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To the uninitiated, toners may seem like a fancy, indulgent skincare product with no clear purpose. But the truth is that toners have been around for thousands of years, and working-class women have been making their own products for equally as long. A facial toner soothes, smoothes, and restores the skin, and it doesn’t need to have a paragraph’s worth of unpronounceable ingredients to be effective.

In fact, making your own facial toner is a lot simpler than you’d imagine — and as a DIY product, it’s cheaper and more sustainable.

Why Use Facial Toner?

Elaborate skincare routines have surged in popularity in recent years, and some of them can seem mighty excessive, but toners are one of those products that even the most basic, no-frills woman will appreciate. They hydrate the skin while also removing dead cells and excess oil from the surface, leaving you with a smoother, brighter skin tone. Ideally, you should use a toner right after you wash your face, but they also provide a great pick-me-up throughout the day — crucial in hot weather!

So why make your own? In short, because this is a truly simple product that doesn’t need to be bought in a store. You probably already have the basic ingredients in your kitchen.

These days, store-bought toners are much more gentle than they used to be, but they still often contain alcohols, synthetic fragrances, dyes, and other ingredients that you may not want on your precious face.

How to Make DIY Facial Toner

DIY facial toners utilize just one active ingredient: apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is not only a great toner, but it also has the added benefit of balancing the pH of the skin. Here’s how to turn it into a facial toner that meets your specific needs.

  1. Make the base.

Simply mixing apple cider vinegar with filtered water will get you the base for your toner, and the best part of DIY is that you can customize the formula for your skin type.

For sensitive skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water.

For normal/dry skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water.

For oily skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water.

It’s best to start with less apple cider vinegar, then work your way up; do a patch test to be sure.

You can also replace filtered water with herbal tea, such as green tea, if you prefer. Green tea is anti-aging and contains helpful antioxidants, but it does need to be stored in the fridge.

  1. Add customized ingredients.

Once you have your base, you can add other ingredients to your toner to customize it for your needs.

Flower waters: Add 1 tsp per 8 oz of toner. Rose water or orange blossom water are ideal candidates for this — they’re natural toners in themselves, they hydrate and cleanse the skin, and they’re anti-inflammatory.

Essential oils: Add 2-3 drops per 8 oz of toner. Your best two options are tea tree oil and lavender oil. Tea tree oil packs more anti-inflammation, while lavender oil soothes the skin (and smells wonderful). However, there’s an essential oil for seemingly everything under the sun, so feel free to branch out.

  1. Package your toner.

Once your ingredients are mixed together, store your toner in a sealed glass or plastic container. A spray bottle works well, but isn’t necessary. It doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge (unless you used tea in your recipe).

That’s it — you’re done!

To apply, simply mist directly onto the skin or apply using a cotton square. Apply after cleansing the face or to refresh yourself throughout the day.

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Oh, we are all about…

Easy Ways To Make Ends Meet

At this time of year many of us are still paying off December’s credit card bills. If you’re looking for ways to bring in a little extra pocket money, look no further than your own farm.

Plant extra

Plant extra plants this season and sell to neighbors, at a farmer’s market, or through a CSA. And don’t forget about the time-honored tradition of preserving excess fruits and veggies. People will pay a pretty penny for homemade jams and probiotic pickles.

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can still make extra money with the plants themselves. And you can sell or barter with seeds from your garden, particularly if you grow heirloom varieties.


People want to feel more connected to their food. Embrace transparency and offer classes at your homestead. Teach the basics of raising chickens, milking goats, or sustainable farming practices. You can charge a fee for the class and get a little extra help to boot.


If you keep bees, you know why local honey is so expensive. Honey and beeswax are labors of love. Not everyone keeps bees because it can be time-intensive and labor-intensive. Oh, and a lot of folks just don’t like bees! So capitalize on this as a beekeeper. Sell jars of honey, honeycomb, and beeswax products like hair pomade or chapstick.

Breed animals

I know a few people who can’t bear to slaughter their animals. Instead, they make a living through breeding them for live animal sales. It takes years of experience, but breeding can be both fun and lucrative. Consider raising rabbits, turkeys, goats, or even pigs to sell.

Use it up

Bring in a few extra dollars and then couple that with saving your money, and you’ll be ahead of the game in no time. We all have an arsenal of products for our personal use, but many don’t know it. And one of the easiest ways to save is to raid your cupboards for natural DIY beauty remedies.

  • Highlights: I know it’s still cold outside, but summer will be here before you know it. If you’re craving a sunny, beach look, you can DIY highlights at home. I used this method for years and always got compliments on my dye job! Simply soak a few cotton balls in hydrogen peroxide. Run the cotton ball through your damp hair wherever you want highlights. For best results, sit in the sun after applying the peroxide. You may need to repeat this a few days in a row to get the desired amount of lightening. If you want an all-over effect, spritz peroxide through your hair and comb through.
  • Anti-acne toner: Witch hazel is an all-purpose wonder item. Not only can it clean cuts and soothe eczema, but witch hazel is also an excellent facial toner. If you suffer from acne, you can minimize breakouts with an application of witch hazel. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply to the affected area 1 – 2 times a day.
  • Makeup brush cleaner: I know not everyone washes their brushes, but this is essential to preventing breakouts and early aging. I stopped buying expensive brush cleaners years ago. To clean your brushes, let them sit in a bowl of peroxide for an hour before rinsing and allowing to air dry.
  • Lotion: My grandma swore that Crisco was the answer to dry elbows. Shortening does hydrate your skin, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was rubbing Crisco on myself. It reminded me too much of fried chicken! A modern alternative is to hydrate dry skin with coconut oil. Keep a jar on your nightstand to hydrate before bed.
  • Face mask: Who needs pricey storebought masks when you have nature’s perfect mask in your pantry? A honey face mask is the perfect way to fight acne and clean your skin. Combine a spoonful of honey in a bowl with a dash of cinnamon. The cinnamon is a great exfoliant! Rub on your face and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off.
The bottom line

We’re blessed to have Mother Earth support our way of life. Instead of searching for coins in the couch, look to your homestead for a New Year’s windfall.

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