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.