So what is astringent/toner good for, anyway?

I’ve used astringent for my face because I have oily skin, but the skinny on that seems to be my face will overcompensate for the dryness, and make my skin even more oily. That is the exact opposite of the goal. If your skin is already dry, then using an astringent will make it drier. It seems like no matter what, astringent will make your skin worse.

So what on Earth is it good for? Making Neutrogena lots of money? What am I missing here?

When my dog had a “hot spot” (a moist skin lesion) my vet said to apply an astringent. Worked nicely (my gf had Seabreeze).

Other than that, I dunno.

When I worked for Elizabeth Arden we were told it was supposed to tighten your pores and “refresh” your skin.

So just apply it to your hot spots.

Ewww, no! I think it would buuuurn.

I forgot to mention this before,but make sure you are using a toner that is made for oily skin. Oily skin tends to be sensitive skin and it needs special treatment. The last thing you want to do is dry it out too much.

Ah, yes, to refresh my skin. My skin needs a good daily refreshing (whatever that is)!

I don’t even know what I used. I’ll check the bottle when I get home.

So is that seriously the purpose of astringent? Refreshing and pore-tightening?

I used to put it on mosquito bites. It worked pretty well to stop the itching, without the gunk associated with creams that are designed for putting on mosquito bites.

If you can find the right astringent, it will remove just enough oil from your face without throwing your sebaceous glands into overdrive. I’ve used astringent lotions of various kinds for years. I used to use Bonne Bell’s 10-0-6, until my skin dried out a bit, and then I had to switch to something less drying. At the ripe old age of 52, I’ve had to switch to gentle cleansing astringents, but I’ve also had quite a bit of electrolysis done, which also dries out the skin.

I tend to use astringent at least twice a day in the hotter months, and once a day in months with more moderate temperatures. When it’s particularly cold and dry, I can get away with just washing my face a couple of times a day. Generally I wash my face with warm water and soap or Noxzema, and then use an astringent. I also do another face washing in the shower, and use astringent afterwards every day. I never moisturize my face, but I do put lotion or cream on my legs and feet and hands, because that skin tends to get dry.

Mini bump.

Do you have a rough guide for how strong the astringent should be for which skin type? No more than 2% salicylic acid for oily skin, for example, or something of the sort? Sorry if I seem like a goober, but I’ve had this skin for some years now, and I still don’t know how to make it function properly.

You should apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer to your face after washing it with an acne soap. As you’ve noticed, the acne soap dries out your skin, which triggers the skin cells to produce more oil to replace what was lost, sometimes leading to overproduction.

There are certain lotions (Lubriderm and Cetaphil come to mind) which are engineered to not induce acne trouble, and are termed “non-comedogenic”. Go to your pharmacy and look for a product and see if applying it after washing your face helps.

I forgot to ask and missed the edit window, so here goes a new post. How often are you washing your face with acne soap, MeanOldLady? I’ve been told by a dermatologist not to use it more than twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. She said that any extra use would be counter-productive and cause my skin to become too dry, triggering the production of oil. There is also the possibility that your skin is more sensitive to these soaps than the average person, and so you need an extra measure (the lotion mentioned in my previous post) to restore your skin to healthy levels. Either that, or try a soap with less of the active ingredient.

I don’t use acne soap. I use regular soap, which does not dry my skin, but used an astringent daily, which did. I’ve stopped using astringent, but haven’t noticed any changes. It’s only been two weeks, though.

Sorry, but no, I don’t have a formula. I’ve just been going by trial and error.