Thursday, April 15, 2010

Decadent toner suitable for a best friend!

My best friend is a lucky girl - no, not because I'm her best friend, but because she has normal skin. Not too dry, not too oily, no major break-outs, and nothing to worry about but the aging process we all go through. I love formulating for her skin - I can use all kinds of decadent ingredients that my oily skin will hate, and she tries everything and offers fantastic feedback. (We do formulate together, but since the workshop's in my house, I get more playing time!)

In case you're wondering, the reason my toners generally appear brown is thanks to the extracts and the cromoist I always include!

So I thought I'd make her a lovely toner filled with fun ingredients I've purchased recently!

16% water
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium PCA
2% hydrolyzed protein (cromoist)
3% honeyquat
0.5% allantoin

2% panthenol
5% liquid green tea extract (see note below)
3% Multifruit BSC
2% acai biofunctional botanical extract
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)

Note: If you don't have liquid green tea extract, feel free to use 0.5% green tea extract and add 4.5% to the water amount - hydrosol, aloe vera, witch hazel, or extra humectant.

So why did I include all this things? From the previous toner posts, you know that witch hazel is a good astringent, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory. I like aloe vera because it helps soothe skin and form a moisturizing layer, and it can help with increasing cell proliferation. Lavender hydrosol is good for all skin types and offers soothing and a reduction in irritation. Green tea extract is a great anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger, and it can help with inflammation and redness.

I've included Multifruit BSC at 3% so she gets about 1.65% active AHAs - starting low to see how her skin reacts - and I've included acai biofunctional botanical liquid extract because I like the idea of even more anti-oxidants and an additional light astringent.

For my oily, rosacea prone skin, this didn't work so well - I attribute this to the Multifruit BSC. (My skin just can't handle the AHAs well.) If you wanted to modify this for oily skin, you can keep the AHAs in if your skin can handle it. To modify this for acne prone skin, I'd suggest substituting the acai and Multifruit BSC for 0.5% white willow bark or salicylic acid and increasing the water or other liquids amount by 4.5%. If you have dry skin, add a few more humectants - glycerin at 3% is a great choice - and possibly a water soluble oil, if you plan to use this without a moisturizer!

I've packaged this in a spray bottle and I'll be giving it to her tonight! I'll let you know what she thinks!


Anita said...

Hey Susan-

Love, love, love reading your blog. Thanks so much for taking the time and putting in the effort for us all. I don't know how you have the time, you must require very little sleep!

Anyway...I made a toner containing witch hazel distillate, which has alcohol. If I simmered the witch hazel that I am going to use for a batch, do you think all or most of the alcohol would evaporate out of it? I would then use a preservative in the toner, of course.

What do you think?

susan said...

Hello Susan,

I'm Susan from Indonesia:D I just starting to have passion for DIY skincare, although i've never been made anything to date as i still try to grasp the basic thing first. I've got no science basic at all, so i learn on really slow pace to fully understand the whole concept, but your explanation is really clear for a newbie like me. Thank you so much that.

I'm going to make my basic lotion sometime soon, as i still gather the tools first, and also still sourcing out the supplier ingredients that won't cost me an arm and leg for shipping cost, as i need to import it from webstore, either from states or uk, unfortunately i can't find any local source yet. So it's a bit a hindrance :(

oh yes, about this toner recipe, i'd like to make this, but since i'm using retin-a, i can't use witch hazel because it'll have too much exfoliant, what other ingredients that i can use to replace the witch hazel function in this toner that compatible with tretinoin that i'm currently use. Please, kinda inform me about this. Thank you so much in advance.


charmscribe said...


How did I live without decadent toner? I made this recipe with very minor changes: I added 5% sea kelp bioferment and 2% niacinamide; I used sodium lactate instead of sodium PCA; I used chamomile and rose hydrosols and chamomile and white willow bark extracts; I didn't have acai extract. I weighed the water phase, put plastic wrap over the pyrex to manage the evaporation, did the heat and hold and then mixed in the cool down. There are lots of ingredients, but it's incredibly easy to put together. I love it! It's perfect for my skin, especially in the summer when I don't need creams or lotions. I gave a flip-top bottle to my sister to moisturize underneath the facial serum for dry skin. This toner gets rave reviews from her too. I put mine in a cobalt blue glass spray bottle and mist it directly on my face. I think it would be even better with lavender hydrosol and green tea extract as in the recipe since chamomile has a musty, earthy scent that overpowers the rose hydrosol in my version. This is a pleasant addition to my beauty routine.