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Thayers Witch Hazel Toner: Why Amazon reviewers swear by it

It has over 7,000 verified five-star reviews on Amazon.
Writer Danielle Murphy in two images using Thayers Facia Toner
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Danielle Murphy
/ Source: TODAY

Toner has been a mainstay for those dealing with oily skin for ages, but did you know that the product can also address a range of other woes like redness and acne? Toner is often underrated, but it's a multitasker that can help keep your skin looking smooth, dewy and clear when you find the right formula.

Take Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner, for instance. This gentle bestseller with a 4.7-star rating has won over Amazon shoppers and has over 7,000 verified five-star reviews touting its effectiveness. So, what makes this customer favorite so popular and what can it do for your skin? Shop TODAY consulted dermatologists to find out.

Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner

What does the toner do, anyway?

The Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner is a triple threat that cleanses, tones and moisturizes skin all at once with the help of rose water, witch hazel extract and aloe vera. It features an alcohol-free formula that is gentler on skin than other similar products.

With regular use, the bestseller can tighten pores, help control oil production and moisturize skin. As an added bonus, the formula is free of parabens and propylene glycol and has a refreshing yet subtle rose fragrance.

Dermatologists give the toner their seal of approval

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at The Mount Sinai Hospital, told Shop TODAY that many of his patients swear by this bestselling toner from Thayers and said its main ingredient — witch hazel — has many benefits.

"Witch hazel is a botanical ingredient used in skin care for its astringent effects on the skin," he said. "It can effectively remove oil from the skin to improve shine and minimize the appearance of pores, and may help soothe inflammation."

Many toners contain alcohol, an ingredient that can dry out skin and irritate sensitive complexions, but Boston-based dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch appreciates the fact that the Thayers toner is alcohol-free. "For those people looking to try witch hazel, this one is a good choice because it does not have alcohol," she said. "It also has hydrating aloe vera."

Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology and Aesthetics Dr. Sheila Farhang was pleased to see that the popular toner also includes rose water. "It's soothing, is an anti-inflammatory and can maintain the skin pH balance," she said.

Wondering if a toner is right for you? Dermatologists traditionally recommend toners as a follow-up step after cleansing for people with oily skin or anyone hoping to balance their skin's pH levels.

"If any residue from the cleanser remains, or if the cleanser didn’t remove all that it was supposed to remove, the toner can better assist in clearing the skin for skin care products," said Dr. Robert Anolik, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. "It can be well suited for those who wear makeup routinely or use several skin care products as the toner pass allows for a cleaner skin canvas for the next steps."

Writer Danielle Murphy pouring Thayers Facial Toner in her hand
Courtesy Danielle Murphy

Amazon shoppers are obsessed with it

Over 9,000 verified Amazon shoppers have left a review of this bestselling toner, and they're definitely impressed with its versatility.

"I have enlarged pores, adult acne, dry cheeks, oily T-zone, and uneven skin. My skin is also extremely sensitive to any products. I have been using this product daily (...) and it has alleviated or improved all my skin problems," one happy customer wrote.

Thayers has been around since the 1800s, and many customers say they've been using the brand's popular toner for years. "I am 49 and have normal, hormonal skin. This doesn't dry my skin at all ... I use at night before night cream and in the morning before makeup and day cream," one verified shopper wrote.

Many customers said the toner has helped with their acne when used in conjunction with the rest of their skin care routine. "I have had acne since I was 13 years old (I’m 26 now) and have struggled to find a product that actually helped my skin. I have tried many prescriptions and many different face washes. This is the only product I have ever used that has actually made a difference for my skin," one reviewer wrote.

A few guys even gave the product their seal of approval, including one who uses the product after shaving with a double-edge razor.

"After a shave, most men need something that cleanses and leaves a good feeling," he shared. "I had heard that Thayers did not contain alcohol and was easier on the skin. Gave it a try. It really does work better. My skin doesn’t dry from the toner, and I use an aftershave splash or lotion now more for the scent than the need to add any softening or moisturizing."

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This article was originally published on Sept. 2, 2020.