Here's The Real Difference Between Astringent And Toner

Figuring out the right skincare routine for you is anything but simple. From creams and serums to masks and ice rollers, there are countless options when it comes to what you can add to your daily and nightly routines to maintain the soft, smooth, clear skin of your dreams. 

However, it can be difficult to differentiate between products and figure out which one is right for you. When it comes to astringents and toners, you might be under the impression that the two products are the same. While they do possess similarities, the differences are major when it comes to results and purpose (via Makeup). They can also make a huge impact on your skin's overall look and feel, so you'll want to make sure you're choosing the right one for you. 

Both toners and astringents typically have water-based formulas that you apply with a product-soaked cotton pad by swiping in circles over your face and neck (via Women's Health). In that way, the two products share some qualities. However, the uses and the time at which each should be applied are quite different and worth researching before you drop your hard-earned cash at your nearest beauty supply store.

Both astringents and toners may contain salicylic acid as an ingredient, but the rest of the ingredients will differ. Toners most commonly include glycolic acid and/or glycerin on their ingredient list, while astringents tend to be rich in alcohol, and both may contain witch hazel (via Healthline).

Ingredients make all the difference

The seemingly subtle differences in ingredients are what make each product vary so much in terms of use. Toner is a universally beneficial product for all skin types. It's best to apply it prior to the moisturizing step of your beauty routine. LA-based esthetician and beauty guru Stacy Cox explains, "Toner primes the skin for moisturizers and serum. It allows for these solutions to penetrate deeper into your skin, helps hydrate the skin and removes any excess dirt or grime that wasn't cleaned off by your facial cleanser" (via Makeup).

The alcohol content in astringents makes the products work best for those who struggle with oily skin, as excess moisture is removed in the application process. If your skin is normal to dry, this can actually be detrimental to your skin's overall moisture level. If you're not sure, Cox notes that toner is the less abrasive choice, saying, "Astringents reduce the acid mantle in your skin as well as the pH balance. You can't 'overdose' on toner, but you can definitely 'overdose' on an astringent."

Next time you're at the beauty counter, don't hesitate to ask questions about which product is best for you. Don't forget to take your makeup off at night, drink water, and get yourself a nice toner or astringent.