I’m on a mission to work on my dark circles. Well, it’s time to try more food on the face! This time it’s fennel.
Yep, that weird-looking vegetable that looks like a cross between an onion and a carrot. If you have ever been unsure what to do with this vegetable in your CSA box or have leftover after a recipe, we have just the DIY for you.
Before you think I’m crazy – this recipe comes via Martha Stewart so it must work! Remember Whole Living? Loved that magazine. I felt healthier just reading it. I pulled out this homemade toner recipe ages ago and finally got around to making and trying it out.
Why fennel? Well, it has been used for centuries to soothe upset tummies. But it can also rejuvenate skin and reduce inflammation – perfect for the eye area.
And did I mention that fennel reduces puffiness? This stuff is a goldmine-filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Which is awesome, because I would much rather wear fennel on my face than have to eat it.
Fennel also has antiseptic properties which can help prevent bacteria from wreaking havoc on the skin. This makes the following fennel toner an excellent choice for all skin types, even those acne prone.
Homemade fennel toner
- 2 raw fennel bulbs, pureed
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Bring the pureed fennel, thyme and enough water to make it liquidy (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to a boil in a saucepan.
Note: the original recipe did not call for water. But trying to boil just the pureed fennel end up with a gloppy mess that no way was I putting on my face. To avoid this, add the water.
Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain out solids and transfer to a covered jar and let cool. Apply with a cotton ball under the eyes. Do not rinse. Toner will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Keeping the toner in the fridge also makes sure that it’s extra cooling and depuffing on your under eyes. Another great way to make use of this eye bag banishing toner is to do your own under eye patches with it.
Cut some cotton rounds (not balls) in half and soak them with the liquid, then leave them on your undereyes for around ten minutes. Some brands of cotton rounds are made of several ply, so you can peel a few layers off—thinner cotton sticks better to your skin, rather than sliding down your face! This can be a great addition to any facial mask and increase that relaxation factor.
This homemade toner is awesome for summer, when you want something light and cool on your face. I apply it straight from the fridge (via a cotton ball) and it feels heavenly. Plus it smells pretty great too (if you like licorice), and the soothing smell is supposed to reduce stress and tension.
If you’re not sure you’ll use it all in 10 days, I like to freeze any extra in an ice cube tray and store in the freezer—I can easily grab a cube and wrap it with a cotton round before gently swiping it under my eyes for instant depuffing and brightening.
Never use ice on bare skin (especially on your face!) Just place the cubes in a labeled ziplock bag with the date so you remember what you froze!
Because it has lemon juice, some skin types might find their skin sensitive to the sun afterwards—this is something that I would recommend doing as part of your night time routine as citrus can make skin photosensitive.
If fennel is difficult to locate in your area or during a particular time of year, try these other homemade toner recipes:
Have you ever tried to make your own toner? If so, please let us know your favorite recipe!
Photos by Stephanie Pollard182