Growing up exposed to world full of never-ending products deeply ingrained in female culture to satisfy every inch of my body from my hair to my toes, I have always taken my pampering and self-care very seriously. Guilty as charged, for consuming as much as I could in a world where consumerism got the best of me as I acquired almost everything advertised on my screen. Don’t ask me why, but somehow, I was always the first one to purchase and try on a new product every other day as if life wasn’t enough. Unfortunately when the product arrived, 80% of these products barely lived up to their expectations.
Today, as life goes on, I find myself consuming on the basis that satisfies my body, mind and environment, hence consuming less crap and more value. I get to pay more attention to the products, their impact on our environment and well as their organic nature.
Last year when the Covid-19 pandemic sneaked into our world like a thief in the night, followed by an intense lockdown, beauty became extremely essential for me at a time when it was deemed non-essential. It was three painful months during our lockdown in South Africa with no access to beauty products and there was simply no way to purchase any beauty items, nor services. At that point, it was DIY that saved my life.
Like many of you, I got onto YouTube and spent hours and days trying to figure how to replenish stock of every one of my products that was running on empty. I started with my home-made toner. I do not use much on my face and I do not wear foundation (except for shoots), but the two products I refuse to compromise are my toner and face moisturiser.
It was not too long after weaving through several videos that I decided to get down to my toner production remotely in my kitchen during the month of March last year. Today, a year later and I celebrate my own home-made skin toner that’s still serving me.
Four main Ingredients that make my home-made facial toner smile;
1. Green tea leaves
According to research studies, green tea is considered by many to have benefits for a variety of health issues. Drinking green tea and applying it topically benefits your skin tremendously. Not only can green tea and green tea extract help with acne and help your skin look younger, but it also has the potential to help prevent melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers while moisturising your skin.
If you do not have the actual green tea leaves, you could substitute using your organic green tea bag. Normally when I am out of actual leaves, I use four tea bags and cut them open to use the loose leaves and boil in four small cups of water. Once boiled in plain water for a few minutes, I let it sit and cool.
2. Hibiscus Leaves
The natural acids present in hibiscus help purify your skin by breaking down dead skin cells while helping control acne breakouts. It’s naturally occurring oils also help keep your skin moisturised while the natural acids present in hibiscus help purify your skin by breaking down dead skin cells while helping control acne breakouts.
Generally, I use four tea bags to boil in four small cups of water when I run out of dried leaves, however you can check the strength of your tea bags and decide how light or heavy you would like your toner to be based on your skin. Once boiled in plain water for a few minutes, I let it sit and cool.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may also help with a variety of common skin problems, and adding it to your bath can amp up your skin care routine. It has powerful antimicrobial properties that may help ease skin infections and soothe irritation. As a mild acid, apple cider vinegar may also help restore the natural pH balance of your skin.
Generally, I add about 8 drops to my home made mixture of green tea and hibiscus once it has cooled down. You can monitor your mixture based on how strong or light you want your final toner based on what your skin can handle.
4. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a popular choice for treating acne because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s thought to calm redness, swelling, and inflammation. It may even help to prevent and reduce acne scars, leaving you with smooth, clear skin.
I generally use about ten drops and based on the climate and the way I feel my skin, I can always add more if I need to.
Once the mix is cooled and I have mixed up all the four ingredients, I fill up my toner bottle and use for a month. my mix is able to fill up two 250g bottles of toner. Its always better to store your bottle away from the sun. If you live in a very hot region, you can store your toner in the fridge.
If any of my toner ingredients are too harsh on your skin, try reducing the quantities of ingredients by diluting the solution with more water. Alternatively, try rose water, which is a natural toner. It comes from the Rosa damascena flower, commonly known as the Damask rose, and is created by distilling rose petals with steam.
My home-made toner brings all the goodness to my skin while I get to use natural ingredients that I have control over. I have also cut down my toner budget tremendously from a spend of USD 12 per 250g bottle of ‘Lush’ toner which could last me a month and equals to a total year spend $144 in exchange for a 2 boxes of tea bags, a bottle of Apple cider vinegar and bottle of tea tree oil. There is no doubt that my ‘new’ consumerism is smarter, more informed and certainly born out of the difficult economic times resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Try your home-made toner, save some money and share your results with me because I’d love to hear from you.
Multidisplinary Creative Entrepreneur | Consultant