Helping People Achieve Clear Skin Since 2007

Helping People Achieve Clear Skin Since 2007


Review: Is Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera Magical, or Just Unnecessary?

By Dr. Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC, Double board-certified dermatologist

Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera has gotten a lot of publicity lately, especially in the realm of natural skincare, and it’s not hard to see why. The name itself includes three popular natural skincare ingredients: rose petal, witch hazel, and aloe vera. But do these ingredients work? More importantly, do they work when combined in Thayer’s toner? Based on our research on natural remedies, the toner’s full ingredients list, and thousands of reviews on a variety of websites, we’ve determined that it is a mediocre treatment and most people would benefit from other acne treatment options.

Bottle of Thayer's toner
Thayers’ toner might contain a lot of popular natural ingredients, that doesn’t automatically make it an effective treatment.


  • Some studies have found witch hazel to have anti-inflammatory properties, but for sensitive skin, it can cause major inflammation, irritation, and acne.
  • Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera is alcohol-free, which is a great way to reduce the irritation that commonly occurs with most toners.
  • This toner, in particular, has gotten very mixed reviews, leading us to believe that it only works for a particular skin type.
  • Because skin creams are much lighter now than they used to be, the toners designed to cleanse the skin of cream residue have become a largely outdated skincare product.
  • At such an affordable price, it may be worth trying, even though it’s not guaranteed to work for everyone.

Do the Natural Ingredients in Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera Reduce Acne?

Thayers’ highlights three key natural ingredients in this particular product: rose petal, witch hazel, and aloe vera. Although these are all big names in skincare right now, do they reduce acne? Our research shows that they can, but they are best suited for specific skin types.

Some studies show that rose petal has antimicrobial properties and may be able to kill p. acnes, the specific type of bacteria associated with pimples and cysts. Research is still very limited, so we don’t feel confident saying that rose petal can reduce acne, but we can say that we’re hopeful, and it makes sense for Thayers’ to include it in their toner.

Witch hazel is a very popular skincare ingredient because it can reduce the oil and inflammation that cause increased acne, however, we’ve discovered that it is best used for very oily skin only. Research has shown that witch hazel contains antioxidant properties, which helps protect the skin and reduce inflammation. In theory, this should make witch hazel an ideal ingredient for treating sensitive skin, but in reality, witch hazel often causes redness and irritation in those with dry, sensitive, or even normal skin. This is due to its other main property: astringency. Witch hazel is an astringent, which means it absorbs moisture, which is ideal for oily skin but not so great for dry or sensitive skin.

Research has found that aloe vera speeds up the wound healing process and reduces scarring, which is very important for some people whose acne tends to turn into scars rather than fading away, and some research suggests that aloe vera makes other acne-fighting ingredients more effective. As far as we can tell, aloe vera is a great natural ingredient for acne skincare in all skin types.

The Best Toners Are Alcohol-Free

Woman applying toner to her face
Many toners contain alcohol, but it only serves to dry out the skin and should generally be avoided in skincare products.

When it comes to skincare, it’s not just about which ingredients you use, it’s also about which ones you avoid, and when it comes to toners, it’s important to avoid alcohol. That’s one thing Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera has going for it: it’s completely alcohol-free.

Small amounts of alcohol are common in most skincare products because they help keep the ingredients spread out evenly, but when alcohol of any kind is listed as one of the first three ingredients, it is likely to cause more harm than good. Large amounts of alcohol dry out the skin, which might sound like a good thing if you have oily, acne-prone skin, but in reality, dry skin is never a good thing for acne. We need a small amount of oil on our skin to protect it from irritation and inflammation, and if our skin gets dried out and we lose that protective layer, breakouts are almost always the result. Whenever our skin is irritated and inflamed, the pores constrict, trapping oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria inside where they form blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

Thayers’ uses other ingredients to dry up excess oil, like witch hazel, that are generally less irritating. However, as the reviews demonstrate, many people are just as sensitive to witch hazel as they are to alcohol, so it may not be as great of an alternative as many people once thought.

Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera reviews are a bit of a mixed bag. Some are glowing, saying that this toner completely changed their skin, while others claim that the toner made them break out even worse and quickly became intolerable.

On Amazon, Influenster, and Thayers’ website, this product receives an average of 4 out of 5 stars, but when we took the time to actually read through some of the comments, it became clear to us that while many people enjoy Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera, another very large group of people did not enjoy it at all. Many people expressed frustration with how much the product irritated their skin, others found that it had no effect on their acne whatsoever, and still others even had a strong allergic reaction. Because it still has such a high star rating, we have to assume that the toner works well for some, but based on the written reviews, we also must admit that it can be disastrous for others.

Because it contains witch hazel, a powerful, often irritating astringent, we believe that people with oily skin are more likely to have a 4- or 5-star experience with Thayers’, while those with sensitive or dry skin are more likely to run into the many problems outlined by some of the written reviews. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend trying a different toner that doesn’t include alcohol or witch hazel or skipping the toner step altogether.

Is a Toner Even Necessary for Skin Care?

Different containers of skincare and hygiene products
A good skincare routine can involve many steps, but you may be able to simplify yours by getting rid of your toner.

If you prefer a low-maintenance skincare routine, you may be able to simplify things by skipping the toning step entirely. Back in the 1950s, skin creams involved much heavier ingredients than those used today, and skin cleansers were not able to remove all of the residue left behind by said creams. To clear the skin entirely, people used toners in addition to face washes. These toners absorbed and exfoliated any ingredients left behind on the skin. Today, our creams are lighter and leave little to no residue behind after using a basic face wash, which leads to the question, are toners necessary anymore?

In short, no, toners are not an essential step to good skincare anymore, but they can provide additional skin benefits if they contain ingredients not found in your other skincare products. For instance, if you have oily skin and your regular face wash doesn’t include witch hazel, Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera could benefit your skin by absorbing some excess oil. The most important factor when deciding whether or not to incorporate a toner into your skincare routine is avoiding ingredients that could make your skin worse, like alcohol. As long as the toner is relatively gentle and doesn’t contain anything harmful to your skin, then it might be worth the extra step, even if it isn’t totally necessary.

Thayers’ Offers Affordable Skin Care Options

One of the hardest parts about acne is finding the right skincare routine because it often involves years of trial and error. Plus, many skincare products aren’t cheap, and it can be frustrating to buy an expensive product only to find that it doesn’t work well for you. Luckily, you won’t run into that problem with Thayers’ Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera. Although the mixed reviews mean you’re taking a bit of a risk, it’s an affordable risk, at only $10 for 12 ounces. That much product should last several months if it works for your skin, plus Amazon offers a subscription for the toner that comes with a price reduction. And on the other hand, if it doesn’t work, you’re only out $10. We know $10 is still something, but it’s much more affordable than many other skincare products available out there.

Comments 0
Comments (0)
Add Comment

Our Mission

To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!