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Dryness/Flaking - Tried an astringent?

Obviously there are tons of posts on here about dryness and flaking, so a lot of people are struggling with it. I recently made a long post in a thread about doing the regimen in the winter and heavily moisturizing to keep away flakes. It's working pretty well, but my skin isn't quite PERFECT. It's definitely very improved, but sometimes I still notice tightness and dryness. I would like my skin to just feel nice and balanced all the time and not have to worry about it. I was wondering if anyone has tried an astringent with the regimen? I know I read Dan say somewhere that an astringent is unnecessary, but I was thinking of giving it a shot. I am a long time user and my skin is almost 100% clear (when I stick to the regimen; if I go off it, I still break out), so I think it's safe for me to try out this step. I've been looking around and was considering using one of the following:

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Pros: This is their most gentle astringent, for "dry, delicate skins." It has good reviews from people with sensitive skin, and it's alcohol free.

Cons: More expensive, can only buy from Clinique

Witch Hazel

Pros: Natural, can be purchased anywhere, inexpensive

Cons: Some reviews say it's harsh and drying

These pros and cons are just from what I've read, I haven't tried either of these products yet. Anyone who has tried either, any information you can provide will be much appreciated.

If I start using an astringent, I will definitely still moisturize thoroughly. I'm sure there's a post somewhere on here about astringents already, but I tried the search function last night and this morning and just got error messages. Thanks for any advice or experience anyone can share with me.

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I would think an astringent would just cause more dryness.

Have you tried using an AHA in place of your normal moisturizer? I think that is supposed to be good for flaking.

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I use witch hazel a lot, and would definitely recommend it to remove physical contaminants (dirt, oil, etc.) but I haven't found that it improves dryness.

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I think the best kind of toner to try is milk. Yes, normal milk you buy at the grocery store. Take a cotton ball and put a bit of milk into it (cold from the fridge) then use as you would a regular toner. The reason I say this is because it has lactic acid which can help bring out newer skin cells and thus help with dry, scaly skin. It's also moisturizing and gentle. No need to buy a new product that would just have alcohol and other ingredients in it, and would cost more $$$.

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