Toners & Astringents: Which Should I Use?

by Emily Linehan on February 11, 2020

Toners and astringents are often thought of as the same thing, but they couldn’t be more different. If you’re wondering when to use toner vs. when to use astringent, here is my recommendation!

When to Use Astringent 

Traditionally, an astringent is an alcohol-based solution that acts as a degreasing agent on the skin and is marketed to help “shrink the pores” (the key term here is “marketed”). If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may feel drawn to these types of products because they make your skin feel clean. 

The question is, are astringents actually good for oily and acne-prone skin? 

The truth is that astringents strip skin of its natural moisture, leaving the skin dehydrated and irritated. Ironically, someone with oily skin that uses drying agents will actually cause their skin to produce even more oil. This is because their skin is trying to compensate for the dryness.

For these reasons, my recommendation is actually to use toner instead of astringent. 

When to Use Toner

Unlike astringent, toner tends to be an alcohol-free solution to add moisture and other active ingredients that contribute to healthier skin. 

Keeping Your Skin Clean

Toners can also be used during the cleansing process to remove drying minerals and chlorine from tap water. Unlike astringent, toner works to restore the pH balance of skin and dampens your skin to make it more permeable. This process allows your skin to accept more of the active ingredients in your other skincare products.    

The Toner I Recommend

Our best-selling Calm Down Toner moisturizes dry and dehydrated skin while simultaneously restoring the pH balance of skin for a soothing effect. 

 If you are unsure if a toner or astringent is best for your skin, start with my free online skin consultation.


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