Say goodbye to dry, itchy skin with this DIY hydrating toner! This homemade face toner for dry skin is formulated with gentle, natural ingredients that keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. The facial toner recipe can help to ease redness and irritation and has a wonderfully refreshing scent.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Learn more
Homemade toner for dry skin
My skin has felt increasingly dry over the past few months, and I’ve been working on a few skincare recipes to help with that. Allow me to introduce my new favorite: DIY hydrating toner for dry skin.
The toner is incredibly moisturizing, completely natural, and has the most amazing, luscious scent. This formula is super hydrating thanks to neroli and cucumber hydrosol. Plus, it sinks right into the skin and is a lovely base for other skincare products and makeup.
Benefits of DIY face toner for dry skin
- Moisturizing: This homemade toner for dry skin is not only deeply hydrating but also increases the skin’s ability to retain and store moisture, giving it a plumper appearance.
- Skin tightening: The astringent qualities of this hydrating toner decrease pore size and tone + tighten the skin.
- Soothing: The natural toner is loaded up with good-for-you ingredients like aloe vera, panthenol, and ceramide that soothe and nourish your skin.
- After-sun care: Apply this toner if your skin feels irritated after spending time in the sun. It’ll help to ease mild sunburns and restore the skin’s moisture levels.
- Quick + easy: Making this toner takes no time, and the toner recipe can be done even by complete newbies.
Who can use this DIY face toner?
This DIY hydrating toner is effective for all skin types. I formulated the toner for dry and mature skin, but it’s a great asset to hydrate normal and combination skin, too. You can also use the gentle toner on sensitive skin, and I share a formula for hypersensitive skin further down.
Is this hydrating toner suitable for oily skin and acne?
Yes! You might be surprised to hear that oily skin can be caused by skin dehydration. Especially using harsh cleanser can strip the skin of its good oils and diminish the protective barrier. The skin tries to combat this by increasing sebum production, which leads to oiliness and clogged pores.
Introducing this moisturizing toner recipe into your everyday skincare routine can be beneficial for oily skin types. Using a hydrating toner can help balance the skin, regulate sebum production, reduce acne, and keep your complexion glowy and good-looking.
Does toner dry out the skin?
You may have heard less than raving reviews about face toners. It’s true. Some toners can dry out the skin. The culprit is most likely volatile alcohol. This group of alcohol includes denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol.
Volatile alcohols are used to provide a cooling sensation and solve ingredients, which seems innocent enough. But these types of alcohol dehydrate the skin and damage the skin barrier. Using alcohol-based toners repeatedly does more damage than good, and you are right to avoid them.
But now worries! My hydrating toner recipe is free of alcohol and any other drying ingredients. And speaking of ingredients, let’s find out what goes into this DIY face toner.
Ingredients for DIY face toner for dry skin
Let’s go over the ingredient list and learn what materials make this toner so hydrating and moisturizing:
- Neroli hydrosol is distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree. The flower water is a natural astringent and helps to calm blemishes and minimizes the appearance of pores. Plus, you’ll love the lush floral scent.
- Cucumber hydrosol is steam-distilled from the fruits of the cucumber plant. The hydrosol has a crisp, refreshing scent and is imbued with nutrients that nourish the epidermis. Cucumber water feels cooling on the skin, is incredibly moisturizing, and relieves feelings of tightness.
- Propanediol is a humectant meaning it draws and locks the moisture that the hydrosols provide into the skin. Propanediol ensures the hydrating face toner provides long-lasting hydration.
- Aloe vera powder 200:1 is a concentrated powder made from freeze-dried aloe vera juice. It boasts incredibly moisturizing qualities and feels very soothing.
- D-panthenol (optional), aka pro-vitamin 5, keeps the skin super soft and moisturized. I love panthenol in my homemade skincare recipes, and have used it in my gentle body wash and rose lotion.
- Ceramide liposomes (optional) help compensate the natural lipids in the skin, strengthen the skin barrier, reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and rejuvenate the skin overall.
- Lactic acid has 2 purposes in this facial toner recipe: The ingredient ensures that the toner’s pH is in harmony with the skin’s pH level. And being an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), lactic acid also has a mild exfoliating effect, removing dead cells and revealing glowing skin.
- Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT): We need a preservative to protect the water-based toner formula from bacteria, mold, and yeast. Scroll down for more info about preserving your hydrating toner for dry skin.
Before showing you how to make homemade toner dry skin, let me explain some of the ingredients that you may not be familiar with.
What is propanediol?
I discovered propanediol when I researched ingredients for my moisturizing hair spray and immediately fell in love with it.
Propanediol is a multipurpose ingredient that can function as a humectant, emollient, and carrier for actives. The ingredient is COSMOS/ECOCERT-approved and suitable for natural skincare formulations.
1,3-Propanediol is a lot lighter and less sticky than glycerin. It offers even higher water absorption than glycerin. It helps to carry moisture into the deeper layers of the epidermis to plump your complexion from the inside.
However, if you can’t find propanediol, use vegetable glycerin instead.
What are ceramide liposomes?
I think this ingredient deserves a more detailed explanation so you can fully appreciate what ceramide liposomes can do for your skin.
Ceramides are natural lipids (fats) and account for over 50% of the skin’s structure. Like glue or mortar, they hold the skin cells together and form a protective layer that protects our body from environmental stressors and restricts moisture loss.
The ceramide content is depleted as we age, which weakens the skin barrier and leads to roughness, dehydration, irritation, and wrinkles.
However, you can replenish the ceramide and even promote the production of new ceramides by including products with ceramides into your skincare.
The ingredient is on the pricier side, hence I marked it optional. But if you can, I highly recommend you include ceramide liposomes in your dry skin toner. Plus, you can use leftovers to make our anti-aging serum and plum serum.
How to make DIY toner for dry skin
Making homemade facial toners is really simple and an excellent project for beginner beauty crafters. It honestly is as easy as mixing the ingredients together and waiting until the aloe powder has dissolved. Follow these steps:
Add the neroli hydrosol, cucumber hydrosol, glycerin, aloe vera powder, D-panthenol, ceramide liposomes, lactic acid, and preservative into a glass beaker or measuring cup (a vessel with a spout works best).
Step 2: Dissolve
Using a glass stirrer or spoon, mix to combine everything, for 2 to 3 minutes. The liquid will change from clear to cloudy and take a while until the aloe powder and liposome have dissolved. Aloe vera powder tends to clump but will eventually dissolve.
Step 3: Store
Transfer the toner into a glass bottle with a dropper cap or spray bottle. Optionally, label your bottle with a printable label, which you can download at the end of the post.
Toner for dry sensitive skin
You may want to skip the neroli hydrosol and prepare the toner with 2/3 cup / 160 g / 5.6 oz cucumber hydrosol if you have sensitive skin. Neroli hydrosol contains trace amounts of linalool, which can be irritating for hypersensitive skin.
Cucumber hydrosol is non-irritating, and you’ll still enjoy all the benefits this hydrating toner for dry skin has to offer.
By the way, I had no idea that cucumber hydrosol existed until I found out about it in this cucumber eye cream recipe from my friend Rebecca of Soap Deli News. I always like to give credit to the blogger where I saw an ingredient first.
Toner for dry acne-prone skin
Do you have dry skin + acne and have a hard time finding products for your skin type? I feel you, friend. Although dry skin doesn’t directly cause acne, acne can appear in conjunction with dry skin.
There are many possible reasons for dry skin acne. Harsh cleansers, pre-existing skin conditions, and excess build-up of dead skin cells, which clogs pores and causes acne.
To make the toner more effective in fighting acne, swap the neroli hydrosol for the same amount of tea tree hydrosol. I also have this DIY toner with tea tree hydrosol, but that recipe is more geared towards oily skin.
How to use toner for dry skin
Here’s the foolproof way to use this homemade facial toner for dry skin:
- Cleanse: First, cleanse your face, for example, with a gentle cleansing milk or cleansing balm.
- Tone: Then apply a few drops of toner to a cotton pad and gently sweep over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. I recommend shaking the toner before each use. You can use this cucumber toner daily, in the morning and evening.
- Moisturize: Finally, continue with the rest of your skincare products, including serums and moisturizer.
Hydrating toner FAQ
How much toner does the recipe yield?
The homemade skincare recipe makes 175 g / 180 ml / 6 fl oz / 3/4 cup DIY toner.
What is the pH of this hydrating face toner?
The pH of this facial toner lays between 4.5 to 5, which is close to the skin’s pH. The toner helps to bring the skin to its natural pH level, particularly after cleansing.
You need to add about 12 drops lactic acid to adjust the pH of this homemade face toner for dry skin. You can also do your own test to see if the pH is where we want it to be.
Do I really need a preservative?
Yes, please incorporate a preservative in your toner formula to inhibit microorganisms, mold, and yeast. Without preservation, you run the risk of microbial contamination because hydrosols can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties.
I opted for Preservative Eco in my DIY toner for dry skin. Preservative ECO is a vegan, ECOCERT-approved preservative and offers broad-spectrum protection against microbial growth. The ingredient is also called Geogard ECT.
Homemade toner without witch hazel – why?
Online, you’ll find many homemade toner recipes with witch hazel, but I chose to make a DIY toner without witch hazel. Witch hazel contains antioxidants and phytochemicals (called tannins), which can be helpful to reduce excess oil, redness, and blemishes.
However, many witch hazel products are made with high percentages of alcohol and other additives that can lead to dryness + irritation and damage the skin barrier if used regularly. If you want to make a face toner with witch hazel, be sure to use alcohol-free witch hazel.
DIY Toner without apple cider vinegar or lemon juice – why?
You’ll also find an abundance of toner recipes with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice help lower the face toner’s pH value and regulate your skin’s pH. Both are natural and easily accessible, and it’s perfectly fine to use them in skin care.
That being said, many toner recipes with apple cider vinegar use way too much vinegar. I found homemade formulations that contained several tablespoons, which exceeds safe levels.
I chose lactic acid because it’s a pure cosmetic ingredient without any additives. As you see in my recipe, you’ll only need a few drops to regulate the pH.
Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and has a mild exfoliating effect, promotes collagen, brightens your complexion, helps absorb other products better, and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dry skin toner storage + shelf life
How to store DIY face toner for dry skin
Keep your moisture-boosting toner in a dry, cool place, for example, a bathroom cupboard or a drawer. Room temperature is fine, and if you prefer a cooling effect, put the toner into the refrigerator.
Make sure the toner isn’t exposed to direct sunlight or stored near any heat sources (e.g., radiators) as UV rays and heat can compromise the quality of the ingredients.
How long does this hydrating toner recipe last?
The shelf life of this homemade moisturizing toner is 6 months if you store it correctly. Discard the toner if you notice any changes in smell or color.
More natural skin toner recipes
Need more homemade toner recipes in your life? Then try some of our other DIY facial toners:
- 1/3 cup / 80 g / 2.8 oz neroli hydrosol
- 1/3 cup / 80 g / 2.8 oz cucumber hydrosol
- 1 tsp / 5 g / 0.17 oz 1,3-propanediol
- 1 tsp / 3 g / 0.1 oz d-panthenol
- 1 tsp / 3 g / 0.1 oz aloe vera powder 200:1
- 1 tsp / 4 g / 0.14 oz ceramide liposomes
- 12 drops lactic acid
- 40 drops / 2 g / 0.07 oz Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT)
- glass beaker or mixing bowl
- glass stirrer or spoon
- cosmetic bottle
- Mix. Add the neroli hydrosol, cucumber hydrosol, glycerin, aloe vera powder, D-panthenol, ceramide liposomes, lactic acid, and preservative into a glass beaker or measuring cup (a vessel with a spout works best).
- Dissolve. Using a glass stirrer or spoon, mix to combine everything, for 2 to 3 minutes. The liquid will change from clear to cloudy and take a while until the aloe powder and liposome have dissolved. Aloe vera powder tends to clump but will eventually dissolve.
- Store. Transfer the toner into a glass bottle with a dropper cap or spray bottle. Optionally, label your bottle with a printable label, which you can download at the end of the post.
DIY Toner Label
Tap the button below to download your free printable toner label!