This overnight exfoliating AHA fruit toner exfoliates the skin using fruit acids and AHAs, and the formula is developed to deliver more than the basic toner benefits.

Toners, or astringents are used after cleansing the skin, and ‘prep’ the skin for moisturization. What does that mean exactly – to ‘prepare’ the skin? It usually refers to; removing any impurities left behind after or from cleansing, balancing or restoring the skin’s pH level, and also offer the added benefit of shrinking pore size.

This toner deliver more than the basic toner benefits. It:

  • Exfoliates the skin using fruit acids and AHAs
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Evens tone and fades discolourations
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.

It will make skin sensitive to sunlight, so it is important to use this toner at night – it will work overnight to deliver the benefits while the skin repairs itself. Since AHAs increase skin sensitivity to the sun, it is important to wear broad spectrum sunscreen when using them in your skincare routine.

This toner is good for skin that has experienced sun damage or is otherwise discoloured. It is great for aging skin, as it offers firming benefits, and leaves the skin with a radiant-looking glow.

 

Ingredients | properties and benefits

Overnight Exfoliating AHA Toner recipe Natural Facial skincare recipes The base of this toner is a mixture of aloe vera juice and neroli hydrosol, however any hydrosol may be substituted. You may also choose to skip the hydrosol altogether and just use aloe vera as the base, if preferred. The hydrosols do provide a lovely fragrance to the toner, in addition to the imparted botanical benefits, so be sure to select a hydrosol with a scent and healing qualities that suit your customer’s preference.

The active ingredients in this toner are a combination of a fruit extract and Multifruit BSC. Multifruit BSC is a water-soluble natural extract blend distributed by many suppliers including New Directions Aromatics (USA/Canada) and Gracefruit (UK). The BSC stands for bilberry, sugar cane, citrus, and also contains sugar maple extract and water. As the extracts are natural sources of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids), they offer the exfoliating, toning, renewing and softening effects. We use it at 5%, however the recommended usage may be between 5-15%. In addition, you may like to add a fruit extract, offering added benefits specific to you or your customer’s needs.

Please follow advice from your supplier and/or safety assessor regarding dosage amounts when using AHAs.

 

Some of our favourite fruit extracts are:

Apple extract – contains AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids), improves elasticity, works well for mature/dry skin.

Papaya extract – contains vitamins A and C, tones and firms, exfoliates, great for balancing skin.

Pineapple extract – contains enzyme bromelain, exfoliates and softens all skin types.

Strawberry extract – contains vitamin C and naturally occurring salicylic acid, exfoliates and shrinks pores.

Botanical extracts are potent, and these fruit extracts should be used at no more than 0.5%. As this recipe is adding the fruit extracts to a formula which already contains other natural acid ingredients, we will use the selected fruit extract at 0.25%, in this case strawberry extract – as this toner offers more of a pore-reducing kick.

Sodium lactate is also added to the formula at 2%, and offers mild-AHA and humectant qualities. Lastly, because this toner is an aqueous (water-based) formulation, we will be adding a broad-spectrum eco-certified preservative (Geogard ECT) at 1%.

 

Recipe/formula

70% Aloe vera juice (1:1 strength)
21.75% Hydrosol (neroli)
2% Sodium lactate
5% Multifruit BSC (fruit acid)
0.25% Fruit extract (strawberry)
1% Water-soluble preservative*

 *It is important to use a broad-spectrum preservative in this toner, as the product is aqueous you will need a water-soluble preservative.

How to make the overnight exfoliating fruit toner

Weigh the aloe, hydrosol, sodium lactate, and Multifruit BSC into a clean glass or stainless steel bowl, according to the following measurements provided in the chart below (for a 100g batch).

Our favourite preservative is Preservative Eco/Geogard ECT as it is an Ecocert-certified preservative permitted in certified organic products. Although Geogard ECT/Preservative Eco is not completely water-soluble (benzyl alcohol is partially soluble in water, while salicylic acid is poorly soluble in water), I find the Geogard ECT/Preservative Eco solubilizes perfectly into the liquids of this toner formula with the help of some intense agitation. Pour the ingredients into an easily sealable container such as a 4oz/120ml, or 8oz/240ml bottle with screw cap or disc/snap-top lid. Shake the mixture intensely for about 30 seconds until the mixture is well blended. A white foam will layer on the top of the toner liquid, however not to worry, the foam will settle and you will be left with a clear liquid.

At this point, add your chosen fruit/botanical extract at .25%, or .25g if making a 100g batch. Close the lid on the container after adding the extract, and once again shake the mixture for another 30 seconds or so. At this point it is recommend to test the pH of your product and to adjust it if necessary.

Thanks to to the presence of sodium lactate the pH of this product is nice at around pH 4.5 without using any pH adjusters. The exact pH will greatly depend on the preservatives used (organic acids in salt forms eg potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate will further increase the pH a bit).

For AHAs and BHAs to be active, they need to be in an acidic medium, typically with pH between 3.5 and 4. The lower the pH, the more active the acids will be, but they will also cause much more irritation, redness and burning. The higher the pH is, the less irritating the acids will be, but they will also have lower immediate activity and instead can provide a gentle long-term effect.

This means that this formula is more gentle and the AHAs will have a hydrating and “time-release” activity.

We cover how to use AHAs in much greater detail in our Guide to Formulating with AHAs and BHAs which you can purchase here.

 

Shelf-life and safety

The Multifruit BSC is reportedly designed to deliver a maximum result with minimal irritation. A slight tingle on the skin may be felt. However if your skin is quite sensitive or irritated, it may be best to create this toner without the fruit acid complex. Should irritation or significant redness occur, rinse skin thoroughly with plain water, or use a very mild cleanser. Some redness of skin is normal, as a result of the AHA’s exfoliating action. Avoid sun exposure for 24 hours if irritation occurs.


This toner is designed to be used at night, hence the title: Overnight Exfoliating Fruit Facial Toner. It will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.  Always use a high-factor sun protection cream with use of fruit acid/AHA products.

This toner contains aqueous ingredients, therefore we have added an Ecocert-approved preservative to the formula.  The shelf-life of the Overnight Exfoliating Fruit Facial Toner is approximately 6 months.

We hope you enjoy creating an exfoliating toner! If you’d like to create your own original formulas from scratch rather than follow our recipes do check out our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation.

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