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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
  • Blackheads, Enlarged Pores
  • Combination, Oily Skin
  • Reduces redness and eliminates flaky dry skin

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Customer Ratings:

82 out of 100
(Based on 332 Reviews)
Page of 14 Next »
  1. Christine
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 23, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Works Well
    • I have very sensitive combination skin, and this does a good job moisturizing the dry parts without causing any redness or burning. I have also used the hydralight toner, but that one burned and caused irritation. I'm happy to say that this toner is very soothing for my skin!

  2. Madeleine G.
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 23, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    excellent for sensitive, dry skin with large pores
    • I bought this as a part of my quest for skin that I love. I've been using the 2% BHA gel for years and have loved it, so trusted PC to make products that are great. I bought the natural toner several months ago and was underwhelmed, it didn't stick as a part of my skincare routine. I was nervous that this would address my large pores but irritate my very sensitive skin. I was so wrong. I love the texture. My face feels clean, moisturized, and I can already see improvements in my skin.

  3. ALISON C.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 19, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Wanted to love it, but my face stings!
    • I have long been a fan of PC products, so when I found this toner, I was excited. I have sensitive but oily skin, with some mild rosacea. When I used the Resist toner (regular), my skin was very calm, but I wanted something to reduce pores. After only two days of use, my skin stings very badly. The redness is worse than ever, and my face is so oily that my makeup will not stay on. I do like the moisturizer from this line, but I guess the toner is not for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, May 20, 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 for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  4. vallerie w.
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 17, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    it's a keeper!
    • My face's skin is just about as much of a mess as skin can be: super oily, psoriasis, rosacea, Grover's disease, and on top of all that, wrinkles are starting now. This toner worked wonders, calmed redness, didn't leave my face feeling tight. I discovered that I had to make sure to get all the sebum and blackheads out of my face, because the first few times it makes them stand out more....now I have to say, the change in my skin is nothing short of stunning...ordered another bottle already :)

  5. Stephen
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 06, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Didn't really do much
    • I've had problematic skin for over a decade, so I was excited to use this toner. I've been consistently using it for the past 5 weeks, but I don't really see much positive effect. First off, I dislike the sticky/tacky feeling it leaves on my face after applied. My face is left looking/feeling greasy, and the redness is actually accentuated after application. I can't say that my pores really look much different nor have dry patches improved. A shame this didn't work for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, May 07, 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
  6. Candice S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing Toner!
    • One day I stumbled upon Beautypedia and Paula's Choice. I found out my supposed pore refining toner was actually worsening my clogged pores. I immediately threw it out and decided on this one as I have blackheads, clogged pores, but also get dry patches around my nose. This toner does it all. Within days my pores are less noticeable, and it takes care of the dry patches so I can wear foundation without looking flakey. I love this toner and can't wait to try other PC products!

  7. David N.
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 02, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best cleanser so far
    • I have been using the Clean and clear sensitive skin cleanser which got a 4 stars on beautypedia. I just started using this for only a day, but I was blown away by the comfort and effectiveness. This does a much better job in cleaning my face and does not leave my skin dry like the Clean&Clear. I appreciate the foam because it makes moving my fingers around my face much easier and there are less chances I'll over manipulate my skin.

  8. Sarah N.
    Reviewed on Friday, May 01, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Unfortunately, did not work
    • My skin is pretty clear in general but I still get a few flakes. I was expecting this toner to clear flakes so my foundation would look smoother and for my pores to be a bit less obvious. I ended up waking up to little red bumps all over my skin. It did smooth out the flakes a bit-- it's a bit sticky to me. Initial application with a cotton pad felt nice. Disappointed since I love some of the other PC products!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, May 04, 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 for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  9. JerriD
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 26, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works for me
    • This is perfectly named. It leaves my skin toned and balanced. Tight, dry areas - soothed, oily areas - controlled, and my face - soft and refreshed. Everthing else in my skin care routine works better after this toner. I would LOVE TSA size for my carry-on and my gym bag.

  10. Laurent L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Soft skin!
    • I have sensitive/red skin with a few dry spots but also breakouts on forehead, and I tried many different toners from PC. (Hydralight toner made my face burn) After experiencing with them and going through many samples of the Skin Balancing Toner, it really fits my skin the best! It quickly sinks in and leaves skin super soft while quickly toning down my redness! Will purchase full size ASAP!

  11. EX
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 19, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Didn't work for me
    • I've been using this product for close to 4 months. In trying to see if it makes a difference with reducing my pores or improving my skin, I took a picture of my face once a week. I have not seen a difference in the size of my pores. I also did not see much change in my skin. Very disappointed.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, April 22, 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
  12. Allyson F.
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 19, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This is what I was looking for
    • This is just what I was looking for to help balance out my oily, breakout prone, combination skin. I've tried to use Paula's choice serums and light moisturizers in the past for the anti-aging benefits, and my oily skin wouldn't have it. I tried this instead and it works well to give just a touch of moisture to keep my skin from randomly falking and peeling, without any buildup or breakouts. Plus, I feel good about the anti-aging benefits.

  13. Melinda, J
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 07, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My favorite PC toner!
    • I swear by this PC toner. I use it after cleansing with the Skin Balancing cleanser twice a day. I have acne prone skin, so I use the the PC 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment at night and that can leave parts of my face dry and flaky. This toner relieves some of that dryness and preps my skin for moisturizer. It never stings or irritates my skin. One bottle lasts for a few months, so it's also a great value.

  14. Melissa M
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 29, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent!
    • Before I found this toner, I thought I had crazy oily skin. As it turns out, the alcohol-laden toner I was using was making me that oily. Once I switched to this, it made a huge difference. Where I used to be an oil slick with parched spots, I'm now only slightly oily with mild dry spots, easily handled with PC's Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel. Really great product!

  15. Neena G
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 26, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Prep your skin
    • I find this calming toner an excellent way to gently swipe away any skin flakes after cleansing the skin. It also leaves the skin pleasantly damp ready for putting on serums and moisturiser. I've found that serums and moisturisers better penetrate the skin when its damp and the skin balancing toner is a refreshing way to get your skin ready for that step.

  16. Lisa
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    missed the results when I ran out!
    • I started off using this toner as one of my first PC products. I enjoyed using it, but when the clinical redness relief toner came out, I switched to using that. I think the redness relief helps, but I have noticed that my pores are more visible, and I have been missing this product. I will be repurchasing so I can add it back into my routine.

  17. Heather W
    Reviewed on Friday, March 20, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not For Me
    • I purchased this and a cleanser to help reduce the look of my pores and help with pimples. I've never had bad pimples (usually just some in my T-zone), but I've broken out on my cheeks and my skin is blotchy and looks horrible. It did help reduce my pores though, so there's that.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 23, 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
  18. Ginny M.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 03, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A favorite!
    • This is by far my favorite PC toner which I just reaffirmed again when I tried the Hydralight Toner which burns. The Skin Balancing is a great freshener during the day also! Highly recommend!

  19. 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
  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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
  24. 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%.

  25. 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
Page of 14 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 (slip agent), Niacinamide (vitamin B3/cell-communicating ingredient), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient/skin conditioning agent), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract (anti-irritant), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol (lipid-based skin-repairing ingredients), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Oleth-10, 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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