Saturday, August 9, 2014

Skin Care: Toner & Astringent


Finally, we are nearing the end of our skin care series. I am sorry for the long delay. I have had some personal stuff going on, a sick little one, a fractured arm for my #3 child, and newborn baby bunnies being fed by a dropper! Yes, I am feeling like I am running from one moment of chaos to another moment of chaos. So picking up where we left off- here is a quick recap with some quick links, this is where we have been and where we are today.
  1. Exfoliate
  2. Cleanse
  3. Toner/Astringent
  4. Moisturize

In conversations with people, I have heard questions about if they should use Toner or Astringent and even if there is a difference. Yes there is, in fact a difference. Toner is a moisturizing and hydrating product used on the skin, while astringent tends to be a little more chemical based, and tends to be for drying/oil control. As I have said before I have normal combination skin. One of the most wonderful attributes of being a woman is the hormones. My skin can change based on stress levels, hydration, illness, and "time of the month". Yep, I have had a hysterectomy but I still have ovaries and I still have those things like ovulation, etc. Now that we are all nice and comfortable and all that private info has been exchanged we can proceed. :)

So, to make it simple- I use both astringent and toner. In the mornings, I use astringent. At night, I use toner. Here is my theory...

The reparation process in the skin is at its peak at night while we sleep. I believe hydration is a the key to helping this process along. So I choose to not dry my skin, as I tend to slather on the moisturizer.  Applying astringent helps to control oil by drying the skin. So drying out moisturizer at night doesn't make much sense, does it? Yep, those are my thoughts too.
So to recap, in the morning I use exfoliator, or a scrub. Your skin likes to be exfoliated in the morning, before noon. Then I cleanse, followed by astringent in the morning (oil control for the make up I apply) or toner in the evening. And I wrap it all up with moisturizer.

So let's talk astringent first. Again, let me emphasize that anything I am about to say is my opinion, not necessarily a fact (who knows, though, it could be). And again, my opinions are based off of my life experience. There are some really harsh over the counter astringents available for purchase. They start off with an alcohol base (skin drying), and then they add salicylic acid (acne control/skin drying), followed with "moisturizers". How does that work? How do you put products that moisturize and dry in the same bottle without canceling each other out? So, for me and the oily teenage pubescent skin I purchase for- you have to read labels! I believe that only people with really oily skin should use astringent containing acne preventers. For the rest of us it is too much. There are too many factors that lead to drying out the skin instead of replenishing it so we need to help our precious skin out as much as possible. I use, and have my kids use it, on their faces, necks, chest and back. My boys break out on their upper back and chest.
Here is the list of astringents I have tried, and would recommend. Just because you don't see it here, doesn't mean I have not used it. It means I am not recommending it.

Clinique Astringents: They have four varying levels of astringents. For sensitive, dry skin all the way to very oily. The last time I purchased a bottle it was $18. Yeah, this seems pricey, but when you buy it and it lasts about a year, they are worth it. And adding to this I have not had any adverse reactions like breaking out, it is a keeper in my book.

That's it. This is what I would recommend. I haven't used a lot that I would recommend. I also have lived primarily in the Western States so this might be a factor as well. But, of course here are recipes I make.

For he recipes below, I know using parts can be confusing. But lets say you decide 1 tablespoon is a "part" (equal to 3 tsp). Then your quarter part measurement would be 3/4 tsp.

Normal Skin Astringent
4 parts Witch Hazel
1 part Rubbing Alcohol
1 1/2 parts Lemon Juice
1/2 part Water

Mix all parts in a bottle and store at room temperature.  Before each use shake well. The lemon juice separates and this is normal. Squirt onto cotton ball and apply to face, neck, chest or back as needed.

Oily Skin Astringent
4 parts Witch Hazel
1 1/2 parts Rubbing Alcohol
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Water

Mix all parts in a bottle and store at room temperature.  Before each use shake well. The lemon juice separates and this is normal. Squirt onto cotton ball and apply to face, neck, chest or back as needed.

As for toner, there is one brand I would buy. It is the Murad Hydrating Toner . I haven't found any other brands that I would buy. But there is also a natural product I use for both me and my kids. And that is Witch Hazel . It has cleaning properties but also moisturizes, and for the three of us using it, it seems just right. Now of course I can't seem to leave a good thing alone, if I can improve on it. :) Which for our family, I have. Otherwise this post would be over. I have created some toners for our family that seem to be working. So I thought I would share them with you.

Dry/ Sensitive Skin Toner
2 parts Witch Hazel
1/4 part Aloe Vera Gel
1/4 part Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 part Water

Mix in a bottle and store at room temperature. Squirt onto cotton ball and apply to face, neck, chest or back as needed.

Normal Skin Toner
2 1/2 parts Witch Hazel
1/4 part Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/4 part

Mix all parts in a bottle and store at room temperature.  Before each use shake well. The lemon juice separates and this is normal. Squirt onto cotton ball and apply to face, neck, chest or back as needed.
Thanks for stopping by! 

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