A homemade toner for acne prone skin should be two things: simple and economical. No long list of required ingredients, and no sourcing ingredients all over town (or all over the internet!). And of course, it needs to be effective for problematic, blemish-prone skin. Luckily, all of these requirements are fulfilled easily by two simple ingredients: green tea and apple cider vinegar. (See below for the recipe.)
Why not use commercial toner?
More often than not, commercial toners contain ingredients that irritate the skin and disrupt its natural balance. These ingredients include things like propylene glycol, harsh exfoliating acids, alcohol, mineral oil, glycerin, fragrance, and dyes. And if you're lucky enough to find a quality toner that doesn't contain unwanted chemicals, you'll usually find a hefty price tag attached.
Personally, I don't feel like you need to sacrifice quality or hard-earned cash for something like facial toner. Instead, get the best of both worlds by making your own homemade toner.
Two Important Ingredients for Homemade Toner
My experiments with homemade toner led me to two primary ingredients: fresh green tea and raw apple cider vinegar.
Why green tea?
Green tea has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that repair skin damage and reduce redness. I personally notice a decrease in inflammation within minutes of applying green tea to my skin. As a bonus: the antioxidants in green tea may also fight the aging process. So banish blemishes and wrinkles in one fell swoop!
Why raw apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar helps restore the natural pH balance of your skin. Healthy skin is protected by what is called the acid mantle, a natural barrier that guards against pathogenic bacteria. In her book The Truth About Beauty, Kat James says this about the acid mantle:
"It can easily be obliterated by skin products that contain detergents, soaps, or antiseptics, and in many women--and even teens!--it is never given the change to recover or perform its intended function. Its absence inevitably leads to skin problems that can only be controlled but never resolved until we restore the acid mantle."
Homemade Toner for Acne Recipe
3/4 cup strong green tea
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
That's it! Simply pour the green tea and apple cider vinegar into a glass bottle or jar with a lid. Use a cotton ball to apply toner after cleansing or as often as desired. Store this toner in the refrigerator--it should keep for a week or two this way.
Looking for a quality source of green tea leaves? Check out my Resources page.
While these two ingredients alone are enough to make a spectacular homemade toner, you can also experiment with adding things like:
- Orange essential oil (astringent, oil-reducing, stimulates collagen production).
- Lavender essential oil (antimicrobial, soothing, anti-inflammatory).
- Lemon juice (brightening, toning, helps reduce red marks).
- Aloe vera juice (anti-inflammatory, soothing, healing).
Have any other suggestions for homemade toner ingredients? Share your insights in the comments below!
You may be interesting in trying out more natural skincare for acne:
Also, check out this post: Exploring the Root Causes of Acne
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.