I’ve been enamoured with DIY ever since I was a young girl. I’ve spent many hours sewing, embroidering, stencilling, jewellery making and crafting beauty products. It goes without saying that I’ve spent a lot of time with painting DIY oat masks onto my face, smearing DIY avocado masks in my hair and slathering DIY shea butter balms on my body. Now that you know this fact about me, you can see that it was only natural that I would dabble in DIY skincare upon becoming a skincare addict.
DIY NiaNag Toner is one of my creations. I designed it with the goal of fading the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) my deep brown skin creates in a valiant attempt to defend itself from various inflammatory assaults (acne, etc.). To fade PIH, I added niacinamide, n-acetylglucosamine and liquorice root extract. For moisture, I added humectants (hyaluronic acid and Sodium PCA). I didn’t add glycerin to avoid the sheen that it often imparts to my oily skin. The recipe and research behind DIY NiaNag Toner are outlined below.
- 35% Witch Hazel Hydrosol
- 30% Aloe Vera Juice
- 15% Licorice Root Extract
- 10% 1% Hyaluronic Acid Solution
- 5% Niacinamide
- 2.5% N-Acetylglucosamine
- 2% Sodium PCA
- 0.5% Optiphen
- 1 oz Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle with Fine Mist sprayer
- 3-Piece Plastic Funnel Set
- American Weigh 100g x 0.01g Digital Scale
- PH 1-14 Test Paper Litmus Strips Tester
I determined the percentages of the main ingredients (niacinamide, n-acetylglucosamine and liquorice root extract) by reading scientific articles and following the recommendation of the cosmetic ingredient suppliers I sourced the ingredients from. For the other ingredients, I chose “nice” percentages. I used a batch size calculator and a scale to measure the ingredients. After that, I began “making my concoction” as my mother would say.
First, I add niacinamide and n-acetylglucosamine to an opaque or translucent bottle with an atomizer via a funnel. Next, I add aloe vera juice, liquorice root extract, 1% hyaluronic acid solution, sodium PCA and Optiphen to the bottle via a funnel. After that, I fill the bottle most of the way with witch hazel hydrosol. To combine the ingredients, I cover the bottle and shake it vigorously until all of the ingredients are dissolved and well mixed. I add a bit more witch hazel hydrosol to completely fill the bottle, cover and shake it a bit more. Finally, I test the pH of my DIY creation (Goal: pH 5 – 7) with pH strips.
The aforementioned results in DIY NiaNag Toner (aka “my concoction”). It’s slightly amber in colour, slightly slippery in texture and smells slightly of black liquorice candy. I use DIY NiaNag Toner in the morning and at night (4 sprays). I’m quite fond of it due to it’s brightening, soothing and moisturizing properties. Also, I get a kick out of the fact that I was able to DIY skincare.