Which Should You Use? Experts Explain


Essentially, astringents are extra-purifying toners. Their main gig is to remove oil from the skin, and they tend to be alcohol-based, which is why you might notice a temporary “tight” feeling after swiping one across your face. In addition to alcohol, astringents often feature witch hazel (which has naturally astringent properties), salicylic acid, citric acid, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil. It’s these astringent ingredients that gave old-school toners their skin-tingling reputation.As you can probably guess from the aforementioned ingredient list, astringents are best for oily and acne-prone skin types looking to further purify the skin post-cleanse. Although, the oil-stripping nature of astringents may be too much for some people to handle (namely dry and sensitive folks).”The alcohol content can potentially be drying and irritating to the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. Even those with oily complexions should be mindful of stripping the skin—after all, when the skin is zapped of moisture, it may respond with even more oil production to compensate. 

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