DIY Best Homemade Facial Toner for Oily & Acne Prone Skin

We can make really good homemade facial toners at home. All you need is a little time to collect the herbs and interest to make it. This homemade toner made without alcohol is very easy to make and it’s good for treating oily skin, open pores and acne. You can add your favorite herbs to this toner and customize it to suit your preference. I like to add a little bit of alum to the toner along with the herbs, as alum is very effective in treating acne.

Alum commonly called shaving alum, can be got cheaply everywhere. If you have got it in a block form, powder it finely in a mortar and pestle to get the powder. I have chosen holy basil leaves for making the toner, as it is also very effective for acne prone skin. But just use any fresh herb that you like, some good choices are fresh neem leaves, mint leaves and even lemon leaves will work great. This toner stays well in the refrigerator for a week.

It greatly helps in reducing and preventing acne on the skin, if used regularly. Making this toner is a breeze, if you have the fresh herbs at hand. To make it, first boil the water with the alum powder. Once it has dissolved, add the fresh holy basil/ tulsi leaves. Let it steep in the water till the water cools down, now strain the water and discard the herbs. To the strained water, add a few drops of glycerin and your homemade toner is ready!

Adding glycerine leaves your skin soft and smooth. But don’t add too much though, just a few drops will go a long way. To use, take a cotton ball and dip it in the solution and use it both on the face and the neck. You can also use a combination of herbs instead of just one too. For me, it is always holy basil. Nothing can beat holy basil, when it comes to fighting of acne and keeping the skin blemish free.

Homemade Toner Recipe:

1. This is alum and in India, we get it in blocks.

2. Break a small piece of the alum and powder it in a mortar and pestle.

3. Boil water in a pan along with the alum. Once it comes to a boil, add the holy basil leaves and switch off. Close with a lid, the water will turn a light green color.

4. Once the water has cooled down, strain the mixture and add a few drops of glycerin to it. Your homemade toner, that is very effective in preventing acne is ready!


  • Try to use fresh herbs for best results.
  • Try to pick herbs that fight of acne like neem, lemon leaves, etc.
  • Store the left overs in the refrigerator.
  • This toner smells of holy basil, which I really like.



  1. Anonymous
    May 15, 2015 / 12:47 am

    Hi I understand that alum is a natural skin tightener, will it have that effect in this toner? Also, can I use it with coconut oil, or avocado mask, and will the fragrances clash with neem/holy basil , or tea tree oil. What would be the recipe with these variations. I would like to use it for acne care and prevention as well as a skin tightener with the benefits of glicerin, to keep my skin from getting too dry. thanks,hungry skin

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 16, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      This toner will have mild astringent properties of alum but since we add very little amount of alum, you won't experience the dryness. You can absolutely use it along with any mask and I think holy basil fragrance will be good with any preparation…….

  2. Anonymous
    June 5, 2015 / 9:46 am

    Hi Ramya, I have tried some of your remedies. This toner for acne is really good. I have refrigerated the toner. How long can we use it, since some more are left even after using it for a week. How many times in a day should one use this? My teenage daughter's face is very oily. Soon after bath her face becomes oily. any remedy for this.? Thanks in advance.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 10, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      I am very sorry for the late reply. I have refrigerated and used the toner for almost 2 weeks and use it daily once. For oily face, ask her to drink loads of water and try clay based masks weekly twice…

  3. Marlisa Halim
    July 28, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    Hi Ramya, i really love ur blog..thanx for inspiring us! Anyway, i do have skin problem right now..i am 4 months post natal ( i delivered my 2nd baby in March this year), now am having poor skin complexion, dry & sensitive skin over my cheeks, yet oily skin at forehead & chin..Could u plz giv me some advice?Thanx in advance..

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 3, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Hi Marlisa, after childbirth lack of sleep and the stress of taking care of a newborn baby does take a toll on our skin. Along with eating healthy and drinking lots of water, try daily full body oil massage. It will take a few minutes to make it and you can do the massage before bath everyday. It will greatly relax you and will improve the skin texture as well. You can find the recipe for it in the blog. If you have time, try homemade face masks from the blog, it will also greatly improve the skin tone…

  4. Devendra Kumar
    September 20, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Ramya Venkateshwaran please tell me how to use this remedy for acne and oily face and how many time put on face in a day

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 22, 2015 / 4:28 am

      You can use this homemade toner everyday once. After cleaning your face in the night, take this toner in a cotton pad and rub your face gently with it. You can repeat till there is no dirt left on the cotton pad. You can either wash your face with just water or leave it in…

  5. Anonymous
    December 14, 2015 / 11:55 am

    hi,I have tulsi, mint and neem leave available in my house. so , can I use all of these together.thank yourita

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 20, 2015 / 4:57 am

      Hi Rita, tulsi, mint and neem sounds good, try and let me know how you like it…

  6. Nancy Jhon
    November 18, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Spotted skin, scars and acne marks make you feel embarrassed and hurt self-esteem as well. Many of us opt for cosmetics and other products to get rid of acne residues. There are many home remedies which have proven their effects on lightening these skin marks. Tomato and Lemon Juice: Take a “fresh tomato” and make its paste. Mix it well with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply the paste on face for around 20 minutes and rinse it off gently with water after 20 minutes. Pulp of Aloe Vera: Let the pulp from Aloe Vera dry for 5 minutes in sun. Add 6-8 drops of lemon juice to it and apply on the affected area and face for 15 minutes. Onions: Cut the onion into small pieces. Grind those pieces and separate the juice from the residue. Apply the juice for few minutes on the affected skin and rinse after 10 minutes. Cucumber and Milk: Make a paste out of cucumber, milk and a bit of lime extract. It will serve as a face mask. Apply thoroughly and wash it with warm water after 10 minutes. You must consider a visit to dermatologist in severity of the condition. But, these home remedies are proven effective in getting rid of acne marks, black spots, pimples and dark spots.Reference:

  7. Magnesium Oil
    April 18, 2017 / 7:57 am

    I have tulsi, mint and neem leave available in my house. so , can I use all of these together.

  8. Anonymous
    September 18, 2017 / 3:41 am

    Please let me know that whether I can use this toner without alum and glycerin…

  9. Anonymous
    September 18, 2017 / 7:37 am

    Please let me know that whether I can use this toner without alum and glycerin…

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 18, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      You can use this toner without alum and glycerin too..

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