What Are The Best Toners For Sensitive Skin?

by Gio
5 best toners for sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably better off without toner.

The more products you add to your skincare routine, the more chances something will irritate your skin. Ugh.

Having said that, there are a handful of toners out there that can calm down irritations, reduce redness and soothe your skin’s tantrums.

You just need to know where to look. Here are the best toners for sensitive skin (for when you feel like your skin needs the extra TLC):

Best For Sensitive & Dry Skin: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Toner Normal To Dry ($21.00)

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief line was created for sensitive skin so you can’t go wrong here. The Toner Normal To Dry Skin is free of alcohol, fragrance and anything else that can dry out your skin even more. Instead, it’s chockfull of skin-soothers like green tea and allantoin to calm down irritations, humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to deeply hydrate your skin and fatty acids to strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. P.S. Most of the skin-soothers have antioxidants properties so they’re fighting wrinkles too.

Available at: Paula’s Choice

Related: 9 Ingredients To Soothe Irritated And Sensitive Skin

Best For Sensitive & Oily Skin: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Toner Normal To Oily ($21.00)

Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Toner Normal To Oily Skin is a watered down, more lightweight version of the Normal To Dry Skin formula. Out are the fatty acids and most of the humectants. Instead, it has even more skin-soothers, like colloidal oatmeal and green tea, that can soothe inflammation and reduce redness (even the one associated with acne). It’s gentle enough even for acne and rosacea.

Available at: Paula’s Choice 

Related: Sensitive Skin? Why You Need Colloidal Oatmeal In Your Skincare Routine

Best For Antiaging: Quintessence Green Tea Toner ($24.00)

The name gives it away: Quintessence Green Tea Toner has one of the highest concentrations of green tea I’ve seen in a skincare product. And that’s not the only antioxidant here. The toner also has ginseng and cucumber extract – all antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties that fight wrinkles, irritations and redness at the same time. Needless to say, it’s hydrating, too.

Available at: Skinstore

Related: Green Tea: A Multitasking Antioxidant That Fights Wrinkles And Irritations 

Best For Hydration: Cosrx Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner ($16.00)

Cosrx Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner has a short and sweet ingredient list: only a handful of humectants, like hyaluronic acid, to attract water from the air into the skin and probiotics to soothe irritations. It makes your skin soft and smooth, plumps it up so your wrinkles look smaller and gives it a lovely glow. If your skin could do with more hydration, you can’t go wrong with it.

Available at: Sokoglam

Related: Does Probiotics Skincare Work?


What are your fave toners for sensitive skin? Share your picks in the comments below.

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Julia S. July 3, 2018 - 8:36 pm

Hi – I love your blog. It’s rare to find honest reviews that make sense to a non-beauty expert like me! I am so bad about my skincare routine, and at 47, I really can’t afford to be. You know you have a problem when your contractor says you look tired – at 2pm! My skin is normal tending to dry, aging, with a few age spots. Currently, I use Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk alternating with L’Oreal Revitalift Peel Pads or random makeup remover wipes as cleansers/makeup removers. Prescription Retin-A periodically for wrinkles and fading spots. Daytime moisturizer is L’Oreal Revitalift or Olay Total Effects CC Cream, followed by La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios 60 Sunscreen Milk. For evening, I’m using L’Oreal’s Age-Perfect night cream after cleansing. Periodically I use random, drugstore-brand masks, or add facial oil before moisturizer when my skin seems dry (winter, typically). Even when I skip my routine, I always sunblock-up.

I really want to simplify my routine to more multi-function products: cleanser, toner/exfoliant (alternating with the retin-a 1-2 days/wk), serum, moisturizer. I read your recommendations for all of the above but am struggling for aging/slightly dry skin for a budget-conscious, lazy, exhausted working mom. I’ve found I need pleasant products to use (smell, texture, ease-of-use) to get myself to do it so Cera-ve didn’t work out (which is why I splurge on Dr. Hauschka cleanser). Can you suggest a current cleanser, toner/exfoliant, serum, moisturizer-combo that won’t break the bank and will be pleasant (possibly enjoyable?) to use? Thank you!!

Gio July 5, 2018 - 8:10 pm

Hi Julia, thanks for your kind words. So glad my blog is helping you find the right products for your skin.

I’ve written a post about the best skincare routine for dry, aging skin complete wth product recommendations: https://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/best-skincare-routine-dry-aging-skin/

Start with it and let me know where you need more help.

Julia S. July 24, 2018 - 2:13 am

Thanks Gio! I had read that post and had a few issues. 1. Cleanser – I really like a cleansing milk but would like to be low-cost, though I’m not a fan of the Cera-ve products (scent, feel, effectiveness). 2. Toner – I wanted to try one of the exfoliating toners with glycolic/AHA/BHA as a swap from the Retin-A (I suspect an AHA as my skin is normal to slightly dry?). 3. Serum – completely lost here as to CEF/hyaluronic acid. Only the Ordinary CEFs are in my price point, or possibly the HAs. What about drugstore brands or what I can get on Amazon? 4. Moisturizer. Sounds like I can use the same day/night, leaning toward Paula’s Choice followed by a tinted moisturizer (daytime) and sunscreen (daytime). I like nicely scented products (which is why I don’t like Cera-Ve) but not perfume-y. Where would my Retin-A fit in as well? Thank you!!

Gio July 28, 2018 - 6:18 pm

Hi Julia,

1. Have you tried Yes To Carrots Fragrance Free Daily Cream Facial Cleanser or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser? Both have a cream texture and are less than $10.
2. Yes, definitely AHA for dry skin. But AHAs exfoliants are substitute for Retin-A. It’d be best to use them on alternate nights.
3. Unfortunately, the Ordinary has no CEF serum. None of their vitamin C serum has ferulic acid and only a couple have vitamin A. You can try Skin Actives Vitamin C serum. It’s around $15.
4. Yes, Paula’s Choice moisturiser is a great choice and you can use it both day and night.


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