i can drink my toner

Know how to make a cup of tea? Good, then you can make your own toner. To be honest, for years I figured toning was a waste of time, but then I learned that a good plant-based toner can actually do great things for your skin and keep it looking young and supple. Here's the gist:

  • Skin naturally has a slightly acidic layer on its surface (called the acid mantle), which keeps it protected from pimples, infections, redness, dryness etc. Cleansing can disrupt the acidity but using a good herbal toner takes the skin back to its correct pH.
  • Herbal toners can help treat skin problems like acne, redness, sensitivity, dryness, dullness...
  • They reduce the size of pores.
  • Help your moisturiser work better.

You could buy a ready-made toner, but most are made with synthetic ingredients that can actually be very drying. And I find certified organic options way too pricey. Then there's the issue of packaging. My view is that Why buy a packaged toner when it's so quick and easy to make your own organic and Better version and:

  • know exactly what goes in it
  • know you can drink it, so it's 100% safe 
  • avoid packaging
  • make versions that suit your skin type or skin problem
  • grow the ingredients yourself.

I like the idea of being able to eat what I put on my skin. If you like the idea of being able to eat what you put on your skin, you might like my edible bronzer.

Why herbs?
Herbs contain vitamins, minerals and potent anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories and anti-bacterial ingredients that help to hydrate and heal. Allow me to give a few examples:

Lavender contains linalool, a calming and anti-inflammatory substance that can ease anxiety as well as soothe skin (it's also insect repelling, so there you go). Peppermint contains menthol, which tricks your nerve endings into believing your body is cooler than it actually is. White willow bark, renowned for treating acne, contains salicylic acid which is the active ingredient in aspirin.

Herbs have been used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes since we were cavemen and testament to their healing properties now form the basis of many skin care products (and medicines).

The difference (between cavemen days and now) is that nowadays scientists extract the active ingredients, mix them with fillers, bottle them and sell them for a pretty penny...

Which herbs should I use?
The beauty of making your own toner is that you can experiment and use whichever herbs suit your skin type or skin problem. I have acne-prone skin and find that a combo of lavender and thyme helps to keep it clear. Calendula (marigold) is great for oily skin. Chamomile is good for any skin type but especially dry or irritated skin. Rose is excellent for all skin types and especially ageing skin. For a fuller run-down of herbs for each skin type, check out my Beauty, naturally guide which you can download here:

How long before I see results?
Short answer, it depends. Skin renews itself every 2 - 4 weeks depending on age and condition, so it could take a few weeks before you really start to see the full benefits of herbal toning. In saying that, I noticed a marked difference within the first week.

So, without further delay, here's how to make your own organic toner:

Organic herbal toner

1 cup water
2 tbsp dry herb(s) of choice or 1 handful fresh herb(s) of choice
muslin cloth
glass storage bottle (I use a small glass spray bottle purchased from the health food shop)

For delicate herbs or flowers (like chamomile, calendula, rose etc)
Place herbs in a glass container. Pour over boiling water and let the herbs infuse until cooled. Strain into a glass storage bottle and keep in the fridge. Keeps for about 1 week.

For woody herbs (like lavender, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass etc)
Place herbs in a small saucepan, add water and simmer with the lid on for about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool then strain into a glass storage bottle. Keeps in the fridge for about 1 week.

How do I apply the toner?
To use, either apply with cotton wool or spray directly onto face. I spray directly onto my face to save on materials. Apply your moisturiser before the toner completely dries - it just works better that way. I've written about what I use to moisturise before, here.

Have you been making your own herbal toner? Let me know how you go!


  1. Therefore glad I found your website searching for shoes.
    This is great information at any given time when the internet is full
    of falsehoods. Keep up the task in "Link to another good article from Allen Wright" and that i can
    come back often. . I know something about this same information, to know you can click here

    water softener
    water filter

  2. Will definitely try this one too. Thanks Maria.x

  3. I made some using your method with lavender and calendula and it's only been a few days but I'm already hooked! I love how it makes my face feel a bit tighter but not in the horrendous dried-out sort of way that mainstream beauty products do. Thank you!

  4. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free.



Flickr Photostream

Twitter Updates

Meet The Author