Do you really need an astringent?

In case you happen to have oily skin, you might want to use an astringent. Many people, however, are not really clear about whether they need a toner or an astringent. You would be surprised at how many women think an astringent and a toner are the same. Well, they most certainly are not.

Toners or astringents?

Toners mostly contain glycerine, or glycol, to soothe the skin and balance out the pH levels. Astringents, on the other hand, are alcohol-based. That being the case, it stands to reason that they will tend to dry out your skin, even as they work to remove excess oil from it. You will either find isopropyl (rubbing alcohol), which is pretty harsh, or natural alcohol from botanical sources, which is gentler, in your astringents. Some astringents contain witch hazel, which reduces inflammation, as the main ingredient. They are recommended for those with sensitive skin.

However, the alcohol in an astringent also gives it anti-bacterial properties, something that helps in dealing with your acne. Astringents also help improve your skin’s appearance by minimizing pores. You should use an astringent after cleansing, but before moisturizing.

So, do you need one?

If you have normal skin, you do not need an astringent at all. It is going to do more harm than good. It can cause excessive drying of your skin, and surely, that’s not what you bargained for! Remember, your skin needs some oil to maintain a healthy appearance. You certainly do not need to strip your face of all the oils.

In case you do have oily skin, you can try natural alternatives to astringents. Use a pore-tightening lemon and strawberry face mask, for instance. Berries are natural astringents, so they tighten the skin and minimize pores naturally, without any harmful effects of the alcohols. Berry seeds can also act as exfoliants, removing grime trapped in your pores.

So, take a step back and figure out whether you really need an astringent. It might be best to ditch it.



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