If you’re susceptible to stinging, burning, redness, or tightness, the last product you’re probably reaching for is a toner — but perhaps that’s because you’ve never tried one of the best toners for sensitive skin. While many of us believe that this post-cleansing step is reserved for those with an oily complexion, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, gentle toners for sensitive skin are nothing like the alcohol-filled, astringent toners you might be thinking of. Not only do these specialized formulas help your other products absorb better, but they also contain skin-soothing ingredients like rose water, hyaluronic acid, and aloe. A great toner should also balance the skin's pH, soothe redness and irritation, and provide a protective dose of antioxidants, perfectly prepping your face for the rest of your skin care routine.
People with sensitive skin should avoid toners with alcohol and artificial fragrances, since they'll leave your skin feeling tight and irritated. There’s also a special method for applying a toner when you have sensitive skin. Instead of using a cotton pad, warm a few drops of the product between your palms. Then, gently tap and press your hands into your skin. Your body heat will help your skin absorb the toner, and you won't risk irritation from running a cotton pad across your face.
So before you dismiss this oh-so crucial step, check out these sensitive skin-friendly toners and see what you’ve been missing.
1A Lightweight, Intensely Hydrating Toner That Soothes Irritated Skin
Products from Klairs are generally great for sensitive skin, and this gentle, alcohol-free toner is no exception. It's formulated to balance your skin's pH, without making it feel dry or irritated, and even includes an array of calming ingredients like centella asiatica and aloe extracts that'll leave your skin feeling comfortable and hydrated.
2A Balancing Rosewater Toner That's Ideal For Combination Skin
This toning mist is great for balancing sensitive combination skin. The gentle base of rose extract and rose oil calms, aloe hydrates, and grapefuit seed extract kills bacteria associated with acne. The spray bottle container makes it easy to refresh and calm a sensitized complexion without having any contact with the hands or an applicator like cotton rounds. And, it doubles as a fantastic setting spray you can use after applying makeup.
3An Insanely Popular Japanese Toner That Dry Skin Types Love
This toner is just a tab bit thicker than water, but the lightweight formula packs a powerful punch of moisture, thanks to the addition of glycerin and hyaluronic acid. The fact that it contains a very short list of non-irritating has made it a Japanese drugstore staple. Although dry skin types love this formula, any skin type can use it without feeling greasy — it's a great choice for acne-prone skin, too.
4An Essential-Oil Rich Toner That Energizes & Soothes
Every skin type can benefit from this essential oil-rich potion because of the numerous benefits that it possesses. Rose water calms sensitized skin while orange flower water and peppermint perk up a tired complexion. A blend of essential oils also helps to minimize pores and even out the skin tone. Just be warned — because it comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle, you’re liable to become addicted to this liquid spa treatment.
5A Skin-Protecting Toner That Reinforces Your Skin's Own Barrier
This dermatologist formulated toner contains biomimetic water, which is comprised of ingredients similar to the skin’s natural moisture. This is a crucial function as these ingredients ensure that the skin maintains a healthy pH balance so that your skin remains resilient against outside irritants.
Hyaluronic acid hydrates and cocoons sensitized skin while milk lipids and allantoin calm, soothe, and maintain a protective skin barrier. The formula is free of alcohol, mineral oil, parabens, BHT, and several other common irritants known to disrupt a sensitive skin type.
6A Revitalizing Toning Mist That Instantly Brightens The Complexion
Just because you have sensitive skin doesn’t mean your complexion doesn't need an occasional, brightening boost — and this toning mist will make your skin glow. Not only does the combination of orange blossom water, citrus fruit extracts, and lavender make the skin look more supple and revived, but these ingredients are also great for anyone with sensitive, acne-prone skin as they also have antimicrobial and soothing effects.
7An Antioxidant-Rich Toner That Combats Redness
This unique, milky toner is the perfect consistency for soothing a sensitive skin type — even those with roseacea, which has been confirmed by enthusiastic reviewers. Antioxidant-rich plant oils like evening primrose and borage soothe and protect against free radicals while leaving skin silky smooth and free from dry patches.
8A Refreshing Mist That Leaves Oily Skin Balanced
This refreshing mist made with rose water, aloe, and herbal extracts provides relief to tight and irritated skin without feeling heavy. The lightweight formula is great for oily skin types, and it makes a great base for an oil-free or gel moisturizer. Reviewers even say it helps to calm redness — especially when kept in the fridge between spritz sessions.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.