DIY: Easy Skin Toner

Rebecca of The Daily Muse has great skin, and she swears by her homemade, super simple skin toner. She says it’s environmentally friendly, all natural with no harsh chemicals, and it’s much less expensive than store-bought toner. Best of all, apparently it actually works — it’s known to clear up blemishes and smooth skin tone. The secret: it’s made from Apple Cider Vinegar!

You can find Rebecca’s vinegar-as-toner instructions below. But while we’re on the topic, I’m curious: have you ever tried vinegar on your skin? Do you have other homemade beauty recipes you’re addicted to? Please share!

Rebecca’s Instructions on How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar in Place of Your Regular Toner:

1. It has to be the raw ACV, with the mother. side note: I hate the phrase “with the mother.” It sounds like a dirty joke that ends in “ya motha.”
2. Bragg ACV is a reputable brand and can be found at most any grocery, vitamin, or health store.
3. It should be noted that a 16oz bottle of ACV costs around $3. Toner making jackpot!
4. Find an empty travel size container to make your toner. Sephora makes great little pump bottles that work perfectly.
5. Dilute the ACV to 3 parts water, 1 part ACV.
6. The exact ratio will vary according to your skin type. Dry skin? Use more water. Oil making machine? Use more ACV. You’ll find the right balance after a few weeks.
7. Use it as you would regular toner. Once or twice daily.
8. The heinous vinegar smell goes away once it soaks into your skin.

As with any beauty product, be patient. I’ve been on a strict ACV regimen for over 6 months now and I’ve noticed that my skin has become more normal. Not too dry, not too oily. Over time, it has even faded those annoying red blobs left over long after the zit has gone.

One last thing: Did you know that most drug store toners are just made of alcohol and perfume? Tis true.


Thank you so much for sharing, Rebecca. I love inexpensive try-at-home tips like this!

104 thoughts on “DIY: Easy Skin Toner”

  1. I have a slight obsession with toner, the one I usually get is too expensive and I was already looking for alternatives. This sounds doable and simply amazing.

  2. Will have to try this!! I LOVE mxing some salt and oilve oil before a long shower and scrubbing all over! Leaves a nice moisturizing sheen!

    1. I also love the olive oil and salt trick! I like to add some kind of floral scented oil as well as the scent will stay with you for a while!

  3. Wonderful!! I’m slowly but surely trying to replace my pricey, chemical-laden store-bought beauty products with DIY products. I’m looking forward to trying this.

  4. I started doing this when I was pregnant – it’s been great! I have pretty oily skin and I do about 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. Sometimes I get crazy and add a couple drops of essential oil to my bottle too. Live on the edge, that’s my motto. :)

    1. hi Allison…

      I just want to ask is it really safe for a pregnant woman to use acv with mother and even drink it with water? thanks

  5. I have been learning so much about apple cider vinegar. It heals up warts in a matter of days–even painful plantars warts. It also took care of my daughters boil. Same method– put it on half a cotton ball and tape on with medical tape. I’ve also read recently that, mixed with water and sprayed on your windshield, it will keep it from freezing for a couple of weeks. Haven’t tried this yet. It kills germs so it’s great for house cleaning as well. I’m very excited to try it for toner. I’ve been using witch hazel for a natural alternative and have been less than impressed. Thanks!

      1. Hear, hear for the ladies with plantar warts! They are the most stubborn things. I am going for the apple-cider vinegar. Pretty small investment, even if it doesn’t work.

      2. ACV works very well for warts. Just know that for a long-standing wart, it may take a while—two weeks or so of consistent application. I love it for treating my childrens’ warts since it (usually) doesn’t hurt!

        1. Yes! isn’t it lovely that the most effective treatment is essentially painless? My poor neighbor took her son to the doctor only to have his plantars wart frozen and eventually cut out! I felt terrible for not sharing this with her sooner. The sad thing is that even with these drastic measures, the virus still may not be taken care of so it may come back. Even after all that. But the ACV kills the virus and the skin begins healing itself.

  6. Also, has a lovely facial cleanser recipe where you mix olive oil and castor oil, massage it into your skin, then get a steamy washcloth and hold it on your face until it cools. Then wipe and you’re done. There are different ratios for different skin types here as well. This is the nicest thing I do for myself every day. It feels like a spa facial and leaves my skin glowing and pores almost invisible. So very relaxing.

    1. I saw this on Pinterest about 6 months ago and decided to try it… needless to say, I love it! So cheap, and my face is so much less oily now. I definitely recommend this to everyone :)

    2. I’ve been doing that too now for a year and my skin looks so much younger and fresher! I’m hooked and will never use soap on my face again. Finally no more breakouts and less fine lines! :)

  7. Raw ACV is amazing! It has a lot of healing properties. I hadn’t heard of using it as a toner, but it doesn’t surprise me that it works. Thanks for sharing this great piece of beauty advice. I am always interested in natural / DIY products. Now, if I could get past the not so pleasant taste of ACV and swallow a couple of tablespoons a day. It’s supposed to be so good for you.

  8. I’ve recently started using ACV to treat my seborrhic dermatitis and it works great! (I use a 1:1 ratio and use a clean hair color applicator bottle to apply it to my scalp. Wrap my head in a towel for 15 minutes and then wash my hair.) I will definitely be trying this toner too, as my SD effects my face as well! Awesome.

    And I can testify to the fact that the vinegar smell doesn’t last long at all.

  9. This post makes me laugh because it reminds me that my little sister had a friend in high school with gorgeous skin, and she swore it was because she did shots of apple cider vinegar (the exact same kind as above!) every day. So what did we all do? We all chugged a glass every day. Until it occurred to me that it was possibly eating the enamel on my teeth and I needed to stop! Ah, the good ol’ days.

  10. so many great ideas being discussed… adding essential oils, using ACV on your scalp/hair as well.

    briana- the toner just stays in my medicine cabinet. from the fridge in the summer doesn’t sound like a bad idea though.

  11. yes! Every time I had a sunburn as a child, my mom would pat me down with a vinegar soaked cotton ball. It really works. I used it to get rid of a wart on my foot, and I’ve heard it is great for your hair!

      1. I’m so glad you asked! I was feeling a little dumb when, 23 comments later, no one had asked. Really thought it was some slang term–ha!

      2. You crack me up with the “with the mother” talk. hahaha I am right there with you….and “ya motha”! (Like a bad joke ending.) It’s good to know there is, at least, an explanation for it. : )

  12. Yes, I’ve used ACV before and it makes your face super soft! I love that you posted this because I recently stumbled upon NUDE skin care products. I checked out the ingredients and was super impressed with what I saw. Apparently some of the facial creams have won awards? But its out of my price range for sure. So instead I’ve had lots of fun making my own facial toners (with ACV) herbal masks, lip balms, healing salves and body scrubs. Glad to see others out there are trying this and liking it!

  13. i use vinegar to clean. i keep some in one of those nifty spray bottles, 50% water, 50% white vinegar.
    i also use it on my hair. after shampoo and rinse, i spray some on and leave it for a couple of minutes while i do other shower stuff, then a quick rinse to get it out. the vinegar smell disappears once your hair dries. (i almost wish it didn’t, i love that smell.) anyways, this helps prevent split ends and i do it 2 – 3 times a month.
    now i must try acv on my skin. (although i don’t really use a toner, i’ve never seen the point.)
    (lemon juice works wonders for sunburn, so it doesn’t surprise me that acv would, too…)
    love this post and the comments!

  14. Thanks for sharing this. For exfoliation, I use coffee granules (granules after the coffee was brewed), I mix honey & olive oil together. I used it for face n body scrub.

    1. Hah! I’ve been thinking the same thing and didn’t dare ask it. I don’t love the smell of vinegar. I wonder if it’s easier to bear when it’s diluted with the water.

  15. I LOVE ACV!!! I drink it twice a day in ice cold water. I do use it as a toner but I am not find of the smell it leaves behind. For toner I use distiller water and depending on the season either lavender or tea tree oil. I have used ACV on a nasty wart on the pad of my thumb. It started to go away but then I pealed the skin that was lose and it made it raw so putting more ACV was excruciating. I need to try it again. It’s crazy though you can actually see the warts root turning black and dying. ACV has so many medicinal values.

  16. I love ACV for my skin. It’s almost like a spa treatment cause my skin feels so refreshed afterwards. Sometimes I even use it straight….if I really need to clean off the old face…but I recommend only doing this once a month cause it does make you red for about 2 hours. I also LOVE almond oil and apricot oil. I mix a 30/70 mixture with a few drops of rosemary. I use it every night and it’s beautiful. I sometimes use it in the morning if it has been a really dry night. But I understand all skin types can use it.

  17. For a homemade toner I just use rosewater. You can find it at any middle-eastern/mediterranean grocer. It leaves me a dewy glow and smells great naturally!

  18. I will have to try this when I know I will be alone for a few hours. I’d hate for anyone to think my face or hair smelled like a douche!! : )

  19. ACV really helped me immensely when I had acid reflux during pregnancy. I would mix one tablespoon ACV with a full glass of water and sip it down with a straw. It would stop the reflux burn like magic.

    Also, this past month I have been using a “No Poo” method of cleaning my hair and scalp. Every other day, I apply a baking soda / water mixture (1 tablespoon baking soda to 8 ounces water) to my scalp and scrub it in. After rinsing out the baking soda mixture, I apply an ACV / water mixture (1 tablespoon ACV to 8 ounces water). I work the ACV rinse through my hair for about 1 minute and then I rinse with warm water. It took my hair about a week to adjust, but it has been the best natural beauty regimen I have ever tried. My hair is shiny, smooth, and it does not smell like ACV. My scalp is not dry at all. And the price is right!

    1. does this work with hard water? So many natural hair remedies don’t rinse out with hard water so I haven’t tried this. Would love to, though.

  20. My mom just introduced me to using drained coffee grind as a facial exfoliator. I moisten my face, gently rub coffee for a minute and rinse. I have been doing this for a month and my face looks so much better.

  21. Another use for vinegar: iychy mosquito bites. Just dab any old vinegar on the bite with cotton wool and the driving-me-insane itching stops every time. It’s a pretty common remedy among Southern European folk, so l’ve been doing this since l was a kid.

    Oh, and l always mop my floors with hot water mixed with vinegar. The vinegar smell only lasts for about a minute.

  22. I’ve used vinegar on my skin, but not my face. The knuckles of my hands get chapped and crack in the winter. I visited a dermatologist about it. She recommended I use a product called Acid Mantle. It was amazing. It worked almost over night. The problem is that it isn’t made any more. After talking to my dermatologist about it, she recommended that I rinse my hands in a diluted vinegar solution, followed by a good moisturizer (I use Aquaphor.) It works great. Apparently, skin and hair like to be a little acidic – our sweat is even acidic.

    Also, I’ve used vinegar on my kids. Again, it was recommended by a doctor – this time a pediatrician. After using antibiotics one of my children got a bad yeast infection in the diaper area. We started a prescription for it, but (as directed) I also started putting a cup of vinegar in the bath. It worked amazingly well! Fast, cheap, and effective.

  23. Looking forward to adding this to my natural skin care regimen. My favorite natural product is raw honey to wash my face. It seemed like a sticky/messy idea at first, but it feels great on the skin and rinses off no problem with warm water. Smear it on the skin dry, rub around, rinse. Really terrific and soothing during drier months, but great all year long. Honey is naturally antimicrobial, bonus!

  24. HI Gabrielle! I use ACV as a hair conditioner, a disinfectant for cleaning the house, an occasional rinse in the laundry to remove soap residue and a window cleaner. I also love it doused on my salads. I have recently discovered the most amazing natural skin “lotion”… pure lanolin (not oil) and coconut oil mixed in equal parts with a splash of lavender oil. I use it on my entire body including my face. Eyes, too! On Valentine’s Day, my husband was looking curiously at my face then finally declared that I look YOUNGER since I began using my homemade “lotion”! At 44, this was a very nice Valentine’s gift! ;)
    More on the subject of homemade and natural… baking soda as shampoo, clothing soap, tooth paste… – (oh no, don’t get me started)… and the list for that little gem can go on forever!
    Thanks Design Mom, for your fantastic blog. I am open to suggestions for my own. xo

  25. I’ve been using diluted tea tree oil with pretty good results but nothing life-changing. I just bought a huge bottle of apple cider vinegar so I’ll definitely be trying this!

  26. I’ve been rinsing my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar for a little while now and it does in fact add shine to my hair! Smells a little strong at first, but does fade away. I poured some in a little spray bottle (from the craft store) and leave it in my shower. I’ve also recently started brewing Kombucha at home and have heard that you can use it as a toner and in your hair (similar to ACV) if you let it brew long enough (it needs to achieve vinegar -like properties; you wouldn’t want to drink it at this stage). I’m definitely going to try the ACV as a toner!

    Thanks for the tip!!


  27. i *love* acv…. use it as ‘shots’ when i think i’m getting sick, as a hair/scalp spray, on little rashes… it is wonderful. love all your posts, as usual!

  28. I got rid of strep throat this last winter sipping on acv, grated fresh ginger, water and honey. I’ve used it as a toner and hair rinse. Nothing will make your hair shine better, but it does smell;)

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