Thursday, September 6, 2012

Toner vs Astringent

Good Morning!!
I'm so incredibly sorry it's been so long since I've been on to write using this blog.
I've been so focused on my pregnancy writing that I've spaced on keeping up here!

I had put a post up on my professional facebook page that said the following:
"Do you think there's benefit in using a toner or astringent on a cotton pad after you've cleansed your face? YES! This is a great way to catch what even your great cleanser may have left behind. Cause the truth is it does happen, even to the best! Watch an see how your skin will begin to brighten twice as fast once you start doing this step! If desired, you may mist your face with your toner afterwards for added bliss. Your astringent will have already done its work. ♥"

A girl friend of mine asked this in reply to my post:
"Freeing ImperfectionsWhat kind of toner or astringent do you recommend?"

(Which btw you should check out her facebook page/blog, she's fantastic!)

I figured it would be a good idea to kind of give a quick explanation on the difference between toners and astringents. After all we know about them existing but do we really understand what they do for us? Shockingly not many do and I've spent a lot of time explaining this to clients, family and friends.

Each plays a different role in skin care and not every skin type can use one or both.
Everything is based off of what skin type you have.
And this may change for you depending on what time of year it is.
I know it sure does for me!

For instance:

A. If you have super dry skin you'll want toner

B. If your have super oily skin you may consider an astringent for most days and a toner on those occasional dehydrated days.

C. And if you're like me where your skin changes it's mind depending on the season and hormonal balance of your body you could most likely use both and alternate one for day one for night.

So what does a toner do?

A toner is meant to bring balance back into the skin by hydrating and soothing the acid mantel which is the protective layer we have on the top of our skin. (Ever have a cleanser make your face feel super tight and annoying after you've washed it? Bad news is your acid mantel has just been stripped!)
It preps the skin for any serum or moisturizer you will be using and can also be used to set mineral makeup w/out the cost of buying a setting spray. 
(Unless you have a need for something a little more drastic.)
You can chill your toner in the fridge for hot summer days when you need that mid day boost or carry one with you in your purse for added pleasure throughout your day if you tend to be intensely dry.
I use a toner every morning after I've washed my face to prep my skin for the day and I notice a huge difference vs when I forget or was in a rush and got lazy. I can't live without the stuff!
And yes, toners can help aid in the fight against acne, you just need to make sure you have one for your particular skin type!

My favorites:

Skin by Ann Webb
She has 2 options and one is more for combo skin and the other for insanely sensitive!
The cost is roughly $7.50 or so

Juice Beauty's Moisture Mist
Their's is the most I'll spend on a toner and even then I wish it was lower.
However, it's hydrating and works. 
Cost being $16.00

Alaffia's Baobab & Shea Refreshing facial toner
Is one I bought on a whim when I was nearly out of my Juice Beauty.
It works well for combo, sensitive and mature skin types.
The cost is roughly $7.00-$14.00 depending on shopping location

I have yet to try a popular one that's sold at any Walmart or Target called Diskinson's but it's next on my list! People rave about it so I've got to see what this is all about...

So that makes an astringent what?

Astringents are often abused in the skin care world and many find them either helpful or destructive.
They work as a purifying agent again bacteria and overly producing oil glands.
The abuse part is when somebody over uses it and gets the reverse action and their skin back fires and starts to produce more oil just to try and protect your skin from being dehydrated!
Makes a nice mess for some people.
Used properly they can be very, very useful, even help heal pesky acne issues and who doesn't like the idea of that?? Astringents are wonderful for deeper cleansing of the pores to clear out any potential  yuck left behind. Has worked wonders for my hormonal pregnancy blemishes!
You need to really know your skin type before using one of these, esp if you want to use it morning and evening. The last thing you want is a hot mess popping up over night...

I've only found one brand that I like so far and that's because I'm very leery of trying a lot seeing as I have sensitive, combo skin. I'm very pleased with the brand I've found even though I know there are other options out there, and maybe some would be better, but I'm in love with the following brand.

Sea Breeze
It smells very strong but has a delightful tingle on the areas I know need a good cleaning.
It helps with blackheads as well!
The cost is under $5.00

** This is a product to be used most likely at night after cleansing to help get the last of the makeup gunk off your face should any have stayed behind. Or in the morning after a workout to collect that gunk before stepping in the shower to cleanse. Combo to oily skin types are best for this brand. There's a sensitive formula as well for those who need and added buffer. 

Now witch hazel is kind of a combination of both a toner and an astringent.
How so?

Well, witch hazel has wonderful soothing properties that also hydrate.
It also removes bacteria and gunk.
So it's kinda nice for those who are so smack dab in the middle or really just want one product because their skin never dries out and never gets too oily. It has a funky smell to some but I personally like it. breaks it down saying it's anti-inflamitory, antimicrobial an astringent and a moisturizer.
Sums it up really well!

I bought the wrong brand this round and meant to buy Dickinson's but will finish what I have seeing as it's not treating me so badly. But I will buy Dickinson's next time! Their cost is under $5.00.

I hope that answered a few questions for you about toners vs astringents?
I know going into the field I didn't have a clue!

Hope you have a wonderful day :)

Shannon <3

Tip of the session:
Try using any of these according to your particular skin type and see what a difference it makes!
Using both day and night after cleansing and alternating if desired. 


  1. Thanks for posting this! I just now got around to seeing it.. Ugh, I am behind on checking my usual blogs! I am so in need of a skin care regimen make over, so this list will definitely come in handy!

  2. I know it makes all the difference when caring for your skin and how anything else sits on your skin! If I've forgotten to use my toner I can tell and ugh, awful. <3

  3. I was surprised that you did not mention "Thayers" Witch Hazel! A premium, all-natural brand that makes both toners and astringents, using witch hazel. They do not use any artificial ingredients or fragrances, and have fragrance free options as well. They have many different products to choose from based on your skin's needs. I have used this brand for years, and it even helped me to clear up my acne - which I suffered with for 8 years. I love it. You should check it out!

  4. Megan, Thanks! I had been wanting to try it and couldn't remember the name of the brand to save my life. If I can find it at Whole Foods I'll be headed there very soon and will look into it!!

  5. Thank you so much for educating us on these 2 products.
    I like that you have drug store recommendations.