Time To Tone It Down

SO you've cleansed, steamed, masked or peeled your face. Now it's time to tone it. Toning tightens the skin and prepares the face and neck for the final step of moisturizing.

*Rosewater Astringent*

Remember the rose steam that you did earlier? I told you that you could easily make the rose water from it and, if you did, here is where you use it! If not, the following recipe is how to make it from scratch.

Take 1 cup of fresh rose petals and place into a bowl (make sure to use petals that are completely chemical free. Many roses are chemically treated to enhance color and prolong their longevity). Bring 1 cup of distilled water to a boil, then pour over the roses. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain the petals from the liquid and pour the liquid into a glass bottle. Cover and store bottle in the refrigerator.
Rosewater is a natural astringent. Apply it with cotton balls to the face and neck areas, avoiding the eyes and mouth.

*Aging Skin Tea Tonic*

This is a simple tonic that cleanses as it sooths, and tones. It is highly recommended for aging and tired skin.

Take 2 tsp. of powdered green tea and steep it in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool. Once cooled, apply to the face and neck with a cotton ball or gauze. Use daily for best results.

*Normal to Slightly Oily Toner*

This toner removes residue, closes pores and restores balance to the skin. It is a lemon-mint toner.

Place a peppermint tea bag into 1 cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 15 minutes. After steeped, throw out the bag and allow the liquid to cool. Once cooled, add 1/4 cup of witch hazel and 1 Tbs. of lemon juice to the liquid. Store, covered, in a glass container in the refrigerator. Apply daily to the face and neck after following the other cleansing routines previously discussed.

*Mild Astringent Toner*

The acidity in the cranberries works as a mild astringent and toner in this recipe. Savory helps to cleanse the skin of excess oils and possesses antiseptic properties.

Place 1 Tbs. of dried, crushed savory leaves into a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain and set liquid aside. Take 1/2 cup of cranberries and place into a blender and puree. Strain the pulp out of the liquid, throw out the pulp, and place the liquid with the savory liquid you previously set aside. Soak cotton pads or a facecloth in the liquid and lay on face, avoiding the eyes, leaving for 15 minutes. When time is up, remove pads or wash cloth and rinse face with warm water. Pat dry.

*Problem Skin Toner*

This toner is good for oily skin and skin with some acne. The ingredients are natural antibacterials and they will perk up and dry up the extra oil.

Mix 1/2 cup of witch hazel, 6 drops of tea-tree extract, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 6 drops of oregano extract or oregano oil. Store in a glass container, covered, in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. Rub over face with a cotton ball after following the other skin care steps previously outlined.

*Dry Skin Toner*

Dry skin really just needs to be clarified at this point. You do not want to over dry it. This recipe is a very gentle toner. The chamomile sooths as it tones and the peppermint is a mild toner.
Mix 6 drops of chamomile essential oil, 6 drops of peppermint essential oil., 1/4 cup distilled water, and 1/4 cup of witch hazel. Store in a glass container, covered, in the refrigerator. Remember to shake well before using, and to follow the proper skin care routine.

*Normal skin Toner*

This is a balanced toner that is strong enough to remove all traces of cleanser, yet is not harsh and will not over-dry your skin.
Mix 1/4 cup distilled water, 1/2 cup gin, 6 drops of rose essential oil and 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a glass bottle, in the refrigerator. Shake well before use.

All these toners should last 3-6 months in the refrigerator.

References: The Good Earth, by Casey Kellar, The Ultimate Spa Book, by Pam Sarnoff, Recipes for Natural Beauty, by Katie Spiers and Natures Beauty Kit, Deb Carpenter

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