Simple Homemade Facial Astringent

Amazingly simple homemade astringent. Heals acne, reduces pores. Only 3 ingredients you already own!

I think it’s been established, I have quite the past.

I’ve been a beet-hater (now, a lover). A Chick-Fil-A and fast food lover (before real food). I recently gave up store-bought laundry soap (thank you awesome homemade recipe), but still have yet to give up shampoo (I just can’t do it, yet). If it smells of toxins, I’ve probably smeared it on my body or eaten at least a few bites in my lifetime. It’s true!

Over the past couple of years I’ve been on a mission to not only remove the “dirty” ingredients from our food, but also our personal care products. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had some serious ties to many toxic products. Some nostalgic (the smell of Tide), others just too comfortable to give up. The thought of switching store-bought products for homemade versions seemed complicated, far from simple.

I slowly started with my go-to product, foundation powder. Hey, I love my make-up. It’s magical, remember?  I was pleasantly surprised how a few simple ingredients and five minutes could make a great product that was safe for my skin. Easy peasy. Since that first experiment, I’ve made: lotion/body butter, surface cleaner, body wash, toothpaste, laundry soap, vapor rub, and boo-boo cream.

Amazingly simple homemade astringent. Heals acne, reduces pores. Only 3 ingredients you already own!

Last month I switched-up my homemade skin-care regime. Even with my homemade lotion and natural face wash, I was noticing increased break-outs and peeling. After good counsel from my friend and natural skin-care guru, Jessica, I decided to change things up and create a new lotion/body butter recipe. Every good skin-care regime needs a bit of a change every now and then.

Jessica also recommended trying an astringent after washing and before moisturizing. At the mention of “astringent” my mind drifted to my teenage days and the expensive blueish-green bottles of Clinique.  For years, I used those toxic bottles of astringent, never noticing any improvement to my skin (probably more damage).  Finally one insightful day, I realized I was much too poor for $30 astringents.

SAmazingly simple homemade astringent. Heals acne, reduces pores. Only 3 ingredients you already own!

For nine years, I haven’t used any astringent. With the mention from Jessica I decided it was time to revisit astringent, but this time with a homemade version. With three simple ingredients I was able to make a pH-balanced, homemade facial astringent recipe, for just pennies.  In fact, the ingredients for this simple and natural astringent were already in my cabinets, just waiting to be used.

Amazingly simple homemade astringent. Heals acne, reduces pores. Only 3 ingredients you already own!

This recipe is made with three simple ingredients: distilled water (yes, you need distilled), Apple Cider Vinegar, and a few drops of essential oil (optional, but helpful). The simple ingredients create an astringent that tightens pores, keeping the unwanted junk from entering. Much like the Avengers– protecting and defending you from all the bad guys wanting to wage war on your lovely pores. If you have oily skin, like myself, this astringent is your new best friend. Simply apply using a cotton ball, after cleansing your face in the morning and evening, and follow with a moisturizer.

Amazingly simple homemade astringent. Heals acne, reduces pores. Only 3 ingredients you already own!

Simple Homemade Facial Astringent
 
Serves: 1¼ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup distilled water (this is important to keep bacteria from forming)
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar (where to buy)
  • 10 drops favorite essential oil (I like: lemon, lavender, or geranium)
Instructions
  1. In a large bottle (use glass, if using essential oils) combine the ingredients. Shake well.
  2. Keep on the counter. When you introduce water into a product without a preservative you always run the risk of introducing bacteria, so use water-based products quickly.
  3. To use, apply a small amount to a cotton ball or pad and wipe face.
 

This homemade facial astringent also works great on hair to remove product build-up. Once a week, pour the astringent over wet hair (in the shower, after shampoo and conditioner), then rinse.



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62 Comments

  • Michelle says:

    This sounds amazing, can’t wait to do it!

    I’m a new reader so I’m still going through all your past posts for more awesome ideas and recipes. I came across the homemade Neosporin. I don’t have much knowledge on essential oils but once I saw in your post that a few are antibacterial….do you think it’s possible to make a natural hand sanitizer spray?

  • Lori Aruanna says:

    Instead of ACV, can I use kombucha? I have some that fermented a little too long and is more vinegary than it should be. Thank you.

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Lori, I’m not sure about Kombucha. My concern would be the tea and how it would effect the skin. Maybe try a small amount on a test area of your skin- like your hand- and see what happens over a week. Let me know how it works.

  • Jimae says:

    Hi! I recently stopped using my old commercial cleanser and started oil cleanising. I’m 45 and have always suffered with really oily skin and have been a scrubber as well. This year, my skin took a turn for the worse– actually, the worst it’s ever been in terms of redness, dryness, and peeling. Nothing I put on it made any difference and actually made it worse. I worried (still do) that I have developed rosacea or some sort of food or other allergy. Coconut oil made my jaw itch, made my skin even drier and more irritated, and made my eyes red, itchy and dry when I made a make-up remover with the oil. I switched to grapeseed oil with a few drops of argan oil which seems to be much less irritating. Just using oil for moisturizing after oil washing was not sufficient, so I started using Avalon Organics Lavender night cream that I really like for morning as well.

    My question is this: do you think using an astringent will help or harm my dry, sensitive skin at this point? I’d like to close my pores but not enough to risk more dryness. I can always try it and see what it does, but I wondered if you have heard anyone else trying this with very dry skin. Thank you so much– love your blog! ~Jimae

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Jimae, I’m so glad you’ve found some products to work for your skin. I’ve had the same issue over the years, it’s taken a lot of tweaking to find what works just right for my skin. For the astringent, I know people with oily to acne prone skin usually find astringents very helpful. I’m not sure about drier skin. I might test a small amount on a small area of your skin, and watch the response over a week. You could even make a much smaller amount of this recipe for testing purposes. I’d also go with something like lavender for the EO, for a calming effect. Let me know how it goes.

  • Jennifer says:

    I would like to start using essential oils for cleaning, skincare and more but I am a newbie at it. When looking for essential oils should I look for 100% therapeutic, organic…what are the tag words I should be aware of? What brands have a good reputation over other brands etc?

    I haven’t been using anything special on my skin for so long and it would be great to make my own. I can’t afford to go out an buy all the ready made pure and healthy skincare that is out on the market. Thank you for sharing your experiences and recipes! It gives me somewhere to being!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Jennifer, I completely understand the not being able to afford all the pure and healthy skin care out there. That’s the main reason (and the assurance of the ingredients) for making my own products. The cost of making your own can be a little costly up front (if you don’t have the supplies), but once you have what you need, a few ingredients make a ton of different products and saves lots of money.
      As far as essential oils, there aren’t many certified standards. So, when a company says, “therapeutic” it’s not a certified credential. Most oils on the market from reputable brands are therapeutic. “Organic” does carry weight as the plants which the extracts come from can’t be sprayed with toxic chemicals. For some oils this can be important and others which aren’t likely to be heavily sprayed, it’s not. I personally love Plant Therapy brand. You can find them on Amazon or through their online retail store. I also have a local herbal store that sells their own blends. Here’s one of the best sites for information on essential oils: http://www.learningabouteos.com/.

  • Sarah says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe as well as the moisturizer one. These seem like they could be exactly what I need. Do you have a favorite cleanser for your face? Or do you use the body wash recipe that you generously shared with us?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sarah, You’re very welcome :). I use sweet almond oil (this–>http://amzn.to/1kJDpQT) on a cotton ball to clean my face. I simply squirt the oil on the cotton ball and wipe my face. I wash the oil off with a warm, wet washcloth. The oil removes the dirt and make-up from my face. I follow up with this astringent and the homemade lotion.

      • Sarah says:

        Great, thanks. Do you use it alone or with a carrier oil? I am 34 and have combination skin that rarely breaks out. However, it is starting to look “tired”. I have no skin care routine to speak of and never wear makeup. So I simply need to find a way to get my glow back. I am a happy wife and blessed homeschooling mama of 5 boys, and honestly makeup seems like a lot of extra work at this time in my life. Hopefully just a little extra TLC is what my skin needs.
        Again thanks for your time.

        • Kristin Marr says:

          Hey Sarah, The almond oil is a “carrier oil” vs. an essential oil, so it’s very safe to use directly on the skin, just like you would with coconut oil or another skin-appropriate oil. I’m thirty this year and have noticed my skin looking tired, but between this lotion, the astringent, and using the oil to cleanse, my skin is looking healthy and refreshed again. Also, consuming health fats: grass-fed butter, healthy oils- coconut and olive oil, and drinking homemade broths can really help with skin collagen.

  • Megan says:

    This looks so easy! Do you find the lemon oil causes any sun sensitivity to your skin? I’ve read that it could and wondered if the tiny amt in this recipe would be an issue. Thx!!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Megan, That’s a great question. There is very little essential oil to liquid (water and ACV) in this recipe, so the lemon essential oil is okay for stepping out in the sun. If you plan to go to the beach for a day, I may skip the astringent.

  • Meebs says:

    Hello! I was wondering about how to store the astringent, and also how long its shelf life is since it has water in it? I would ideally like to keep this in my bathroom for easy access 🙂 Thanks!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Meebs, If you’re using distilled water the astringent will keep for at least a couple months. If using regular water I’d only keep it for a couple weeks to prevent bacteria growth. I store my astringent on the bathroom counter.

  • Shirley says:

    I have been using ACV / water as astringent for a couple years and totally love it! I also sometimes mix in some green tea for antioxidants too!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Shirley, That’s awesome. I love that something so simple can be incredibly effective! What a great idea to add green tea…I need to try that next time.

  • Cindy says:

    Hi Kristin, you mention using natural face wash. What do you use/recommend as a natural face wash? (BTW I have fairly dry skin) I’ve been working towards using less and less chemicals in our lives also and prefer to make my own when possible.

  • Maureen Dickson says:

    do you have a natural receipe for eye puffiness? Thanks, Maureen

  • Tanya says:

    I used ACV straight (no water) to clear up my cystic acne condition. It has worked wonders! If you have more stubborn problem skin, you may want to play with increasing the ACV. Go Bragg’s ACV!

  • Melissa says:

    I use water/acv as an astringent. My skin is combination and it works well. I’ve slowly been getting into using essential oils and love the brand Plant Therapy too. 🙂 I read that geranium eo is great at balancing oily/dry skin. I think I should buy some and add that in.

  • Teresa says:

    This sounds lovely and I do enjoy natural things particularly things with ACV. I would like to mention though that while lavender is popular and used for many things it does cause cell death and I would caution against putting it directly on ones face, we have enough to deal with without hurrying the aging process. 🙂

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Teresa,

      Thanks for sharing. I haven’t read in all my research about lavender causing cell death in a way that it shouldn’t be used on the skin. It’s actually used in many salves and remedies to heal, even for burns. Lavender is also one of the few essential oils that can be applied neat (directly to the skin.) Can you share the sources for this information. I’d love to read more.

  • Yay! I am so glad I found an easy & effective recipe for an astringent; thanks! Your post about spending all that $$ for years made me chuckle because that’s my story with eye-makeup remover. Bottles & bottles of the stuff & now I use a simple, 3-ingredient recipe to take any & all makeup off, without leaving any oily residue! Just distilled water, olive oil & Dr. Bronner’s soap. Voila! Found the recipe here: http://domesticatedduchess.blogspot.com/2012/04/homemade-all-natural-eye-makeup-remover.html.

  • Colleen Hemingway says:

    I really want to try this, but I just really feel like I should add that you should be very careful about using the lemon/citrus essential oils on your face if you have sensitive skin, of course everyone is different and will react differently, but if you are prone to contact dermatitis be very careful, I’m speaking from personal experience 🙁

  • Jeni Davis says:

    Do you think adding a drop or two of tea tree oil would be beneficial for acne prone skin?

  • Sabrina Francisco says:

    Where do you get your bottles and containers to put your things in? Like the astringent and powder foundation and so on. Tia!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sabrina, I find many of the containers and bottles at HomeGoods or Target (the $1 section!). I also like to use mason jars and Weck jars for homemade products (I purchase both online).

  • claudia says:

    I went a little crazy a few days and threw out all of my face drugstore/high end products that are full of chemicals (moisturizers, cleansers, toners , black head removers, face wash even my DEO etc) and without having a back up plan. So now I am in the search for replacements. I have successfully made my deo ! yey! I made a simple baking soda toothpaste which cleaned my teeth really well, but my mouth still stunk (tmi?) and… when I flossed my gums burned so badly so I think the baking soda is too harsh for me so I have been oil pulling with EVOO and simply flossing , or brushing my teeth with straight coco oil until my Earthpaste order arrives in the mail (yey!). So now , I am not sure what to do for a facial cleaning routine. I ended up ordering a make up remover and cleanser from Origins because I panicked… so now I need a toner and a moisturizer. Would this astringent recipe be considered a toner? Step 2 from clinique? haha( we have all put those chemicals in our faces before :S ) I have also heard about washing your face with oil … castor oil with almond oil or along those lines. I have sensitive oily skin but not super oily but always get pimples. I am a little scared to wash my face with oil… but I am wiling to give it a try. My question is…. if you wash your face with oil this will cover step 1 as face wash and also step 3 as moisturizer correct? and also make up remover? So then you would only have to apply this astringent afterwords ? And your done? I am scared of using coco oil in my face so thats a no no for me.
    I apologize for my super long comment. I am all alone in this journey and dont know who to ask!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Claudia, Thank you for sharing your journey!!

      For the toothpaste, a lot of baking soda can hurt your gums. I use baking soda in my toothpaste, but try to keep it minimal compared to the other ingredients.

      I replaced the Clinique toner with this astringent and found it to be even more beneficial for my skin. Right now, I oil cleanse as much as possible throughout the week, but keep a homemade face wash handy for the nights when I just want to go to bed (without the extra oil cleansing effort). I found my skin really needed a bit more, on top of the oil cleansing (I have acne-prone skin), and use this astringent (which balances PH) and a homemade lotion. For me, this routine works best. Some people prefer just oil cleansing without an added astringent or lotion.

  • sarah godderis says:

    hey,
    I quickly wanted to mention that you don’t have to use distilled water to prevent bacteria from growing in your toner. In water, you always have a certain amount of bacteria. You have to use distilled water to prevent reactions from happening in your toner as bottle water or water from the tap contain minerals. However, you can use these types of water if you want. If you want to higher the healing power of your towner, I would advice using aloe vera juice, rose water or green tea infused water. I really lik using tea for toners! i’ts nice to experiment with.

  • Mwihaki says:

    I just happened upon this website and been reading it for over 45min. I’m trying to go natural on my skin as I did with my hair.
    Question: do these recipes work for an African dry skin? I tried coconut oil as a moisturizer and ended up with a dry skin. To what extend do your recipes work for my skin?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Mwihaki, Welcome to Live Simply! I’m Caucasian so I don’t have much experience with African dry skin. I’m sure many of the ingredients could be googled or researched before using them to make sure they will compliment your skin :).

  • Melanie says:

    ACV is great as a toner for oily and acne-prone skin. So is witch hazel. Mine is dry so I use white tea (even more antioxidants than green tea) and rose water which are working very well. I haven’t experimented with EO’s yet but I guess lavender oil would work and I think neroli and ylang ylang are good for dry skin but I need to check to make sure. I just found your website and I LOVE it.

  • Anu says:

    Hi, I am new to the world of DIY skin care products and chanced upon your website while researching on this topic. I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone…your website is very informative! I just made the astringent using your instructions and intend to try out the skin care regimen you mentioned. I do have skin which is on the drier side though, so hopefully the astringent still works for me.

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Welcome, Anu! My skin is more on the oily side, but I believe this astringent will also work for dry skin (maybe just reduce the number of times you use it each week). Let me know how it goes!

  • Ria Bishop says:

    Hi!
    I read a bit online, and read the comments and I was wondering if you could add (or maybe replace) the ACV by simple lemon juice? I use it as an astringent for my hair, but I know it might cause dry skin. Since I have pretty oily skin these days (All thanks to you, Easter Eggs.) and live pretty far from any drugstore or grocery store, and only have lemon juice and olive oil at hand to use, I thought I’d ask (One can hope for a miracle)! 😉

  • Julie says:

    Such a cute bottle. I’ve always used plastic bottles before because I’m terribly clumsy, but besides practical it seems to be more beneficial to switch to glass.
    Also I have been wondering about using essential oils and I am glad to have found your recipe. I always wondered if using essential oils would mask the stingy smell of ACV. My husband runs out of the bathroom each time I use it :p

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Julie, Many people believe glass is a better choice for storing recipes using essential oils, particularly long-term. The essential oil(s) really help mask the vinegar smell which is rather strong, lol. I have a new astringent recipe coming out this weekend (similar, but a bit different) :).

  • Roselle says:

    Hi!
    Thanks so much for this recipe!
    I just found out that I needed to add astringent to my evening routine, it significantly reduced my acne rosacea. I’m so excited to make one with ACV this week.. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Hello,

    I’d like to include this in my daily routine. My current routine is as follows if say I’m going out:

    – Facial cleansing with facial cleanser I’ve been using for years.
    – Facial primer
    – CC Cream (this is my tinted moisturizer + sunblock)
    – Loose powder

    If I’d like to include the astringent in my routine, when would you say I should include it. I have dry skin that gets oily after a couple of hours so I figured astringent would be good. Should I use the astringent before primer?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sarah, Your routine sounds very similar to mine. I suggest using the astringent after the facial cleanser. You could also use this recipe as a spray versus a “rub on” astringent. I’ve rotated between both methods with great success. The astringent will help restore the skin’s PH level.

  • Brooke says:

    I found your website through your homemade foundation video. This looks awesome! : ) I’m a teenager and I just use water to wash my face and a moisturizer/lotion. I’d love to try these recipes out and maybe share them with my sister and mom. My mom has tried making some of her own makeup and I think she would think this is cool too.

  • Charlotte says:

    I love it! I used it last night and this morning for the first time and already my face feels softer and less dry and so so much better

  • Rosi says:

    Hey Kristin, I am an absolute newbie to this kind of DIY home facial care and I am now serious about starting my journey with your products; I’m not going to mix with any other homemade recipes and will simply stick to your skin care routine. I am also planning to film my face on days (let’s say) 1, 8,15,22 and so on and see how it goes. I do not see anything in your products that may damage my skin, so, here I am, ready to devote my next months to a strict facial care. One BIG problem, though: I don’t know the order of what and when (yep, you are right to laugh)! Even though I am nearly 49, I have barely used any facial products, apart from yogurt on my face and, thanks to my mum’s gene, my skin looks pretty good for my age, but I’d like to start showing it my respect. So, if I was to start with your facial products, what should I start my DAY with and how I should END it? I am totally unaware of what comes after what.
    I will definitely film the journey (can’t wait to see what happens) and will def share with you. Just, haha, tell me the order. 🙂

  • Davinia says:

    Another wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try it myself. Btw, would you mind if I upload this page link to my blog? It’s still under construction, and I am implementing everything I find useful and inspirational 😋

  • Liyana says:

    Hi, can I know if I can change Aaple Cider Vinegar to different type of vinegar example pomegranate vinegar?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Liyana, I haven’t tried anything besides apple cider vinegar. I’m not sure how the other vinegars would perform on the skin (or if they would burn, stain, etc.). You could try testing a small amount on your hand for a week. Personally, I would stick with apple cider vinegar.

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