Health Topics

Healthy Living

May 2012
Astringent Arrests All That Is Ugly
Shahnaz Husain
An astringent helps to tighten the pores and reduce oiliness of the skin. It also plays a significant role in toning and refining the skin texture. An astringent typically works as a skin tonic for oily skin and is useful especially during the hot and humid season. Skin toners for dry skin, though, contain very mild or no astringents.

An astringent should be applied after cleansing the face. It completes the cleansing process and removes the last traces of dirt and impurities. Astringent also improves blood circulation to the skin surface. It adds a glow to your face and is very useful in treating dull, oily and clogged skin.

Astringents From Your Kitchen
  • Cucumber has an astringent effect. Apply cucumber juice on the face and wash it with plain water after 15 minutes.
  • Or mix cucumber juice with some rose water to work as an astringent toner.
  • Rose or lavender based skin tonics also make good astringent toners.
  • Green tea too works well as an astringent toner. Soak green tea leaves in hot water for half an hour. Cool and strain and use the liquid for skin toning.
  • Mashed banana or apricot pulp work as natural astringents. They close the pores and tighten the skin. They suit all skin types.
  • Tomato juice can also be applied on oily skin for an astringent effect. It improves complexion.
  • Dry some orange and lemon peels in the sun. Powder and add to face masks. They work as astringents to close and tighten the skin pores.
Steps-wise Application
  • Soak cotton wool pads with a skin tonic.
  • Wipe and pat the skin.
  • Stroke the skin gently, with outward and upward movements on the cheeks. Each movement should end at the temple.
  • Apply gentle pressure at the temples.
  • On the forehead, begin at the centre and go outwards – again ending at the temples.
  • Be gentle around the eyes.
  • For the chin, use circular movements.
Figure Out What Is For You
Some astringents may be harsh on the skin. If your skin stings or you experience a burning sensation for more than a minute, you should not be using the astringent as it is. Instead, you may mix it with rose water in equal quantities and leave it to cool in a refrigerator. Applying the cold or cooled mixture of rose water and astringent is refreshing and will work effectively as a skin toner.
Shahnaz Husain is Prominent Indian entrepreneur best known for herbal cosmetics, New Delhi.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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