I've been recently complimented on the way my skin looked, and asked what facial products I've been using. I've been actually making my own facial toner for about three years now, as a result of being constantly disappointed with store-bought products. Nothing seemed to be effective for my combination skin (mostly dry and flaky but very oily in the T zone). They would usually dry my skin even more, yet leave my forehead and nose shining like a diamond. I did some research on natural ingredients that could help alleviate some of my problems and came up with these three to make my toner:
witch hazel - natural, plant based astringent, contains chemicals called tannins (which protect the plant from predation), known to relieve inflammation, swelling, minor skin irritations and fight bacteria
organic camomile tea - known for its brightening, moisturizing, soothing and healing properties among many others (green tea works excellent too)
tea tree oil - known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (optional) - claryfying and balancing as it contains alpha hydroxy acids that help remove dead skin
Before you make the toner, test a small amount of each ingredient on your skin for any allergic reactions you may not be aware of.
Mixing them together is very simple. All you need is an empty bottle (I use an old 6 oz. toner bottle) and a funnel. Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup of organic chamomile and/or green tea, or both (seep two bags, for at least 10 minutes)
1/2 cup of witch hazel (you can buy it in any pharmacy or Whole Foods)
10-15 total drops of essential oil (I use a combo of tea tree, citronella, lemongrass and peppermint)
Optional: 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Notes: shake the bottle before every use. Also be careful not to overdose on the essential oils as they will burn your skin and your eyes if you add too much (trust me, I learned the hard way).
This toner is very gentle and will leave your skin feeling clean, radiant and fresh.
Follow with your regular daily moisturizer and voila!
I use it only in the morning, at night I use a scrub + night moisturizer.
Hope you enjoy it!