Have you ever asked yourself if a toner is necessary in your skincare routine? Or is it safe (and/or effective) to make a homemade toner? Let’s clarify some misconceptions about the purpose of a toner—because depending on the type of skin you have, the purpose of a toner will be different.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, most likely you’re using a cleanser that is a little on the acidic or antibacterial side of the pH scale. But if you have dry or sensitive skin you most likely are using a cleanser on the alkaline or softening side of the pH scale. A toner helps equalize the skin’s pH after cleansing, bringing it back to its optimal level.
We want our skin to be at its natural pH level as much of the time as possible. Due to the acid mantle, a protective layer on the surface of our skin, the pH level typically should fall around a slightly acidic 5.5. When the pH level is ideal, the skin can best function to protect and renew itself.
Toners can also help remove any leftover makeup or remove an oily residue. A toner’s purpose can be two fold, both balancing and extra cleansing. Toners don’t only have to be used with a cotton ball, they can also be spritzed all over your face and neck.
They can also be used with an exfoliating cotton round to remove any build-up of dead skin cells. After using a pH balancing toner, your skin will be best prepared to absorb the effective ingredients in your skin care regimen.
And yes! It’s safe to make your own. I’ve put together 3 great toner recipes you can make at home – find the right recipe for your skin type!
Toner for Oily or Acne Prone Skin
The green tea is anti-inflammatory and will help with redness and acne, while the apple cider vinegar will bring the pH level of your skin back to a normal level.
- 3/4 cup steeped green tea
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
After steeping a green tea bag in hot water, bring the tea to room temperature, discarding the tea bag. Add the apple cider vinegar. You can apply with a cotton ball or spritz with a spray bottle. Either way you’ll want to store it in the refrigerator for no longer than 10 days.
Toner for Sensitive Skin
The rose water not only will balance the skin but it’s soothing and hydrating for irritated, sensitive skin.
- 1/2 cup dried rose buds
- hot filtered water
Pour the water over the rose buds and let sit for 1-2 hours. Use a strainer to separate the rose buds from the rose water. I recommend spritzing this on your face twice a day after cleansing.
If you make your own rose water you will want to store it in the refrigerator and use it within 7-10 days. If you prefer store bought, just follow storage instructions on the label.
Toner for Dry Skin
- Rose water (see recipe above)
- Geranium essential oil
Using the recipe above to make rose water, just add a few drops of geranium oil for added hydration. Be sure to shake the spray bottle well before spritzing this toner on dry skin.
Do you currently use a toner daily? Is it something you’d like to give a try?
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Photos by Lindsey Rose Johnson486