Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

Smaller pores start here. This lightly hydrating toner restores skin’s balance and minimizes pores. Helps control oily and combination skin, too.
Item #: 135
  • Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles
  • Combination , Oily Skin
  • Reduces redness and eliminates flaky dry skin

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Customer Ratings:

82 out of 100
(Based on 314 Reviews)
Page of 13 Next »
  1. Katie S.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 16, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Broke me out
    • The very first time I introduced this to my skincare regime, I woke up the next day with the worst breakout I'd had in months. I had finally been having clear skin for a while due to prescription acne medication, and Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid seemed to have no catastrophic effects on my skin. I really regret not patch testing this toner before. I give it 2 stars for at least not drying my skin out.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 16, 2015

    Thanks for your review! As this toner doesnt contain anything known to cause breakouts, it's likely not to blame, or you may have had a breaout-like irritant contact dermatitis due to sensitivity to one of the ingredients this toner contains. The breakout may have also been coincidental, but the previous explaination is more likely. Feel free to return this toner to us for a refund or exchange.

    —Admin
  2. Eden K.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 02, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    My face doesn't agree but the rest of me does
    • I was pretty disappointed that this ended up breaking me out (I loved the niacinamide and found it really moisturizing). I've found an alternative use for it, however- I’ve been putting in on my body every night. It’s not sticky like lotion and dries almost instantly. It leaves me silky smooth and I’m even seeing an evening in skin tone and overall glow. I won’t be rebuying (it’s a little expensive for a leg treatment in my world) but I’ll certainly enjoy my repurposed product while it lasts.

  3. Ann S
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 01, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Love it!
    • Actually didn't realise how good this product was until I stopped using it while on holiday for a few weeks... Return of breakouts and oily skin! Much better skin on reusing it. Only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it hasn't made any difference to my pores as it claims to do. But love this product overall.

  4. Meredith S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 01, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Gets rid of flakes, evens tone
    • I have used this toner for years, and recently tried the Resist toner instead. I prefer this one. This toner completely gets rid of the annoying small flakes of dry skin on my nose and cheeks that sometimes occur when I have been overzealous treating a blemish, or that occur after using retinol products. My foundation then doesn't stick to the flakes, and looks do much better. As a bonus, the niacinamide in the Skin Balancing Toner fades marks, as well as evens my tone. Just an awesome product!

  5. Katia M.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 30, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Less than ordinary performance
    • Less than ordinary performance at a much higher price. This toner fells like a very, very thin lotion. I felt that it was moisturizing in comparison to most toners out there, but I really didn't notice a difference regarding my pores or in controlling oil production in my T-zone. I used the entire bottle because I had bought it and didn't want it to go to waste but I will not repurchase. There are cheaper and better Toners in retail that suit my skin better than this one.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, January 30, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Service team.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  6. Sandy E.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Perfect for combination skin !
    • I bought a few products at the same time but this is by FAR my favorite. It really does what it says, helps control my oily T-Zone while not drying out the rest of my face. Would recommend a 100%.

  7. Kasia
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Didn't work :(
    • Unfortunately didn't work for me. The Toner was the only thing I have changed in my morning and evening routine. It is pleasant to use. At first my skin seems to like it. I wasn't drying -what was my main problem, but after a week of using it I got bunch of breakouts :(

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  8. elita
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Good stuff!
    • I have never looked forward to applying a toner before. I LOVE putting this on. It soothes my sensitive combination skin, shrinks my large pores, and aborbs quickly, not leaving me greasy or dried out. I don't use any moisturizer in the summer, but do during the winter. Glad I can use it year round...It keeps my skin predictable!

  9. Pam O
    Reviewed on Friday, January 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    TIGHTEN PORES & SAY GOODBYE TO BLACKHEADS
    • I apply this with my finger to my nose and chin AM & PM. It has dried out my formerly 24/7 oil spewing pores, eliminated blackheads, & tightened and minimized moon-crater pores within a week. I find it too drying for my combo skin to apply all over my face, but in the oiley, blackheadey areas it's been marvelous. I've had oily blackheads on my nose for 40 years! This really works.

  10. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Makes a big difference!
    • I didn't realize what a big difference this made to my skin until I went without it for a while! It makes my skin feel extra clean ('cause sometimes there are traces of makeup left after cleanser and water) and adds the faintest bit of moisture, which keeps my skin from feeling too dry when I follow up with a PC exfoliator before moisturizer.

  11. kita j.
    Reviewed on Friday, December 19, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Average
    • felt cleansing & less drying but didn't do anything great compared to other drugstore toners. Too pricey for what it actually did for my (dry combination) skin .

  12. Leslie
    Reviewed on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this!
    • Love love love love this toner! I never really used toners before this because I didn't see the point - but now I realize that it balances and calms down my face after I wash it. This has reduced a lot of my redness as well. I have acne-prone skin and this does not cause me to breakout.

  13. Shirley A.
    Reviewed on Monday, December 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing Product!
    • I love this product. Sort of pricey but worth it and it goes a long way. My skin looks much clearer thanks to this product. Every Paula's product I have purchased has been wonderful. So happy I saw the ad in one of my magazines and decided to give it a try.

  14. Leah
    Reviewed on Friday, November 28, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it
    • I started using this toner for several months and noticed a huge improvement in my overall skin tone. My breakouts basically vanished, and while I still have blackheads, I didn't feel they were as noticeable. I travel a lot and I wasn't able to take it with me for a while, and after 2 months of not using it I felt like my skin was dull and not as bright. When I started using it again my skin was once again balanced and less dry, and no acne. I had no sensitivity issues with it.

  15. Siouxi V.
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 22, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    So-So
    • Its a nice extra step if you happen to have been wearing a lot of makeup that day, or if your skin needs extra love, but otherwise I can't say its really necessary in a daily routine. Sometimes, when for some reason or another my skin is irritated, the toner actually stings. It may help with tightening pores, but other PC products I own do a much better job at it.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, November 24, 2014

    Hello, and thank you for your comments - we're sorry to hear this didn't work out for you as expected! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can help you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  16. Gigi G.
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 30, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    game changer
    • My initial reaction was : no thank you but I realized that I was trying other products at the same time so I gave it a second shot and I am so glad I did. In combination with the Paula's Choice 2% liquid BHA (Da best!) I can say that it made all the difference in my skin care routine. I stopped picking black heads and zits, gone gone baby gone, knock on wood! On the minus note...I am glad I bought it on sale as I think the price is steep. Still better than a lot of toners out there.

  17. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Don't buy this
    • THIS MADE ME BREAK OUT WORST! I have bad acne and it made it worst. I returned it and I'm just using the fresh foaming from neutrogena and my clearosonic and my face is down to only 1 pimple. I know my skin isn't perfect but at least it is healing without pimples.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Thannks for your review! Although this toner doesn't contain anything that could cause acne, it sounds like your skin reacted to one more of the ingredients in the formula. We're sorry it wasn't a fit for you!

    —Admin
  18. DEBORAH L.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The "Bomb"
    • I am 57 years old and work as a cosmetic consultant for a well known company. This toner has been part of my routine now for quite a while, along with other PC products. I really can't say enough good things about it.!! My skin is combination oily/ sensitive. This is the only moisturizer I use and clients along with all of the other professionals I work with routinely ask me what I use on my face. They also guess my age to be early 40's!!!

  19. Lixing Z.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 11, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    A bit rich
    • This toner really helped me with inflammatory acne, and has the ability to repair the skin barrier. But it was a bit rich for me to use it in the summer months, especially in the humid Florida weather. The texture is somewhat sticky. But this toner is perfect for oily skins who live in the north, or to be used during winter months.

  20. Hannah D.
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 05, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Awesome!
    • I love this toner I can't say its done much for my pores but I love it all the same. My only thing is the packaging I wish the bottle had flip top and not a screw top it would just make it easier, not that will stop me from using it. I would say overall this is a great product!

  21. Marc R.
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 02, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Confused!!
    • I am from Sigapore and it is very humid here. Is it really possible this toner doubles as my daily moisturizer too? The back says may be the only "moisturizer" you need during the summer months or in humid climates. My regular moisturizer when I do my weekly exfoliation though has aloe Vera, glycerin ad provitamin b5. Anyone know please :)

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, October 02, 2014

    I really depends on how much moisture you like, and how oily your skin might be - but this absolutely can serve as a moisturizer in some cases!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  22. Jennifer I.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 28, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Ouch!
    • I had been using the Resist toner with no issue, but thought I would try the Skin-Balancing toner to see if it could help with the pores on my nose and T-zone oil. Ouch, this stuff burned! I was left with red, stinging, flushed skin that took over two days to return to normal. I apparently am sensitive to the niacinamide. This is going back and I am trying the Skin Recovery toner instead.

  23. Melynda
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Finally! A product that shrinks pores!
    • I have oily skin and have tried many products to shrink my pores... nothing ever worked! I am thrilled to have found such an amazing and inexpensive product that works like it says it will. I use this along with Paula's BHA Exfoliant Liquid each day and my pores are smaller, my skin is smooth and even, and my skin has a nice glow to it. Paula's Choice products are inexpensive with high end results... at last!

  24. S.W.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 15, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Ideal
    • One of my main problems with my skin are the extremely large, clogged pores on & around my nose. I'm not foolish enough to think any product can permanently change their size, but I've noticed when I use this toner consistently my pores stay clearer & are less noticeable overall. That being said, it DOES sometimes make my face feel hot, especially if I apply it with a cotton pad instead of just patting it on with fingers, but I haven't noticed any real irritation. About to order my third bottle!

  25. Chelsea E.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 13, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Helps moisturize but stings a bit
    • I'm not totally satisfied, but I would buy it again until I find something better. It works to remove leftover excess makeup, and I use it when my facial cleanser dries out my skin a bit. I just pat it over the drier areas, and it does a nice job of adding moisture to those areas before I apply moisturizer overall. It can sting a bit.

Page of 13 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Unlike most other toners on the market, Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner is famous for offering potent antioxidants, anti-irritants and cell-communicating ingredients which help restore normal function to damaged, misbehaving cells. When used after cleansing, it helps skin restore and repair itself. This truly state-of-the-art toner helps balance skin so its oily areas do not worsen. Redness is reduced while slightly dry, flaky areas are made smooth and soft. It also helps to remove last traces of makeup and may be the only "moisturizer" your normal to oily skin needs during summer months or in humid climates.

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
This toner has been specially formulated for normal to oily/combination skin. It is also a good option for acne-prone skin. 

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

Clinics in Dermatology, November-December 2008, pages 614–626; Experimental  Biology and Medicine, November 2008, pages 1,469–1,477; Skin Therapy Letter, September 2008, pages 5–9;  International Journal of Molecular Medicine, August 2008, pages 229–236; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2008, pages S7–S12; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 322–329; Dermatologic Surgery, "The Antioxidant Network of the Stratum Corneum," July 2005, pages 814–817; The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, volume 124, issue 4, April 2005, pages 756–763; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327–337; Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, March–April 2004, pages 90–96; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; Exogenous Dermatology, June 2004, pages 154–160; and Toxicology Letters, December 2003, pages 65–73.

Key Ingredients: vitamin C, adenosine triphosphate, glycerin, Arctium lappa, niacinamide, sodium PCA, chamomile, sodium hyaluronate, cholesterol, ceramides

Product Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Butylene Glycol (water-binding agent), Niacinamide (vitamin B3/cell-communcating ingredient), Adenosine Triphosphate (cell-communicating ingredient/skin conditioning agent), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract (anti-irritant), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (skin conditioning agents), Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate (skin conditioning agent), Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol (lipid-based skin-repairing ingredients), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Oleth-10, DEA-Oleth-10 Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (emulsifiers), Polysorbate-20 (skin conditioning agent), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Trisodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: After cleansing, apply toner to a cotton pad and gently stroke over face and neck. Do not rinse. Follow with the rest of your morning or evening skincare routine. For daytime, finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

What do toners “tone”? I thought Paula didn’t recommend toners!

Paula has always recommended toners that are well-formulated. Toners can be a great after-cleansing step to be sure you’ve removed all of your makeup. When properly formulated, they soothe skin and add hydrating ingredients to make skin softer, not to mention they’re another leave-on source for antioxidants and other ingredients that improve skin’s healthy functioning.

How do I know which toner is right for me? Besides skin type, what are the main differences between Paula's Choice toners?

All of our toners restore skin, help remove last traces of makeup, are alcohol- and fragrance-free, and contain no unnecessary irritants such as menthol, peppermint, and citrus oils. They are great as an adjunct to a more thorough cleansing routine, especially post-workout or in hot/humid climates. Even more significantly, they go beyond the basics by offering skin benefits you can see and feel.

Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner is a specialized formula designed to supply normal to dry aging skin with a broad range of ingredients it needs to produce healthy collagen while reducing wrinkles. It is a super-charged version of our popular Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner, with a specific emphasis on improving the signs of aging skin.

Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner is a specialized formula designed to supply normal to oily or breakout-prone aging skin with a broad range of targeted ingredients to help improve signs of aging plus reduce enlarged pores and reduce dry, flaky, uneven skin texture. It is ideal for those struggling with oily skin, wrinkles, and large pores.

Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner for normal to very dry skin is an excellent choice for those who need more help protecting their skin from environmental damage or dryness. Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner has a richer texture than any of our other toners and contains more plant oils and other emollients than our Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner. This is a great option for dry to very dry skin, extremely sun damaged skin, or those dealing with eczema or rosacea accompanied by dry skin.

Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner contains ingredients that help soothe and restore normal to dry skin, plus it includes a greater amount of glycerin, a key ingredient to make dry skin look and feel better. It also contains a broad range of ingredients that aid the barrier repair process so those with dry skin (or normal skin with occasional dry patches) will receive even more benefit from their Paula’s Choice moisturizer and/or specialty product. Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner feels lighter than our Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner, yet still provides an array of antioxidants, anti-irritants, and skin-protecting ingredients. To get the benefits of both toners for normal to dry skin, you can use Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner in the morning and Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner in the evening.

Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner for normal to oily/combination skin is excellent for protecting skin from environmental damage or dryness. In addition, its cell-communicating ingredients can, in theory, help balance skin so its oily areas do not worsen or lead to reddened or blemished skin. Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner uses a more complex formulation than our Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner, and helps restore normal cell function.

Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner is an excellent choice for normal to oily/combination skin. It provides a weightless finish, and although it feels very light, it supplies skin with potent antioxidants and anti-irritants. Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner is a great option for those who want more protection and a soothing, soft, feeling on their skin, particularly those with sensitive skin. To get the benefits of both toners for normal to oily/combination skin, you may want use Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner in the morning and Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner in the evening.

Earth Sourced Purely Natural Refreshing Toner is for all skin types. It has a distinctive, liquid-gel formula bursting with antioxidants proven to repair skin and stimulate collagen production. The formula uses proprietary technology that truly captures the best of nature and modern science.

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