Often times people neglect this step in their routine, and let me tell you now, thats a mistake!
As the title suggests, toner restores balance to the skin. What does that mean exactly? Simple answer, your skin hates soap! Chances are you probably already know how drying soap can be, but why? The ph is too high / alkaline.
Your skin produces its own oil called sebum and that oil, among other things, not only lubricates the skin but protects it. It has a ph of 4.5- 5.5 which is slightly acidic- perfect conditions for fighting harmful bacteria. However if you disturb that balance, your basically asking for a pimple or worse... cue the toner!
Apple cider vinegar is probably one of my favorite ingredients, and I use it for countless things including this balancing toner recipe. The vinegar makes this toner acidic and helps keep your skin smooth and most importantly clear! Now I know what your thinking, A.C.V smells horrible, but I've got a solution. I prefer to infuse my vinegar with herbs to add extra skin benefits, and thankfully it also curbs the smell. It may still smell like vinegar, but it wont smell like feet.
Other ingredients I ilike to incorporate are lemon peel, chamomile, and sandalwood. Lemon oil brightens your skintone, perfect for hyperpigmentation or a dull complexion. Sandalwood also brightens the skin, but its natural antibacterial & antiseptic properties really make it a powerhouse by fighting acne and calming inflamtion! Did I mention it also smells amazing! And chamomile doesn't just make good tea. It's also a powerful anti-irritant so it's great for sensetive skin, and accelerates healing from annoying breakouts.
As great as these all sound, they're actually optional. If all you have is apple cider vinegar, trust me your winning! I've done it both ways and it still works. If you want to take a shot (see what i did there ), the recipe is below and you can even use the same packaging by purchasing the kit below.
2 tsp Chamomile Flowers // Optional
Sandalwood Essential Oil // Optional
3 oz Distilled Water
1/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Whole Lemon // Optional
Peel your lemon and add the rind and chamomile to a small glass jar, filling it to the top with apple cider vinegar. Place in a window sill that gets plenty of sunlight, the more light the quicker it will infuse. You can remove the mixture once the peel has lost its color- I waited about 6 weeks but it wont take that long.
Strain the liquid through a coffee filter or fine mesh strainer. You can bottle the vinegar seperately, then store in a cool dry place. Now combine your water and 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to your storage bottle. You can add a few drops of sandalwood essential oil- just remember to give it a shake before each use.