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Natural 3-Ingredient DIY Face Toner

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This recipe for natural homemade face toner uses just three simple ingredients to soothe, clean, and refresh your skin. Making your own natural face toner also happens to be one of the most inexpensive DIY beauty recipes I’ve tried!

Homemade natural face toner in a glass bottle with tea tree oil and essential oils surrounded with cotton rounds.

**This post first appeared January 2016. It was updated in September 2017 and May 2020 to reflect new information and recommendations. 

We love DIY beauty here at R+R (have you tried our makeup remover?), an today’s post features one of my favorites: a quick and easy Homemade Face Toner.

Making your own face toner also happens to be one of the most inexpensive DIY beauty recipes I’ve tried, and much like the makeup remover, if you can measure liquid into a tablespoon, you can make this! It’s really that simple. Plus, it’s incredibly soothing, cleansing and refreshing for your skin! Take a look:

Why You Should DIY Beauty Products

So why would you even want to make your own skin toner?

Unfortunately, like most store-bought beauty products, tons of known carcinogens, hormone disruptors and skin irritants make up the ingredient lists of most face toners. For the skeptics out there (hi! I used to be one of you until my eyes were opened by the Environmental Working Group), I’ve outlined the toxic ingredients for five of the most popular face toners on the market today below:

A list of toxic ingredients in popular store-bought face toners.

**Note: The products shown above are Proactiv Revitalizing Toner, L’Oreal Paris HydraFresh Alcohol-Free Toner, Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 and Murad Acne Clarifying Toner.

Toxic Skincare Ingredients

Just to give you an idea of why these chemicals are so bad, here are a few of the worst offenders found in the store-bought skin toners above:

  • Diazolidinyl urea is a formaldehyde releaser. Formaldehyde is rated a 10 (the highest rating) by EWG’s Skin Deep as it’s a known carcinogen.
  • Three of the products above contain parabens, one of which is rated a 7 by EWG’s Skin Deep as it’s proven to mimic estrogen and cause reproductive and developmental disorders, with a link to breast cancer.
  • Fragrance is rated an 8 by EWG’s Skin Deep, as it’s a proven human immune system toxicant and one of the top five allergens in the world. As if that weren’t enough, because federal law doesn’t require companies to disclose what’s in their fragrance mixture (it’s considered a trade secret), companies are able to use all sorts of harmful chemicals, like phthalates (these chemicals mimic human hormones and are known to cause birth defects, lower sperm count, thyroid issues and even cancer), in their fragrance without having to disclose it to the consumer. Though some fragrance mixtures may be safe, since we can’t know exactly what’s in it, I try to avoid anything with “Fragrance” listed in the ingredients to be safe. 
  • Three of the products above contain synthetic colors and dyes, many of which are derived from coal tar and are known for their carcinogenic properties. They’re also heavily tested on animals, which can be an issue for those concerned about animal rights.
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Tea tree oil, witch hazel, rosewater and glycerin, and apple cider vinegar bottles on a table.

Reducing Chemical Exposure

Another reason I believe in making your own DIY beauty products (especially when it’s just as easy and convenient as buying something) is because of the sheer number of chemicals found in store-bought items. Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t use that many products, so I don’t feel like this affects me as much.” I used to feel that way, too.

But then I realized that even if you just use 10 products a day (which let’s be honest, after you shampoo and condition your hair, wash your body and face, apply deodorant, and brush your teeth, you’re already up to 6 products and that’s before you even apply any makeup), if each of those products contains even just 15 ingredients, then that’s 150 ingredients you’re putting on your body every single day.

RELATED:  Beautycounter Review: The Best (And Worst) Skincare + Makeup Products

Homemade face toner in a glass bottle being sprayed onto a cotton round.

How to DIY Homemade Face Toner

Fortunately, my recipe for homemade face toner is just 3 simple and natural ingredients–you likely even have them in your pantry/medicine cabinet already (if you don’t, I’ve included links to my favorite products you can buy on Amazon in the recipe below)–and it’s just as effective as any store-bought brand. Meaning, this Homemade toner is BEYOND cheap, too!

This homemade face toner is made with:

1) apple cider vinegar, a mild exfoliator that helps balance your skin’s pH (acidity) level

  • I paid just $3.99 for 16 ounces, but I only used 0.75 ounces = $0.19

2) rose water, which helps clean pores, reduce inflammation and soften fine lines

  • I paid just $21.38 for 24 ounces, but I only used 2 ounces = $1.78

3) witch hazel, which is known for its healing properties, reducing swelling and fighting bacteria

  • I paid just $12.05 for 32 ounces, but I only used 2 ounces = $0.76

Total Cost = $2.73

Compare that to $30 per bottle of Clinique’s toner, $20 per bottle of Proactive toner or even $5-$15 per drugstore brand toners and you really can’t afford not to make your own face toner.

RELATED:  Custom DIY Homemade Face Oil Recipe

Woman holding brown glass spray bottle of homemade face toner.

Best Essential Oils for Skincare

You can mix and match some essential oils with this natural face toner base, as well, depending on your skin’s needs.

If you’re looking for a homemade face toner recipe for acne, oily or blemish-prone skin, try adding Frankincense and Tea Tree Oil. Or if you need a homemade face toner recipe for dry or sensitive skin, Lavender and Ylang Ylang are incredibly calming. (If you’re looking for great quality oils with super reasonable prices, I love Plant Therapy–their oils are 100% pure, free from any additives, adulterants, or dilutions. Plus you can get 10% off your order of $50 or more sitewide with the coupon code ROOT10!)

Just add a few drops, depending on your skin type, which will also help mask the vinegar scent. Don’t worry, the scent is mild and it goes away after 15-30 seconds.

Or you can leave the skin toner at just these 3 ingredients core ingredients (acv, rosewater and witch hazel) and expect clean, fresh skin after every swipe!

RELATED:  The Best Natural Acne Treatments + Products

Woman spritzing homemade face toner from a bottle into the air.

How to Use Natural Face Toner

To use this Homemade Face Toner, simply shake the bottle before each use and either spritz directly onto your face or spray onto a cotton pad and apply.

You’ll want to apply after you’ve cleansed but before you moisturize for the best results, although a few spritzes throughout the day is incredibly refreshing!

If you try this homemade face toner recipe, be sure to share a photo and tag me @rootandrevel on social media–I’d LOVE to see how it turned out for you!

Homemade natural face toner in a glass bottle with tea tree oil and essential oils surrounded with cotton rounds.
4.37 from 11 votes
Servings: 5 oz
Natural 3-Ingredient DIY Face Toner
Prep Time
2 mins
Total Time
2 mins
 
This recipe for natural homemade face toner uses just three simple ingredients to soothe, clean, and refresh your skin. Making your own natural face toner also happens to be one of the most inexpensive DIY beauty recipes I’ve tried!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and gently stir.
  2. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a glass jar, ideally one fitted with a spritzer.

  3. Shake before each use. Spritz 3-4 sprays onto a cotton pad and apply to clean skin (after cleansing, but before moisturizing).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
This recipe should last for at least 6 weeks of twice daily applications.
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Skincare
Keyword: DIY toner, face toner, homemade toner, witch hazel toner recipe
Author: Kate Kordsmeier | rootandrevel.com

This recipe for a natural, homemade DIY face toner uses just 3 simple ingredients to soothe, clean and refresh your skin.

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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Recipe Rating




26 comments on “Natural 3-Ingredient DIY Face Toner”

  1. Is it okay to add licorice root essential oil to this toner recipe?

  2. 5 stars
    I just made my own rose water, added glycerin, witch hazel, and distilled water but I can’t seem to find any info on shelf life. Doesn’t the witch hazel act as a preservative since it contains alcohol? I want to make some for my friends but I don’t want them using a spoiled product. Any info is appreciated. Thanks

    • Hi, Mia! This is a great question, especially since our other readers may be wondering the same thing. Typically, witch hazel has a shelf life of about five years, however not all witch hazel has alcohol. Because this varies, I would recommend making the toner in small batches so it doesn’t sit for too long, that way you know it hasn’t gone bad!

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing! Never could’ve thought I could make a toner at my very home and also with the very accessible ingredients for making one! This is too good for a homemade toner! Especially at this time, I’m struggling at budgeting with my skincare routine as I am broke as of the moment. Thanks for sharing this very cool and simple lifehack!

  4. 5 stars
    WOW. For a homemade toner, this is quite good. The procedure is very simple and takes little of your time in preparing. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. AH this came at SUCH a perfect time. I’m due for a skin product restock and I’m always up for saving money and using products that I KNOW are doing well for my body. Can’t wait to try this one out!

  6. 5 stars
    This turned out perfectly! I’m so happy to have a recipe that I can use with ingredients I have on hand (the rose water was the only one I had to buy!) Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Hi Mara! Thank you so much for always supporting – we love seeing your name pop up in the comments of our blog posts!!
      This is SUCH a good recipe. We’re all about natural + money saving over here!!

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  8. I’d love to try it. Where can I find the small bottles you use for spritzing?

  9. can I use
    Organic Eucalyptus Oil

    • Hi Grace!

      I’ve never tried this recipe with Eucalyptus so I’m not sure how it would turn out! I always recommend doing your own research and then testing the ingredient combinations before you use too much of it.

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for this! I did have to replace the ACV with distilled water as well ( unfortunately I get horrible, painful bumps around my chin and mouth from ACV) I am loving all the DIYs on here and have tried/am trying all of them!
    Trying to cut out chemicals in my life and am finding that natural works better a lot of the time (eye makeup remover!). Thanks again!

  11. 1 star
    The vinegar ruins this! At first the mixture smells lovely. After a day or so, the vinegar overpowers the rose water and essential oil aroma. Also, the mixture is very harsh and drying. I will not be using this recipe again.

  12. 4 stars
    Can I not use witch hazel? I don’t have any

  13. 5 stars
    Such a cute video! 🙂 I’ve been using just witch hazel as a toner these last couple years, but you’ve inspired to make my own now as I imagine the rose water, tea tree oil and apple cider combo with it would be more nourishing for my skin! Thanks!

  14. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing why the toxic chemicals used in commercial products are detrimental to our skin and our health. With all the marketing messages that we are bombarded with, touting that this “new” formula is better, going back to the basics is what is actually healthful for us, so thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    I now use this twice a day. Not only does it save me SO much money…it’s so much better for my skin.