Refreshing and cooling your skin, toners and astringents quickly evaporate after being applied with cotton wool. They can also remove excess oil from the surface layers of your skin. The word "astringent" means it has a higher alcohol content, and it is suitable only for oily skins. The words "tonic" and "toner" mean that they're useful for normal or combination skins, as they are gentler. Those with dry and sensitive skins should avoid these products, as they can be too drying. Generally, if the product stings your face, move onto a gentler foundation or weaken it by adding a few drops of distilled water (available from a pharmacist).
These products are used after cleaning the skin (with soap or any other cleanser), though they can be used as interim cleansers as well, as they can remove grime and oils. They freshen and tone up the skin and prepare it for application of make-up. They also restore the acid / alkali balance of the skin, because they are pH balanced.
Remove any residues and soothe the skin with a splash of cool flower water or, for oily skin, witch hazel and flower water. Skin that is very oily or has darker patches can be rubbed with a slice of lemon and left for a few minutes before rinsing off.
Flower Waters - Effective Toners:
A splash of cool filtered or spring water refreshes the skin after any treatment. Flower waters add their own natural benefits, and gently close pores without the harshness of alcohol-based toners. For oily skin, try water with a dash of vinegar, or rose water with a dash of witch hazel.
Rose water makes a refreshing spray, especially in the dryness of air-conditioned rooms or the stuffy heat of a plane, and also helps to set make-up. A cloth or cotton pads wrung out in rose water and placed over closed eyes is the kindest treatment when your eyes are sore.
Other flowers can be used in the same way. Lavender water has long been prized for its cleaning, deodorant properties and refreshing scent. In hot weather it is ideal to use over the entire body - and also for spraying on clothes and bedlinen.
Use equal quantities, by volume, of rose petals and pure water to give a delicately scented result. Increase the water's strength by using more petals, as long as the water still covers them. For an even stronger scent, use dried rose petals: simply shake fresh petals into a paper bag, loosely close the top, hang up and leave to dry.
1 cup fresh scented rose petals, tightly packed; 1 cup spring or filtered water.
Put the petals in a heatproof, non-metallic container. Boil the water and pour it over the petals. Cover and leave to cool. Decant into a screwtop bottle or jar and store in the fridge.
Rose Water Astringent:
For oily and blemished skin.
1 part rose water; 1 part witch hazel.
Pour both ingredients into a screwtop jar or bottle and shake to mix.
Natural Skin Tonic Recipe:
This flower skin tonic is suitable for normal skin, and can be applied to soothe and freshen the skin.
75ml / 5 tbsp orangeflower water; 25ml / 1 1/2 tbsp rose water.
Pour the ingredients into a glass bottle and shake to mix. Apply to skin with a cotton wool pad. If you make your own rosewater any fragrant roses are suitable for this recipe, as long as they have not been sprayed with pesticide. Pink or red ones are best.
Rose Water Soother:
A treat for a dry complexion and tired skin under the eyes.
250 ml 1 cup rose water; 1 drop sandalwood oil; 1 drop rose, tea rose or rose geranium essential oil.
Pour all ingredients into a screwtop jar or bottle and shake to mix.
Handful of fresh lavender heads, stems removed; 2 cups filtered or spring water.
Put the flowers into a jar with a screw top and pour the water over them. Leave for a day, shaking occasionally. For a stronger scent, leave it for upto three weeks, taking the top off every few days to check the scent. Strain off the water into a clean jar or bottle and keep in the refridgerator.
Flower Water Refresher:
1 part water; 1 part rose water or lavender water; 2 slices cucumber; few drops lemon juice (optional for oily skin).
Combine the water and flower water and refridgerate for 5 minutes. Dip the cucumber slices in the liquid and put over closed eyes while you rest. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle, adding a few drops of lemon juice if you have oily skin. Use as a refreshing spritz for face and throat.
Toners - Different From Moisturizers