Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Six Favourite Toner Recipes

Some of the most read posts from the last twelve months have been recipes for toners you can easily make at home. 

Here are some of the favourites together for easy reference. There's something to suit almost anyone's skin.

Rose Water Toner - for dry skin

To make this you will  need:

Combine all the ingredients in a small glass bottle and shake well. Apply with a cotton pad avoiding the eyes. This will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

Almond Milk Toner - for combination skin

This simple 3-ingredient toner is well-suited to combination skin.

You will need:

Combine all ingredients in a clean bottle and shake well. Apply with a cotton pad or cotton balls, keeping away from your eyes. Will keep for up to two week if stored in the fridge.

Elder Flower Toner - for sensitive skin


Place 1 tablespoon of fresh elder flowers (or 1/2 tablespoon if using dried) into a heatproof bowl or jug. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the flowers. Cover and leave cool and steep for about an hour.

Pour the cooled infusion into a glass bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine and 5 drops of lavender essential oil (if using). Cap the bottle and shake well to combine.

Makes approximately one cup. The toner will keep for one week stored in the fridge.

To use: Shake before using. Apply with a cotton pad, avoiding your eyes. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

Black Tea Toner - for oily skin

This is a simple three ingredient toner that works to remove the last traces of makeup and help clear pores.

To  make this you will need:

  • 1 cup witch hazel
  • 1 cup strong black tea
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • glass bottle
Combine the first three ingredients in the glass bottle and shake well. Apply using a cotton ball, making sure your avoid the eye area. Follow with moisturiser.

Will keep up to 12 months if stored in a cool, dry place with the lid on.

Apple Toner - for oily, blemished skin 

  • 85mls pure apple juice (organic if possible)
  • 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Place all the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and whizz with a stick blender until combined. Pour into a clean, dry bottle with a secure lid.

Shake before using. Smooth over your face, keeping away from your eyes. Rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

Lavender Toner - for teenage skin

To make this you will need:

Place all ingredients in the jar. Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for 2 weeks to give the mix time to infuse. Shake the jar well daily.

Strain the liquid and our into a small glass bottle.

Apply using a cotton ball, making sure your avoid the eye area. Follow with moisturiser.

Store out of direct sunlight. Use within 6 months

Notes on witch hazel: Witch hazel in its liquid form is a blend of an alcohol based witch hazel extract and water. It acts as a very gentle astringent, but is not suitable for very dry, sensitive or sunburnt skin.

You may also like: Six Easy to Make Scrubs

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

I link up here.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Six easy-to-make Scrubs

Over the last few months I've shared quite a few recipes for salt or sugar scrubs.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the most popular ones. Enjoy!

Lemon Exfoliating Scrub

To make this you will need:

  • 1 cup sea salt or Epsom salt (if using sea salt medium grind works best)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (in cold temperatures you will need to soften this)
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Combine the salt and coconut oil in a glass or ceramic bowl or (if the oil is quite soft) you could use a whisk. Add the essential oil a couple of drops at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition. Spoon into a clean lidded glass jar.

To use scoop out and rub into your skin concentrating on knees, elbows and heels. Rinse well and follow with a good moisturiser.

The salt in this scrub acts to soften and smooth skin by removing dead cells. The coconut oil hydrates, moisturises and nourishes skin.

Sweet orange oil and be used in place of lemon. A few dried and crushed peppermint leaves could also be added

For a gentler option use 1/2 salt and 1/2 cup sugar.

This is a very gentle scrub which will leave your skin soft and smooth. It's so gentle that you can use it as a facial mask.

Milky Oatmeal Scrub

To make this you will need:

1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal

Blend the dry ingredients thoroughly. Pour into an airtight storage container.

When you're ready to use the scrub combine 2 teaspoons of water and 2 teaspoons of the milk-oat mix to form a paste. You may need to adjust the quantities to get a smooth, spreadable mix that isn't too runny or too thick. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute or two before using.

To use as facial scrub massage gently into your face ans neck, then rinse with warm water.

To use as a mask apply to your face and throat (avoiding the eyes). Leave for 20 minutes then rinse off.

Stored in an airtight container the dry ingredients will last for up to 6 months. Any wet mixture left over should be discarded.

Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub

Place these ingredients in a small 
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plain salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (you may need to soften this a little first)
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Use a whisk to combine. If the scrub seems a little dry add more oil - too wet, add more salt.

Run gently into damp feet. Rinse off.

Store in an airtight container. 

Brown Sugar Scrub

The sugar in this scrub isn't just acting as an exfoliant. Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar and can help to remove dead skin cells and clarify the skin.

1/2 cup fine brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 drops vanilla extract (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to make sure the sugar is well coated in oil. Store in a tightly closed container for up to two weeks.

To use: massage over face and neck for 2-3 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.

Sea Salt Scrub

2 cups of sea salt (finely ground is best as coarser salt may be a bit abrasive)
3/4 cup olive oil
40-60 drops essential oil - rosemary, peppermint, sweet orange, grapefruit or rose geranium all work well

Combine the salt and olive oil in a bowl using a whisk to blend. Add the essential oil a few drops at a time, whisking as you go.

Spoon into an airtight container with a good lid. Use within 6 months.

To use: using a circular motion massage 1/4-1/2 a cup of scrub into damp skin. Rinse with warm water.

Not suitable for sensitive or damaged skin.

Note: Sea salt can be healing if not over-used, but can sting if skin is sensitive, irritated or thin. Don not use a salt scrub on skin that has just been shaved, waxed or is otherwise irritated

Apple Sauce Facial Scrub

In a small bowl mix together:
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or rice bran oil

Gently massage into your face and neck. Leave for a minute or two, then rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

This makes enough for one scrub. Discard any scrub mix you may have left over.

I link up here. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

How to make Sparkling Elderflower (non-alcoholic)

If you've been following some of my recent posts you know that we are lucky enough to have a large elder tree in the back garden. I've dried elder flowers to use later. I've made Elder Flower Toner and Elder Flower Cordial

A couple of weeks ago I also made some Sparkling Elderflower. This is a great subtly flavoured drink with a bit of "fizz" that can be drunk on it's own or used in cocktails or mocktails. Here's how it's made: 

Sparkling Elder Flower


6 elder flower heads
2 chopped lemons (no need to peel or remove pips)
3 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water
14 cups cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 or 6 one litre bottles
Food-safe bucket

Place the sugar and boiling water in the bucket ans stir to dissolve. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, add all the remaining ingredients. Stir. Cover and leave to stand for 48 hours.

Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Alternatively line a sieve with muslin before straining.

Decant the strained liquid into bottles. It's very important that you DO NOT FILL the bottles right to the top. You need to leave plenty of room for the liquid to expand. Seal the bottles.

Makes approximately 4.5 litres.

The Sparkling Elder Flower will be ready to drink in a couple of weeks and is best when well chilled.

A note on opening the bottles - this is best done outside as the release of pressure when the bottle can be quite explosive.  On one very memorable opening I popped the lid of a bottle - the lid detached itself completely from the bottle (wire and all), flew about 5 metres across the backyard only stopping when it bounced off the side of the dog kennel.

I link up here.