Astringents and toners aren’t necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but they contain some of the most irritating ingredients – and contain them more commonly than other types of personal-care products.
Paula’s Choice calls out alcohols and menthol in particular. Such alcohols include ethanol, denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol and SD alcohol.
The National Rosacea Society counts such ingredients among the most common irritants for people with the skin condition rosacea.
The society suggests first testing new products on a patch of skin on an area like the neck. If a product irritates you, make a note of its ingredients.
Regardless of whether you have rosacea, note where irritants like alcohols appear in an ingredient list. Federal labeling laws require manufacturers to list ingredients “in descending order of dominance,” meaning the first ingredient constitutes a greater portion of the product than any other ingredient.