Clear features a slow-release encapsulation technology that gently releases salicylic acid and is combined into a unique pH-balanced formula. This non-sticky and non-drying tonic has a skin-friendly pH of ~5.5, while other exfoliating acids, like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid), require low pHs to work on the skin.

I’m particularly pleased with how quickly the toner has addressed dark spots and blackheads on my skin. Within days of using Press & Clear, I visibly noticed that the popped pimples on my skin (that had left scars for weeks) were faded. If you have oily, combination, sensitive, or blemish-prone skin, I truly recommend trying Press & Clear.

Medik8’s Press & Clear is super easy to use with its press pump. After cleansing, simply twist the cap and press about three pumps using a cotton pad, or cotton ball that you pull apart. Then, sweep the pad onto the skin and neck, and follow up with serums and creams.

Press & Clear should be used daily in the morning and evening for maximum results, prevention, and post-care. As we unofficially head into the colder months, don’t neglect your skin. Press & Clear is a great remedy for blemishes, plus it’s helping our skin look more radiant and nourished than ever before.

Medik8’s Press & Clear is now available! To shop and learn more, visit