What is the difference between an astringent and a toner?

I know many people out there’s probably read an article or two about the differences between an astringent and a corrective toner. In fact I think I am probably one of those people who’s been unknowingly using the wrong product for the past 10 years. So maybe this post can help you or maybe you’ll learn nothing out of this other than some laughs because you don’t use either of the products.

So first thing first, definitions.

I’m pretty sure most of you out know what both of these words mean but just for this post’s sake, I’m going to define it real quick. (Definitions courtesy of dictionary.com)

Astringent: a cosmetic that cleans the skin 
            and constricts the pores.
Toner:      a cosmetic preparation that reduces 
            the oiliness of the skin

From the definitions above, one would think that they could tell which product to use for their skin. From my past experience, I can tell you that if you are suffering from oily skin, black heads, and acne and you’re using toner, you are using the wrong product. You’ll be like, but the definition says. Ignore the definition because the result is exactly the opposite for the toner.

Let’s just say toner for those people with normal perfect acne-free skin and astringent is for people like me, oily, black heads, and acne-filled yucky skin.

For one thing, toner is exactly what the word implies, it tones. It opens up your pores and lets them breathe. And then what?! It doesn’t return to its former glory. Instead, not only it leaves a layer of shiny oil on your face but you now also have these large pores just waiting for dirt and dust to fill it all over again! I don’t mean to alarm you but that is how my pores got big in the first place. The consistent use of corrective facial toner!

About two years ago, I finally uncovered the truth. I was at Walmart, looking at beauty products as usual, trying to find one that’ll actually heal my incredibly imperfect pimply skin, like there is such a thing. Anyway, I came across several brands of astringents right next to the toners. At the time, I did not know what an astringent was nor did I know what it meant let alone what it did. So I bought the toner, you know, for safety reason.  That night, I punched in the word “astringent” on Google. For the article, click here.

I was like what??? I’ve been using the wrong product for years?! Long story short, I exchanged the toner for the astringent the very next day and can I just say, I made the right choice for once. The astringent really works, not only does it gets all the dirt and nasty stuff out of my pores but it does wonder for acne too!

I know, I know, I sound like a saleslady right now but it’s true. It did wonders for me. It returned my pore-size to its former glory and the best part, it was cheaper than the toner!

Be warned though, when using astringent for the first time, it could sting just a little, depending on the severity of the situation since it contains alcohol. Don’t give up though or you won’t get to see the great end result.

Here’s what I do:

1. After brushing teeth and washing face at night and in the morning, I apply the astringent with a cotton ball but often, I would use an ultra-fine scrub first to thoroughly clean my face.

My current most preferred face cleanser and that is a lot coming from me
My current most preferred face cleanser and that is a lot coming from me

2. Then after cleansing face, let it dry and apply astringent with a cotton ball. You don’t need a lot, just enough to cover the top surface of the cotton ball.


Never apply astringent with your hands, it’ll leave your hand dry and rough as a sandpaper. Also apply astringent only on the places that is oily, regularly gets black heads, and acne. Don’t apply it on your cheeks unless there’s giant pimple on it.

This is the best so far and I'm sticking with it.
This is the best so far and I’m sticking with it.

3. Apply the stuff to minimizes acne scar appearances and maybe, if acne get too bad, put some acne cream. Finally, the final touch, a dab of face moisturizer on both cheeks, do avoid the places that had just been doused with astringent though.

Fades Acne Scar
Maximum Strength Acne Cream
Face moisturizer, the final touch
Face moisturizer, the final touch

I hope you’ve found this article enjoyable and somewhat helpful and educational but that is as much advice about treating oily acne skin. After all, I’m still experimenting.

For those with questions like, where did you get it? I have one word, Walmart. Okay, the acne scar fading cream is from the drug store but I’m sure they sell them at Walmart too.

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