DIY: Stinks Like A+! Refreshing Toner

Welcome to yet another Stinks Like Ass Post! May, it seems is coming up stinky! But, your skin’s going to love you! And what a fantastic way to end my life here in China? At least neem stinks better than stinky tofu! Come on, you know it’s true! As you have come to know, neem has some pretty awesome superpowers but they are immensely untapped because of the stinky nature of neem. I personally think my current stash smells like stinky old man onion farts. Some people say theirs smell like wild mushrooms. I’m so envious of their stash! And yet, another, tells me that theirs smell like garlic. Lucky them!

you can see all the chunkies that do occur in neem oil and in soap, you won’t see it. But in everything else… yup! 

It has been very difficult to find actual numbers or recommended usage rates or even decent recipes to get an idea of how to use neem in a product. There were lots of, “add 20 drops of neem essential oil to 100mL of witch hazel”. But as we all know, 20 drops can be a whole bunch of inaccurate units of measurements. Gracefruit has neem listed ast 1-100% for its usage rate, which really doesn’t help me all that much when formulating a recipe. But at least I know it is safe to use neat on the skin which is a good place to start. So I created a basic toner recipe, and added various amounts of neem to each, and played and tested to find a happy ratio of neem to be effective. But not punch you in your nose pungent. More, “hello, I’m neem. I’m going to stink you up- and bye bye! I’ve left behind some awesome skin yummy goodies for you though!”

A toner is basically all water/liquid with some water soluble ingredients, and since neem is an oil, that means it is a non-soluble ingredient. Something needed to be added to make sure that the neem was evenly dispersed in the toner. And that something was Polysorbate 80. Poly80 is an excellent solubiliser of a various range of oils both carrier and essential oils. However; even at this low amount, your product will still turn out to have a milky appearance. Oh la la!

I was lazy and decided to make this toner in one container. Neem and Poly80 first! 

I was truly hoping to discuss ph levels in this post and explain ph adjusting, but after I made the toner, I got a ph of 5.6. About ten days later, this toner was at a ph of 5.4. So there was absolutely no need to do any sort of ph adjusting. Which was pretty cool!

To make this recipe was wicked easy. Probably one of the more easier recipes on the blog. There was no heating involved, just pour, pour, stir. Pour. Cap, shake. Uncap, pour, pour, pour, pour, cap and shake.

I decided to make this all in one container, so it was very interesting to make this toner come to life! I poured my neem into my container, added my Poly80 then stirred it very well. You’ll find that if you don’t use a solubliser when you add oils to things like your toner or body sprays, the oils will rise to the surface, and even with shaking, you won’t get an even dispersion of oils in your product. Your product will be inconsistent. Which is bad. So Polysorbate 80 is a good thing! Add your neem oil, then your Poly 80, and stir well.

pour, cap, shake, and pour some more! 

One of the things I did notice about this toner, was that I had gross little neem pockets of chuckiness. In my neem oil there are like bits of chunk. All my research confirms that neem can have chunky bits in it, so if you find some chunks in your oil, it’s just the neem! In soaps, lotions and the like, it doesn’t really matter. But in a toner, you can obviously see the chunky bits.

Now as an added bonus, I love sheet masks. They force me to lay back and relax for at least twenty minutes. This refreshing toner makes for an awesome sheet mask if you can stand the stink!

I know people will ask if the scent lingers. I haven’t found it to be problematic. You all know I teach teeny tiny humans and they are close talkers, huggers, and kissers. They really do speak their minds and are quite honest when it comes to things they don’t like. In the past four weeks of using all neem products, I’ve not once had anyone comment on the scent of my face. And if you know me, I am the type of person to ask.

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  1. Prepare your work space by wiping all your containers, beakers, and tools down with 70% ISP alcohol.
  2. Weigh out your neem oil and Polysorbate 80 into your toner bottle using a pipette. Use that pipette to stir your Poly80 and neem together.
  3. Weigh in your water, cap and shake well.
  4. Weigh in your Hydrolysed Oats, Multivitamin Complex, Hydrolysed Silk, and preservative. Cap, and shake.
  5. Weigh in your Witch Hazel, cap and shake well.
  6. Cap, label, shake. Then use!



Because I love Ass Soap so much, I’ve been trying to find a way to get this neem oil soap assessed for selling. It turns out that not all neem oils are the same. Before you buy your neem oil, it is imperative to check with your supplier to make certain your raw material is a clarified hydrophobic neem oil. This means that it has been cleared of Azadirachtin which is the property that gives neem oil it’s pesticide properties and potentially could lead to poisoning or skin irritation.

looking down the rabbit hole…. 

5 thoughts on “DIY: Stinks Like A+! Refreshing Toner

Add yours

  1. Hmm – interesting re the clarified (if it was actually clarified would it have the floaties?).
    Both the suppliers I use say their oil does contain azadirachtin, but also state that the oil is soothing to skin!


    1. I’m waiting for more news from my chemist regarding azadirachtin. Remember, Neem Oil’s INCI is: Melia Azadirachta Seed (Neem) Oil. So there is going to be some azadirachtin in it it is just about the parts on the CoA.

      I know most if not all people who sell neem oil for skin care have the azadirachta within safe limits (189.5ppm). But, the ones who buy neem as a pesticide from say Canadian Tire, it might cause some skin issues so to make sure that just because a bottle says “natural pesticide” does not mean it is skin safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes indeed! Strychnine is natural – LOL!! I use either “Aussie Soap Supplies” or the “Sydney Essential Oil Company” – I find both good and reputable – usually with history of where the product comes from, etc.
        God luck on your quest!

        Liked by 1 person

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