Astringent vs. Toner

I speak to clients all day about their skin care routines and the majority of them are neglecting to use any sort of astringent or toner. Most of the time, they either don’t know what astringents or toners actually do or what purpose they serve and they don’t know the difference between the two. So let me clarify…

            An astringent is an alcohol-based solution that, when applied to the skin, is meant to shrink or constrict the skin. It is a stronger form of a toner and is formulated with SD Alcohol or Denatured Alcohol; which is often and most only used as a disinfectant for people with severe acne.

            A toner is a water-based solution (generally alcohol-free) that uses humectants to keep the moisture in the upper layers of the skin to prevent skin dehydration. Toners are most common and are considered to be an important part of a home skin care regimen.

  1. They give your skin a drink of moisture when left damp on the skin before applying moisturizer. Make sure to only use an alcohol-free toner. Regardless of what your mother tells you or however oily your skin is, toners that contain alcohol are extremely drying to the skin and should never be used.
  2. They remove drying chemicals found in tap water. Chlorine and chemicals are put into tap water to destroy harmful bacteria, but they can also dehydrate and dry out the skin.
  3. They balance the pH in the skin. If you use a bar of soap or a foaming face wash that might dry out the skin due to their low pH balance, a toner will help counteract the dryness that occurs.
  4. They can enhance the results of your skin care program. Depending on the ingredients used in the toner, it can help calm the skin, control oil, stimulate blood circulation, destroy acne-causing bacteria, provide anti-oxidant benefits, and more.
  5. They support your skin’s protective barrier by supplying the skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you repair the skin’s protective barrier, making it less sensitive and more resistant to environmental damage.

So now you see why it’s so important to add this quick little step into your daily routine. I’ll keep you posted about my personal favorites, sorted by skin type!

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