If you're like me, most of the time you're too busy to make dinner, let alone making your own face product. Which means it's a good thing that there are so many pre-made facial toners out there. They contain skin-beneficial plant extracts that are often hard for the average person to find. But making your own is easy and fun. If you just want a very basic toner that's also ultra cheap, add cooled-off tea (such as green tea) to 1-3 drops of essential oil and shake. Just remember that without the proper alcohol (approx 14%) or preservatives, it won't stay fresh very long. For something a little more complex, add 1-3 drops of essential oil(s) to 8 oz of floral water. To really understand the intricacies of floral waters, I recommend reading my floral waters newsletter

If you prefer the Cliffs Notes version, floral waters regulate the pH value and the acid mantle of the skin. They also increase the skin's moisture content and prepare it for absorbing lipids and active substances. I've listed several floral waters, so you can choose one best suited to your skin type and need:

Rose
Perfect for all skin types, it softens facial lines and revives dull, tired skin. No wonder it's the most popular floral water.

Rose Geranium
Great for sensitive skin, but works on all skin types, it calms broken capillaries, couperose and rosacea and helps heal wounded or blemished skin.

Orange Blossom
Good all skin types, except dry, it helps promote the production of collagen while encouraging the replacement of old cells. It also stimulates circulation to reduce puffiness and relieve swelling.

Lavender
Perfect for all skin types, it tones and stimulates cell regeneration, soothes irritations and reduces inflammation.

Witch Hazel
Great for all skin types, especially oily, mature and damaged skin, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties ease redness and irritation. (Note: True Witch Hazel Floral Water is not what you find on the pharmacy shelf.)

Sandalwood
Good for dry and mature skin types because it immediately boosts moisture, while balancing, cleansing and toning with anti-inflammatory properties for dewy, refreshed skin.

Tea Tree
Perfect for impure and acne-prone skin types, it effectively kills bacteria and treats acne with antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Peppermint
Great for tired and impure skin because it helps alleviate redness associated with irritation or acne.

Myrtle
Good for oil-prone and impure skin types, it fights bacteria, regulates oil production and helps heal wounds and blemishes with mild antiseptic and regenerative properties.

Next choose your essential oil(s). These are some the oils you'll find (by skin type and listed in alphabetical order):

Dry to very dry skin
Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense Arabian, Jasmine, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Palmarosa, Rose, Rose Geranium, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Normal Skin
Cedarwood, Frankincense Arabian, Jasmine, Lavandin Super, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Rose, Rose Geranium, Rosewood, Sandalwood

Oily combination skin
Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Lemon, Palmarosa, Thyme Linalol, Tea tree, Ylang ylang

Sensitive Skin
Frankincense Arabian, Jasmine, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood

Directions:
Add 1-3 drops of essential oil(s) to 8 oz. of floral water in a clean, sterile bottle. Shake to thoroughly blend the ingredients. Mist or splash it on your face after cleaning skin.

Want extra credit? Try reading Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty by Roberta Wilson or The Natural Face-Lift: A Facial Touch Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Spirit, by Linda Burnham, N.D.