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!
**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:
**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.
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.
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 $10.99 for 16 ounces, but I only used 0.75 ounces = $0.52
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.
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!
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!
Natural 3-Ingredient DIY Face Toner
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and gently stir.
- Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a glass jar, ideally one fitted with a spritzer.
- Shake before each use. Spritz 3-4 sprays onto a cotton pad and apply to clean skin (after cleansing, but before moisturizing).