HydraFresh Toner
8.5 fl. oz. for $6.29
Last Updated:03.16.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

HydraFresh Toner lists alcohol as the third ingredient, which isn’t terrible, but it’s not helpful either. What follows is barely interesting for skin and makes this a toner you should ignore.


Refreshes in a splash, reveals smoother, brighter complexion, helps protect against moisture loss and leaves skin soft and supple. Alcohol-free.


Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Panthenol, Diazolidinyl Urea, PPG-26 Buteth-26, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Phosphate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Extract, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Fragrance, PEG-115M, Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile, Cabbage Rose Water, Red 4, Red 33

Brand Overview

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Good for me

I love this toner! I have very oily skin but this leaves my skin very soft and feeling hydrated but never oily. It's very economical as well!

Reviewed by

I didn't purchase this, but I spotted on a shelf in CVS while I was hunting for sunscreens. I love to try different toners so I picked up this pretty pink one and inspected it. Right on the front of the bottle it says "Alcohol-free*". I noticed the asterisk and I wondered if there was some novice factoid somewhere about cetyl alcohol or another fatty alcohol... Nope. Turns out "alcohol-free" is referring to sd-alcohol, (ethanol, ethyl alcohol, moonshine, hooch - whatever you want to call it).On the ingredients list, after Water and Glycerin, is Denatured Alcohol*. Again...an asterisk. After putting on a pair of reading glasses from the next aisle I finally found the asterisk leads to a teeny little phrase that says "99% alcohol free". This means that, technically, this toner is NOT alcohol-free. This smells like rosewater, which is lovely, and it is a pretty color, and it contains salicylic acid...(not much), and, although I generally avoid it, there are some products with alcohol that I find to be effective for me.. If it didn't tell me it was alcohol-free and then expect me to start calculating what 1% alcohol as the third ingredient meant for the concentrations of the rest of the ingredients, I may have purchased it. I don't like products that make me feel like they're trying to pull one over on me...And this explains why I've used Paula's Choice since 2002.

Reviewed by
Shani A.
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