DIY Thyme Aloe-Apple Facial Toner for Acne (bye-bye benzo)


Thyme beat the brakes off of benzoyl peroxide.  Yep, in a recent study thyme, marigold and myrrh timctures were tested on the bacteria that causes acne. All three were able to kill the bacteria after five minutes, but thyme was found to be the most effective–even more effective than benzoyl peroxide – the active ingredient found in most acne-fighting creams and washes. Thyme is a gentler alternative for folks like myself with sensitive skin. More research will have to be done before the findings of this study can be applied, but in the meanwhile, Dr Margarita Gomez-Escalada, who is leading the research project explained how they made tinctures:

The plant material is steeped in alcohol for days or even weeks to prepare a tincture. This process draws out the active compounds from the plant.

Similar to a tincture, herbal extracts can also be made using vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar like this one I’m working:

Thyme Aloe-Apple Facial Toner

Ingredients (click the links to shop ‘em)

  1. Cut thyme into small pieces using herb scissors—or you can improvise and use a knife like I did.

    thyme extract for acne

    Mario Badescu’s acne products use thyme extract

  2. Place the cut thyme into a glass jar—you’ll need about to fill half the jar. An old sauce jar or something like that will do, but I used a 16 oz mason jar because I’m obsessed with them I had a few on hand.
  3. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the thyme leaving about an inch of space in the jar.
  4. Push the thyme down to submerge in the vinegar—it will prob float back up, but will eventually settle.
  5. Close the lid tight on the jar and store in a dark, cool place for 2 weeks. Shake the jar once daily.
  6. After 6-8 weeks**, strain the thyme from the liquid using a strainer or cheesecloth. Pour 2 oz of the extract into an airtight container.
  7. Add 1 part of the apple cider vinegar to one part aloe vera juice to the airtight container and shake well.
*Comfrey root, burdock root, solomon seal root, and lemon balm are great combined with thyme to treat acne.
**As an alternative you can fill a 16 oz jar with 3/4 witch hazel and 1/4 distilled water over the dried thyme. This would only need to be steeped for two weeks.
(updated 4/30/12 with recommendation from herbalist, Lea Jones)
As with all treatments, do a patch patch first on a small area of your face. If all is well, pour the toner onto a cottonball and swab the entire face after cleansing. Keep the toner stored in a cool, dark area and use within 6 months. Enjoy!
What do you use to treat acne? Have you ever used an herbal remedy?