Which astringents are best for my acne-prone skin?

Which astringents are best for my acne-prone skin?

We hear this question quite often. Astringents are substances (both made by nature and by chemical synthesis) that have a special property of shrinking or constricting the tissue. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they are used in the beauty industry to shrink pores and smooth the skin.

For the same reason, many popular acne products also contain astringents. The problem begins when they contain powerful chemicals that have a tendency to “overdo” what you would expect an astringent to do. In some cases, the wrong astringent or the wrong use/application of an astringent may have an adverse impact on your skin’s health. Some potentially harmful ingredients found in astringents include salicylic acid, peroxide and glycolic acid.

For acne-prone skin, it is more effective and safer to use an astringent with natural-based ingredients. Natural astringent compounds are found in lemons, pomegranates, mint, chamomile, rose petals, cucumber and green tea, to name a few.

Here’s a look at two astringents with natural ingredients.

Chamomile, Mint & Lemon Astringent:

This astringent works well for oily skin. Lemons contain lots of Vitamin C that serves as a powerful antioxidant and will also brighten the skin. Chamomile reduces inflammation and works as a mild anti-bacterial agent. Mint is a great astringent and also contains antioxidants. All of the ingredients that you use to make your home-made astringents should be free from chemicals, pesticides and impurities.

- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
- 4 cups water
- lemon juice from medium or large lemon (no seeds!)

Combine the mint, chamomile and water in a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes and then strain the mixture and dispose of the leaves. Add the lemon juice. The liquid should be stored in the refrigerator. You can use it twice a day by patting it liberally with a cotton ball or pad all over your face and neck. Let it dry on your skin. Store the liquid for up to a week in the refrigerator. Dispose the mixture if it gets cloudy.

Rose Astringent:

This astringent is beneficial for all skin types, including those with dry and sensitive skin. The first mention of rose astringent comes from the 10th century in Persia.

- fresh (and possibly free of pesticides) rose petals from approximately 2 roses. Try to find the best quality and freshest roses possible. You can use those from your garden or purchase some from your local flower shop that may be selling them for weddings.
- 2 cups of distilled water

Put the petals in a medium bowl. Heat the water until it starts to boil and pour it slowly over the rose petals. Steep for thirty minutes and strain the solution, leaving the petals outside of the water. Pour the solution in a bottle and store it in the refrigerator. Pat liberally over your face and neck (also upper chest and arms if needed) twice a day. Let it dry on your skin. Make a fresh batch every 48 hours and keep any unused portion in the refrigerator.

And remember, these astringents won’t sting your skin, which is not a good sign! Enjoy, share with friends, and let us know what you think of them in the comments below.

With the promise of clear skin,
Dr. A

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