Once the herb bug bites you, it usually isn't long before you start formulating your own skin care recipes. I think I've created at least 3 full skin care ranges for myself within the past couple of years (and, through doing so, have developed a few signature recipes that I make over and over again). Skin care products may be my absolute favorites to formulate.
Working on delicate flower petals in the mortar and pestle and enjoying their aroma as I transform them into ingredients for my gentle exfoliating powders...
Carefully blending hydrating lotions and watching them come together into something light and fluffy and oh-so-lovely...
Moments like these are such beautiful parts of process. The ability to be involved in the creation of your own daily-use products and to use your intuition to choose the herbs and ingredients that resonate with you in any given season add deeper layers of healing and nourishment to your finished products. There's something quite special about it, I think. Using products that I've formulated with intention and made with love feels so much more luxurious than any posh cream filled with synthetics and toxins.
Though I normally build my recipes from scratch, once in awhile I like to experiment with historic recipes and play with the ingredients and ratios a bit until the recipe becomes my own. One of my favorites is an adaptation of the Queen of Hungary's Facial Water. There are many variations of the original recipe circulating in herb books and on the internet, but this is my own adjusted version. =)
I've also made a printable copy of this recipe for you. If you'd like to print it out so you can reference it later, scroll to the bottom of this post.
- 10 parts organic Rose petals
- 8 parts organic Calendula petals
- 5 parts organic Lemon Balm
- 4 parts organic Chamomile flowers
- 3 parts organic Lavender buds
- 2 parts organic Comfrey leaf
- 2 parts organic Lemon Peel
- 2 parts organic Rosemary
- 1 part organic Rosehips
- 1 part organic Sage
- organic raw Apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
- organic hydrosol
- organic Witch Hazel extract
Blend your dried herbs together in a large bowl. I normally use a kitchen spoon as my "part" for this recipe (when I'm just making it for myself or to give to friends), which would translate to "10 spoonfuls of Rose petals, 8 spoonfuls of Calendula flowers" and so on. Whatever you choose as your measurement is what your "part" will be, whether it be a cup, an ounce, or a teaspoon. It doesn't have to be exact.
Fill a glass jar about 3/4 of the way with your herb mix. If you have extra herb that doesn't fit in the jar, set it aside in a labeled glass storage container so you can use it again the next time you make this recipe.
Pour raw Apple cider vinegar over the herbs until your jar is full and screw the lid on tightly. Give the jar a good shake and store it in a place where you’ll see it every day for the next 3-4 weeks. Whenever you walk by the jar, take a moment to shake it up or flip it over. I like to take a moment to say a prayer over it and infuse the blend with good energy while I'm giving it a shake. This extra dose of intention will be evident in your finished product. It may sound strange to some, but it makes a difference!
After 3-4 weeks have passed, strain the herbs out of your jar using a fine mesh strainer or a piece of muslin and toss the spent herbs in your compost pile.
At this point, you can add hydrosol to the infused vinegar. Fill your spray (or serum dropper) bottle about halfway with your herbal vinegar and then fill it another quarter of the way with hydrosol. I like to use Rose, Calendula, Lavender or Yarrow hydrosol for this step, but you could use whichever hydrosol you have on hand. Top off the bottle with Witch Hazel extract.
Add a label to your bottle that lists the date you made your toner and the ingredients you used. Shake well before using and store in a cool, dry place. Use as a facial toner, aftershave, or experiment to find other uses for it!
If you'd like to print out a copy of the recipe, I've styled a lovely PDF version of it for you. It's completely free when you sign up for our email newsletter. Enter your email address in the form below to gain access to it.