The Secret to Flawless Skin: DIY Cruelty-Free Skin Toners

By Peadar Davey.

There is often a misconception that you can’t be on a budget as well as be able to afford cruelty free products. However, making your own cruelty-free products can compliment a low budget lifestyle! As a student living in London- an extremely expensive city- I live on a very restricted budget. To ensure that I don’t break the bank, I make my own products from naturally sourced ingredients. Using home-made products is not only better for the environment, but can also work more effectively than store-bought brands that may not be cruelty-free.


One of the easiest (and cheapest) cosmetic products you can make are skin toners. Toner is one of the most underrated facial products, and incorporating it into your skin routine can make a huge difference. Toner works as an astringent, meaning that it removes oils while tightening the skin and pores, it balances the pH levels of the skin and removes excess dirt. Using a toner before a moisturiser can help the effectiveness of a moisturiser, as the balancing of the skin’s pH level allows the moisturiser’s pH levels to not be affected, hence removing oils that may stop your skin from absorbing the moisture.

Here are some amazing recipes for skin toners that are designed for specific skin-types, that are 100% cruelty-free and cheap to make. In all of the recipes that call for water, I recommend filtering the water and then boiling it to get rid of any impurities in the water. This avoids the waste of plastic bottles.

Green Tea Toner: Everyday Toner


Green tea is a brilliant source of anti-oxidants which have anti-ageing properties. It also works as an astringent by shrinking pores. On top of that, it is extremely soothing – perfect for every day use and especially after shaving. We recommend making this in small doses, as it’s best used fresh.



Steep the green tea in hot water for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, strain the tea and leave it to cool. Once it is cool, put it into an old jar or bottle) and it’s ready to use!

Tea Tree Toner: Spot-Prone Skin


Tea tree oil is known for it’s natural anti-septic properties. Using this can help reduce the inflammation of spots, get rid of redness and help to fight acne. This toner is perfect for spot-prone skin.


  • 90mls witch hazel (can be replaced by water)
  • 10-15 drops of organic tea tree oil (I recommend Quintessence – they have been cruelty-free since they were founded in 1986! You can purchase their products at:


Pour the ingredients into a recycled container and shake to mix.

Rice Toner: Dry Skin


Rice water is a perfect toner for dry skin as it’s full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which help nourish the skin. Rice also works as an anti-inflammatory, shrinks pores and helps reduce redness.


  • 1/2 cup of thoroughly washed brown rice
  • 1 cup of water


Soak the rice in water over night. This allows the nutrients in the rice to be extracted into the water. Strain with a cheesecloth and bottle.

Orange Blossom Toner: Acne Prone Skin


Orange Blossom is great for acne-prone skin. The acid in the apple cider vinegar helps to remove dead skin cells and absorb oils while the orange blossom water soothes the skin and brightens the complexion.


  • 75mls orange blossom water
  • 25mls Apple cider vinegar

Method: Pour both into a bottle and shake to mix.

Rose Petal Toner: Combination Skin


Rose water is an amazing everyday toner and works just as well as store bought toners for regular and combination skin. It balances the skin’s pH levels, fights acne and softens the skin.


  • The petals of 1 medium sized rose
  • 2tsp vodka
  • 1 cup of water


Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, bring to a low heat and simmer until the water is pink or the colour has left the petals. Strain with a cheese cloth and leave to cool before bottling. Store in the fridge to keep fresh.
Lemon Toner: Oily Skin


Lemon juice is a great astringent, making it perfect for oily skin. Lemon toner also brightens complexion, shrinks pores and fights spots. Add 10 drops of tea tree oil and it is brilliant for oily spot-prone skin!


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Water
  • Tea Tree Oil (Optional)


Juice a fresh lemon and strain. Add the lemon juice to approximately 100mls of water and put in a bottle.
Let us know if you try out any of these recipes, we’d love to see if they work for you as well as they do for us!


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