DIY Toner for Acne Prone Skin

I was one of those lucky ones that never really had acne in high school.

I’m not sure if it was because I never wore any facial makeup or if it was because of sheer luck but it was nice. Besides the occasional zit, my face was acne-free.

Up until two years ago, that all changed. It’s like I hit 22 and all of a sudden I had forehead acne like crazy.

At first I thought it was related to my unexplained chest pains which ultimately were tied to gut and dairy issues. So, when I removed dairy (for the most part) and my chest pains went away, I figured it would ALL go away (acne included).

I was wrong.

Although my skin is not considered to be at the most extreme of acne levels, it still is oily and I break out more than I ever have. It’s been poking at my self-confidence for quite some time now since I still have small acne along my forehead and I break out more around my mouth.

Thanks (or not?) to my natural tom-boy-ish personality, I’ve never been the one to spend much time on my beauty regime. I wash my face with water, and that’s it. There are no creams, toners, scrubs or anything of that sort in my house. To be honest, prior to me doing research, I had no idea what a toner was or why I should use it.

But now, here we are. This tom boy girl is sharing a recipe for a DIY toner for acne prone skin. Why? Because I’ve finally reached the point where I am SICK of my skin the way it is. I’m SICK of my growing belly flab. And I’m SICK of feeling yucky. Yes, I think those are all related to my acne issues.

Get ready because I’m going to do a total 180 on you, but stay with me because I have a strong point to make!

Being a blogger has its perks but the serious downfalls are the lack of movement, eating more food than necessary (think recipe creating), and not eating enough of the right food. I believe diet plays a huge part in the way your skin reacts and I’m sad to say that these past six months have not been my most “healthiest.”

Besides working in some simple face cleansers, I’m really trying to eat more whole, fresh foods and be more active. I’m hoping that by combing those three things, it’ll help me out so I can feel more confident about my skin and my general well-being.

Sometimes you just have to reach that breaking point before you are motivated enough to make a change. It happens to the best of us, that’s for sure.

My new and improved skincare routine for the past few weeks have consisted of using witch hazel on a cotton ball in the morning and night to help with my skin feeling oily and grimy. I know, boring right?

The only problem is the smell of it sometimes makes me nauseous. Weird, I know, but I needed to add some other ingredients in there so I could stand smelling it on my face and to also give it more of an acne-fighting punch. I researched ingredients and am pretty happy with the results… and the smell!

In addition to the witch hazel which shrinks pores and has anti-bacterial properties, I decided to include the following ingredients to pack an acne-fighting punch to this toner:

  • Rose water for it’s lovely smell and light astringent properties
  • Geranium essential oil for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It also helps scarring and spots on the skin to fade or disappear. (source)
  • German (Blue) Chamomile essential (different than Roman Chamomile essential oil). The German oil is a vibrant, rich blue. The blue color comes from high levels of azulene, the active organic compound of chamomile. Azulene has anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties which makes it a great addition to this toner. (source) German Chamomile also helps reduce redness in the skin that can be caused by acne.

PS. The term “toner” is often used as an umbrella for toners and astringents. However, there is a difference between a toner and an astringent. Both are used for cleansing pores; however since astringents are alcohol based, they are much stronger than a toner. That being said, an astringent is a toner but a toner is not necessarily an astringent.

Since my recipe does not include any alcohol based ingredients, it would be considered a toner. Hope that helps clarify any questions you may have when seeing the two names used interchangeably.

Plant Therapy Essential Oils


5.0 from 1 reviews
DIY Toner for Acne Prone Skin
Tools Needed
  1. Measure out your ingredients and pour into your spray bottle; shake well
To use
  1. If you're in a rush, shake well and spray your face with this toner after you wash your face
  2. If you have time: shake well, undo the mister pump, and pour some solution onto a cotton ball and gently rub on your face

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  1. Hi Loriel!
    I have been looking for a good acne prone skin toner for a while and decided to make my own as not many branded products have actually work. I’m super excited to find your recipe, I’m already planning to try this after my end-of semester exams. Just one question, how long does this toner last (is there a expiry date)?

  2. Hi,

    what do you use as a preservative here, and how can you tell that shell life is 6 months (based on what)? I would like to try it out but it’s not safe not to have a preservative as it can attract microbes to the toner.


  3. I LOVE this toner! I use it on a daily basis and it doesn’t make my face feel tight or dry at all, but smooth and my complexion even. I noticed after two days of using it that my blemishes shrunk and prevented future breakouts. Also, it is great for an oily complexion without drying your skin out at all.

  4. Hello…

    Greetings from Indonesia. I was trying to find a good toner for my son’s acne… and I came across your blog. Am happy to know that the feedbacks are good. Can’t wait to try making one for my son. Especially when I see the ingredients are easy to find. Thanks!

  5. Hi, I’m excited to try out the toner recipe. However I do not have rose water. Can I omit that?

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