This sweetly fragrant, refreshing facial toner has become a fast favourite of mine. It smells deliciously of roses, features several soothing and lightly hydrating ingredients, and leaves my skin feeling revived and gently cleansed. It’s also crazy easy to make (no heat required!) and uses just a handful of pretty simple ingredients. I think you’re going to love it, too!

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

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This DIY was inspired by Thayer’s—a skincare community perennial favourite. At $10 for 350mL (12 fl oz) it isn’t absurdly expensive or anything, but it is a very simple product that you can easily make at home for less. I’ve also made a few little changes because I can’t leave well enough alone 😜

 

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

 

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

For starters, my DIY version uses more rose hydrosol than I suspect the Thayer’s one does—their ingredient list has the rose hydrosol after the vegetable glycerin. Given glycerin is usually used at pretty low percentages (especially in a watery leave-on product like this one where its stickiness is likely to be noticeable) that means the original was probably pretty low on rose hydrosol. That’s likely why their product also includes a rose fragrance—they aren’t getting a ton of scent from the hydrosol. We’re getting all our rosy goodness from the hydrosol, though. Swoon.

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

I also included a bit of panthenol, aka vitamin B5, because it is skin magic. From Lotion Crafter: “Studies have shown D-Panthenol promotes stimulation of epithelization, granulation, mitigation of itching and has an anti-inflammatory effect. When used in formulations over the course of three to four weeks, it has the potential to improve the appearance of the skin, including dryness, roughness, scaling, pruritus and erythema. Further, its moisturizing properties improve stratum corneum hydration, reducing transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin elasticity and softness.” See? Skin magic! As of this writing there is a world-wide shortage of panthenol (sob), so if you don’t have & can’t get any I have listed some suitable substitutions after the recipe.

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

We’ve also got some witch hazel for some refreshing astringency, but you won’t notice its characteristic musty scent in the end product. Some aloe vera juice brings wonderful skin-soothing goodness to the toner, and a touch of vegetable glycerine adds some non-sticky humectant power.

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

The vast majority of the ingredients in this recipe are mostly water, and the 2.5% that isn’t will readily incorporate and dissolve with a bit of mixing. You could even make this straight into your bottle, cap, and shake to combine. Easy peasy!

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Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

45g | 37.5% distilled water
24g | 20% aloe vera juice
24g | 20% witch hazel
24g | 20% rose hydrosol
1.2g | 1% vegetable glycerine
1.2g | 1% panthenol
0.6g | 0.5% liquid germall plus (USA / Canada)

Weigh the all the ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Stir to combine.

Once the solution is uniform, transfer it to a 120ml/4oz squeeze bottle. You’re done!

To use, dispense some toner onto a cotton pad or ball and swab the skin with it.

Because this toner contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.

Substitutions

As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.

  • As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Wholesale Supplies Plus. As written in grams this recipe will make 120g.
  • You can use a different hydrosol if you prefer
  • Your witch hazel can contain alcohol or be alcohol free—mine was alcohol free
  • Sodium lactate or sodium PCA will work in place of vegetable glycerine and/or panthenol
  • If you have a concentrated aloe vera powder (100x or 200x, that sort of thing), I recommend making an aloe vera stock with it for recipes like this. For 100x that would be 1% 100x aloe vera powder, 0.5% liquid germall plus, and water to 100%. For 200x powder you’d need 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder, 0.5% liquid germall plus, and water to 100%.

Rose Witch Hazel Facial Toner

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