Toners help to make sure that your skin is clean, removing any last traces of your cleanser or makeup. Further, if you use a cotton ball or a spray applicator, a toner helps your skin to retain its pH balance.
Skin is naturally acidic and a normal pH is 5.5.
Cleansers, however, are usually alkaline, which can leave skin unbalanced. If your skin feels dry after cleansing, a toner will help restore hydration. People with oily skin can find that their cleanser is actually stripping their skin; if the skin is left dry or stripped, its natural defenses will take over and the oil glands will produce more oil.
An astringent does much of the same as a toner, though these usually have more oil absorbing ingredients. They are not about hydrating the skin but about balancing the oil productions. Many astringents will have “pore minimising” on the label.
How a product minimises pores is by temporarily constricting the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of larger pores. Oily skin will tend to have larger pores.
Choose a toner if your skin is normal to dry. A toner has a humectant ingredient that helps retain water in your skin.
Choose an astringent if your skin is more on the oily side. An astringent has oil absorbing properties, and many have anti-bacterial properties.
By making sure you choose correctly between toner or astringent, will leave your skin balanced and improve your results from your skin care products