Paula's Choice • Skin Balancing Toner • Toners

rated 4.0(120 reviews)

Average Rating.4.0
Would buy this product again.72%

Read Reviews

rated 3 of 5 ke1125 on 4/14/2014 3:08:00 PM more reviews by ke1125

Age: 19-24   Skin: Very Oily, Tan   Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse   Eyes: Brown    

I was really excited to try this product because I read on Paula's website that this toner did not contain harsh ingredients. I have oily skin and I decided that this toner would be a good way to try a different less aggressive approach to reducing pore size and toning my face since I usually use products that contain alcohol and/or salicylic acid. I usually use witch hazel as a toner and I have liked it ok, but I figured trying something different wouldn't hurt. I used Paula's skin balancing toner for about a week and for some reason I was starting to develop some red bumps on my forehead mostly. It was very strange for me to have this sort of reaction because I have the least sensitive skin EVER. I have never had a reaction to anything in my entire life! I don't know what happened but I guess there is a first time for everything. I really wanted to like this toner because as I mentioned, I was excited to try something that had milder ingredients and no alcohol in it. When I went back to my witch hazel my skin went back to normal. Also, the bottle says it reduces pore size and I never really saw a difference in my pores. Maybe if I had used it longer I would have, but I couldn't keep using it due to the bumps I developed.

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 Burma76 on 2/15/2014 6:42:00 AM more reviews by Burma76

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination, Fair   Hair: Brunette   Eyes: Green    

Love this toner. Like the previous reviewer I recently left it out of my routine for a while. I found the red marks from acne took much longer to fade so this is back morning and night! It removes makeup traces and adds a little moisture with some good antioxidant ingredients.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* Pheebie on 1/21/2014 3:56:00 PM more reviews by Pheebie

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination, Neutral   Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine   Eyes: Hazel    

I've used this toner daily for years. Recently I began to wonder if it was necessary - was it really making a difference in my skin? Well, after a hiatus I can honeslty say that yes, this is necessary and it DOES make a difference. Sometimes I guess we need to go without in order to realize how good we have it. After one week of re-introducing this into my daily routine, my skin looks like it's waking up, becoming more even-toned, clearer, and dare I say - a bit radiant? (I follow this with Paula's Choice 2% BHA Skin Perfecting Liquid. I think of these two products as my 'Dynamic Duo' - they are non-negotiables, essentials, must-haves . . . you get the idea.)
While it's true that Paula's prices have increased over the years, I find the price point to be fair for the exceptional quality and amount of product. And let's be honest: what hasn't increased in price over the years? It's simply a matter of inflation, so I don't hold that against her.

Original Review - 8/1/2006
This is a great toner. It makes my (oily) skin feel so clean, fresh and soft, and I especially like that it doesn't contain any alcohol. After I've washed my face and removed my eye makeup, I'll apply this over my entire face, with a cotton ball, including around the eye area. No irritation whatsoever, and because of all the good ingredients, I really feel like I'm doing something nice for my skin. :)

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 1 of 5 gimchi on 1/8/2014 2:25:00 AM more reviews by gimchi

Age: 25-29   Skin: Acne-prone, Fair   Hair: Black, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Brown    

I hope my skin would love this toner but apparently it's not. I have acne-prone, combination- more to oily skin with some white and blackheads. Regimen: Steifel Acne Aid Cleanser, astringent (that contain alcohol and wish to change to better toner), Paula's BHA 2%, La roche posay SPF 50, face powder.

I ordered the sample and soak it to cotton pad and pat to face. It has the Gel-like texture and i experienced the burning sensation. My face become very oily and enlarged my pore instead on the next morning. I did not have break out from this toner. i wont purchase it again.

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 glamgirl31 on 1/1/2014 4:18:00 PM more reviews by glamgirl31

Age: 30-35   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral   Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium   Eyes: Green    

This toner is by far the best I've ever used on my combination/dry skin. It has no alcohol, which is drying to skin. Every other toner that I've used in the past that is alcohol free left a sticky residue on my skin. This toner soaks in, giving my skin the drink it needs after cleansing. I love that this has niacinamide in it; I attribute this ingredient to my skin's clarity recently. Every time I place an order for anything PC I order a bottle of this. I don't ever want to be without it! As far as the pore reducing claims I haven't noticed a change in pore size but I didn't expect it either.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 4 of 5 Tsats on 12/26/2013 1:29:00 PM more reviews by Tsats

Age: 30-35   Skin: Sensitive, Medium   Hair: Brown   Eyes: Brown    

I have to carefully choose when to use this. My combo sensitive skin is sometimes very oily, sometimes very dry. So...

-I stings in my face, so I have to apply very gently, ideally without a cotton, and only when my face is not very sensitive
-It sings more around eye area, so I avoid it there most times
-It is not enough during winter

-It does help removing makeup traces, unlike other toners
-It helps regulate shine/dryness in my face in humid climates or during spring/summer
-It moisturizes lightly

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* MsVengeance on 11/3/2013 2:24:00 PM more reviews by MsVengeance

Age: 25-29   Skin: Acne-prone, Warm   Hair: Black, Straight, Medium   Eyes: Brown    

I have been using this stuff for probably over 2 years and its become one of my favorite products. I can't seem to use many of Paula's products--or indeed, many "anti-aging" products at all without breaking out, so I love the fact that this toner (and her Hydralight toner which I currently alternate it with) allows me to jump on the antioxidant bandwagon without getting a face full of zits.

I've always used some type of toner after washing my face, but unlike the crap toners I used to use this stuff really does seem to restore the balance to my skin after i wash it (though I don't use harsh cleansers), it also helps lighten hyperpigmentation and redness, moisturizes slightly, and best of all it does it all without irritating or breaking out my skin! I used to just use it at night but when I was on accutane for the past 6 months I started using it day and night and noticed my skin looked far calmer (and dare I say firmer?) than the last time i was on accutane (i was on a way higher dose this time, too....). I also really like the fact that I hav always been able to use it with retin a or whatever face product/treatment that I want with no interactions.

This will irritate your skin if you're sensitive to niacinamide so get a sample first if you think you might be. Also, if you have pretty oily skin you might want to consider the Hydralight toner instead (it also helps with redness and claims to be anti-aging) cause this could possibly make you too shiny if you use it in the mornings--in fact, I took off a 'stick because ever since I got off of accutane I've noticed that this has become too greasy for me to use in the mornings; at times, it feels and LOOKS almost sticky, and unless I use barely any, makes my makeup slide right off my skin.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* kkrebs on 10/13/2013 10:33:00 AM more reviews by kkrebs

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination   Hair: Blond   Eyes: Blue    

I adore this to toner and have been using it for years. It is hydrating, balancing and calming.

I actually use it after 2%bha liquid and then just a little moisturiser. Love, love, love.

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 nikki2212 on 6/25/2013 9:55:00 AM more reviews by nikki2212

Age: 19-24   Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm   Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine   Eyes: Blue    


I highly recommend this as a moisture regulator for your face, for instance:
- a day or night moisturizer for all over oily skin in dry weather.
- a day or night moisturizer for normal, dry/oily combination skin in humid/hot summer climates/seasons.
- a moisturizer for all year round to mostly apply on dry/ flaky areas of dry/oily combination skin to combat the drying affects of bha exfoliants or of spf, moisturizer and makeup with oil absorbing properties.
- a primer for normal or dry/oily combo or oily skin.
- also good as a lazy cleanser in the morning.

Detailed review:

I have very dry, flake prone skin with a very oily T-zone. After having success with the Paula's choice skin balancing spf 30 moisturizer and Resist anti aging foundation to keep my oil in check, i found my dry skin was beginning to become flaky. Still i didn't want to spend over 15 pounds for a toner that i'd intend just to use as a lazy cleanser in the mornings, even if it did seem unique...

HOWEVER this toner really is one of the only toners out there that is suitable for sensitive, oily/dry combo skin and has a unique selling point of being a moisture booster without containing blemish inducing ingredients. Studying the ingredients you can definitely see this really just contains moisturizers, antioxidants, skin calming ingredients, and the skin pigment correcting ingredient niacinamide which i gather is causing the irritation some people are getting who must have a sensitivity to it - consider the hydralight toner for sensitive/ rosacea skin.

... but then i had a terrible skin reaction to some medicine leaving my neck, chest and arm skin in a dry rash, while also further drying my facial skin dramatically. This finally prompted me to ordered the toner and i'm glad i did! I soak 60% of a cotton pad and apply it first to the dry areas of my face to deposit the most product, then run whats left over my T-zone. I'm left with perfect levels of moisture all over my face and no flaky patches. It also calmed down the rashes on my body well.

If i use this as a quick cleanser in the mornings (so makeup already taken off the night before) i spread it all over my face, then pat my T-zone with a towel. This product smooths the skin as a primer would and eases makeup application, however on very oily areas (mostly the forehead) this can leave a slight film that shines if too much is applied so powder will be needed in the day to combat this.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 2 of 5 liseyloo on 5/12/2013 9:55:00 AM more reviews by liseyloo

Age: 19-24   Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool   Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium   Eyes: Blue    

Been using this since January and it has done absolutely nothing. The only thing I like about it is it doesn't leave skin feeling tight and dry after use. Other than that, though, this is a complete waste of money.

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

More Paula's Choice products

More Toners products