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Toners of yore were formulated to soak up oil and tighten enlarged pores, which means they were pretty much the sole jurisdiction of people with oily skin. Obviously, we’re not in yore anymore. Today’s toners are multifaceted beings, designed for a multitude of skin types. So if you have dry or dehydrated skin, you, too, can benefit from the right toner, like any of the best hydrating toners featured below. They don’t contain harsh alcohols and astringents that some people need to balance excess oil, but you are not those people. Instead, these gentle toners are enriched with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, allantoin, aloe, and panthenol, though they retain the fluid, refreshing feel for which toners are known and loved.
Beyond imparting moisture and nourishment, a good hydrating toner (sometimes called a toning lotion) can target concerns often associated with dry skin, like redness, irritation, itchiness, dullness, or a generalized sensitivity that leads to all of the above. At the same time, they’ll help rid your skin of any excess oil, sunscreen, makeup, and other buildup that your cleanser(s) couldn’t quite get at. See? Multifaceted.
Scroll on to shop seven of the best toners for dry skin on the market right now, from certified-organic formulas to toners infused with antioxidants, retinol, cannabis, and everything else in between.
1. The Best Toner For Sensitive Skin
Is your skin dry and prone to bursts of irritation? Then coddle your high-maintenance skin with this Avène Gentle Toning Lotion, which is among the most gentle toners you’ll ever find anywhere, thanks to its alcohol-free, oil-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic formula. The shortlist of remaining ingredients includes the brand’s signature thermal spring water to restore moisture and soothe irritation, plus natural silicates that form a mild, protective coating over your vulnerable skin. It does contain added fragrance, but in keeping with Avène’s commitment to gentleness, it’s been tested and approved by people with the most sensitive of skin (but of course, avoid if you have a known allergy to fragrance).
2. The Best Antioxidant Toner
Whether it’s also sensitive or not, dry skin is plenty vulnerable on its own, thank you very much, so it’s still in need of protection. Antioxidants can help with that. And this PCA Skin Hydrating Toner contains a veritable boatload of them. Watermelon, apple, lentil fruit, and seaweed extracts protect skin from environmental stressors that can exacerbate dryness, while actively improving your skin’s ability to retain moisture. This toner is enriched with non-comedogenic moisturizing ingredients, too, like glycerin, panthenol, and evening primrose oil.
3. The Best Strengthening Toner
Get to the root of the issue with this Tonymoly toning lotion, which is packed with ceramides that fortify your skin’s natural protective barrier — it’s the thing responsible for sealing moisture into your skin, and it clearly needs help with that. Panthenol, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica (all beloved ingredients among dry skin types) also work to nourish, replenish, and soothe compromised skin. Beyond its hardworking ingredients, I’m into this toner’s viscous, cooling consistency, plus its promise to turn your skin into a bouncy, elastic, velvety-smooth square of mochi. Who can resist a good dessert metaphor?
4. The Best Brightening Toner
Vanquish dullness — dry skin’s constant, annoying companion — with this Murad Essential-C Toner. It contains lots of vitamin C, so it works to promote a brighter, clearer, more even-looking complexion. A gentle retinol derivative in the formula also helps to clarify and smooth skin, without the dryness and irritation that more intense concentrations of retinol can cause. It’s a pricier option, but this mist has garnered a loyal following for its unparalleled rejuvenating abilities.
Editor’s note: Murad also makes a great, more straightforward hydrating toner, if you love the brand’s high-performing, science-backed formulas, but don’t care for the retinol/vitamin C.
5. The Best Calming Toner
At one point in my life, I was deeply skeptical of putting cannabis on my face. Then I did it, because I am not immune to marketing tactics, and my dehydrated, redness-prone skin plumped and glowed upon immediate contact. So I’m in the cult now, and this Andalou Naturals toning mist is going directly into my shopping cart. It features hemp two ways — the oil, and the antioxidant-packed extract — along with nourishing ingredients like allantoin, aloe, and vegetable glycerin to calm and comfort stressed-out skin. It only costs about $12 on Amazon, so don’t feel guilty about spritzing this refreshing mist all over your body, with gusto.
6. The Best Organic Toning Lotion
This toning lotion from Korean brand Olivarrier is certified clean and organic by COSMOS, Cert Clean, and EWG, which, frankly, is just showing off. Beyond that, the brand specializes in products that replenish and fortify dry skin, so consider it your new go-to. Squalane and hyaluronic acid impart hydration without feeling greasy, sticky, or clogging your pores, which makes this a safe choice if you’re experiencing a breakout. Reviewers also say it’s a godsend for softening all manner of rough, bumpy patches, including keratosis pilaris.
7. The Failsafe Option
Go for this Bioderma Sensibio Toning Lotion if you are simply overwhelmed with options. Just like the micellar water that made the brand famous, this toner gets the job done, without the frills, and without messing up sensitive, dry, or otherwise finicky skin types. It manages to feel both cooling and nourishing at once, and promises to keep your skin quenched for up to eight hours. A big, 8.33-ounce bottle costs about $17 on Amazon, so you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth. Nothing not to like here.
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