Getting a smooth shave sometimes also relies on how well you take care of your skin, especially after shaving. Skincare helps prep your skin for your next shave, and one essential you should not miss out on is using natural astringents or finding the best toner for men.
Astringents are water-based solutions with a formulation that aims to replace a typical cleanser, hence its potent antibacterial properties. After shaving, you can use it as a toner to help shrink pores and disinfect your skin, reducing post-shave irritations.
If you are unfamiliar with astringents and where to find one, you are in luck. In this article, you will learn more about it and familiarize yourself with different natural astringents for your aftershave needs.
- Astringent vs. Toner
- Natural Astringents
- How to Use Astringent for Shaving
- Natural Astringent Benefits
Astringent vs. Toner
The realm of skincare is often left untapped by some gents. There are so many terms that you need to familiarize yourself with. Do not even get started with the ever-famous and ever-confusing ten-step skincare routine that social media is raving about.
Case in point, you may not even know what a toner is, but you may be familiar with astringents. You will get confused if you are new to this game. And it would be best to know what the difference is between astringent and toner.
The factor that makes an astringent unique from a toner is its potency. Astringents are more potent, hence great for managing excessive sebum production for people with oily and acne-prone skin.
Meanwhile, toners are more versatile, and more gentle to the skin since it does not contain alcohol all the time. There are also different kinds of toners for different skin types and purposes, including skin lightening, exfoliating, and more.
Since most men have oily skin without much sensitivity, astringents make a great aftershave essential.
Astringents’ main ingredients are alcohol, citric acid, salicylic acid, and witch hazel. Most ready-made astringents have them, but sometimes they also use synthetic alternatives for the components.
It is not that hard to make your astringent at home. You can guarantee that all ingredients are safe and natural for your skin. That said, it would be better for you to make one yourself.
Here are the natural astringents you can use:
There are astringents that target acne-prone and oily skin types. These often have benzoyl peroxide (BP), an antiseptic chemical that can dehydrate and cause peeling to the skin in high concentrations. It can also affect your natural pH levels (or the acidity of your skin) and its sebum production.
Tea tree extract from the Australian-native tree Melaleuca alternifolia is an excellent natural antiseptic in place of benzoyl peroxide. Researchers studied its efficacy in treating several skin ailments. They found it is as effective as benzoyl peroxide in reducing acne despite the effects not being as immediate as the latter.
This study, on the other hand, explains why tea tree oil works as an astringent. Tea tree has a handful of beneficial terpenes, which gives the plant its distinct aroma and alcohols. The study also connotes that tea tree extracts have compounds that give off excellent antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
Not all kinds of alcohol are suitable for the skin on your face, and some can even impose significant damage. Three of what you need to be on the lookout for are SD alcohol 40, denatured, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohols.
Manufacturers add these alcohols to their products because of the cooling effect that can seem refreshing to those with oily and acne-prone skin. In contrast, it tends to strip away the skin's natural oils, hence causing major dehydration.
Witch hazel is an accessible alternative to alcohol. Omaha-based board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Joel Schlessinger, MD, says in an interview with Prevention, “Its unique properties offer medicinal anti-inflammatory and anti-viral qualities that are often used as a topical botanical in skincare.”
Schlessinger also adds that the tannins in witch hazel provide its natural astringent properties that can absorb excess oil and shrink pores, making it a popular skincare ingredient.
Store-bought astringent often exudes enticing fragrances, which is an excellent discerning factor if you use it as an aftershave. The problem is natural fragrances are hard to come by, hence why some manufacturers use synthetic fragrances. When you make a personal astringent at home, you can use essential oils that you may already have on hand.
These are the top 10 essential oils for shaving that you can add to your DIY astringent:
- Grapefruit Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Sandalwood Oil
- Vanilla Oil
- Lime Oil
- Peppermint Oil
Here is a friendly reminder: do not use these oils directly on your skin. These are potent extracts, meaning a little goes a long way. Always dilute it in a carrier oil or incorporate it in a shaving oil mix instead.
How to Use Astringent for Shaving
Because of its cooling and antiseptic properties and its ability to constrict pores, astringents are excellent as an aftershave essential. Using it as such is easy. Follow these steps to know how to use astringents for shaving:
- Wipe your face with a hot towel after shaving to remove excess lather and fallen hair debris.
- Splash cold water onto your skin to freshen it up and help calm down any irritation that is already happening. Then, pat it gently with a clean cloth to dry.
- Put a few drops of your astringent on your palm, rub them together, and then apply it on your face. You can also dampen a cotton ball with the astringent and use it as a toner. In that way, you can remove excess dirt and disinfect your post-shave skin.
Three steps—that is it. Do not forget to apply an aftershave balm or shaving oil to moisturize your skin since astringents can be drying.
Natural Astringent Benefits
The skin on the face is sensitive and delicate, and shaving does stress the skin out. According to the expert dermatology consultants at Shorthills Derm, “shaving affects the lipid layer of your epidermis (skin), which is responsible for keeping moisture in the skin’s tissues.” When this happens, the skin dries out and becomes more prone to irritations, hence razor burns, bumps, and in-grown hair.
Using natural astringents after shaving lets your skin enjoy the following benefits:
- shrink the appearance of pores
- tighten skin
- cleanse irritants from the skin
- reduce inflammation
- reduce acne
It closes up your pores and disinfects them. As a result, you prevent irritations, blemishes, and acne that can happen when dirt and grime mix with your skin’s natural oils.
You can find natural astringents in Naked Armor’s aftershave collections. You can partner that with our trusty and classy King Arthur Gold Straight Razor Kit, inclusive of a reliable and durable King Arthur Straight Razor, leather strop, badger-friendly shaving brush, organic shaving soap, and more, and you will guarantee to have your shaving experience as smooth as it can be. Add to Cart below.
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