At a time when supernatural skin is the ultimate beauty calling card and a 12-step regimen is nothing to bat an eye at, the best toners for dry skin—despite providing a variety of benefits, from shrinking pores to keeping one’s pH balance in check—have yet to shake their reputation of being an unnecessary step. And while there’s justly an uptick in interest in refreshing skin tonics during the warmer months, when an astringent can sop up excess oil to control shine and prevent breakouts, using toner when the temperatures dip is just as essential—if not more. Why? The best toners for dry skin not only provide an extra layer of hydration for thirsty skin but also allow it to drink in even more moisture when applied after a serum and moisturizer.
“Damp skin is 10 times more permeable than dry skin,” explains Austin-based aesthetician Renée Rouleau. “As long as you’re leaving it damp on the skin before immediately applying your next product, toners provide an instant boost of moisture to dehydrated cells and allow active ingredients to penetrate deeper.” In addition to helping fight the telltale signs of a cold-weather complexion, such as sallowness or flaky patches, toners can also support the skin’s natural protective barrier by delivering additional nutrients that make it less sensitive and more resistant to environmental damage, she says.