The toners you need if you want to ditch the dryness
Your dry skin will *lap* these up
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / June 03 2019
If you have dry skin, then you know all too well that your number one beauty mission is to douse your skin with as much hydration as you possibly can. Which is why a toner is a non-negotiable in your skin care routine. Not using one? That’s about to change.
What is a toner?
Toners work to restore your skin’s pH balance. For oily skin that means soaking up excess sebum; but for dry skin it means replenishing moisture and helping lock it in. And maybe even controlling redness and exfoliating away flaky skin. Choosing the right toner for your skin type makes *all* the difference.
How will a toner help dry skin?
The benefits of toner for dry skin revolve around one thing - giving it a tall drink of moisture. And it does this two-fold: firstly, there’s the nourishing, moisture-replenishing ingredients that your toner is packed with, and since toners have a water-like consistency, they’re able to penetrate quickly and deeply into the skin; Secondly, toners prepare the skin for your next two vital steps - serum and moisturiser - to ensure they too are able to be better absorbed by skin (damp skin is 10 times more permeable than dry skin).
Is a toner different from an essence?
While technically they are supposed to be - a toner rebalances the pH in skin while an essence is more like a second serum, helping restore moisture via an extra nourishing step - the line between the two is super blurred (and the market is always evolving, with many products doing the job of more than just one step), so it’s not uncommon to find a product that’s called a toner that works a lot like an essence, and essences that can be used as toners. While choosing a toner over an essence is more beneficial for oily skin types (who need additional sebum-controlling support), dry skin can really use one or the other - or both.
How to use a toner
After cleansing (morning and night), saturate a cotton pad with your toning solution and sweep it across your face, neck and décolletage (avoiding eye area). Do not rinse it off. Follow with an essence, serum and moisturiser.
Which toner is good for dry skin?
Toners have become a huge category, so we don’t blame you for not knowing where to start. Especially since many cater to oily and acne-prone skin, which probably isn’t going to do your dry skin any favours. If you’re looking to add a toner into your routine, these are our top recommended ones for dry skin types.
#9 / Lancôme Tonique Confort
This creamy lotion toner is ultra moisturising. Sweet almond extract and honey work hard to nurture dry skin, leave behind a clean, soft and soothed complexion in its wake.
The review: “Lancôme Tonique Confort is unlike any toner that I have ever tried before; it hydrates my skin and doesn’t strip the natural oils like some other toners. It is velvety smooth and it has a light serum feel to it, which makes it perfect for winter. It soothes and rehydrates after cleansing and leaves my skin feeling amazing!” Nicole, SUPERcrew member
#8 / Skinstitut Multi Active Mist Spray
Formulated to tackle dehydrated skin and minimise skin stress, this toning mist helps hydrate and soothe skin, reduce redness, shield skin from daily aggressors - including free radical damage - and boost radiance. It does all this with the help of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C-rich lilly pilly, niacinamide (vitamin B3), licorice root and ginseng. Ps. It’s free from parabens and synthetic fragrances and dyes.
The review: “This is my go-to for superior hydration. The Skinstitut Multi Active Mist Spray is one of the keys to keeping my skin looking plump and young. Full of vitamins and added licorice root for brightening, it keeps my skin radiant day and night. The scent seems to help me to feel relaxed during the busy day and you can literally spray it anytime as much as you need without it feeling sticky. I also use it at night straight after cleansing before applying other beauty products.” Rebecca, SUPERcrew member
#7 / Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses™ Floral Toner
This organic facial toner (it contains a minimum of 70 per cent organic ingredients) is formulated specifically for delicate, dry and sensitive skin types. There’s rosewater and rose essential oils to hydrate and tone, plus hyaluronic acid and pomegranate for even more nourishment to ensure your skin nabs that illustrious plump glow that dry skin types all crave. Good to know: This formula is vegan and cruelty-free.
The review: “I use this when my combination skin goes through a dryer, more sensitive stage. With main ingredients of aloe vera, rosewater and pomegranate, it is toning whilst still leaving skin softened and hydrated. Incredibly gentle, too!” Mandy, SUPERcrew member
#6 / Paula's Choice Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner
Tackling the signs of ageing while also restoring moisture levels in your dry skin, this toner is a little unique - it has a rich serum-like texture as opposed to a watery one. And trust us, your dry skin will lap it up! It’s enriched with sodium PCA and fatty acids to replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier (and to make sure it *stays* hydrated), and is free from fragrance and alcohol so you’re not going to experience any irritation.
The review: “I noticed a big difference in my skin before and after using this. I was on the fence about how much difference a toner could even make, however this is a beautifully lightweight and hydrating liquid that my skin drinks up! Softens my face and adds so much moisture.” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#5 / Thayer Natural Remedies Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Rose Petal Toner
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is one of those toners that pleases everyone - we gave it our seal of approval for oily skin types thanks to its pore-refining and sebum-controlling abilities, but it’s great for dry skin, too. Rosewater in the formula ticks the boxes for your parched complexion, restoring your natural radiance, while astringent witch hazel and rose petals take care of the toning benefits while also locking in moisture. Oh, and it’s alcohol-free.
The review: “The best toner for dry skin that I have found, and I have purchased this product more than once because I find it’s so effective at rebalancing my skin when it is dry, giving it a nice glow, is Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Toner Rose Petal.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Gallinée Face Vinegar
We get it, ‘Face Vinegar’ doesn’t sound much like something that will nourish dry skin, but this toner is surprisingly pampering. It does all the things you want in a toner - it gently exfoliates with AHAs to refine skin, its antioxidant-rich formula protects skin from daily damage, and it contains astringent acetic acid to rebalance without stripping the skin of vital moisture. What makes this particular toner unique is its addition of prebiotics and postbiotics to calm skin and allow the skin’s natural beneficial bacteria to flourish so you’re left with healthy skin that’s no longer dry.
The review: “I recently discovered this clever French toner, and I’m totally bummed I didn’t find it sooner. It’s pretty much the only toner I’ve used that doesn’t make my sensitive skin feel tight and uncomfortable. It contains prebiotics to calm my temperamental/stressed-out skin and prevent redness and irritations, while postbiotics help promote all that good bacteria needed for happy, healthy skin. It leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and ridiculously bright. What a guy.” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
#3 / T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner
Another toner that makes every skin type happy, this drugstore toner is great for dry skin and oily skin alike. It tones, does one last cleanse, sorts out flakiness, and makes sure your skin isn’t left stripped of its natural oils. And for less than $7, it’s an absolute steal.
The review: “I love T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner for a cheap-as-anything toner. It is a really simple, effective and suitable for any skin type toner that you can get at the supermarket. My skin feels really clean, soothed and fresh after using it....and a bottle lasts forever. The only negative is that it is not really a ‘pretty’ smelling lotion, but it really does work.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
#2 / Pixi Glow Tonic
With a name like that, how can you not want to try this cult product?! An exfoliating toner (it’s formulated with five per cent glycolic acid), what this one does especially well is it dissolves those flaky dead skin cells that are getting in-between your moisturising skin care formulas and your skin’s deeper layers, and causing that dull, rough appearance on the surface. It’s also alcohol-free, so it won’t leave your skin feeling tight or irritated. Hint: Sensitive, acne-prone skin will love this one, too.
The review: “Even though I have hormonal acne, my skin type is dry, so I need all the help I can get to boost my moisture levels. This toner really does add a gorgeous glow to skin - my skin was feeling especially parched now that it’s winter but this toner has made all the difference. It also helps keep my breakouts under control.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
#1 / Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile for Normal/Dry Skin
Clarins have a whole line-up of toners, and this is its dry skin-approved offering. This Clarins toner is alcohol-free, which many dry skin types will consider a must-have as most can’t tolerate the stripping and irritating effect alcohol has on skin. In addition to balancing your skin’s pH, chamomile and linden plant extracts soften and soothe, and its thicker-than-most-toners lotion-like texture leaves your complexion feeling pampered and moisturised. And *that* is exactly what your dry skin deserves.
The reviews: “Clarins Toning Lotion has always been my go-to for refreshing my skin after cleansing. There is something about Clarins’ ‘power of plants’ philosophy that is irresistible and I love using their herbal-scented products. I definitely need a specific toner for dry skin, with no alcohol at all, and my Clarins toner not only ticks this box, but also contains gentle camomile extract and linden to soothe my skin. The wrong toner can strip your skin of moisture, but I have never met a Clarins product that irritated my skin. It is higher-priced, at $42, but comes in a 200mL bottle that lasts for ages. I definitely need a sweep of this to complete my cleanse and make my skin ready for anything the day will throw at it!” Anne, SUPERcrew member
“I have dry skin and during the winter months my face has dry patches. I use the Clarins Toning Lotion every morning and evening for a few days and the dry patches disappear.” Helen, SUPERcrew member
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.