With my t-shirt outstretched, I collected the basil the Urban Farmer clipped from the plants below me. The smell of the broad, shiny green leaves was intoxicating. A craving for a refreshing lemon-basil sorbet hit me, while I simultaneously wondered how I could drench myself in the scent. Beyond recipe inspiration, the farm has me thinking about the healing and restorative powers of these plants. I’m increasingly interested in how I can treat myself with the very ingredients I’ve weeded and watered, in combination with simple staples. How do I build my own natural apothecary? Step one is a homemade facial toner.
Much like heathifying a traditional cake recipe, my goals are to strip away excess ingredients, explore the blank-canvas attributes of a concoction, and in the end, simply feel good about what I’m putting in and on my body. As one who routinely falls asleep on the couch, then raises like some sort of mummy to brush teeth and saunter to bed, I can’t brag about a nightly beauty ritual. Maybe one day I’ll overcome my bedtime resistance, but in the meantime, a facial toner was a great, get-my-toes-wet way to begin exploring DIY apothecary.
The more I learn about Apple Cider Vinegar, the base ingredient for this homemade facial toner, the more amazed I am, and the more I realize how those bright and shiny, shop shelves, with countless varieties of designed packaging, have steered us away from the basic and the simple. Even the organic shelves leave me wondering, what’s truly essential?
Calm, calm is essential, so I brewed a cup of Chamomile Lavender tea to use in the homemade facial toner instead of water. The advantage of making this concoction is savoring the benefits of each step. Sip some tea, breathe deeply and inhale the calming vapors, while contemplating the tea’s challenging little message. Traditional Medicinals’ tea collection parallels the lessons and the experiences of the farm, proving how vast and robust plant power is.
I made this homemade facial toner when the basil was still in its infancy, so I infused my elixir with rosemary, but the aromatic basil has me captivated. Once I devise how to cloak myself in its scent, I’ll report back. For now, give your face a natural tingle and take control of your skincare!
Homemade Facial Toner with Lavender Chamomile Tea
adapted from Tasty Yummies
About This Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar, in all its potency, is powerful, so play with the strength of the tea and the essential oil to combat the vinegar’s strong scent. I used 2 tea bags in my initial batch, but I’ll probably use 6-7 next time. The ratio of ACV to filtered water is 1:1, but you can experiment here too and determine what works best for your complexion. I recommend following with coconut oil as a moisturizer.
Homemade Facial Toner with Lavender Chamomile Tea
Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (such as Bragg’s)
Distilled or Filtered Water
2-3 Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Lavender Tea (or the tea flavor of your choice)
Lavender essential oil (available locally at Roxanne’s Dried Flowers)
Fresh Rosemary sprig (or the herb of your choice)
Determine the glass container you want to use. If using a 1:1 ratio of ACV to Tea, fill half of the container with distilled or filtered water to determine the volume. In a kettle or pot, boil that water and steep the teabags (off heat) until strong and flavorful. The longer the steep, the more tea flavor will emerge.
Allow the tea to cool, then add it to the glass container. Fill the remainder with apple cider vinegar, leaving enough room to add the rosemary sprig without spilling.
Add the lavender essential oil to your liking, shaking or stirring to combine. You can add more oil as you use the toner, for a stronger lavender effect.
Add the rosemary. You can infuse the rosemary for up to a week or longer, just observe it to make sure it still looks fresh, not discolored. Alternately, you can steep the rosemary with the tea bags in the hot water, and then discard the sprig before mixing.
Shake the bottle to combine the mixture before usage. Apply the toner to your freshly cleansed skin, using a cotton ball or pad, avoiding the eyes.
Apply your usual, daily moisturizer after the apple cider vinegar toner has dried. I recommend pure, organic coconut oil.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place (no need to refrigerate).
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