Why should you use a facial toner? And what they heck are they? “I wash my face with a cleanser, why do I need a facial toner?” I have been asked this question numerous times. Even my daughter is under the impression that a toner isn’t really necessary. A toner is at its foundation an astringent. An astringent toner has the ability to tighten pores, remove makeup, dirt and grime that your cleanser missed. It can also remove any cleanser residue that has been left behind. A toner will prepare your face to some degree, to accept any additional ingredients you apply and help them penetrate deeper in some cases. Different toners work for different skin types. Rose, hibiscus, rose hips & frankincense are perfect for ageing skin. Citrus like Lime essential oil is wonderful for oily skin as it does not over dry skin though use caution with any citric essential oil when exposed to sunlight. Lavender is perfect for skin that is irritated. Toners can be cleansing and ph balancers.
How to use facial toner
So now that you know why you should use a toner, here’s how to use one. Wash your face with whatever facial cleanser you use. Then using a cotton ball or cotton pad, place a squirt of toner onto the pad, and begin lightly wiping face and neck. I prefer to leave a film of toner on my skin and fan my face and neck while it dries. Once dry, apply your serum and potions in your regular order. Over time, you should experience a firming in skin, tightening of your pores and a much improved appearance in skin.
There are many toners on the market, and many will do the job, but if you are like me, you find that none are perfect for your particular skin type. Making your own is simple and fairly easy. Cost wise, it’s pennies to what you pay at the drug store and you can make as much as you need and its always fresh.
This formula I developed for my personal skincare line at Plainly Simply. It tightens pores, lightens dark spots and calms any hormonal acne.
Why these ingredients? Silk amino acids (not an acid like you would think) impart a silky feel to the skin. Rice Milk has been used by Asian women for centuries as a toner as well as a hair rinse for good reason. It’s filled with vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin A . Rice Milk has a gentle whitening effect on the skin combined with a moisturizing effect.Hibiscus petals are rich in antioxidants and are said to reverse damage caused by UV rays, pollutants and other environmental causes. For the hair, Hibiscus is said to promote hair growth. Rose Hips are full of antioxidants, vitamins like vitamin A (its like a multi-vitamin for your skin!) and essential fatty acids. They have the ability over time to correct dark spots, and reduce fine lines. They also provide moisture to dry, itchy skin. Green Tea is another anti aging and antioxidant provider, helping delay the signs of aging. The polyphenols present in Green Tea, help reduce free radical damage to the skin which can cause the aging process to accelerate. Drinking Green Tea is also beneficial to slowing down the sebum production, thereby reducing acne, inflammation, and provide a boost to your immune system. Calendula petal tea speeds healing, and fights inflammation of the skin. Aside from the aromatic, relaxing and exotic smell of Jasmine, it also offers up excellent skin properties. It contains antioxidants as well as a natural antibiotic and may reduce redness caused by rosacea. White Willow Bark contains Salicylic Acid which is a powerful exfoliant, acne buster, and reduces inflammation. Licorice Root should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Simply omit from formula below. Licorice Root contains glabridin, which helps diminish dark circles, age spots and skin discoloration. It is perfect for sensitive skin. The Licorice Root, White Willow Bark and Silk Amino Acids can be removed from ingredients. But since they are so wonderful for acne of any kind, you may want to keep them.
Here is what you’ll need to get started.
- 14 oz Distilled Water
- 1 cup Organic Jasmine Rice, uncooked
- 2 Organic Hibiscus Petal Tea bags
- 2 Organic Rose Hips Tea bags
- 2 Organic Green Tea with Mint Tea bags
- 2 TBSPN Organic Calendula Petals buy here
- 2 TBSPN Organic Jasmine Flowers buy here
- 1 TBSPN Organic White Willow Bark buy here
- 12 oz Witch Hazel
- .5 oz Silk Amino Acids buy here
- .2 oz Licorice Root Extract buy here (Avoid using if you are pregnant or nursing)
- 8 drops each of Essential Oils of Rose Geranium, Frankincense, Spearmint, Jasmine Absolute
- Leucidal buy here (fermented radish root) Preservative (usage amount depends on manufacturer guidelines)
- 4 empty tea bags buy here
To start, place 1 cup of jasmine rice, uncooked into a glass bowl or measuring cup. Rinse rice to remove any debris, dirt or dust that may be present. Once rinsed, add 8 ounces of distilled water or hydrosol of choice to rice. Cover and let sit for a minimum of two hours. Stir occasionally. You will start to see the water turn white, this will be our rice milk when finished. While the rice is sitting, measure out 4 ounces of hot distilled water and pour into a large heat proof container. Add tea bags of the Hibiscus Petals, Rose Hips, Green Tea, Calendula & Jasmine to bowl. Cover and allow it to sit for two hours. In a separate glass bowl add 2 ounces of hot distilled water and tea bag with white willow bark extract. Allow this to steep for 2 hours as well.
Once everything is cool, we begin by draining the rice into a fine mesh strainer over a glass bowl or mason jar. Save the rice to cook for dinner! Repeat with Hibiscus, Rose Hips and Green Tea. You’ll notice the hibiscus petals have turned it a deep red. Don’t worry, it won’t stain your skin. Strain the White Willow Bark as well. Pour all into a large bowl or 1 quart mason jar. Now add Silk Amino Acids, Licorice Root Extract & Essential Oils into your mason jar. Give everything a nice shake. As is, this must be kept in the refrigerator since we do not have a preservative. If you choose this, this mixture will keep for one week.
You have many uses for this as it is right now. You can use it as a hair rinse, a makeup finishing spray, and a summer time body spritzer. To use as a hair rinse, use 4 ounces to 4 ounces of water and massage into hair and scalp before washing. Allow it to sit on hair for as long as 20 minutes. Wash hair as normal. If you are a no-poo gal and use a bar soap type shampoo, wash hair as normal rinse and then rinse with the rice milk hibiscus hair rinse. Leave on for 2-3 minutes then rinse. The silk amino acids will add shine to the hair. Your hair should not have red highlights from the hibiscus petals, though it is said to improve hair growth and add strength to hair.
To make this and use with a preservative, follow above instructions and add .2 ounces Leucidal (fermented Radish Root) to mason jar. Add 7 oz of Witch Hazel to contents of jar. If you are planning to use both as a hair rinse and a toner. Make up two separate containers. You will want a 1:1 ratio for hair and a 2:1 ratio for a toner. As a side note fermented radish root has a host of anti bacterial properties and antioxidants. Fermented radish root contains Vitamins A, B, C, E and K, act like antioxidants as well as cell building minerals like zinc, iron and calcium. Even though the preservative will keep this free of nasties for up to three months, I like keeping mine in the refrigerator and applying to my face cold. It feels amazing and is so good when eyes are puffy from lack of sleep or allergies.
I make my own teas, hydrosols and oil infusions from herbs, spices & flowers that I purchase in bulk through San Francisco Herb, Frontier or Mountain Rose, or that I grow from my own garden. I purchased the White Willow Bark from Starwest Botanicals. The Hibiscus, Rose Hips & Green Tea were all out of stock at this time, so they were purchased through my local organic health food store. Witch Hazel and distilled water can be purchased at any grocery store pharmacy. The silk amino acid and licorice root extract are purchased through Lotioncrafter where I purchase many of my supplies. You can purchase the tea bags through Bulk Apothecary for a pack of 25 for a few dollars. I receive no monetary compensation from my suppliers. If you wish, you may buy the Rice Milk Hibiscus Toner in my shop on Facebook.