When I first began the Scrub Me Down Blog, it was going to be a platform to talk to Chinese customers about new products and provide them with all the literature they would need about the products they were keen to buy. One of the biggest sellers when Happy Skin first began was the Bee Happy Toner. I had a whole bee and honey line when I first opened Happy Skin! It was so hard not to snack in the shower I tell you! Even though these bee based products sold well, they slowly were removed from the product listings. I don’t really remember why though. But, this toner was still requested even up to the moment I boarded the plane in Shanghai and landed in Paris.
Oh yeah. It’s brilliant! It still stinks like ass, and most people who have used it have all complained about the scent, but meh. You get used to it. And the scent of vinegar disappears a few moments after application. So again, meh.
I was walking through the Milk Market here in Limerick this past Saturday and all giddy with excitement at just being at a market. There was a bee keeper stall! He had propolis, jelly, honey combs, honey, and various pollens. It was like heaven! And did you know? That Tiermoyle Beekeeping is one of the very few places in all of Ireland that you can get bee pollen? And I’m talking fresh. And I’m talking blackberry bee pollen. Oh yeah baby! Drool! So anyways, I was walking by and I realised I had been missing my Bee Happy Toner for a long time and was keen to make it!
So picked up the last ingredient I needed, apple cider vinegar. And then buckled in to make it all.
What I love most about apple cider vinegar on the skin is that it is a keratolytic. It helps to break the bond between dead skin cells and that helps the pores to remain unclogged. And that makes your skin look happier, brighter, and can help reduce the signs of age and acne. Add to that the amazing properties of bee pollen? Zinc, silica, oodles of vitamins like, B, C, D, E, F, H, K, P… Combine these together, you can see your skin tone even out. Oh yeah!
I decided to change the way I make the Bee Happy Toner this time around. Rather than just tossing everything into a container and shaking it up like there is no tomorrow, I mixed the water, salt, and bee pollen in a heat resistant measuring cup and tossed it onto a double boiler. Bee pollen is a pain in the back side to dissolve properly, but it is water soluble. I’ve tried using a mortar and pestle, a blender, spoons, a mixer, shaking it, and just leaving it alone. The heating it up and shaking seemed to work quite well. Less dishes than a blender, grinder, or other tools! Once it was pretty much all dissolved, I removed it from the water bath, brought the temperature down, added the rest of the ingredients, stirred like a fiend, decanted, and took pictures.
It’s a very simple and straightforward recipe, I purposefully kept it short and sweet for I’ve been enjoying using a modified version of the Korean Skin Care routine by creating an after toner liquid full of vitamins and other skin yummies. Which I will of course be sharing with you at a later date. I have a sneaky habit of tossing this Bee Happy Toner in my purse with some toner pads in a ziplock for a refreshing wipe throughout the day. It’s not drying in the slightest, but refreshing and leaves your skin feeling… happy!
Toners seemed to have gone out of fashion years ago, but were originally used to ensure that all the soap was off the skin and to “regulate” the skins ph. Toners today play a different role in ones skin care. They are used to provide an extra oomph for exfoliation, brighten, tighten, soften, moisten, hydrate, clear… and oh so many other things! It’s mostly a water based product that anyone with oily or acne prone skin needs to make sure they use throughout the day. This toner contains some witch hazel which is an astringent and that just means that it helps to tighten the skin.
To make this toner unique, I left it as plain as possible. You can add in essential oils or fragrance oils to try to mask the vinegar scent (then you would have needed a solubilizer making this very much not a plain recipe), but honestly, you stop noticing the scent as you apply after a few days. I could have added in some vitamins, or some other skin happy goodies. But as I said, I wanted this to be as simple as possible and go totally wild with the next step in my modified Korean Skin Care Routine. I follow up with the Cucumber n’ Oats Plumping Toner Mask (stay tuned for my Egyptian Silk Toner) and then a light lotion or serum.
Ideally, you’d want to use this directly after washing your face both morning and night*. But, this is me, and that means, I try to make things multi-purpose. I enjoy using this toner throughout the day just by applying the product on a cotton facial pad to tend to that oily sheen I get from having oily skin.
- Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with hot soapy water then spraying and wiping with some ISP. Don’t forget to spray your tools, measuring tools, scales, cups/beakers and spoons.
- In your heat proof container, weigh out your bee pollen and salt. Add in your water.
- Make a note of your total weight including the heat proof container, then place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
- Continue to stir every few minutes with a mini-whisk until your pollen and salt have properly dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Weigh, and add in some water so your weight before heating and after heating are the same.
- Weigh in your witch hazel, and apple cider vinegar, stir.
- Add in your preservative, and stir.
- Decant into your clam shell style container.
- Label. And enjoy! It will take some time to get used to the stink!