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- So ever since I've been cleaning my brushes my acne has basically disappeared on my cheek area and my face is definitely less oily however, I work out every day and I work at a restaurant where I'm constantly around grease...before I was my face I usually put "deep cleaning astringent" on my face to get all the extra bacteria and makeup off. Is this okay to do? Or has anyone had any bad experiences with it?

- I was out all day today with a little makeup and decided to use it a few hours before I clean my face. I don't want to be sitting in oil all night but I don't want to wash my face just yet either...any feedback would be much appreciated! heheh thanks!

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I would say it is only okay for Oily types, but still would caution for those b/c stripping your skin of oil will possibly cause it to go into oil production overtime. What exactly are you using as deep astringent?

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Question: I always use moisturiser, but have also been told I need to use a toner as well. Is this really necessary?

Answer: No, in a word. Many of us love the feeling of freshness that toner delivers. It feels satisfying to wipe some cotton wool over the face and see it come away grimy. But in reality, toners are an entirely optional part of your beauty regime - an area to cut back and save money, if you choose.

Beauty guru Eve Lom insists that whatever your skin type, if you are cleansing properly, you don't need toner. In fact, if you have oily or blemished skin, overuse of a strong toner can be a bad thing. Leading facialist Amanda Lacey says, 'The biggest beauty mistake oily-skinned women make is constantly trying to swipe away oil. If you keep stripping your skin, oil production goes into overdrive, worsening the problem'. Once you begin to use a toner, it becomes a vicious cycle. 'Harsh astringents disturb the pH level, or the acid balance in the skin, while removing important natural oils,' says Lacey. She also points out that the natural combination of oil and sweat forms a useful barrier that protects our faces from bacteria, pollution and other environmental assaults. It also helps prevent the skin's own moisture from evaporating.

If you do decide to use a toner or 'skin freshener', then look for one that's labelled 'gentle' or alcohol-free, as alcohol is ultra-drying to the skin. Avoid any product that refers to itself as 'astringent' or 'refining', as these tend to contain alcohol. Alternatively, scan the ingredients list (usually in tiny, eyesight-straining print), or if you're at a beauty counter, ask the consultant's advice. If you've been using a harsh toner thinking it will help blemishes or oiliness, you should try switching to a gentler version. You'll probably find that your skin settles down as it rebalances. If shine is a problem, try a mattifying lotion or oil-blotting tissues, available at your local chemist.

One of the simplest, cheapest toners is rosewater, also available at most chemists. 'It has a lightly hydrating and protecting action,' explains Lacey. Other good bets include Simple Pore Purifying Toning Gel (£3.99 for 150 ml), Marks & Spencer Formula Skin Conditioning Toner (£4 for 250 ml), Vichy Hydra-Fresh Detoxifying Toner (£8 for 200 ml), Clarins Toning Lotion without Alcohol (£13 for 200 ml) and Boots' Cucumber Skin Fresh (£1.15 for 150 ml).

An alternative, meanwhile, is to use facial spritzers like E'SPA Floral Spafresh (£16.95 for 200 ml; call 01252 741 600 for mail order). Givenchy Swisscare Regulating Mist (£18.50 for 125 ml) and Neal's Yard Remedies Facial Spritzers in Zest, Calm and Renew (£9.50 for 100 ml; ring 020 7627 1949 for stockists or 0161 831 7875 for mail order). These gentle, pump-action toners offer one distinct advantage over the bottled version: not only can they be applied onto bare skin, but sprayed over make-up, too, for an anywhere, anytime feeling of freshness.

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Guest missyjean130

Personally,my skin can't tolerate anything with alcohol in it. And I disagree with a previous post,I think toners are a great part of a regime, but it should be appropriate with your skin-type. I personally use apple cider vinegar,it's gentle and I feel it's important to exfoliate =P

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