Recently, the beauty industry has been embracing “organic” beauty. All kinds of skin and haircare products are now available that tout themselves as being free of dyes, chemicals, and other ingredients that can actually do more harm than good. That’s all well and good, but there are two problems. One, these products often still contain unpronounceable ingredients, and you can’t really be sure of what you’re putting on your body. And two, they’re expensive. A bottle of organic body wash, for example, can range from anywhere from eight dollars to twenty dollars, on average.
The good news is, you can make almost every essential beauty product yourself using all-natural ingredients, spending little time, and definitely saving money. I get some of my favorite DIY beauty recipes from Annie Strole’s Homemade Beauty. A few of the best, along with a general estimate of how much they can save you over store brands, are below. (Note that Annie recommends always using high-quality ingredients, but I’ve seen great results with supermarket brands.)
Brightening Lemon Face Cleanser
Use this twice a day and over time you’ll see more evenly toned skin and a reduction in blackheads.
½ cup liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s, which is now available in most drugstores)
¼ cup distilled water
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (available in health food stores, online, and in many drugstores)
Combine castile soap and water in your desired face-wash container. Squeeze in lemon juice through a strainer to catch any pulp or seeds. Add vitamin E oil and shake to combine. Shake before each use.
Cost: A sixteen-ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s costs on average $10. Using four ounces for this recipe therefore costs about $2.50. A gallon of distilled water costs on average a dollar, so you’re using pennies for this recipe. The same goes for a lemon. Vitamin E oil can cost as little as $4 for 2.5 ounces, making the cost per recipe again in the pennies and dimes, meaning you can make this cleanser for as little as $3 compared to the organic face cleansers you would buy in the store.
All-Natural Dry Shampoo
We all know by now that it’s bad to shampoo your hair every day. But using dry shampoo multiple times a week gets expensive. Make this at-home version instead, which works just as well to dry up excess oil on the scalp and add texture and body.
½ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
10 drops essential oil of your choice
In a small bowl, combine ingredients and stir together until the oil has completely dissipated. Use a funnel to transfer dry shampoo to a recycled old salt shaker. To use, sprinkle onto scalp and thoroughly scrub in using “shampooing” motions. If you’re a brunette, try adjusting the powder levels to ¼ cup arrowroot/cornstarch and ¼ cup cocoa powder for better blending.
Cost: Instead of spending anywhere from eight to thirty dollars on store brands, this recipe will cost you more in the realm of fifty cents per batch!
Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub
This is my favorite recipe from Homemade Beauty. I made it as Christmas presents for my aunt and cousin (packaged in mason jars with some decorative ribbons and labels), and the first time my cousin used it she said it cleared up the eczema on her legs completely! I can’t attest to it doing that for everyone, but it smells yummy, exfoliates, and leaves your skin hydrated.
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup honey (raw liquid is best; if you can only find solid honey, make sure to melt it first)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix ingredients until there are no lumps, and get to scrubbing! Rinse completely.
Cost: At $8 on average for sixteen ounces of EVOO, you’re only using about $2 per batch. A two-pound box of Domino’s brown sugar costs around $2, equaling less than a dollar used per batch. While high-quality honey can cost $10-15, it is often found cheaper, or you can use a store brand. Even at $15, a sixteen-ounce jar will yield you about $3.75 per batch. The vanilla extract costs about $1 per batch. For less than $10 you can make this scrub that is indistinguishable from high-end $30 versions.
~ Post by Jeanette Shaw–a former TarcherPerigee editor now living the glamorous freelance life, which means yoga pants every day. She can be found at jseditorial.com.
These recipes were pulled from HOMEMADE BEAUTY by Annie Strole, available through these retailers :