Botanical Anthology, Natural Beauty

Lilac Toner

Today’s post is an excerpt from the spring edition of Botanical Anthology written by Harmonie O’Loughlin. This plant centered digital publication is packed with seasonal crafts, recipes, foraging tips, articles & more. Click here on for more info and to see the full table of contents.

Lilac bursts with spring energy.  She isn’t the first to the party, but she is the long awaited guest whose attendance you savor. Lilac’s ephemeral beauty and thoroughly encompassing scent makes for a spring moment no one wants to miss.   

And a moment it is, for the lilac season is gone in a flash, lasting just a few short weeks.  Savor it while you can.  Sip on a lilac tea latte, make a floral honey or simple syrup, steep blooms in an enfleurage preparation to capture the scent, and add it to your beauty regimen with a lilac toner.  

For all its sweet presence and floral aroma, lilac is actually gently astringent and slightly bitter.  The scent is fleeting, but its medicinal properties make it valued in facial care to aid in toning and tightening skin. 

Toners are a valuable addition to your facial care routine because they support rebalancing the skin’s pH balance after cleansing. Witch hazel helps remove excess oil more than cleansing alone, assists closing pores to keep out impurities, and minimizes the appearance of pores for a smoother look. Rose hydrosol adds moisture back to the skin and cools inflammation.

To use a toner, dampen a cloth to wipe on your skin or mist your face after washing.  Apply moisturizer while your face is still damp to lock in the hydration.  


  • 2 tbsp lilac blossoms, air wilted or dried
  • ¼ c witch hazel
  • ¼ c rose hydrosol or rosewater
  • 4 oz spray bottle


Add lilac to a canning jar. Pour witch hazel over herbs. Use a chopstick or butterknife to mix. Cover with the lid.

Store in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks. Shake occasionally.

Strain lilac from the witch hazel through a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter.

In a bowl, mix steeped witch hazel with rose hydrosol. Pour into a 4 oz spray bottle. 

Use after cleansing and before moisturizing.


Consider using other spring herbs in your toner blend, such as violets, dandelion flowers, nettles, cleavers, and chickweed. 

Use a witch hazel with an alcohol content lower than 15% as anything higher may be too drying for facial skin.

Harmonie is the homesteading mama maker behind Flora’s Feast Botanicals who explores plants through her garden and in her kitchen and home apothecary. Check out her blog on and on social media at @florasfeastbotanicals

For more plant focused inspiration, be sure to follow The Plant Wonder Collective on Instagram @plantwondercollective and follow @botanical_anthology for updates and information about the publication.

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