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Essential Oil Alternatives: Face Toner Diy

Essential Oil Alternatives: Face Toner DIY

Restoring the skin’s natural balance doesn’t have to come at the cost of stripping your skin of vital nutrients. Too many over-the-counter facial products are laced with perfumes, alcohol or synthetics that actually lead to more serious skin issues.

Chemicals Of Concern

Many store-bought toners include SD alcohol 40 (or denatured alcohol) and acetone, both of which can have skin drying effects. “SD” stands for “specially denatured” and is a combination of ethanol and other chemicals to make it undrinkable.

Acting as a cosmetic astringent and antimicrobial agent, SD alcohol has been broadly listed as a toxic agent according to the EWG. Other health concerns associated with SD alcohol include organ system toxicity, enhanced skin absorption and developmental toxicity. Through skin penetration, SD alcohol may even transport to the bloodstream onto more susceptible organs, making it a possible carcinogen.

Acetone is typically added to over-the-counter facial toners as a solvent. Not only can acetone irritate the skin, eyes and lungs, it can also lead to neurotoxicity and organ toxicity. In the European Union, acetone is classified as an irritant. Exposure to high volumes of acetone can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting while also negatively affecting the kidneys and liver according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

The Natural Way

Adding drops of our Age Defy Synergy Blend to your beauty routine can yield wondrous results. From a cellular level, Age Defy reduces inflammation while it sustains smoother, more radiant skin.

In place of the harshness of alcohol-based toners, witch hazel helps remove dead skin and eliminate toxins. It also naturally fights wrinkles and acne while helping to calm puffiness and irritation. Lavender and Frankincense are packed with smoothing properties and antioxidants which support healthy skin.

EG's Essential Oil Face Toner DIY

Enliven your skin with our essential oil face toner. Use our step-by-step guide or customize your own natural toner with your favorite essential oils.

What You Need:

Filtered water

Non-alcoholic witch hazel

Polysorbate 20 (emulsifies EOs in water)

Age Defy Synergy Blend

Lavender essential oil (optional)

Frankincense essential oil (optional)

2 oz. Bottle

How To:

  1. Fill ⅔ of the 2 oz. glass bottle with filtered water and the manufacturer's recommended amount of Polysorbate 20.
  2. Fill the remaining ⅓ of the bottle with witch hazel. Leave a little space at the top for the essential oil.
  3. Add 6-12 drops of Age Defy Synergy Blend.
  4. (Optional) Add 2-3 drops of Lavender essential oil and 2-3 drops of Frankincense essential oil.
  5. During your morning and night beauty routine, use toner after washing your face. Let your skin air dry and apply moisturizer.

Note: If you have especially oily skin or acne, add more witch hazel and less water to your mixture. Refrigerate for an approximate shelf life of 2 weeks. 

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17 Responses

Edens Garden

May 06, 2019

Hi Rosie! It’s typically recommended to use equal amounts of Polysorbate 20 and essential oils. You can purchase this ingredient from cosmetic supply websites or Amazon. We typically purchase from Brambleberry, Lotioncrafter or Making Cosmetics. We suggest confirming with the supplier how much Polysorbate they recommend using, as this can vary from supplier to supplier.

Rosie Barboza

May 06, 2019

What is the recommended amount of polysorbate 20 and where do you purchase it.?

Edens Garden

April 04, 2018

Hi Marsha! We used a 1:1 ratio of polysorbate 20 to essential oils, but we’d recommend you ask the polysorbate 20 manufacturer as this can differ.


April 02, 2018

What I am not seeing is how much poly sorbate 20, as there is nothing on the bottle as a recommended amount. Please advise.

Edens Garden

March 26, 2018

Hi Suzi! You can replace Polysorbate 20 with a different solubilizer but aloe vera is not a solubilizer. Aloe vera is also water soluble and thus would not mix with the oils.

Edens Garden

March 26, 2018

Hi Cherie! We purchase ours on Amazon

Edens Garden

March 26, 2018

Hi Deb! That’s true, oils and water do not mix. In this recipe, we use Polysorbate 20 which solubilizes the oil in water, evenly dispersing it throughout the product and making it safe to use.


March 25, 2018

Could you sub the poly-20 for aloe juice, blending the oils into the juice fully, and then making the above toner recipe? My skin is too dry to use alcohol. Thanks!


March 22, 2018

Where do you get polysorbate 20?


March 22, 2018

I was told by a professional that essential oils are really not the oils we usually think of. Eo’s and carrier oils do mix. But eo’s and water do not.

Edens Garden

March 02, 2018

Becky, this sounds like a nice recipe, although these ingredients will still not disperse the essential oils and neither will shaking it, leaving you with undiluted oils on your skin.


March 02, 2018

Melinda and Dana, I have made a very similar toner to this one using the oils mentioned above in a 1/2 distilled water, 1/3 witch hazel, 1/6 apple cider vinegar mixture. I’d forget the polysorbate 20 all together and just give your bottle a good shake before every use. It works great for me and then my chemical conscience is clear. Sarah, the distilled water will give the toner a much longer shelf life.

Edens Garden

February 15, 2018

Hi Melinda! You can use carrier oil to dilute the essential oils in this recipe, however oil and water don’t mix, rendering this recipe useless. A solubilizer such as Polysorbate 20 or grain alcohol are necessary for this recipe.

Melinda Seymour

February 14, 2018

So, what should we use in place of Polysorbate 20, since it is a carcinogen? Maybe one of your carrier oils that are not too oily on the skin, and absorbs the oils immediately? Very interested since I would like to make this recipe.

Edens Garden

January 08, 2018

Hi Dana! Used in low doses, such as in the recipe above, Polysorbate 20 is not harmful. A solbilizer is needed in this recipe to properly mix essential oils in water. Without a solubilizer, the essential oils will not be properly diluted, and thus dangerous to use on the face. Another option for solubilizing essential oils in water is using grain alcohol, however this is very drying to the skin


January 06, 2018

I am new to essential oils and your oils interested me. I do have a question regarding your face toner recipe. I am concerned about the polysorbate 20 ingredient. I looked up what is was and it says it is a carcinogen. Another website said if you find that ingredient in your cosmetic products you should look for something else. Are you should this is a healthy ingredient?


December 29, 2017

What is the shelf life of this toner (since it has water, I assume short…)