DIY Tuesday: Making Facial Toner
Recently, a friend gave me a surprise visit when I was making another batch of facial toner so we made the batch together. I hadn’t realized how involved the process is, nor how helpful it is to learn the qualities of the ingredients when combined in such a way that you are completely immersed in the experience. Sharing the making process made me realize that other people might be interested, too. So, here goes…
The Winter Balancing Act Facial Toner I make is a nourishing spray designed to seal in moisture and protect from harsh weather. It has saved my face this winter, as it is particularly well-suited to frosty exposure riddled with sweaty athletic activity. Upon freshly washing and cold rinsing my face, I immediately feel renewed and refreshed. It has a light, clean aroma while cooling and moisturizing. It is also useful after washing your face at the end of the day with a balancing bar of soap, rinsing with cold water and spritzing your face with toner a few times. If the season demands ALL the moisture from the environment (in the manifestation of subzero temperatures), I use a bit of serum (inspired by my mom) following the toner as well. I only use a tiny bit of each twice daily, and they have lasted all season long.
If you have your spray bottle and are ready to go you can scroll to the bottom for the recipe and make it yourself. If you’re interested in learning more about my choice for each ingredient, you’ll learn that by reading through. You can find almost all the ingredients in your local health food store, although buying greater quantities makes it easier for me to keep the price reasonable for the consumer. These are the featured ingredients, chosen for various properties:
Distilled water is preferred over filtered tap water because it doesn’t contain any metals or chemicals from pipes or water treatment process. It also sends a signal to your body that your skin needs to be balanced with natural sebum because it has become diluted. I liken distilled water to a void or omission, giving more room for your work whatever it may be.
Apple cider vinegar is used next for its astringent and disinfecting qualities. The vinegar smell is certainly present at first, but not overpowering. It is balanced with floral extracts/infusions so it is very mild and has more of a sweet, fruity note. I simmer the ac vinegar until it is just below a boil. then steep the green tea and dried calendula flowers in a covered cup for about 5-10 minutes and strain. Just like tea. But then I cool it to room temperature.
The Rosewater hydrosol I use, is purchased from a distillery that works with Mountain Rose Herbs in their essential oil process. Their Rose Damascena essential oil is highly sought although quite expensive (almost a grand per ounce) while the aqueous extract of the plant is more accessible for firming the skin in this application. It has a much lighter fragrance, as well.
Aloe gel has a naturally moisturizing and cooling effect, which I’ve found helps to reduce irritated skin. After blending these water-based ingredients, I wisk in the following oils, shake and pour into carefully weighed containers. The aloe helps to emulsify it just a little.
I consult the weather and availability before deciding which skin-loving loving oils to use, totaling 2 fluid ounces: avocado for more sun protection, apricot kernel or sweet almond oil to add some slip to the texture, baobob to restore elasticity, evening primrose to refine lines and firm, vegetable glycerin to ultramoisturize, argan oil to support breathability in humid conditions, grapefruit seed extract and/or vitamin E to improve the shelf life of the product so you don’t have to walk to the kitchen in your towel to get the toner out of the ‘fridge everytime you want to use it.
The essential oil blend further supports tightening of the pores, balancing the sebum, elasticity of the skin, moisturizing, reducing the appearance of scars and increasing firmness so you can enjoy smiling as many years as you want to. Each one has dozens of properties worth mentioning, and this post is already long so I won’t get into that too much here. You can also continue your studies in aromatherapy with Aromahead Institute.
Recipe for Winter Balancing Act Facial Toner
Makes 6 oz
- 2 oz Distilled Water (infused with green tea and calendula flowers)
- 1 oz Apple Cider Vinegar
- .75 oz Rosewater Hydrosol
- 0.5 oz Aloe Gel
- 2 oz combined oils: alternate with avocado, sweet almond, baobob, grapefruit seed extract, apricot kernel, evening primrose, vegetable glycerine, argan)
- .10 oz vitamin e (tocerophol)
- 10 drops Lavender Angustafolia Essential Oil (EO)
- 8 d German Chamomile EO with Jojoba Oil
- 6 d Clary Sage EO
- 6 d Grapefruit EO
- 3 d Frankincense EO
- 1 d Myrrh EO
- 1 d Geranium EO
I store my finished product in 4-ounce epoxy phenolic lined aluminum spray bottles so that it is protected from light and keep it in the medicine cabinet, after allowing to return to room temperature, attaching spray top and labeling. You’ll want to shake it for about 10 seconds prior to spraying your face with your eyes closed to get the benefits from all the ingredients.
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate.
As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children and pets. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier.