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11 Best Toners to Hydrate Dry Skin, According to Dermatologists

You read that right: You can (and should) use a toner on your dry skin — here's why.

best toners for dry skin
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Let's get right to it: Are toners really necessary for people with dry skin? Face toners often get a bad rap when it comes to dry skin. Those with oily or combination skin may already use a toner as an essential part of their skincare routine, since traditional alcohol-based toners have historically been designed with acne-prone and oily skin in mind. But times are changing and the toner world has expanded to include options for all skin types — including dry.

"Historically, toners were used to augment the effects of face cleanser, but today I view them as an additional way to add dilute active ingredients to the skin and to prep for the next steps of the skincare regimen," explains Michelle Henry, M.D., founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan in New York City.

What to look for (and avoid) in a good toner for dry skin

When shopping for the best toners for dry skin, she suggests looking for mositurizing humectant and hydrating ingredients on product labels, including:

    "Toners are a great way to add extra hydration to your skin," she adds — just don't forget to lock in those super-hydrating ingredients by applying a good moisturizer afterwards. But it's not just about the ingredients in the toner; it's also important to make sure that certain ingredients are left out. "You want to avoid any harsh, highly acidic ingredients, including those that are in toners for oily skin," Dr. Henry says. Steer clear of the following ingredients if you have dry skin, she advises, as they can dehydrate your complexion:

      These are the best toners you can buy for dry skin, including Good Housekeeping Beauty Lab top-tested formulas, dermatologist-recommended picks and top-rated drugstore buys:

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      1
      Best Overall Toner for Dry Skin
      Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner
      Fresh
      Fresh

      • Softens skin
      • Gentle formula
      • Luxurious

      • Pricey

      In addition to being super pretty — check out the real rose petals inside! — this nourishing toner softens skin while removing impurities, thanks to glycerin and rose flower water and oil. Good Housekeeping Beauty Director April Franzino loves this formula because "it is so comforting on my extremely dehydrated and often irritated skin, plus feels like such a pampering treat to use."

      2
      Best Value Toner for Dry Skin
      Revitalift Derm Intensives 5% Glycolic Acid Toner
      L'Oreal Paris
      L'Oréal Paris

      • Gently exfoliates and brightens
      • Safe for daily use
      • Contains moisturizing and calming ingredients
      • Good value

      Glycolic acid in this toner from L'Oréal Paris gently removes dead skin cells to instantly brighten your overall complexion. "This toner balances efficacy with tolerability," Dr. Henry says. "You get the exfoliation from glycolic acid, along with the hydrating and soothing properties of aloe vera and glycerin."

      3
      Best Toner to Make Dry Skin Glow
      Pure Shots Hydra Bounce Essence-In-Lotion
      YSL
      Yves Saint Laurent

      • Plumps and nourishes

      • Expensive
      • Highly fragranced

      Get your glow on with YSL's formula, another type of toner that helps prep and soothe skin and boost the effects of your other skincare products. Vitamins E and B3, along with orange blossom extract, work together to plump, replenish and protect skin , leaving it radiant. "I love how cushiony it feels on parched skin and the dewiness it leaves behind," Franzino says.

      4
      Best Toner for Dry, Sensitive Skin
      Calendula Herbal Extract Toner
      Kiehl's
      Kiehl's

      • Calms skin
      • Alcohol-free
      • Contains botanical ingredients

      • Pricey

      This gentle alcohol-free toner from Kiehl's includes calendula extract and petals to calm and soften skin while it cleanses. Dr. Henry loves that this formula "is alcohol free, soothing and hydrating" — perfect for sensitive skin.  

      5
      Best Natural Toner for Dry Skin
      SkinActive Hydrating Facial Mist with Aloe Juice
      Garnier
      Garnier

      • Made with naturally-derived ingredients
      • Easy to use spray
      • Multi-tasker
      • Bargain price

      If you are looking for a natural option, this toning spray from Garnier is for you. Made with 99% naturally derived ingredients including nourishing aloe juice, this budget-friendly toner is another mega multi-tasker: it works as a moisturizer, primer, makeup setting spray and general skin hydration booster. 

      6
      Best Balancing Toner for Dry Skin
      Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera Formula
      Thayers
      THAYERS

      • Balances dry and oily areas
      • Reduces the appearance of pores
      • Multi-tasker
      • Alcohol-free

      • Unscented

      A triple threat, Thayers unscented toner cleanses, tones and softens skin with witch hazel extract and aloe vera. The calming formula helps to balances skin pH without any irritation. One Amazon user shares that it's very gentle and doesn’t dry out or burn her skin, plus even "makes her pores look smaller."

      7
      Best Purifying Toner for Dry Skin
      Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner
      Dr Teals
      Dr Teal's

      • Large size
      • Affordably-priced
      • Alcohol-free
      • Purifies skin with witch hazel

      Rose water, vitamin E and aloe vera in this Dr. Teal's toner help moisturize skin, while organic witch hazel removes impurities and balances the complexion. One Walmart reviewer notes that "my skin is able to absorb my creams better" after using this budget-friendly formula. 

      8
      Best Toner for Combination Skin With Dry Patches
      Gentle Toning Lotion
      Avene
      Eau Thermale Avène

      • Balances combination skin
      • Gentle formula

      Eau Thermale Avène's gentle toning lotion, a top-rated pick at Dermstore, is great for dry skin, but also works well on those who have combination skin (dry in some areas and oily in others)."My skin is both dry and also tends to break out easily," a  Dermstore reviewer says. "This toner leaves my skin balanced and refreshed." 

      9
      Best Hydrating Toner for Dry Skin
      RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner with Hyaluronic Acid
      Paula's Choice
      Paula's Choice

      • Contains powerful moisturizing ingredients
      • Alcohol-free

      Paula's Choice's super hydrating toner — a best-seller at Sephora —contains the gold standard for moisturization: hyaluronic acid, a plumping and hydrating superstar. Additionally, it contains fatty acids to strengthen skin and evening primrose oil to prevent free radical damage. "This toner is the perfect and permanent solution to my dry skin issues," one reviewer raved. "No more skin flakes or patches, and my skin feels so soft to where I hardly even use my moisturizers anymore."

      10
      Best Spray Toner for Dry Skin
      Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater
      Mario Badescu
      Mario Badescu

      • Multi-purpose
      • Easy to apply
      • Refreshes skin
      • Bargain price

      A multi-purpose product, Mario Badescu's bargain toning facial spray can be used in the traditional way — after cleansing, before a serum or moisturizer — or spritzed on anytime throughout the day to revive and energize dehydrated skin. "I find that this spray sets makeup well and is a good mid-day moisturizer for my dry patch flareups," one Ulta user shares. "I also spray it on before moisturizing at night for those extra dry days."

      11
      Best Toning Lotion for Dry Skin
      Treatment Softener Enriched Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin
      Shiseido
      Shiseido

      • Makes skin soft and supple
      • Contains rich hydrating ingredients

      • Expensive

      A top-seller at Nordstrom, this toning lotion treatment from Shiseido made with glycerin and botanical oils is ideal for dry and very dry skin. It softens and "helps prepare your skin for your serum and moisturizer," a reviewer shares. 

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