If you ask me, toner is the unsung hero of skin care. Whether you are using a simple rose water or witch hazel, a fancy bottle of boutique toner, or a homemade concoction that you whipped up in your own kitchen, toner can help to balance your skin and provide herbal or botanical benefit to your routine.
This toner is a variation of my favorite homemade toner, Honey Chamomile Toner. It starts off with a quick-brewed herbal tea, and adds a splash of vinegar and a dollop of honey. Marigold and calendula provide soothing benefits to the skin, much like chamomile or yarrow.
I also added some lavender to the infusion to impart a touch of its antiseptic properties. A few drops of geranium essential oil mixed with a dollop of honey provide balance and moisture to the mix, while a weak dilution of apple cider vinegar helps rest skin's ph after cleansing.
Toners are best used directly after cleansing and right before applying moisturizer. I like to use a cotton ball or pad soaked with toner to dab my skin with a soft, sparing amount of liquid. You might feel a slight tingle when using this solution, which is perfectly normal.
But, if you detect anything stronger you should stop and rinse right away as this is a sign that the toner could be irritating your skin. Ultra-sensitive skin types are the most prone to irritation, so if you're sensitive (like me) it's a good idea to pay close attention to how your skin reacts to any new product.
Marigold Facial Toner
Makes 2 cups (480 ml)
- 2 cups (480 ml) distilled water
- 1/4 cup marigold / calendula petals
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) geranium essential oil
- Bring water to boil, then remove from heat. Add marigold or calendula and lavender. Let steep until cooled to room temperature (about fifteen minutes).
- Strain herbs from water and discard solids.
- In a small bowl, mix honey and essential oil together. Whisk apple cider vinegar into honey until fully dissolved.
- Combine infused water with honey solution and transfer to bottle.
- Shake bottle well before use. Soak cotton ball with toner, then apply to freshly washed skin. Follow with moisturizer.
- Keep refrigerated for long-term storage. Toner should last about one week at room temperature or about one month when refrigerated.