Skin care

Facial toner for oily skin

Facial toner for oily skin

My favorite L’Occitane facial toner for oily skin was recently discontinued.

My girl Mary Kay doesn’t really sell toners any more after rolling them up into the Timewise cleansers.

I tried to find one at Whole Foods, but when I told the person helping me that I’m allergic to aloe, he suggested that I was better off making my own.

In developing my toner recipe, I did some research and a little math. I’m sure my end result is not perfectly pH balanced, but I’ve really enjoyed my skin’s reaction to the toner.

My skin is very oily, so I wanted something with a pH of around 5. According to Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians, ninth addition, which I learned very well in my exciting months studying for my torpedic career as an esthetician, skin has a pH of between 4 and 7 — slightly acidic. The pH of water is about 7, and the pH of soap is more alkaline, or closer to 9 or 10.

Parenthetically, I checked with another brand I really like for a toner, Bare Escentuals. They told me that they don’t offer a toner because, “all our products leave the skin pH balanced.” I bought into that theory at the time and went home feeling OK that using my expensive serum and moisturizer right after cleansing my skin would be perfectly effective. Yeah … until I actually washed my face and then slapped on expensive serum and moisturizer, and my skin felt like scales! The next day, I started decided to make my own. After several days of no toner, I was determined.

Apple cider vinegar is widely regarded as a fantasgreat health food or ingredient. With a pH around 5, I’ve used ACV many times when I needed an acidic ingredient. It was high on my list of toner ingredients because it has the pH I wanted to achieve, but it stinks. So, I went looking for ways to dilute the ACV without diluting the pH too much. I settled on distilled water and lavender.

I used a small spray bottle that holds about 10 tablespoons, and worked backward from there. I started with the ACV in the bottle, added the distilled water, and then added lavender from there.

  • Apple cider vinegar, pH about 4.25 – 5
  • Distilled water, pH about 7
  • Essential oil of lavender, pH about 5.5 – 6.5

I poured about two parts ACV and seven+ parts distilled water, leaving plenty of room for lavender oil. I dropped some essential oil into the bottle, shook it, and sprayed it — repeatedly — until the smell of the ACV faded quickly.

Vinegar is also soothing to a sunburn. Despite the SPF 30 I sprayed on this weekend, my chest and back are sunburned! Instead of just using straight ACV, I sprayed the toner on, and felt so much relief. As soon as the ACV evaporates, the lavender lingers. Ahhh.


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