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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
  • 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 303 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 13 Next »
  1. Heeyoung C.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 14, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    using as a moisturizer
    • I am not a fan of lotion/cream type moisturizer, so I decided using it instead of moisturizer combined with PC antioxidant retinol serum. I feel like it actually made me a bit more greasy than before (then I was using Amore Pacific's booster). Also, the texture kind of sticky rather than being absorbed and leaving nothing but hydrated skin. It gives me neither skin irritation nor other problems, so I would finish the bottle. I am just not quite convinced to the point I reorder next time.

  2. willo L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    No irritation & skin looks good
    • I waited 4 weeks to review. I'm 39 with good but oily/combination SENSITIVE skin. Sensitive skin products often are ultra-hydrating & break me out. Tried drugstore products recommended on Beautypedia & was pleased. Finally took the plunge and bought PC toner and BHA exfoliant. After 4 weeks, I've had zero breakouts/irritation reactions. I think this toner is enough "moisturizer" for my oily skin, but less certain of its value than my BHA. Wish a TSA-compliant 1 or 3 oz size was available.

  3. Jessica C.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Never thought I needed a toner
    • I never used a toner before this one and I always thought it was just a scam to sell more face products to women. With an oily face I needed all the help I could get and decided to try a sample of this toner and I loved it. It feels like water, but best of all it doesn't feel sticky, especially here in Texas where humidity can turn your best face products into a sticky, shiny mess. It balances my skin and I notice I am less oily by the end of the day.

  4. Peiyu T.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best toner till date!
    • I have tried many many toners in my life, and this is the first toner that i have seen results in a month! My oily combination skin has never looked better than this. Having struggled with acne, blackheads and coarse skin for these few years, all i can say that this product is my holy grail now. Will definitely repurchase again!

  5. Jake Z.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great Toner!
    • This is a great toner! It feels silky and leaves my skin feeling smooth and prepared for the next products.

  6. Zahra S.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 04, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not for combination skin!
    • I'm really disappointed in this product, it completely dried out my skin to the point of it being exceedingly flaky. This product claimed it would moisturize dry patches, not create them!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, August 04, 2014

    Thanks for your review! Your experience with this toner is unusual, and may be due to an individual sensitivity to one of its more active ingredients. We offer several toner formulas, and are happy to help you find another optoin that will better suit your skin type and concerns.

    —Admin
  7. Lauren
    Reviewed on Monday, August 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Saved my skin
    • This toner totally changed my life. I switched from Hydralight to this and my skin cleared up. If I run out of this toner and switch to something else as a substitute, I tend to break out again. I have sensitive skin with little bumps and clogged pores usually and this totally helps.

  8. Cecilia S.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    love it
    • This is the best toner I have ever used. It has wonderful ingredients that's good for my skin. Will definitley repurchase. I just love it.

  9. SARRA B.
    Reviewed on Monday, July 28, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    not cruelty-free, therefore not suitable
    • I like it just fine, and I wish I could continue using it. But I can't, because it's not cruelty-free. I didn't realize when purchasing it that it's not suitable for ethical vegans because it contains at least two ingredients derived from animals. The mistake is mine, to be sure, as I failed to research the product properly, but it's a major disappointment that the toner most suited to my skin's needs are in no way suited to my ethics.

  10. Laurie L.
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 27, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    new to product
    • I recently bought this and its slightly working on some parts of my face, but I am breaking out like crazy on my chin and cheeks. Its only been a week and a half so I'm going to hold off on this.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Thanks for your review! This toner is extremely unlikely to cause breakouts, so please contact us to discuss your entire skincare routine. We're happy to help you fine tune!

    —Admin
  11. Jessica R.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent toner
    • I got a sample of this and I really liked it. I've never been a toner person, but it takes off the last bits of makeup which is nice. I ended up buying the Resist toner, but I may buy this one as well while the sale is still going on.

  12. Anna Mary W.
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 20, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great but not my match
    • This is really a clean, smooth toner, but doesn't fully target what I need. I am sticking with my current Paula's exfoliant, but this will be my go to when I no longer have to battle with adult acne.

  13. Rachel M.
    Reviewed on Friday, July 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My Pores Have Gone Missing
    • Hi, I bought this on a whim a week ago, and this week the pores on my nose have decreased dramatically--does anyone know where they went? I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye... In all seriousness, this product blew me away! I had been using the 2% BHA for some time without any difference in my pore size, but something magical in this toner has solved the problem! Perhaps the toner and BHA have become a sort of superstar dynamic duo, but something is working--Holy grail!

  14. Lenore R.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent Toner for Combination Skin
    • This is an excellent toner for combination skin. It is like a wonderful drink of water for my skin after I cleanse. It also gets off any tiny bit of remaining makeup. My skin never stings when I apply this. It is soothing and cool and delivers a does of beneficial antioxidants and a very gentle moisture. When I first started with PC I was worried about layering products on my oily/combo skin. But I realized as soon as I started my routine that I had nothing to worry about. Thanks PC!

  15. Suzy H
    Reviewed on Friday, July 04, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not for me
    • Wanted to love this toner, absolutely loved my Resist toner, but it's just not happening for me. I have been using it for a month, and I haven't noticed any improvement in my pores. More importantly, it's super sticky and doesn't absorb well.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, July 14, 2014

    Thanks for your review! We're sorry you haven't seen much improvement from this toner. Please feel free to contact us for a refund or exchange for one of our other products.

    —Admin
  16. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 03, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Soothing Toner
    • All of the toners I've used in the past have been drying, and for years I thought that's what a toner was supposed to feel like. But this toner has set me straight. It feels restorative, like it's adding something to my skin instead of stripping it. The entire Skin Balancing Kit is essential for me. I can't recommend these products highly enough.

  17. Jess, T.
    Reviewed on Monday, June 30, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Very much in love
    • This was the first thing I bought from Paula's line and I was instantly in love. After reading the section on this website all about blackheads and pores I decided to try and shake up my face routine. I could not be happier with this product. It was non-irritating and I saw immediate improvement on stubborn pores and blackheads. Very happy!

  18. Sally M
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    use as a moisurizer
    • Formerly used the hydralight toner but skin got dryer as I have aged. Still have oily T-zone. this works great as a toner and as a light moisturiser under my City block SPF 25.

  19. Robin T.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    So Good, So Gentle
    • I thought astringents and toners had to sting a bit or at least be abrasive in smell or feel to work for my oily combination skin. Turns out I had it all wrong.

  20. Christina C
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 08, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great product but slightly drying for dry skin
    • This is a wonderful product. It doesn't burn or over dry my skin. however, since I already have dry skin, it isn't my favorite simply becaus in need a toner that adds moisture. It's usable for me, but I think when I run out I will order the moisture boost one. The reason I chose this to begin with is because I wanted to reduce my pores some, which it did aid in.

  21. Robyn T.
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best toner ever!
    • Gah, this is the best toner EVER! I have oily-combination, blackhead and acne-prone skin. This is, BY FAR, hands down, the BEST toner I have EVER put on my face. It feels fresh and clean on my skin. Other PC products apply flawlessly over it. I will never be without it!

  22. Jason B.
    Reviewed on Friday, June 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love It!
    • THIS is what I've been looking for! That little extra something to put on my skin after cleansing. It's as light as water, not greasy at all. No smell. No stinging. Just like soft cool water being swept across my skin and it seems to really soak in fast and sit inside the skin preventing that after-cleansing redness/dryness I get. This really is the only moisturizing product I feel comfortable using on my oily skin. It's FANTASTIC for redness. Redness disappears in two minutes - seriously! LOVE!

  23. J k
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Ah-mazing
    • This product I've only been using for a short while and it has done wonders. My face is less red and much less oilier. Although this product does not have fragrance I love the smell of it.. One thing that could be improved is packaging, it's okay, but could be better. As I find sometimes I use too much or too little.

  24. Alotta Pitts
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Isn't toner just a waste of money?
    • I've always thought buying toner was just throwing your money away. But I ordered this because it's recommended, along with BHA 9 and Resist retinol serum, for sebaceous hyperplasia. I can tell that this product just by itself is really fantastic. Smooth, cooling, doesn't leave a sticky or tacky feeling. But it is pricey so an I am not sure I'd buy it again. Maybe when it's on sale or I can say for sure "Yes! My SH is finally gone." I'm waiting to offer a review of the BHA. Crossing my fingers.

  25. Kelly T
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful - pores dramatically reduced
    • This toner was really effective for me. I was worried about the big black spots (enlarged pores) on my cheeks and nose. I feel like I tried everything to get rid of them, and nothing worked until I started using Paula's Choice products. It's only been a month and I can see a huge difference. I've also been getting tons of compliments from strangers on my skin. That's new, I feel like a movie star :) If you're not sure, do it! Ask their customer support if you have any questions - they guided me!

« Prev 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: Use morning and evening. After cleansing, apply to a cotton pad and gently stroke over face and neck. Do not rinse. Follow with your Paula’s Choice exfoliant, moisturizer, and/or treatment product. For daytime, follow with a product rated SPF 15 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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