About this time last year I started using a Himalayan Salt Facial Toner (click here to see the recipe) I had concocted after doing waaaaay more research than I really needed to.
I really can’t help myself when it comes to the science behind home based tonics. How does it work? Why does it work? What is the chemical reaction between the elements? Tell meeeeee!!
As I’ve said before, it’s like a housewife, information detective and mad scientist are all vying for prominence in my brain. Think “OCD meets perfectionism”.
At any rate, this mixture worked wonders for my skin. However, I stopped using it once I discovered the miracle of using Jojoba Oil as an all-in-one acne fighter, moisturizer and facial cleanser. Since using Jojoba Oil in the mornings, I have not had ANY acne flair-ups, and my face has been smooth, soft and the clearest it’s been in well over a decade. No joke!
But I’ve found myself hesitant to use Jojoba too often (my once in the morning application seems to be the perfect balance for my skin), but I’d still like a skin care routine for the evenings, to wash off the dirt and grime and invisible nasties before bedtime. So I realized, I really shouldn’t have kicked my toner to the curb.
So why not go back to my simple salt toner solution? 1) My original salt water toner recipe doesn’t do much to mask the somewhat off-putting scent of the apple cider vinegar, and 2) By adding a botanical element to the mixture, the toner will be much more effective and beneficial for my skin!
Why Use A Natural Ingredient Facial Toner?
Toner is generally used to remove surface oils, dirt or makeup within your pores, and to act as a pore minimizer.
For a facial toner to work at minimizing pores, it must contain ingredients that are astringent, meaning they cause tissues to contract, making the pores tighten.
The problem with most store bought toners is that they use extremely alkaline synthetic pore minimizers, which often have only a temporary tightening effect, but over time cause the skin to lose its protective, acidic mantle.
It’s best to use astringents that gently cleanse while leaving your skin’s pH at its ideal, slightly acidic balance. The two active ingredients in this all natural facial toner are Apple Cider Vinegar and Pink Himalayan Salt, both of which are excellent natural astringents that cleanse while protecting – not harming – your skins delicate acidic mantle.
How To Make It
½ cup of Filtered Water
1 Red Clover tea bag (or 1 teaspoon of dried Red Clover)
1 teaspoons of Pink Himalayan Salt
2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Bring your filtered water to a boil, and then steep the Red Clover leaves in the water for 3 minutes. Remove the leaves and then add the Pink Himalayan Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar and Lavender Essential Oil, stirring to combine them. Funnel this mixture into a clean glass bottle.
To use the toner, simply wet a cotton ball or cotton pad and gently apply the solution to your face, paying special attention to any acne-prone or problem areas.
How It Works
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (one of my FAVORITE natural food and beauty ingredients!) is an acidic solution with pH values between 4.25 and 5. Human skin pH rests between 4.5 and 6.2. When applied to the skin, Apple Cider Vinegar helps restore the natural pH balance.
The slightly acidic nature of Apple Cider Vinegar is provided by naturally occurring and organic acids.
Acne is primarily responsible for breaking down fatty acids in your skin and making your pH balance all wonky. By restoring the acidity of the skin, Apple Cider Vinegar promotes the normal functioning of your skin, reduces keratinization, regulates sebum production and hinders bacterial colonization. (Apple Cider Vinegar is also extremely effective against acne because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties!)
All of this means that a daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar equals skin pores that are no longer clogged and acne breakouts that are healed and prevented!
Pink Himalayan Salt
Pink Himalayan Salt is 100% natural and is one of the most beneficial, cleanest salts available on the planet. It is found only in the Himalayan region of Pakistan in “The Salt Range”, a huge mountain 700 miles long consisting only of salt. The salt is filled with the full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements so pure that you can eat it straight from the mountain.
Anyway, salt has a long history of use in various skin cures and beauty tonics, and for good reason!
The elements in this natural, mineral rich salt are available in such tiny microscopic particles that they can be easily absorbed by human skin cells and metabolized. When Himalayan Salt is dissolved into water, the elements are absorbed in their ionic form into your cells.
As a result, it deeply cleans the pores – purifying and disinfecting them – and stimulates the skin’s surface circulation. Salt is also naturally antiseptic, and when it comes into contact with your skin, it automatically forms an environment hostile to microorganisms.
But the little known benefit of salt when used as a skin cleansing agent, is that salts have a unique ability to attract and hold water, making them a natural moisturizer.
Mineral salts, such as Himalayan Salt, is rich in magnesium and calcium, which improves hydration by strengthening the barrier function of the skin. The minerals in the salt are also hydroscopic, meaning they attract water, so when you put them on the skin, they actually draw moisture and nutrients from the deeper levels of the skin up to the epidermis.
Since your skin is the very last organ to receive the water you drink (see my blog post, “How To Moisturize From the Inside Out”) this gentle forced rerouting of water stores immediately boosts skin quality and tone.