Using toner or astringent isn’t strictly vital to a skincare routine. Each is designed to remove any remaining residue after you’ve cleansed your face. The similarities end there, however, because these products have differing ingredients and uses. Know the characteristics of each in your quest to achieve healthy, glowing skin.

The Essential Difference

Toners are typically witch hazel or water-based and contain minimal or no alcohol. Alcohol is the main component in an astringent. Because many refer to both interchangeably, check the ingredients so that you know what you’re buying, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin. If alcohol is listed as the first ingredient on the label, the product is most likely an astringent.

Choosing a Product

The alcohol content in astringent makes it drying to the skin, which is beneficial for anyone with oily skin. The alcohol actually penetrates the excessive oil and helps normalize your complexion. For normal or normal-to-dry skin, alcohol can be too harsh, drying it out and making it vulnerable to infection. It’s better to use a toner, which is more likely to balance the pH of your skin and infuse it with light moisture. Apply toner or astringent on a cotton ball and swipe it over your face. Typically, applying it once a day at night is sufficient, although you can apply it morning and night if you have oily skin.