All Natural Skin Care - Part 2: DIY Toner

Using a toner on the skin is one of those steps that people always question whether it's really necessary.  For me, I feel it's an essential step in my skin care regime.  Not only does it help remove any last traces of makeup or oil left on my skin, but I feel it also helps tighten pores and preps the skin for my moisturizer.

When it comes to toner, I've run the gamut, trying all kinds from department store brands to drugstore brands.  What I found was that I didn't need to spend a lot of money to get a great, all-natural toner.  In fact, with just a few ingredients, I started mixing up my own little concoction and couldn't be happier!

DIY Toner

Ingredients:
Witch Hazel
Vegetable Glycerin
Grapefruit Seed Extract



Directions:
Add 4-6 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 6-8 drops of vegetable glycerin per 2 ounces of Witch Hazel.  Shake well.

You can just mix these ingredients right into your big bottle of Witch Hazel (just adjust the number of drops of extract and glycerin according to the number of ounces in the bottle).  However, my recommendation is to mix your toner in small batches.  This will allow you to adjust the amount of moisture content according to your skin's needs at a particular time.  For example, when I was traveling to Colorado last January, I knew my skin would need more moisture due to the dry climate so I added a few more drops of glycerin when I mixed up the batch.  Conversely, when the heat of summer kicks in and the humidity increases, I find that I will need less glycerin and a few more drops of grapefruit seed extract to help combat my excess oil.  I recycled this small, 2 ounce bottle that once held another type of toner....

Personally, I prefer the kind of witch hazel that contains a little bit of alcohol, like T.N. Dickinson's.  You can, however, find alcohol-free witch hazel if you prefer.  It's typically a little more expensive but usually is available in various formulas, such as this one by Thayer's....
I purchased this from Vitacost for around $8 and it contains almost the exact ingredients I mix in my own toner but also contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.  If you are one that doesn't want to mess with mixing your own toner, this is a great alternative.  I do like this formula but it tends to be a little too moisturizing for me to use on a regular basis. 

Where to buy:
TN Dickinson's Witch Hazel
**Super affordable and available at Target, Walmart and most drug stores for around $4-6

Vegetable Glycerin
**Most health food stores carry this or you can get it from Vitacost

Grapefruit Seed Extract
**Also available at most health food stores or you can get it from Vitacost

A few final tips...
*Grapefruit seed extract is a bit pricey....the cheapest I've found is $14.99 from Vitacost.  However, you will only need to purchase this about once every 2-3 years so that's not a bad investment :-)
*Purchase the smallest bottle possible of the vegetable glycerin as you will most likely not even finish the bottle before it expires, which is usually about every 2 years.
*Witch Hazel doesn't have a real pleasant smell at first so if it bothers you, you can always add a drop or two of an essential oil like lavender, peppermint, lemon or sweet orange.

Come back tomorrow for Part 3 ~ DIY Moisturizer Serum