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Astringents can transform your pores—here’s what you need to know





If you remember the 1990s, you're probably familiar with astringents. Finally, Sea Breeze's Astringent and Clinique's Purifying Lotion are right on trend, leaving skin squeaky clean with just a few swipes.


This high-potency, alcohol-based formula is actually a staple among teenagers and is said to curb breakouts. Even today, some followers still swear by astringents, especially for tightening pores and absorbing excess oil.

Today's formulas are smarter than yesterday's, harnessing the power of skin care advancements and taking into account the growing interest in protecting the skin barrier. Read on to learn everything you need to know about these


modern astringents

including who should use them and how they differ from traditional toners, straight from board-certified dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, M.D., director of Nursing Practitioner Jodi LoGerfo, DNP. What are astringents?


Use an astringent immediately after cleansing to tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, explains LoGerfo. They are usually water-based and are designed to remove excess dirt, makeup, oil and residue left

behind after cleansing.


Because astringents are designed to remove oil, Hirsch says, they often make the skin feel tight—after all, the word "astringent" refers to substances that cause skin cells and body tissue to shrink. Given the intended effects

it's no surprise that alcohol, salicylic acid, and witch hazel are common astringent ingredients. Both experts agree that astringents are particularly beneficial for people with oily or acne-prone skin. People with sensitive or


dry skin may find astringents too harsh.

Astringents and toners. Colloquially, "astringent" and "toner" are often used interchangeably. In fact, they are slightly different. Astringents belong to the category of toners; in other words, all astringents are toners, but


not all toners are astringents.

While astringents are specifically designed to cleanse and tighten pores, toners also have many benefits. To be clear, these benefits may include, but are not limited to, cleaning and tightening pores—some are hydrating, some


are exfoliating, and so on.

Because toner has so many benefits, it's more versatile than astringents—everyone can benefit from toner. It's just a matter of finding the right formula. What are the benefits of astringents?


As mentioned above, astringents have some key benefits. Summarized as follows: Cleansing the skin: According to LoGerfo, astringents help remove excess dirt, makeup, residue, and grime that remain on the skin after cleansing.

Remove excess oil: Hirsch tells us that astringents absorb excess oil and remove it from the skin. Relieve inflammation: By tightening and shrinking the skin, astringents help relieve inflammation. This is especially helpful for


people with acne-prone skin who may be struggling with inflamed areas.

Tighten and shrink pores: As mentioned earlier, astringents cause skin cells and body tissues to shrink. LoGerfo explains that when applied topically, it causes pores to narrow and appear smaller.


Reduce breakouts: Since excess oil and dirt can lead to acne breakouts, Rogoff says astringents can ultimately reduce the likelihood of breakouts. Possible side effects of astringents

LoGerfo says astringents can cause a burning or stinging sensation when applied, which can lead to redness and increased sensitivity.


Astringents are designed to absorb oil, but depending on the strength of the product and the amount of oil in your skin, this can end up causing the skin to peel, causing inflammation and possibly even peeling.

Hirsch tells us they can also cause severe dryness and irritation, especially if they contain alcohol. In general, alcohol-based astringents are particularly risky. But even alcohol-free products can have potentially damaging


effects on the skin.

For people with acne, strong astringents can further irritate breakouts, especially if you have dry skin. This can lead to peeling, additional redness and inflammation, warns Logefor.


Don't get us wrong: Astringents aren't all bad—they're just not suitable for certain skin types and concerns. Both doctors recommend avoiding astringents if you have an active skin infection, psoriasis, eczema or other skin

conditions that cause broken, inflamed skin. Caution is also recommended if you have sensitive or excessively dry skin. How to use astringents. LoGerfo explains that astringents are typically used after cleansing, sprayed


directly on the face, or wiped onto the skin with a soaked cotton pad.

Since astringents can be very drying, it's safest to incorporate them into your daily routine every other day. From there you can reduce or increase the frequency as needed.


If you spray or spray the product on your face, wait about a minute after application to allow the product to properly absorb into the skin and dry. To avoid irritation, be sure to follow up with a moisturizer (and SPF in the

morning) to soothe and protect your skin. last snack Skin care is not a one-size-fits-all approach; what works for one person may not work for another. With this in mind, astringents are not for everyone. However, if you have


excess oil or have acne-prone skin, you should consider adding one to your daily routine. Start slowly and pay attention to your skin's signals.



























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