Rosewater, Chamomile, and Lavender DIY Toner
I’m sharing my super-secret, natural beauty routine with you today! This is the first in a two-recipe series involving natural ways to improve acne and pre-mature aging of facial skin. Enjoy!
“There is no such thing as natural beauty…it took some effort to look like this!”
This quote is one of my favorite beauty quotes ever, ever (from Steel Magnolias-also a favorite movie). “Dolly Parton’s character is instructing her new assistant in the ways of being a “beautician,” suggesting that the success of her shop can be attributed to this strict philosophy.
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Now, I love a pedicure day just as much (if not more than) any other lady out there. I get about two a year-one in spring and one in fall. The full works. Hot stone massage, sugar scrub, painted design with little crystals winking on my toes, but the rest of my “beauty regimen?”
It’s au naturel.
Like most adolescents, I had awful acne in my teenage years, but unlike many young adults, mine didn’t “calm down” after high school. Extremely oily skin-that is also super sensitive? How am I supposed to care for that?
I tried so many acne “cures” that did nothing but irritate my healthy skin-you know, the places I DIDN’T have acne-and angered the already furious skin that was covered in blemishes. After using every acne solution that claimed to heal acne overnight, I began stumbling in the dark, looking for homemade alternatives.
The more I researched our skin’s properties, the more I realized how harsh so many conventional acne-fighting ingredients are.
**Please note: I am not full-on, super crunchy. I recognize the benefits of modern medicine and appreciate living in a world with antibiotics and labor-inducing drugs. I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise, as I would be dead, and so would my babies if it weren’t for modern medicine. However, I do recognize, that there are many benefits to natural medicines (like herbs) and preventative medicine (like diet and exercise).
That being said, modern medicine was failing me, so I began experimenting with plants and whole-body health. I noticed that when I was very stressed out; my acne was worse. When I was less than, a-hem, healthy with my diet; my acne was worse. When I went a few days without breaking a sweat in the gym; my acne was worse.
I also noticed that when I got out of the shower and had exfoliated, like I was supposed to, my skin felt great! Then the oil began. Buckets of sebum felt as though it would drip off of my face by morning. I couldn’t get it to stop-and with it came the acne.
I began researching toners, thinking that maybe there was an answer there. My mother swears by her conventional toner and she still looks soooo young! Maybe she’s onto something, I thought.
The problem was, for oily skin, so many “beauty” websites recommended “refreshing” toners (toners with alcohol in them). Alcohol is very drying, and since my skin already felt dry after washing, I abandoned conventional beauty advice and turned to history books.
I began researching bathing and beauty practices of the Roman Empire, of Queen Cleopatra, and of the Renaissance. Two practices transcended all three eras: rosewater and oil.
Yes! These two ingredients-with some modern tweaking-have completely cleared my skin. The only exception is around the dreaded, hormonal “time of the month,” (there’s not much I can do about those). I can attest to having clearer, less oily, less red skin since switching my regimen. I used to wear sooo much make-up to cover up my acne (I imagine many of you do too), but now I only wear it on special nights out, preferring some lip tint and mascara any other time.
Rosewater has been found to possess numerous health benefits for the body. Particularly for skin, its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant effects are all wonderful. According to the above linked study, R. damascena has great effects on neurological health as well.
You may certainly purchase rosewater from reputable brands. I, personally use this Rosewater
but it’s also fun (and free if you have a blooming rose bush) to make your own! Making your own also means, that you can add other healing plants to the mixture to provide other scents and benefits.
- 12 blooming rose heads (2-3 cup if using dried) Important! These roses need to be organically grown-no pesticides or store-bought flowers unless they are certified organic.
- 1/2 Organic Chamomile Flowers, dried (double amount if you have fresh)
- 2 Tablespoons Organic Lavender Flowers , dried
- 3 sprigs fresh peppermint (1 tsp if using dried)
- Vintage Style Bottle
- Place a heat-proof bowl on the bottom of a large saucepan (if you are making a larger batch, use a large cook pot with a bowl inverted underneath the “catch” bowl).
- Place all plant material around the glass bowl(s).
- Add enough water to submerge the plant material, but not leak into the glass bowl.
- Invert the saucepan’s lid on top of the pan.
5. Simmer on low heat, checking the water level occasionally (about 15 minutes), then remove from heat.
6. You are trying to collect the “steam” water, so placing a bag of ice on top of the lid, will help the condensation process during step 5.
7. Let the floral water (the water caught in the glass bowl) cool to room temperature.
8. Pour the caught water into a sterilized container and refrigerate. Use within one week. **Note: Do not store floral water with fresh flowers in the bottle. my photos were only for aesthetic purposes. The petals could make the water go bad prematurely.
Wash your face with a Pure Olive Oil Soap (I use these) or other natural soap with listed ingredients. Dab or spray floral water on your face after washing it, or to refresh it between washing. Once dry, finish with your “DIY Clear Skin Serum.” The floral water also makes a nice, light body splash!
This floral rinse (or plain rosewater), my serum recipe, eating a colorful, (mostly) natural diet, exercise, and stress relief through creating and yoga, all combine to form my natural beauty routine that has kept my skin happy, healthy, and has drastically reduced the occurrence of acne.
Rosewater in a pretty bottle makes the perfect friend gift for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day Gift, or for any other occasion. Unless you know the person will use it up in a week, I would go ahead and purchase the rosewater here, or other hydrosols like lavender or cucumber (not essential oils!) and pour them into a cute perfume bottle tied with a ribbon.
I hope this little project goes well for you! You can find my DIY Clear Skin Serum post here. What beauty routines work for you? What is your favorite moisturizer?
**Information and recipes found on this website and corresponding videos have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This is experiential and anecdotal information only.