If you have sensitive skin and are looking to add a toner to your routine, you’ll need a gentle product that is free of common irritants and specifically created with this skin type in mind. Below, we’ve created a guide to the best toners for sensitive skin.

Our Recommendations

1. Hydrating Toner

CeraVe Hydrating Toner

CeraVe Toner for Hydration and Skin Barrier Support

CeraVe Hydrating Toner

This hydrating toner from drugstore skincare brand CeraVe is packed with ingredients that quench the skin and support its protective barrier.

Skin types: Normal, Dry, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Hydration and Skin Barrier Support
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner, and then sweep it across your face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a serum (if using) and moisturizer. This toner can be used twice daily.
See on Amazon

This non-drying, lightweight toner is an excellent gentle product for those looking for extra hydration and skin barrier support. It contains three essential ceramides, which are crucial for strengthening and maintaining the skin barrier, as well as hyaluronic acid, which attracts and locks in moisture. This affordable toner also contains calming niacinamide.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Dermatologist developed

Cons

  • None

This gentle toner is free of common skin irritants, and is formulated to be safe for sensitive skin. It is also pH balanced, which is ideal for optimal skin health.

Aqua/Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30, Peg-240/Hdi Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Potassium Laurate, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Niacinamide, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging"

    Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

2. PHA Toner

The Inkey List PHA Toner

The Inkey List Toner for Exfoliating and Smoothing Texture

The Inkey List PHA Toner

This gentle toner uses the power of polyhydroxy acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells to improve skin texture and tone while locking in moisture.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Exfoliating and Smoothing Texture
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner, and then sweep it across your face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a serum (if using) and moisturizer. This toner can be used twice daily.
See on Amazon

PHA molecules are large compared to other chemical exfoliants, so this exfoliating toner is excellent for those looking for a gentle exfoliation. PHA is also a humectant, so the 3% concentration helps lock in moisture.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Gentle
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-toxic
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the bottle leaking during shipment

In addition to the PHA, this lightweight toner contains a 3% concentration of niacinamide, which minimizes blemishes and the appearance of large pores, controls excess oil, calms redness, and soothes the skin. Aloe leaf juice further works to calm the skin.

Water (Aqua / Eau), Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ppg-26-Buteth-26, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The use of polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) in photoaged skin"

    Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

3. SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

Etude House Toner for Soothing and hydrating

Etude House SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

This gentle toner uses 97% naturally derived ingredients, which work to hydrate, soothe, and balance the skin while repairing skin damage.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Soothing and hydrating
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner, and then sweep it across your face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a serum (if using) and moisturizer. This toner can be used twice daily.
See on Amazon

This refreshing and lightweight toner is a great daily go-to for those looking for a gentle formula that soothes and hydrates. It features anti-inflammatory panthenol, which hydrates, as well as madecassoside (derived from centella asiatica), which repairs skin damage. It also contains nourishing and anti-inflammatory camellia sinensis leaf extract.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hydrating
  • Gentle
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • May not be hydrating enough for very dry skin

This gentle toner is suitable for sensitive skin, and free of many common irritants, including fragrance, artificial colors, and parabens.

WATER, PROPANEDIOL, GLYCERIN, BETAINE, PANTHENOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, POLYGLYCERIN-3, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, DISODIUM EDTA, CARBOMER, MADECASSOSIDE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SCUTELLARIA BAICALENSIS ROOT EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Centella asiatica in cosmetology"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.

4. Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

First Aid Beauty Toner for Soothing and hydrating

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

This soothing toner uses colloidal oatmeal, wild oats, honey, and other ingredients to hydrate and relieve irritated skin for a softer and calmer complexion.

Skin types: Normal, Dry, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Soothing and hydrating
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner, and then sweep it across your face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a serum (if using) and moisturizer. This toner can be used twice daily.
See on Amazon

Two of the star ingredients in this hydrating toner are colloidal oatmeal and wild oats, which soothe and protect the skin. It also features honey, a natural humectant that helps moisturize and restore the skin. The formula is particularly well-suited for dry and distressed skin.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain that it feels sticky on the skin

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this toner contains anti-inflammatory propolis extract, a honey derivative that nourishes the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps attract and lock in moisture, and can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Sorbitan Oleate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Colloidal Oatmeal, Mel (Honey, Miel), Saccharomyces/Honey Ferment Filtrate, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, So-dium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Beta-Glucan, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Ex-tract, Propolis Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.

5. Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner

COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner

COSRX Toner for Soothing, hydrating, and plumping

COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner

This gentle toner is packed with black bee propolis, honey, and other ingredients that heal, soothe, hydrate, and protect the skin for a more radiant complexion.

Skin types: Normal, Dry, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Soothing, hydrating, and plumping
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner, and then sweep it across your face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a serum (if using) and moisturizer.
See on Amazon

This soothing toner features two ingredients made by bees: propolis extract and honey extract. Nourishing and healing propolis extract is rich in vitamins, and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Honey extract moisturizes the skin to protect the skin’s barrier function. These ingredients (along with others in the formula) help to improve skin texture, plump and support elasticity, and boost radiance.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain that it feels sticky on the skin

The heavy hitters in this toner are the propolis and honey, but the formula also contains additional hydrating ingredients, including sodium hyaluronate and cassia obtusifolia seed extract.

Propolis Extract, Honey Extract, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Betaine, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care"

    Accessed Jan. 10, 2022.

6. Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner

Paula's Choice Toner for Hydrating and Soothing

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner

This milky toner helps to soothe and hydrate dry skin while also protecting it from environmental aggressors.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Hydrating and Soothing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the toner and swipe all over the face. Follow up with the rest of your skincare routine.
See on Amazon

This toner is filled with antioxidants, essential lipids, and other ingredients that are perfect for hydrating, soothing, and protecting dry skin. It is super gentle, and was even formulated to be suitable for eczema-prone skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • May not be suitable for acne-prone skin

Some of the hydrating, soothing, and protecting ingredients in this toner include evening primrose oil, borage oil, Vitamin E, allantoin, and niacinamide.

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Glycereth-26 (hydration/texture-enhancing), Dimethiconol (hydration), Oenothera Biennis Oil (evening primrose oil/non-fragrant oil/antioxidant), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil (borage oil/non-fragrant oil/antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidants), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidants), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient), Niacinamide (vitamin B3/skin-restoring), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (emollient), Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate (stabilizer), Laureth-4 (texture-enhancing), Laureth-23 (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Benzoic Acid (preservative), Sorbic Acid (preservative)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 5, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Aug. 5, 2021.

FAQs

What is the best toner for dry sensitive skin?

If you have dry and sensitive skin, there are a variety of great toners for you to try. Check out the CeraVe Hydrating Toner, the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner, the COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner, or the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner. All of these toners are formulated to hydrate and soothe the skin. 

What is the best exfoliating toner for sensitive skin?

For those looking for a gentle, sensitive-skin friendly exfoliating toner, The Inkey List PHA Toner is a great option. This toner contains polyhydroxy acid, a super gentle exfoliant that helps smooth texture and promote a softer complexion. PHA is also a humectant, so it helps lock in hydration. 

What is the best drugstore toner for sensitive skin?

If you’re looking to add a drugstore toner to your skincare routine, try the CeraVe Hydrating Toner. This super affordable toner is formulated to hydrate and support the skin’s barrier, and is also free of common skin irritants (like fragrance and alcohol). 

The Bottom Line

People with sensitive skin can greatly benefit from adding a toner to their skincare routine, but it’s important to find a formula that is suitable for their skin type. Any of our recommended toners are excellent for this skin type, as they are formulated with effective ingredients and made with sensitive skin in mind.