For the past several years, I had been using witch hazel as a toner and loved it! It didn’t over-dry my sensitive skin and seemed to help with breakouts. However, since moving to a dryer climate it wasn’t providing the same results; my skin constantly felt dry and tight no matter the moisturizer I used and breakouts were becoming more frequent. So, I resolved to give something new a try once the bottle was empty.
Rather than spend a pretty penny on a product I could 1) irritate my skin or 2) not work well, I tried my hand at making a homemade facial toner. A few friends had raved about a chamomile toner they’d recently made, but after a bit of research that didn’t seem quite right for my skin. Although my concoction varied slightly, to accommodate skin type and skin-specific issues, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
Photo by Adobe Stock/kerdkanno.
Makes approx. 2 ounces
• 1/4 cup green tea, cooled
• 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (ACV)
• 1-3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
• 1-2 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)
1. Boil water for tea.
2. Place 1 tea bag into 1/4 cup of hot water (I recommend a glass measuring cup for easy transfer later). Let steep until cool.
3. Add ACV and essential oils to tea in measuring cup.
4. Pour into cobalt or amber bottle for storage.
To use: Gently mix ingredients by tilting bottle. Apply to cotton ball or round. Then apply to skin moving upward or outward toward the edges of face and down the neck.
The first time I made this, I only included lavender essential oil to help keep blemishes and redness to a minimum (plus, it smells good!). Since adding the tea tree oil, I’ve noticed even fewer breakouts and faster healing times! Although the finished product does have a slight, vinegary scent it dissipates quickly. And if you choose to include essential oils, they help mask that odor. The combination of lavender and tea tree has made any vinegar scent barely noticeable, in my opinion.
As with most forays into natural or DIY beauty, I was skeptical. I tried the original toner for a month—maybe a bit more—and saw quite a bit of improvement. Most notably the pores, particularly, around my nose seemed smaller, which was one of the main problems I had hoped to address, and my skin no longer felt dry, tight or itchy.
Although this recipe only makes a small amount (the only size bottle I had on hand, at the time), the recipe can be adapted so you don’t run out as quickly. Since it is made with green tea, it’s more prone to spoiling than if only made with water. Personally, I don’t mind the little bit of time this takes to make since most of the process is hands-off.
This recipe was adapted from The Nourished Life.