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Astringents are skin care products that are designed to tighten the skin by constricting the pores (1). They contain alcohol or other drying ingredients that can strip away oil from the skin, (2) making them good for oily skin and not so good for dry skin.
Experts elaborate that individuals with dry skin should focus on using hydrating products such as moisturizers and serums specially formulated for dry skin (3) instead of astringents, although there may be situations where individuals with dry skin can use a mild, alcohol-free astringent on specific oily areas.
Continue reading to take a little deeper look into astringents.
When it comes to dry skin, astringents are generally not recommended for many reasons, but they can still help in some cases.
- Astringents tighten the skin by constricting the pores, (1) but they often contain drying ingredients that remove oil from the skin. (2)
- Dry skin lacks moisture and has a compromised barrier function, making it more sensitive and prone to irritation from astringents.
- Using an astringent on dry skin can disrupt the natural oil balance and worsen dryness, leading to increased flakiness, tightness, and redness.
- Researchers have shared that people with dry skin should use products that do not lead to more dryness but instead should contain humectants or emollients that may not be found in astringents commonly. (4)
Research has shown that astringency from food compounds is associated with drying and roughening of the mouth epithelia (cells that line your mouth), which indicates how astringents can also cause excessive dryness, which is bad for those who already have dry skin. (5)
Some individuals with dry skin may experience oily patches or greasiness, especially in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). (6) In such cases, experts advise the use of a mild and alcohol-free astringent specifically formulated for dry skin but only on the oil regions and sparingly.
The targeted application of astringent can help remove excess oil in oily areas without overly drying out the surrounding dry skin.
Astringents are skin care products that are used to tighten and tone the skin. They work by constricting the skin cells and causing the tissues to contract.
This tightening effect has several benefits for the skin, such as reducing the appearance of pores and giving the skin a smooth and firm appearance.
Astringents often contain ingredients with astringent properties, such as witch hazel, calamine, or alcohol. These ingredients help to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the skin, providing a deep-cleansing effect. (1)(2)
However, it’s important to note that astringents are generally more suitable for oily or acne-prone skin types, as they can be too drying for individuals with dry or sensitive skin.
Here are some recipes you can try at home to make your own mild astringent:
- Green Tea Astringent: Steep green tea bags in hot water, let the tea cool, and then apply it to dry skin using a cotton pad.
- Cucumber-Aloe Vera Astringent: Blend cucumber slices with aloe vera gel, and apply the mixture to dry skin. (7)
- Apple Cider Vinegar Toner: Dilute apple cider vinegar with water, and apply the mixture to dry skin using a cotton pad.
- Chamomile Astringent: Brew chamomile tea, let it cool, and then apply the tea to dry skin using a cotton pad.
How to Use an Astringent for Dry Skin?
Follow these steps to use an astringent on dry skin:
- Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Put a small amount of astringent on a cotton pad.
- Gently apply the astringent to the oily areas of your skin. Avoid applying it to sensitive or irritated areas.
- Let it dry naturally; don’t rinse it off.
- Follow up with a moisturizer suitable for dry skin.
Alternative to Astringent for Those with Dry Skin
- Hyaluronic acid
What are the potential side effects of using astringents on dry skin?
Dryness, tightness, and potential irritation.
Do astringents provide any benefits to dry skin?
Generally, astringents do not offer significant benefits for dry skin.
Are there exceptions when astringents can be used on dry skin?
In cases of combination skin, individuals may use mild and alcohol-free astringents on oily areas.
Can astringents worsen dry skin conditions?
Yes, astringents can potentially worsen dry skin.
Can astringents be too harsh for dry skin?
Yes, astringents can be harsh and drying for already dry skin.
What ingredients should I look for in skin care products for dry skin?
Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and natural oils.
Astringents are generally not recommended for individuals with dry skin. The drying and tightening properties of astringents can exacerbate the dryness.
If you have dry skin, it is generally best to focus on hydrating and moisturizing products.