Witch hazel works magic on your skin. It calms acne, redness, swelling, and itchiness, plus it’s an astringent that tightens pores. Unlike alcohol, it hydrates the skin but still controls oiliness. It’s not surprising that dermatologists recommend witch hazel for acne-prone complexions.
Moreover, the best witch hazel toners remove makeup and pollutants, too. Many contain additional ingredients that help them target specific concerns. Some have moisturizing aloe and others feature salicylic acid to clear up blemishes. Check out the top witch hazel toners below:
|The best witch hazel toners||Why we love them|
|THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera||
|Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner||
|Quinn’s Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel||
|Humphreys Refresh Witch Hazel with Cucumber||
|Bioré Witch Hazel Toner with 2% Salicylic Acid||
|boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel||
|Obagi Nu-Derm Face Toner||
|OLAY Oil Minimizing Clean Toner||
- 1 How to get the most from witch hazel toner
- 2 Best Witch Hazel Toners in 2021
- 2.1 THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera
- 2.2 Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner
- 2.3 Quinn’s Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel
- 2.4 Humphreys Refresh Witch Hazel with Cucumber
- 2.5 Bioré Witch Hazel Toner with 2% Salicylic Acid
- 2.6 boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel
- 2.7 Obagi Nu-Derm Face Toner
- 2.8 OLAY Oil Minimizing Clean Toner
- 3 Conclusion
How to get the most from witch hazel toner
Once you’ve washed your face, soak a cotton pad with witch hazel toner. Gently glide it across the skin, focusing on the areas that get the oiliest. Although you can use it to de-puff undereye bags, it’s best to keep it away from the eye itself. (For maximum effect, store the witch hazel in the fridge so that it’s nice and cold).
Use witch hazel after shaving to prevent razor rash and ingrown hairs. It can also soothe sunburn.
Lastly, this magic solution can shrink painful hemorrhoids – but it’s best to use pure witch hazel instead of toner with additional ingredients (1).
Best Witch Hazel Toners in 2021
Now, choose your favorite witch hazel toner from the reviews below.
THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera
This brand of witch hazel toner is one of the best-known. After all, they’ve been in business since 1847. But which Thayers witch hazel toner is the best? We looked at the ingredients and the benefits to see.
For starters, we found the official updated label on the manufacturer’s website. The formula is water, glycerin, organic Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, organic aloe leaf extract, a preservative (phenoxyethanol), a humectant (caprylyl glycol), a fragrance, a preservative (Ethylhexylglycerin), citric acid (exfoliant and antioxidant), and potassium hydroxide (a cleanser that affects pH).
We were a little unhappy with the fragrance and the phenoxyethanol as both are potential skin irritants. We visited the EWG Skin Deep Database to see how they rated the original witch hazel formula with aloe. It scored a four out of ten in part due to these two components. If you don’t have sensitive skin, it may not be problematic. But if you’re keen on natural products with minimum ingredients, check out the next toner below.
You can also choose one of the other Thayers products like rose, lavender, cucumber, coconut water, or unscented witch hazel toners.
On the bright side, thousands of reviewers are pleased with this skin toner. It’s suitable for combination skin as it’s more moisturizing because of the aloe. Also, Thayers uses vegetable glycerin that won’t clog pores.
Lastly, the witch hazel is grown exclusively for this American manufacturer. It features extra astringent power as it has 195% more tannins to tighten pores and reduce oil production.
- American brand that’s been in business since 1847
- Extra-moisturizing blend with aloe for combination skin
- Witch hazel has extra potency due to high level of tannins (the astringent)
- Has soothing vegetable glycerin that won’t clog pores
- Also available with lavender, cucumber, rose, coconut water, and in an unscented version
- The EWG Skin Deep Database takes issue with the preservative and artificial fragrance as they are potential irritants for sensitive skin
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner
Dickinson’s has been around almost as long as Thayers. It started around 1866 in Connecticut (3). To be honest, we prefer this brand over the other because it has fewer ingredients. It contains only steam-distilled witch hazel and witch hazel extract with 14% grain alcohol. The brand uses organic New England witch hazel picked by hand at the peak of the blooming season.
There are no artificial fragrances or preservatives, making it safer for people with sensitive skin.
Since it contains alcohol, it’s best for oily complexions. It cleanses impurities and removes makeup residue without causing dryness. Use it to cool the skin after shaving, too.
Users say the toner is affordable and gentle to the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
- The most natural witch hazel toner with no preservatives, fragrances, or chemicals
- The formula is simply witch hazel and grain alcohol
- Affordable solution for oily complexions
- Removes makeup, refines pores, and refreshes the skin
Quinn’s Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel
If you’re keeping up with the Kardashians, you should know that Khloe reportedly uses this brand of witch hazel. She enjoys the way it smells and how it’s packaged. She uses it on her T-zone to reduce shine.
Moreover, it’s available in not just lavender, but also cucumber, mint, and unscented versions. Each has a simple formula with purified water, certified organic aloe, vegetable glycerin, organic witch hazel, citric acid, and grapefruit seed extract. It’s mild enough for all skin types.
There’s no alcohol, of course, so the formula soothes and conditions the skin without causing dryness.
- Preferred by celebrities and mild enough for all skin types
- Available in lavender, mint, cucumber, and unscented versions
- Conditioning formula soothes and moisturizes while cleansing the skin
- Free of preservatives, fragrances, and synthetics
Humphreys Refresh Witch Hazel with Cucumber
Instead of depending on managed orchards of witch hazel, this brand harvests from wild-grown plants. This results in certified organic witch hazel with superior potency and purity.
Then, they add organic melon, chamomile, and cucumber for extra calming power. This blend makes the toner especially good at reducing redness and irritation. Plus, it’s been dermatologist-tested to be gentle enough for sensitive skin.
The formula is vegan and free of gluten, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. However, it does contain phenoxyethanol, a preservative.
If it sounds good to you, why not try the aloe, rose, lavender, or grapefruit versions. Those with oily skin may benefit from the one that includes organic alcohol.
- Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin
- Packed with soothing ingredients like chamomile, melon, cucumber, and aloe
- Features certified organic witch hazel that’s wild-harvested
- No parabens, alcohol, artificial colors, or phthalates
- Available in other versions like lavender, rose, aloe, and grapefruit
- Contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative that may cause irritation
Bioré Witch Hazel Toner with 2% Salicylic Acid
Acne-prone, oily skin can benefit from both witch hazel and salicylic acid. The latter ingredient exfoliates, dissolves the oil that clogs pores, and reduces inflammation. It’s a common blemish treatment that’s proven to work.
Bioré’s blend promises to clear up the complexion by clarifying the skin and balancing oil production. It has the maximum over-the-counter concentration of salicylic acid. Use it if you want to stay shine-free throughout the day. It feels refreshing.
Just two or three applications per week can make a positive difference. If your skin can tolerate it, you can apply it up to twice daily.
However, those with sensitive skin should check the label for problematic ingredients. For example, since it contains alcohol, menthol, and an artificial fragrance, this toner may cause irritated skin.
- Drugstore toner suitable for acne-prone and oily skin
- Has both witch hazel and salicylic acid to clarify the skin and balance oil production
- Refreshing feel and pleasant scent
- Has potential irritants like alcohol, menthol, an artificial fragrance, and artificial colors
boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel
What’s the best witch hazel with essential oils? When we found this one, we didn’t look back. It’s a premium alcohol-free toner that’s perfect for dry, normal, and combination skin. Instead of a liquid to pour on a cotton ball, it’s a soothing mist in a spray bottle.
Why is this toner safe for dry skin? First, it’s packed with moisturizing and conditioning ingredients like glycerin, aloe, and jojoba. Furthermore, it’s enriched with some of the best essential oils for the skin, like rose flower, chamomile, and geranium.
There are no parabens, perfumes, or fillers. It’s all-natural goodness that balances the skin’s pH and leaves the face radiant.
And guess what else – it doubles as both a primer and a setting spray for makeup!
- Nourishing witch hazel toner with essential oils
- Conditions and moisturizes the skin, mild enough for dry complexions
- Does triple work as a toner, a makeup primer, and a setting spray
- Free of fillers and chemicals – no perfumes or parabens
- Packaged in a spray bottle
Obagi Nu-Derm Face Toner
Here’s another alcohol-free toner with anti-aging benefits. Use it with the matching cleanser and moisturizer for a youthful appearance.
After cleansing, it’s essential to balance the skin’s pH so that the moisturizer can do its job properly. This formula does exactly that. It also preps the skin for the face cream, laying down nourishing ingredients like sodium PCA, sage extract, and panthenol.
Unfortunately, it has both an artificial fragrance and color added to it. It also contains DMDM hydantoin which is said to a formaldehyde releaser. For the price, we believe you can do better with one of the natural witch hazel toners above.
- Alcohol-free formula with anti-aging benefits
- Part of a product lineup for more youthful skin
- Enriched with panthenol, sage, and sodium PCA
- Has an artificial fragrance and color
OLAY Oil Minimizing Clean Toner
Are there any drugstore witch hazel toners? Although it’s not obvious at first, Olay’s toner has this key ingredient. It’s a dermatologist-tested formula designed to remove any residue left after cleansing and prepare the skin from moisturizing. It’s suitable for oily and combination complexions.
It’s not an alcohol-free formula and it contains an artificial fragrance and colors. But the folks leaving positive reviews say that it leaves the skin fresh and bright with a little tingle.
- Dermatologist-tested and made for combination and oily skin
- Pleasant scent and refreshing feel
- Removes any residue left over after cleansing
- Has potential irritants like an artificial fragrance and colors
If you’re not happy with your complexion, it could be that you’re not using the right toner (or any toner all). Witch hazel is a time-tested solution for managing combination or oily skin. It’s a natural astringent that doesn’t cause dryness, but rather soothes irritation and refines pores.
We hope our reviews helped you find your new favorite facial toner today. If you’re enjoying it, we’d love to hear about your experience. Please feel free to leave us a comment below.
1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-227/witch-hazel accessed August 18, 2021
2. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/products/879191-Thayers_Witch_Hazel_Aloe_Vera_Formula_Alcohol_Free_Toner_Original/ accessed August 20, 2021
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hazel#Folk_medicine accessed August 18, 2021