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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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