Clarifying Toner

Would you have ever guessed that the secret to clear, glowing skin could be found in fermented apples. But lo and behold, an apple a day keeps acne at bay. I admit, it may not have thee most pleasant fragrance BUT it works! Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an affordable and natural solution for your skin. This toner/ astringent recipe just requires water, apple cider vinegar and essential oils. I particularly like to add lavender essential oil, to mask the scent of the ACV. Raw & organic ACV is expensive (buy here), so if you’d like to make your own, here’s my homemade recipe.


Cost Price: R8 per 250ml
Lasted me about:
 1 month (using every day)
Estimated shelf life: 2 months (stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight).

*Costs accurate at time of writing this blog post. Costs based on the best retail prices I’ve found.


Apple cider vinegar (ACV) stinks like smelly socks, point blank. It’s difficult to get used to, even if the smell does eventually evaporate away. The peppermint in this recipe helps to mask the smell.


  • The benefits of ACV for clearer, more toned skin is worth the smell (for me, anyway). If it’s too much for you, you may want to try using witch hazel instead of the ACV solution, but it’s not the same.
  • This toner is also an effective makeup remover.


  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV):  Contains natural alpha hydroxy acids that help remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresher and healthier complexion. ACV is also antibacterial and anti-fungal which helps prevent acne. ACV balances the pH levels of your skin and controls sebum production, preventing it from becoming too oily or too dry. Raw, organic ACV is best (buy here). However, if you can’t afford to buy raw ACV, make your own at home. Here’s how.
  • Fragrance-free liquid soap: acts as a solubilizer in this recipe to prevent the essential oils from separating from the water, and to ensure that the essential oils are adequately diluted to prevent skin irritation. (buy here)
  • Tea tree essential oil:  Helps diminish scars, and treats acne by preventing bacterial skin infections and acts as an anti-inflammatory (buy here).
  • Lavender essential oil: Effectively treats acne by inhibiting the bacteria that causes infection, regulates the production of sebum, heals wounds and helps reduce the signs of scarring (buy here).
  • Peppermint essential oil: Nourishes dull skin and improves the texture of oily or greasy skin. It also soothes skin by creating a cooling sensation, and improves complexion by increasing blood circulation (buy here).

Not sure where to find these, or other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you. Are you new to essential oils? Please read how to use them safely.

Recommended Retail Option

If DIY just isn’t your thing, or if you are pressed for time, then I personally recommend Back 2 Nature Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Toner. It is the closest retail product to this specific recipe.

How has apple cider vinegar improved your skin? Let me know in the comments below.


2 thoughts on “Clarifying Toner”

    • Hi Suzaan,
      The oils will probably clog it up. But add a bit of alcohol to your essential oils before adding them in, and it should prevent your bottle from being clogged. You can use 2ml rubbing alcohol or 5ml vodka. Applying alcohol to your skin every day is not ideal, but this is so very little, and it’s super diluted – so it shouldn’t be a problem for regular use.


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