For the past two years, I’ve seen radical improvement in my skin ever since I started cleaning my face with coconut oil, and using apple cider vinegar facial toner on my face and neck. And to tell you the truth, I wasn’t sold on making my own cosmetic products in the beginning. For years, I was practically married to my three-step cleansing process I was told I must do to get clear, beautiful skin. How could you expect to treat acne and pimples without cleansing, toning and moisturizing with the most expensive products?
Then, it hit me. Why would adding more unnatural compounds to my skin somehow be better for me?
If you’ve read much about the eating real, human food, you’ll know not to believe the claims from industry giants regarding health. Chances are, once you learned about unnecessary additives in food products, you naturally began to wonder about the concoctions you were putting in your pits, on your face, and scrubbing into your scalp. Welcome to “enlightenment” my friends… it’s only just the beginning.
Although there is much to be said about beauty and cosmetic products – today, we’re going to start with what I call my ultimate stress weapon: DIY apple cider vinegar facial toner.
The act of cleansing, toning and moisturizing dates back thousands of years. Depending on the geographic location of a culture and the plants and animals native to that specific region, evidence shows ancient cultures utilized avocado, palm oil, and a combination of olive oils and spices for moisturizing, animal fats and salts for cleansing, and botanical waters and natural astringents for “freshening” the skin. In fact, in the early 1900s, women (our great grandmothers!) were still making their own skin care products for toning and brightening skin from unprocessed milks, lemon juice, witch hazel, and vinegar.
Are Toners A Must?
Toners were originally introduced as a way to restore the skins natural pH after using conventional cleanser products which became popular in the 1930s. The skin has a very delicate acid mantle that normally has a pH of around 5. Soap-based cleansers are typically more alkaline (have a pH above 7), which can disrupt the acid mantle on the skin for up to 16 hours. When the acid mantle is disrupted, it promotes abnormal bacteria growth, and our skin becomes more susceptible to diseases, infections, and even wrinkles long-term. Toners, which are more acidic (a pH of around 3-4) restore the skin to its natural pH.
As beauty products have developed and evolved, most cleansers are now less alkaline and tailored to specific “types” of skin. As a result, there is much controversy about whether toners are necessary for use among professionals. Claims of conventional toners to “tighten” and “soothe and soften” skin can be far-fetched and inaccurate, and dermatologist are aware of it.
Here’s the low-down. Convention toners are typically a chemical soup of alcohol and conventional astringents, fragrances, parabens, hydrogenated oils (seriously?), and additives like “RED” this and “BLUE” that. These aren’t even close to being necessary for anyone to have clear, beautiful skin.
Because our skin’s delicate pH can be disrupted by many factors including stress, our diet, lack of exercise, and not drinking enough water – a natural acidic toner like the DIY apple cider vinegar facial toner below, can be very beneficial for balancing the skin. Not only that, it’s great for freshening and removing excess oils and make-up that may have been left behind after performing natural techniques like the oil cleansing method for cleansing skin (Check out How to Clean Your Face with Coconut Oil for more information!)
Why Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is simply the by-product of the fermentation of apples. Apples are loaded with potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium, and the fermentation process fortifies the end product with even more beneficial acids and enzymes. While it may seem weird to put apple cider vinegar on your face, it’s antiseptic and antibacterial, which is an added bonus when dealing with skin infections and conditions like acne and eczema.
Apple cider vinegar facial toner made from raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances the natural pH of the skin, clears away excess oils and make-up, and breaks up the bonds between dead skin cells (exfoliating) to keep skin pores open. It also can lighten sun and age spots, and can improve acne and acne scars.
And best of all? It’s super-duper affordable and contains no added conventional chemical craziness. Now that’s what’s up.
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner
Raw apple cider vinegar
For sensitive skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water
For normal skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water
For oily skin: Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water
To apply: You can store this in a glass contain (I use the bottle that my apple cider vinegar came in) to apply it topically with a cotton square, or you can store it in a spray bottle and spray it directly on your skin to freshen your skin throughout the day. Do not rinse it off after use.
Special note: No matter what your skin type is, do a patch test on your skin to see how it reacts with the “sensitive skin” ratio. I also recommend using this ratio FIRST before increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar you use. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the ratio to find whats best for you skin. Overtime, if you feel the solution seems to be too “weak” – slowly increase the ratio of apple cider vinegar to water. Do not increase more than a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar to water.
Kick it up a notch: Brew your favorite organic herbal tea (example: green tea) and use it in place of distilled water. (I recommend you keep your toner in the refrigerator if you go with this option!)
Kick it up another notch: Add hydrosols to make the experience a more nourishing one (1/2 – 1 tsp for every 8oz). You can also add a 2-3 drops (per 8oz) of tea tree essential oil for additional anti-inflammatory benefits, or lavender essential oil for a more aromatic, soothing experience.
And BONUS! If you’re looking to improve your hair and scalp, check out how to make an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. You won’t be disappointed.
Will you be giving this apple cider vinegar facial toner a try? Let me know what your special “blend” is and how it works for you!