- Toners can help clean and hydrate sensitive skin.
- When choosing a toner for sensitive skin, look for products that are free of alcohol and synthetic fragrances.
- Stop using your toner if you experience redness, rashes, burning or adverse changes to your skin.
People with sensitive skin are often wary of using a toner for fear of drying out or irritating their already fragile skin. However, the right toner can actually be very useful for sensitive skin – provided you are able to choose the right product for your skin type.
What Is Toner and What Is It Used For?
A toner is a lotion that is formulated to remove the last traces of oil and dirt that might still be lodged in your pores after washing your face.
In the past, toners were often made using high concentrations of simple alcohols, which could be too harsh for people with sensitive skin.
Thankfully, toners have evolved a lot over the years. Many of today’s formulations are not only safe, but can be very beneficial for sensitive skin.
A lot of modern toners have humectant properties, which means they attract and retain moisture. This can help combat the dryness and itchiness often associated with sensitive skin.
Toners can also protect sensitive skin from irritation. They are designed to clear away dirt and makeup residue, which can often aggravate sensitive skin.
Best Toners for Sensitive Skin
Alcohol-free toners are the best option for people with sensitive skin. Alcohol-free toners do not contain simple alcohols such as ethanol, methanol, denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. While these ingredients can help remove oil from the surface of your skin, they are too harsh for people with sensitive skin.
Toners can also contain other common irritants such as dyes and synthetic fragrances. People with sensitive skin should avoid products that contain these ingredients.
Sensitive oily skin
Sensitive dry skin
For sensitive dry skin, look for an alcohol-free toner that contains hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like vitamin C and green tea can also be useful for soothing sensitive dry skin.
Sensitive acne-prone skin
Salicylic acid is one of the most important ingredients to look for when choosing a toner for sensitive acne-prone skin. This beta-hydroxy acid works by dissolving the pore-clogging debris that can lead to breakouts.
If you have severely sensitive skin, you may find salicylic acid to be overly drying. Monitor how your skin reacts and reduce your usage if you notice adverse effects.
How to Use a Toner for Sensitive Skin
To avoid irritating sensitive skin, always err on the side of caution when introducing any new product into your skin care routine. Start by applying a very small amount of toner and limit yourself to using it every second or third night.
Discontinue use if you notice any signs of irritation, such as:
- Burning sensation
- Drier skin than usual
- Oilier skin than usual
- More breakouts than usual
Natural DIY Toner for Sensitive Skin
If you want more control over your toner’s ingredients, you might want to consider making your own DIY toner. The following recipe features rose water, which is believed to soothe irritated skin and prevent the growth of bacteria. It also contains aloe vera gel, a natural moisturizer, and tea tree oil, which is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- 2 drops of tea tree oil
- 10ml of rose water
- 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, stir well and store in a glass container or bottle. This facial toner has a shelf life of about one week.
Toners can be beneficial for people with sensitive skin. Not only do they clear your skin of possible irritants, but they can also help keep your skin healthy and hydrated. When choosing a face toner, look for products that do not contain alcohol or synthetic fragrances, and discontinue use if you notice signs of irritation.