It's finally, finally warming up here in South Jersey! While it's been raining, gloomy, and windy, at least the frosty days are over, and I can do some serious work in the garden. These rainy days are perfect for pushing up all kinds of healthy, colorful backyard natives I'm using to formulate a cleansing, brightening toner. In this case, it's chickweed and purple deadnettle. And yes, there is a free formula with directions at the end of the post!
What is chickweed?
Chickweed is a common plant that grows in many parts of the world. It is a member of the Stellaria genus and is related to Stars of Bethlehem and carnation. Chickweed is a low-growing annual plant that has small, white flowers. It is often considered a weed but can also be used as food and medicine.
Chickweed is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Chickweed can also be used to make tea, syrup, and ointment.
Chickweed has been used traditionally to treat various conditions, including inflammation, eczema, and arthritis. It also treats respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. Chickweed is considered a safe and effective herb.
What is purple deadnettle?
Deadnettle is a common name for several plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Deadnettle is a low-growing plant with purple or red flowers that bloom in the spring. It is often found in lawns, gardens, and other areas with disturbed soil. Deadnettle is not poisonous or irritating and can be used in salads, pesto, soups, and skincare! The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. The flowers are also edible and can be used to make tea.
Purple deadnettle is considered a medicinal plant because it has been used to treat various ailments, including arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. It is also said to help relieve pain and inflammation.
Other common names for deadnettle include purple, red, and purple archangel. I find it growing along the edges of the garden, where it gets lots of water and not as much sunshine. If you have chickens, feed them this healthy weed and save some for yourself to blitz into smoothies for extra fiber and nourishment.
New Blooming Glow Toner
I developed this toner to match the bright, hopeful, and verdant nature of South Jersey in Springtime. We're blessed in the Garden State to have so many medicinal native plants to work with. Going with that theme, I added niacinamide, witch hazel, and panthenol to round out the formula.
Niacinamide is making its appearance in many new skincare products! And with good reason: the claims for niacinamide are substantial, and studies and sound science back them up. Niacinamide is fantastic for fighting hyperpigmentation and redness, making it an excellent skin "brightener." Don't take my word for it; read up on some studies here and here.
All of the ingredients in this formula are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain from your favorite cosmetic supplier. I get mine from Lotioncrafter. Using 2-4% in a formulation is enough to generate those skin-brightening effects.
Niacinamide Skin Brightening Toner Formula
This formula will yield 100g of the toner product if you convert the percentages to grams. Please always measure everything using weight (grams), not volume (teaspoons). Measuring by weight is the best way to ensure accuracy since many of these ingredients have different masses. Use an accurate scale; a cheap gram scale from Amazon like this is suitable.
How to Formulate at Home
Always formulate in a clean, well-ventilated, well-lit environment. Your kitchen counter is perfectly suitable if you wipe down your surfaces before and after with an appropriate cleanser. I use a spray cleaner and paper towels and follow up with alcohol wipes. Wear disposable gloves and an apron to protect your clothes.Heated Water Phase
- 70.5% distilled water
- 15% witch hazel
- 5% water-soluble chickweed extract
- 5% water-soluble purple deadnettle extract
- 2% niacinamide
- 2% panthenol
- 0.5% liquid Germall Plus
Heat the Heated Water Phase ingredients to 170°F with a hot plate or double-boiler. Use a digital thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Once the liquid reaches 170°, carefully remove it and allow it to cool to 120°F. At the Cool Down Phase, add the panthenol and preservative. Allow to fully cool before decanting into your favorite bottle!
Can I Change the Toner Extracts?
Yes! You can use any water-soluble extract that you make or purchase. Oils will not work in this case.
Can I Make This Toner Without Heating?
Yes! This toner can be made via a cold process (no heating involved). Just make sure your ingredients are fully dissolved by mixing or agitating. Some components, like allantoin, need to be heated to dissolve fully.