Is it okay if your toner or astringent that has alcohol in it? What do toners even do? Are astringents the same thing? Many patients have been confused between the differences in astringents and toners, but for all intents and purposes, they are the same. Toners are used to remove things from the skin, and the toner itself isn't a chemical we put on the skin. If you want your skin care products [like sunscreen, antioxidants, exfoliants or any other active ingredients] to have the same effect everytime we use them, you have to make sure your skin is prepared and ready every time. To prepare your skin for effective skin care product usage, you use cleansers and toners to remove things from the skin, such as dirt, oil or other impurities. After you use the cleanser, the toner or the astringent can be used to wipe away anything else that's been left.