While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.
Toner is sort of like a second cleansing — a few swipes can break down leftover soap residue and grime, balance your skin’s pH levels, and prime your face to absorb the rest of your routine.
Depending on your skin needs du jour, a toner can lend a helping hand by boosting nutrients and hydration. And the best way to customize it? Make your own, honey!
Witch hazel is the OG toner. This natural astringent is lauded for its anti-inflammatory and acne-fighting powers and is a mainstay for people with oily and acne-prone skin. But beware: this powerful astringent is so good at tackling excess oil, it could totally dry you out and make acne worse.
We can’t turn back time, but antioxidants are the next best thing for helping skin stay youthful. Vitamin C reigns supreme in skin care because it helps protect and correct environmental and sun-related skin damage while promoting a brighter, more glowy look. (P.S. It’s also great for lightening dark spots.)
FYI: Vitamin C can lose its effectiveness when exposed to light, so store this elixir in a dark bottle in a cabinet, drawer, or bag.
Most astringents are formulated with alcohol (botanical or chemical) or with acids (like salicylic acid) which can wreak havoc on dry skin.
Remember: a toner is often used for balance. So if your skin is dry, swap an alcohol-based formula for this two-step DIY from Honestly Homemade Beauty featuring fresh cucumbers, which are naturally anti-inflammatory and high in vitamin C.
Aloe vera is so much more than a sunburn solution. It’s full of skin-happy vitamins, anti-inflammatory compounds and has even been shown to fight acne. If you have sensitive skin or are worried about a toner drying you out, aloe vera has your back.
The addition of rose water in this toner recipe from HUDA Beauty adds to the anti-inflammatory effects and makes it even more sensitive-skin friendly.
Rice water might feel like a beauty trend, but it has a long and storied history in Ayurvedic and Japanese cultures, and also in Korean beauty. Now it’s lauded for its brightening effects.
Even though there’s limited evidence of its anti-aging properties, we do know this water is rich in B vitamins and amino acids from the rice itself.
Vitamin C is super effective in diminishing dark spots caused by acne, and lemon juice is a natural way to get a megadose of the stuff.
Essential oils will make a DIY toner smell ~incredible~ and they can also give it an extra boost of nutrition or acne-fighting powers, depending on your choice. Remember: these little guys are super concentrated, so avoid potential irritation and dilute them with a carrier oil, like jojoba, argan, or coconut oil (or in this case, witch hazel).
Okay, this is one of those DIY things that’s actually easy. Simply add cotton rounds to a jar and soak in your favorite toner recipe for an even quicker skin care step.
Chamomile does more than just keep you from counting sheep. When applied to the skin, chamomile fights bacteria without changing your pH too drastically (which can wreak havoc!).
Some research suggests darker skin tones tend to lose moisture more quickly than lighter skin tones, so it’s important to mix up a toner that won’t strip all your natural oils away.
Hear us out: your spice cabinet is where it’s at for anti-aging (ahem, as we like to say: pro-aging) skin care. Topical applications of cinnamon have been found to increase blood flow and promote collagen production — important for maintaining that youthful-looking elasticity. Pair that with tannin-rich anise and you’ve got a combination for more mature skin that’s hard to beat.
Feeling flushed? Reach for rose water. In addition to its sweet smell, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties have been found to reduce skin redness. Plus, that scent isn’t just for show: a recent study suggests rose water activates an olfactory response that helps protect your skin from the effects of stress.
Green tea is a rich source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which helps improve acne and excess oil by blocking or slowing sebum production.
If large pores are bugging you, chemical exfoliation is a great way to slough off the dirt and debris that could clog pores and make them appear large and in charge. Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are one solid solution.
A little dry, a little oily? Good thing toner’s main job is to bring ~balance~ to your skin’s fickle landscape. You’ll need something that mixes the oil-slaying power of an astringent paired with something deeply moisturizing.