Make Your Own: Toner

So,  about a week has passed since we looked at the list of things in a supposedly natural, basic cream, for sensitive skin. Low and behold there were several very nasty things in it. So over the next few posts I am going to show and tell you how to make some products for your skin all on your own- products with no nasties!

Today I’m going to show you how to make a gentle toning water for you skin. This is good for just about all skin types, it is antiseptic, healing, and calming.

Lavender and Rose Toner

You will need: (if you can try and use as much organic ingredients as possible, as what you put on your skin absorbs into your body, just like food does, and pesticides are very unfriendly to your bodies ecosystem!)

Dried Lavender

Dried roses/rose petals


Kettle (or something to boil water in)

Tea strainer (or a sieve if you don’t have a tea strainer)

Teacup/mug/pyrex container and a plate to cover

Sterilized bottle with atomizer (spray top)


Optional Ingredients: Strong high proof alcohol (like vodka), and Aloe Vera Juice

This is the toner I use myself, lavender water is fantastic for combination/oily skin types for its toning and antiseptic properties. Additionally, it increases cell growth which in turn helps heal the skin (for example is there is scaring from say old blemishes, etc.). The benefits of antiseptic toning water are especially noted for anybody living in a city with pollutants bombarding your skin all day! Also, the toning effect of the lavender will help tighten the skin, closing pores after use which in turn will help prevent excess dirt and substances being trapped into your pores! However my skin actually tends to the dry side of things so I add rose water to this mixture to get my perfect balance of hydration and toning. Rose is extremely hydrating and great for dry-normal skin. It helps to reduce redness, and is very soothing especially for dry skin. It even helps to cleanse the skin. So if you wash your face and follow it with some rose toner, you will probably notice your cotton wool or washcloth will come away with dirt and makeup on it, which makes it handy to make sure your skin is completely clean before moisturizing. After all you don’t want to lock in any dirt or particles under your moisturizer. Bottom line, if rose water was good enough for Cleopatra, it seems like it would be good enough for me!

So Directions:

Step 1:

Boil about a cup or two of water.

Step 2: Sterilize your bottle with boiling water. This basically consists of cleaning your bottle out with boiling water just like you would before canning food. Ideally use a glass container, and a new container, but if you want feel free to recycle something you already have. But, just so you know it is difficult to guarantee any residue from previous products is gone so this is just fair warning to make sure you clean very thoroughly!

Step 3: measure out a teaspoon of lavender, and a teaspoon or rose petals (or about 4 roses), put them into the tea strainer.

Step 4: Place the tea strainer into the tea cup/mug.

Step 5: Pour boiling water into the cup, and cover with a plate. You want to cover the cup with a plate while the infusion brews because this will help any of the precious essential oils released from the plants to drip back into the water, instead of escaping into the air!

Step 5: Let it brew, feel free to let it get as strong as you want. Cover and forget about it, or come back to it after a little while.  I leave mine for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Step 6: Remove the cover and the strainer of herbs

Step 7: Let it cool thoroughly. Put it in the fridge if you are in a rush. This is particularly important if you are using a bottle made of plastic instead of glass, as plastic can sometimes leach especially if exposed to heat. If using glass, you can just make sure it is room temperature or cool enough not to shatter glass. Let it cool completely before putting in the plastic atomizer.

Step 8: Pour into your bottle, and put the lid on it!

Now, you can store this in the fridge and it will keep much longer, or you can keep it out. After 2 weeks check to make sure it is still good and not growing mold or anything! Like food, you can tell if it is still good or not by sight and smell. If it smells bad, and it looks bad, it probably is bad! This brings me to optional ingredients.

If you want to make a larger amount of toner, or just want your toner to last longer, you can add a preservative. This is where the vodka comes in. Putting a little bit of booze into your toner will make it last much longer, even out of the fridge. But as a heads up this is ethanol alcohol, so it can be drying. In a toner that isn’t always so bad, because it tightens the skin and the pores, but if your skin is very sensitive or very dry then maybe it is better to just stick to keeping it in the fridge! There is no hard and fast rule to how much vodka you need to put in to make your facial cocktail, but I’d start with no more than 30% of the mix, to a certain extent it will be trial and error. Most importantly, you want it to still be comfortable on your skin!

Another ingredient you can add is Aloe Vera Juice, this will just add more calming and soothing ingredients to your toner. This is beneficial for all skin types once you start feeling more confident in your DIY skin care skills. Like with alcohol, there is no hard and fast rule for how much or how little to add. But start with no more than 1/3.

Also, there are other ingredients that can be made into toners, witch hazel or rosemary for oily skin, and jasmine or orange flowers for dry skin. So much to play with!

Let me know how it goes when you give making your own toner a try! Any questions? Happy Toning!


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