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3 for 1 lotions, astringents, and more

Michelle at Vidafrugal asks this three part question:

1. Lotions: if I already wash my face, why do I need lotion?

2. Astringent: they smell like alcohol, could I just rub alcohol on my face to remove impurities?

3. Deodorants: Why are men’s deodorants less expensive than women’s? It makes no sense to me!

The Right Brain Responds:

Michelle – You ask several good questions. Let’s get right to them!

Facial lotion

While washing removes oil, dirt, and makeup residue, it can also dry out your skin. That’s because the surfactants, or cleansing agents, in most standard facial washes do strip some of the natural moisturizing oils from your skin. (We’ll have to do a future post to fully explain the difference between good and bad facial washes.) Lotions, on the other hand are designed to put oil and other materials back on your skin to moisturize it. So you may need to use a cleaner AND a lotion, depending on how dry your skin is.

Alcoholic astringents

The simple answer is yes you can, but you probably shouldn’t.

Historically, astringents have been made from alcohol solutions of witch hazel, a natural extract that can make your skin feel tight and firm. For example, consider Olay Daily Care Refreshing Toner . It consists primarily of water, alcohol and witch hazel distillate. But modern astringents have moved away from this approach due to the drying effects of the alcohol.

You could also look at Nivea Visage Alcohol-Free Moisturizing Toner – it’s an alcohol free toner that uses glycerin, a castor oil derivative, and a polymer to do give your skin the same kind of refreshed feeling. We’re not saying that one kind of formula is better than the other, we’re just trying to inform you about your choices. You’ll have to experiment to find out which kind of formulation works for you, but hopefully we’ve helped you understand how astringents are different from just using plain alcohol.

Deodorants for men and women

Even though there maybe some aesthetic differences, the active ingredients are the same regardless of gender. So they really shouldn’t be that much different in price. Let’s chalk that up to the vagaries of marketing!