What is an Astringent & how does it differ from Toner?

Find out everything you need to know about astringents and toner in this helpful guide including what they're used for, what they do and how they differ.

What is an Astringent?

Astringents are water-based skincare products that usually contain alcohol. When applied to the face, they cause the tightening or contracting of soft tissues, which in turn cleanses the skin, reduces excess oiliness and shrinks the appearance of enlarged pores. For these reasons, astringents are often recommended for oily skin.

But astringents can sometimes be drying, causing irritation and flare-ups in sensitive skin. Read on to find out more about astringents, what they do and how they compare with Charlotte’s Glow Toner, a non astringent toner.

Wardah model shot after Glow Toner

What are Astringents Used For?

Used as the second step after cleansing in your daily skincare ritual, an astringent is essentially a stronger and more potent cleanser. Astringents work by removing any excess oil, makeup and debris that your cleanser may have missed while also reducing the look of your pores.

What Do Astringents Do?

‘Astringent’ is an adjective that means ‘to cause the contraction of skin cells’. Astringents, therefore, help to tighten and shrink the appearance of pores, while cleansing the skin and removing any excess oiliness. Because they can dry out your skin, they are often recommended for those with oily or acne-prone skin but aren’t advised for those with sensitive skin.

Astringent vs Toner

Astringents and toners are both water-based products used as the second step in a skincare ritual (directly after cleansing) to target irritation and oiliness for a FRESH and RADIANT-LOOKING complexion.

The difference between toners and astringents comes down to their ingredients and effects. Astringents almost always contain alcohol and so can often have a drying effect on the skin. Because of their potency, they can sometimes cause more irritation and flare-ups when used on sensitive skin compared to non astringent toner.

Glow Toner 150 closed packshot for blog

Charlotte’s ICONIC Glow Toner is a gentle, hydrating, non astringent toner solution for your skin while also providing the same benefits that astringents do. Completely acid and alcohol-free, it resurfaces your skin’s surface, refines the look of your pores and floods your complexion with hydration with its many hydrating ingredients like sodium hyaluronate. It also contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that improves the overall look of your skin tone for a SMOOTH and BALANCED looking complexion. When used as part of your regular skincare ritual, you’ll benefit from its plumping effects and a GLEAMING GLOW.

One of the best things about Charlotte’s Glow Toner is that it’s suitable for ALL SKIN TYPES and vegan-friendly. So if you have oily skin, you’ll get all the hydrating perks while also benefitting from a more balanced-looking complexion with less shine.

Apply Charlotte’s Glow Toner AM and PM every day to dry, cleansed skin, using a cleansing pad and avoiding the eye area. Then continue with the rest of your skincare ritual for a RADIANT-LOOKING complexion.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.