Why Your Skin Needs a Toner and a DIY Recipe!

What is a toner and why is it important? Toner is typically used after you cleanse your skin in order to help replenish any nutrients that were washed away while cleansing. It also helps to balance the pH of your skin and the skin’s acid mantle. The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of human skin that acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses, and other potential contaminants that might penetrate and harm the skin. It’s secreted by our sebaceous glands and typically has a pH between 4.5 and 6.2 so it’s slightly acidic. This mild acidity helps keep the skin hydrated and healthy.


For a long time the skin was thought to be alkaline and require a neutral pH of 7 or more, but now we know that this is not the case. We also know that it’s extremely important to maintain that acidic pH in order to keep the good bacteria around and kill the bad bacteria as well as avoid drying out of the skin. Our skin has it’s own microbiome, just like our digestive systems, that helps to keep it healthy and balanced.


Unfortunately, a lot of skincare and beauty products do not promote a pH in the optimal range of 4.5-6.2 (closer to 4.5-5 is the most optimal), but instead promote a more alkaline level. This can dry out the skin and make it more susceptible to blemishes, acne, and other undesirable symptoms. If the pH of a products isn’t listed on the label, then I recommend calling the manufacturer to find out what it is so that you know what you are putting on your skin. Even water is too alkaline for the skin. If you wash your face with water and even a cleanser, I recommend using a toner and moisturizer that you know has an acidic pH to restore the proper pH balance for your skin.


I used to think that toners were just another product being sold to me because I’m a woman and have been taught to put my self worth into my appearance, but since I’ve been on my naturally healthy skin journey for quite some time (about 6 years—since I got off hormonal birth control) I’ve learned of their importance.


Most commercial toners strip the skin using alcohol or harsh astringents. Although witch hazel does work well (even though it’s an astringent), it does need to be 100% witch hazel. This toner recipe will not strip your skin! Rather than stripping nutrients from your skin it will add nutrients and help restore a proper pH balance.


One cool thing about toner that I think not many people realize is that it doesn’t just have to always be used after you cleanse your face. You can use it any time you want to help refresh and nourish your skin.


You can also use toners on other areas of the body that need nourishment or are sensitive. For example, rough elbows can benefits from toner or you could apply toner to your armpit before apply a natural deodorant if you normally experience irritation.


Different Types of Toners for Your Skin Type

Apple cider vinegar is my favorite base for a toner. It helps restore the skin’s correct pH-balance since it has a natural, un-diluted pH that’s below 5. It helps neutralize bad bacteria on the skin’s surface, but still allows good bacteria to thrive. It’s also especially helpful for skin that tends to flake or skin that has fungal associated symptoms like dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.

  • Basic toner: dilute 1 part ACV with 5 parts purified water
  • If your skin is prone to dryness you may want to increase the amount of water you use at first by combining 1 part ACV to 8 parts water.
  • If you have acne prone skin you can do half purified water and half ACV (I have acne prone skin and do 1 part ACV to 3 parts purified water).


  • ACV must be unfiltered—bragg’s is a great brand
  • Combine in a spray bottle like here and sprits onto face or use a cotton ball



Benefits of Hydrosols in Toners

What we are going to make today is a toner that contains a hydrosol. Hydrosols are water infused with the beneficial properties of the same plants used for essential oils.

Hydrosols are great because you don’t have to be an essential oil expert to use them and adding them to your toner is an affordable way to add a lot of nourishment. I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs because I trust the company and how they source the materials for their products. There are other retailers out there, but I prefer them.

For this specific toner, I chose rose hydrosol because it works well for all skin types and is very soothing to the skin.

We will start with creating a base combination of unfiltered ACV with water that is appropriate for your skin type. I have combination skin that is acne prone so I’m doing to start with 1 part acv to 3 parts filtered water.

I then add 1/2 tsp of hydrosol for every 4oz of toner. You can also use more than one hydrosol type and combine.


Hydrosols for Different Skin Types


  • Acne Prone Skin: lemon balm, chamomile, calendula
  • Oily Skin: lime
  • Aging: rose or geranium
  • Dry Skin: holy basil
  • Inflamed/Flaky Skin: lemon balm, cucumber, calendula
  • Combination Skin: rose or lavender


See how I make my own toner in the video below! 


This video is actually a Facebook Live from my private support group that you can join for free here. I answer any and all questions related to nutrition and living a less toxic lifestyle. I also do weekly classes on different topics based on what questions I’m getting and new topics I’m learning about.

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