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There are certain skincare staples that we know like the back of our hands: cleanser, body wash, and moisturizer. That is not the case for toners and astringents. Yes, they are both used to prepare the surface of your skin for the next steps, but they are not suitable for everyone.




The main differentiator between an astringent and toner is the ingredients.

Toners are generally used after cleaning to remove tap water, correct the skin’s pH (click here for more details on the importance of pH) and contain humectants to aid in moisturizing.

Astringents are also used after the face wash, but they contain ingredients designed to shrink the pores. Astringents are recommended for those with highly active glands, in order words, very oily skins prone to acne and clogged pores.   

• In either case, you should avoid using products with alcohol. There are gentler ways of reducing oils without resorting to alcohols.

• If you are sensitive and/or have dry skin, avoid using astringents

• If you have oily skin, look for astringents with witch hazel, apple cider vinegar or citrus.


It is important to note that there are milder versions of each, and varying amounts of ingredients in all the products. In other words, not all witch hazel astringents have the same amount or type of witch hazel!

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