I Just Learned That the Wrong Toner Can Inflame Redness—Here Are 17 That Won't

When you find the right toner, it can make a difference in your skincare routine and the state of your skin. Toners can help cleanse the skin, balance pH levels, exfoliate, brighten the skin, hydrate, and promote cell turnover. They can even work as a primer to help other products sink into your skin. That all sounds great, right?

Well, some toners can really wreck your skin, especially if you're using one that's not formulated for your specific skin type. People with oily skin and sensitive skin probably won't benefit from the same type of toner because they have different needs. Oily or acne-prone skin types might need a product with acids, which will help clear pores and control excess oil. On the other hand, those with dry or sensitive skin might need something that cleanses and hydrates.


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

So yeah, toners can be so beneficial—until you start using one that isn't formulated for your specific skin needs. In fact, some toners can be harsh and actually cause more redness for some people. The best thing you can do if you're prone to redness or have sensitive skin is to look for a gentle toner.

What to Look for in Toners for Redness

Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, glycerin, chamomile, and antioxidants can help keep the skin soft and soothe inflammation. As for what to avoid, you'll want to stay away from alcohol and fragrances, which could irritate the skin.

If you're looking for a toner to combat redness, we've included our favorite gentle ones below. 

Best Overall Toner for Redness: Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner

Best for Combination Skin: Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner

Best for Dry Skin: Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol Free Toner

Best for Sensitive Skin: Avène Gentle Toning Lotion

Best for Normal Skin: Versed Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk

Best for Oily Skin: Renée Rouleau Elderberry Soothing Toner

Best Drugstore Price Point: Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner

Eminence Organic Skin Care Stone Crop Hydrating Mist

Phogary Reusable Cotton Rounds

Fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner

Mario Badescu Skincare Aloe Vera Toner

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

Sephora Collection Reusable Cotton Pads

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

PCA Skin Hydrating Toner

Murad Hydrating Toner

E.L.F. Cosmetics SuperTone Toner

Estée Lauder Soft Clean Silky Hydrating Lotion Toner

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019. In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.