I’m a Dermatologist, and This $18 Toner Is the Only One I Would Use On Dry Winter Skin

Photo: Getty Images/ FreshSplash
When cold weather hits, it means that it's time to stack your skin-care routine with moisturizing ingredients to fend off winter-induced dryness. This time of year, we often talk about swapping out exfoliating cleansers with more hydrating ones, and trading lighter lotions for heavier creams. One more spot in your regimen that deserves a seasonal swap? Your toner.

Toners have historically had a reputation for being drying, thanks to the fact that many of the original formulas were made with alcohol, but the category's new class is chock-full of hydrating options that have the opposite effect on your skin. "Avoid any toner with witch hazel or alcohol, which can strip your skin's protective layers of essential lipids and proteins that keep irritants out and hydration in," says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut. "They can disrupt the skin barrier, which is essential to skin health."

Experts In This Article

Instead, you'll want to look for toners that can add hydration—particularly this time of year, when skin dryness tends to be a major concern. Dr. Gohara's favorite over-the-counter pick? Vichy Purete Thermal Perfecting Toner ($18). It's made with glycerin, which is one of the skin-care world's most hydrating ingredients that deserves a place in every step of your winter routine. It acts as humectants, drawing moisture into your skin, which means that any moisturizing products you layer on top of it will be able to better permeate beneath its surface. It's also packed with thermal spa water, which soothes and nourishes your complexion and works on all skin types.

After you wash your face, apply your toner to clean, dry skin, then pile on your favorite serums and a moisturizer. This one is great for using in the morning or at night, and while toning isn't necessarily an "essential" step, Dr. Gohara calls it the "cherry on top" of any good routine. And at $18 a pop, this pick feels like a cherry worth investing in.

Shop now: Vichy Purete Thermal Perfecting Toner, $18

Shop now: Vichy Purete Thermal Perfecting Toner, $18

Got more toner questions? Check out the video below. 

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