Natural toners you can make at home to tackle acne, dry skin, and signs of aging.
What is toner?
The word “toner” refers to a type of product that many of us have heard of—or use—without totally understanding its purpose. So, what is a toner? This type of product is intended to serve as a follow-up to a cleanser. Its primary purpose is to help clear away dirt, oil, makeup, and other residue that can be left behind after you cleanse. There are plenty of secondary toner face benefits, though. Some are made to treat acne, some to soothe irritation and diminish redness, and others to hydrate your skin.
There are hundreds of high-quality toner products out there, but most of us don’t have the budget to shell out for every new product beauty brands tell us to use. Also, many pre-made products contain filler ingredients, artificial chemicals, and synthetic fragrances that can be hazardous to your body. If you want to experience toner skin benefits without a major hit to your wallet or your health, consider trying a DIY toner using one of the simple recipes below! We’ve created 8 recipes for natural DIY toners that you can make using common ingredients and essential oils.
DIY toner recipes
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
Apple cider vinegar boosts your skin in several different ways. It moisturizes your skin with potassium, fights the cellular effects of aging with apple pectin, exfoliates with malic acid and acetic acid, and balances pH. Its high antioxidant content also helps it to combat acne and skin aging. In addition to apple cider vinegar, this recipe features hydrating aloe vera gel.
To make this toner, combine 1 ½ cups of water, ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of organic aloe vera gel. Mix to combine thoroughly. We’ve started you off with a small concentration of apple cider vinegar, but you can increase the concentration if you feel it’s right for your skin.
DIY Green Tea Toner
Green tea is another miracle ingredient for skin. It contains antioxidants that fight against damage from free radicals and stimulate collagen production, catechins to reduce acne, polyphenols to ease inflammation, and astringent tannins to tone the skin (to learn more about the benefits of green tea for skin, check out our comprehensive guide). Our recipe also features brightening lemon and moisturizing honey.
To make this toner, brew 1 cup of green tea. While it’s still hot, stir in ½ tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ tablespoon of honey. Allow it to cool, then combine it with 1 cup of cool water.
You can also use green tea to make a DIY face mask! Check out our recipe here.
DIY Rose Toner
The benefits of rose water for skin are numerous. Rose water has antiseptic properties to fight against acne-causing bacteria, anti-inflammatory properties to soothe inflammation, and astringent properties to tone skin. It contains plenty of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to heal skin damage and boost collagen production. We’ve combined rose water with evening primrose oil to moisturize your skin and stave off acne.
To make this acne-fighting toner, combine 1 cup of rose water, 1 tablespoon of evening primrose oil, and ½ cup of cool water. Mix to combine, and make sure to mix or shake again before using, as the oil will separate from the water.
Did you know that you can also make your own rose water using actual roses? Find out how from this post by Live Simply.
DIY Tea Tree Oil Toner
Tea tree oil is another great ingredient when it comes to fighting acne. It has antibacterial properties to stop acne at its root cause (namely, p. Acnes bacteria that live in your skin), as well as anti-inflammatory properties to improve the appearance of acne-plagued skin. It can even help to reduce the appearance of acne scars! (you can find out more about tea tree oil here.) To make an acne-fighting toner with tea tree oil, we’ve combined this powerful ingredient with astringent witch hazel.
To make this toner, combine 1 cup of witch hazel, 1 cup of cool water, and 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil. Mix thoroughly, and mix or shake again before using as the oil will separate from the water.
DIY Maracuja Oil Toner
Maracuja oil is one of our favorite, natural ingredients for all-around skin care. It helps to moisturize skin with linoleic acid, soothe inflammation, fight acne, and counter the signs of aging (you can learn more from our guide about maracuja oil). Our recipe also features hydrating aloe vera gel, as well as jojoba oil to help seal in the moisture.
To make this multi-functional toner, combine 2 tablespoons of maracuja oil, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, 3 tablespoons of organic aloe vera gel, and 1 ½ cups of water. Shake the toner up again before using, as the oil will separate from the water.
DIY Rosehip Oil Toner
As you can learn from our rosehip oil guide, this vitamin C rich oil can help with a number of different skin concerns. It moisturizes skin, combats the signs of aging, fights acne, and can even help to heal acne scars. We’ve combined rosehip oil with lemon juice and green tea, two other ingredients with high vitamin C contents, to create a toner that will visibly brighten skin.
To make this brightening toner, brew ½ cup of green tea and allow it to cool. Then add 1 ½ cups of water, 2 tablespoons of rosehip oil, and ½ tablespoon of lemon juice. Shake the ingredients up before using the toner, as the oil will separate from the water.
Not sure which rosehip oil to buy? Check out our guide to the best ones.
DIY Aloe Vera Gel Toner
A couple of the recipes above have featured aloe vera gel, but this toner lets it shine in its own right. Aloe vera gel is an extremely beneficial ingredient for the skin. It’s a powerful hydrator that doesn’t clog your pores. We’ve combined aloe vera gel with some of our other favorite moisturizing ingredients, honey and jojoba oil, to make an ultra-conditioning toner that won’t cause breakouts or oily skin.
To make this hydrating DIY toner, combine 5 tablespoons of organic aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, and 1 ½ cups of water, and mix well. Shake again before using to re-combine the oil with the water.
DIY Turmeric Toner
Turmeric essential oil has powerful brightening, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties to heal and clarify skin while improving its overall appearance. Before putting it on your face, we recommend testing out a small amount of oil on the skin of your wrist to ensure that your skin doesn’t react to the ingredient. Along with turmeric essential oil, this toner contains avocado oil and aloe vera gel to soothe and hydrate skin.
To make this multipurpose toner, combine 5 drops of turmeric essential oil, 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 2 tablespoons of organic aloe vera gel, and 1 ½ cups of water, and mix well. Shake again before using to re-combine the oil with the water.
You can learn how to make turmeric essential oil from The Indian Spot.
How to store a DIY toner
You can store any of our toners in a clean jar or spray bottle for everyday use. You can easily buy empty spray bottles or mason jars online. If you want to reduce your impact on the environment, though, we recommend reusing a mason jar to store your toner. Just make sure to sterilize the jar before using it, so that you know it’s bacteria-free.
We recommend keeping them refrigerated to lengthen their shelf lives. None of these DIY toners contain artificial preservatives, so they need to be stored in a cool, dark place in order to stay fresh for the longest possible time period.
How to use a DIY toner
To use any of the toners above, you’ll need some cotton pads or cotton balls. To use a toner in the evening, remove any makeup or sunscreen and cleanse your skin as usual. Then dampen a cotton pad with the toner of your choice, and pat it gently into your skin in gentle, pressing motions. If you’re using a spray bottle, you can also spritz your toner directly onto your skin. Allow it to sink into your skin, then follow up with your favorite serum and moisturizer to lock in the goodness.
To use a toner during the day, apply it to clean skin before layering on any other products. The green tea toner lends itself especially well to daytime use, because it will sink quickly into your skin, giving it a hydrated, invigorated look without any oiliness.
A DIY toner can be an excellent, natural, low-budget solution to stubborn skin. If you feel like getting creative, check out our guide to the best essential oils for skin, and experiment with adding a few drops of essential oil to the toner of your choice. On the other hand, you might decide that a DIY toner isn’t the right option for you. If that’s the case, there are plenty of natural products available to help boost your skin. Just make sure to seek a product that’s made with organic ingredients, and that contains minimal artificial preservatives, fragrances, or dyes.