Red Clover and Lavender Botanical Facial Toner

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Red Clover

Herbal infusions have been used for centuries long before the advent of over the counter skin products, and have been the go-to method since the dawn of time to naturally keep skin beautiful, healthy and glowing.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a wild, leguminous, perennial herb that is native to the meadows of Europe, Western Asia and Africa, and has now been naturalized here in the US of A. The entire plant, from the sweet tasting, tiny pink flowers to the leafy greens are edible and can be used to make sweet herbal tea for botanical rinses and therapeutic purposes.
Red Clover is a natural anti-inflammatory, and traditionally, red clover ointments have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes. It is a storehouse of many vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, such as calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.
When steeped to make a tea or herbal infusion, Red Clover is rich in isoflavones. Red Clover is considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens (known collectively as phytoestrogens). These isoflavones work to make skin soft and help prevent skin irritations and inflammation.
Red Clover also just smells GREAT!

Lavender Essential Oil

This ingredient is mostly thrown in for the pleasant smell (it pairs really well with Red Clover), but it hosts it’s own benefits for cleansing, beautifying skin and aromatherapy!
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.
Lavender Essential Oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal.
As for aromatherapy benefits, Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy.

Do you use a facial toner? Willing to give this one a try? Share below!

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

27 thoughts on “Red Clover and Lavender Botanical Facial Toner

  • 9 January, 2015 at 1:53 am
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    I’ve actually never thought to use a toner, as I always thought it was just a make-up thing or an extra I necessary step to cleanliness. So, I’ve always just done a water rinse. Your post though I don’t have acne, tells me I might need to consider toner. And since it’s so easy to make, I just may try it soon! 🙂

    Reply
    • 9 January, 2015 at 2:13 am
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      I actually don’t wear make up AT ALL. Only for rare or special occasions. (Although I want to start wearing some skin friendly make up soon..) And this toner is more a facial cleanser for me. I’ve never had bad acne, just occasional hormonal flare-ups, but Jojoba Oil took care of that for me!

      Toner is mostly fun to check out all the dirt on the cotton ball at the end of the day.. haha.

      Reply
  • 9 January, 2015 at 2:31 am
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    I am totally got to try the apple cider vinegar, since I still do get breakouts even at 37 years old from time-to-time. So, thanks Gingi for sharing this here 🙂

    Reply
    • 9 January, 2015 at 2:40 am
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      Yeah, give it a try! It’s so easy to make, and the results are fairly immediate! Even my hubby uses this toner, haha..

      Reply
  • 9 January, 2015 at 6:45 am
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    Looks like a an incredible product! Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    Reply
    • 9 January, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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      Yeah, I am quite smitten with it! ^_^

      Reply
  • 9 January, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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    (Kindly delete the previous comment I posted because the details are wrong in there. I recently transferred domains, sorry! Thanks, Gingi!)

    I want to try this but just by skimming the ingredients, I’m not confident I will see those in the local market here.. or if we even have them in this country. Apple Cider Vinegar is a familiar word though.. seen it before. Maybe there’s a store I browsed before that had them, so I’ll pick up one and solely use that when I’ve finished all my toners. I switch between 2-3 facial toners, all of them are for acne-prone skin lol. One from Body Shop, the one I will tell you about below, and a local brand of facial toner.

    Recently, I purchased a natural facial toner… Well, I assume it was natural because it was from a store that sells organic products. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner? Reviews online say otherwise, it has a small amount of chemical, still, haha. I guess that goes for everything that’s mass-produced anyway.

    I was so excited when I saw it in the rack (I only went in to randomly browse bec I was waiting for someone at the time). Tried it and noticed in a couple of days it caused my face to breakout. Still dealing with that nasty breakout right now. Thought it was a pre-PMS breakout kind of thing but it wasn’t that.
    It was only a small/TSA-ok bottle size but still.. it’s going to be put to waste bec I don’t think I’ll be using it again. 🙁

    Off topic: Were you able to receive the email I sent you about domains during the holidays?

    Reply
    • 9 January, 2015 at 3:13 pm
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      When I first went looking for apple cider vinegar, I had no idea where to look, but then we found it in our cooking section, shelved with all the other vinegars (white, balsamic, red wine, etc. etc.)… so check there! Also, you can make your own apple cider vinegar by fermenting apple cider with white vinegar for a few weeks!
      I have heard of Dickinson’s! Aren’t they the witch hazel brand that has a really low alcohol content, so it doesn’t dry out skin??
      And no! I didn’t see it! I was wondering if you just forgot to send it, and I didn’t want to bother you, hehe… resend it?? My e-mail is gingifreeman@gmail.com – I’ll check my spam folder to make sure it doesn’t get shuffled to there…

      Reply
      • 10 January, 2015 at 1:54 am
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        Yes, that’s them! When I tried it though, it felt like I was using water for toner haha. I’m not used to it I guess.

        No I didn’t forget to send it. 🙁 I actually don’t mind helping out as long as I know how. I resent the email last night to this email you posted above.. please reply if you get it. 😀

        Reply
        • 10 January, 2015 at 3:39 pm
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          LOL, it’s funny that you’re having trouble finding the apple cider vinegar ingredients and I have trouble finding the witch hazel you have.. haha.

          I did get it!! My gravitar e-mail is an old one I don’t use anymore, lol.. I will respond as soon as I get a free moment! Busy doing morning chores right now, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I did get it! <3

          Reply
    • 9 January, 2015 at 9:22 pm
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      Let me know if you do end up trying it! And thanks for stopping by my blog! <3

      Reply
  • 9 January, 2015 at 11:27 pm
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    I would love to give it a try!
    I remember a few years ago I got obsessed with homemade tonics. I had a really bad acne outbreak and nothing would work. Nothing. And I paid a lot of money for that crap! Eventually, homemade tonics worked like a charm. I haven’t had an outbreak in six years.

    Reply
    • 10 January, 2015 at 1:27 am
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      I’m going on two years without a breakout now! Yay home tonics!! hehe…

      Reply
    • 10 January, 2015 at 1:28 am
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      Let me know what you think!! <3

      Reply
  • 12 January, 2015 at 1:07 am
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    This looks like a really great toner! And not too hard to make either!

    Reply
    • 12 January, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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      It’s the best toner I’ve used so far! And that includes everything store bought!

      Reply
    • 16 January, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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      It really is! I love it! <3

      Reply
  • 10 December, 2015 at 10:52 pm
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    Hello, I’m sure if this is a redundant question but can tell me where you purchase your glass containers?

    Reply
  • 10 December, 2015 at 10:54 pm
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    Sorry, I meant to say I’m not sure if this is a redundant question but can you tell me where you purchase your glass containers for the toners?
    Thank you in advance!!

    Reply
    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:54 am
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      Hello! I actually got those from my dad! He used to be the coroner for our county, and they are medical grade containers used to store evidence, haha. When they were upgrading equipment and moving offices, they were going to throw them away, and I asked if I could take some, and they loaded me up with TONS (they are completely sterile and solid and perfect for home creations!) Not sure where to get these on the market… Sorry I couldnt be more helpful!

      Reply
  • 29 May, 2016 at 3:56 pm
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    Hi,

    So happy have found this recipe after returning home with himalayan salt and a glass bottle!!! 😉
    I have found Red clover picture, which i would rather use as it’s less fussy when travelling.. Could you advise me on how many drop you think i should add instead of the tea solution. Grateful to hear your thoughts. I have bad acne right now.

    Reply
  • 29 May, 2016 at 3:57 pm
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    Apologies, that meant Ted Clover Tincture!!!

    Thanks
    Rachel

    Reply
  • 30 September, 2016 at 8:17 pm
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    Hi there! I love your site and am so glad to have come across your DIY tonics. I tried the Himalayan Salt Facial Toner and really liked it.

    Anyhow, I know this post was a while back so I don’t know if I’ll get an answer, but I have a question: is it okay to double the ingredients for this particular toner? See I did so to fill a larger bottle ( https://www.evernote.com/shard/s299/sh/681d8ad6-c3de-44c9-a85d-1e9f2bdbaeaf/9d3976c27c153d9fbb391b24ee595b1a Ignore the spray nozzle – I don’t use it). I figured doubling the ingredients wouldn’t affect the ratio, but now I’m wondering if 4 teaspoons of ACV upped the acidity too much? I’ve been using the tonic and it seems fine (I think however that much of the salt melted in the heated red clover mix). It doesn’t feel as nice as the Himalayan Salt Toner I made before though. Whether that has to do with the smaller amount of ingredients before or not, I’m not sure. And the Lavender Essential Oil doesn’t really mask the ACV. So maybe doubling the batch for this toner was not a good idea? I was wondering if you might have some insight on it and I’d really appreciate hearing back. Thanks in advance!

    Reply

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