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Making Your Own Green Skincare Products

By Sally Aquire

an avocado Are you tired of spending a ton of money on skincare products? Making your own beauty products is a great way to save money, and it has the added bonus of being greener than most shop-bought offerings. Most of the ingredients that you’ll need are probably already in your cupboards, but they are inexpensive if you don’t already have them.

Cleansers/Toners/Spot Treatments

There’s no need to buy expensive skincare products to take care of your skin. Natural cleansers, toners and facial scrubs can work very well and don’t contain harsh chemicals.

Strawberry/Kiwi Cleanser: This is a quick and easy cleanser that should be suitable for all skin types. Take a few strawberries, 1 kiwi (peeled) and half a cucumber and use a blender to mix them together into a thin paste. If the paste is too thin to apply without dripping off your face, add a bit of oatmeal to thicken it up. To use, massage gently across the face, leave for 5 to 10 minutes and remove with warm water.

Cucumber Toner: To make a soothing toner, take half a cucumber (unpeeled), puree it in a blender and strain into a bowl. Add half an ounce of witch hazel, mix together and transfer into a clean and sterilized container. Because the cucumber used in this recipe is fresh, you’ll need to use the toner within a few days of producing it. Make fresh batches as you need it, and keep it in the fridge when it’s not in use.

Strawberry/Lemon Toner: This toner works well for oily skin. Take some medium-sized strawberries, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Pulverize the strawberries in a blender and transfer the juice into a bowl and add the other ingredients. Stir well and transfer to a sterilized bottle. Because the ingredients are fresh, the toner will need to be kept in the fridge when it’s not being used and should be used within a few days.

Spot treatment: For this natural spot treatment, dip a cotton bud in a mixture of apple cider vinegar (1/4 tablespoon) and tea tree essential oil (1 drop). Apply to blemishes and leave overnight to work its magic.

Maple Oat Facial Scrub: For this exfoliating scrub, you’ll need finely powdered oats (3 tablespoons), pure maple syrup (1 tablespoon) and milk (1 tablespoon). Heat the milk in the microwave for around 15 seconds, add in the maple syrup and stir well so that the syrup dissolves. Add the oats and stir again. To use, massage gently onto your skin and follow with toner and moisturizer. Because the milk is fresh, keep the mixture in the fridge and use within a few days.

Face Masks

Face masks are one of the easiest skincare products to make at home, and you don’t need fancy ingredients. No matter what your skin type, you can create a natural face mask quickly and cheaply.

Normal skin: Mix two egg whites with a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt to create a moisturizing face mask that suits most skin types. Leave it on your face for a few minutes after application to give it chance to harden and then rinse off with warm winter. If you prefer a more exfoliating face mask, add a tablespoon of yogurt (preferably organic, but plain will do if you don’t have any) to a tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal and mix together. Add a few drops of warm honey (heat the spoon under the hot tap for a minute or two beforehand) and stir into the mixture. Leave on your face for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Because your face will probably feel tight and dry afterwards, apply some moisturizer.

Oily/spot-prone skin: Instead of buying expensive spot treatments, why not create a strawberry face mask? Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid, which is the main spot-fighting ingredient contained in acne treatments. Take 1/4 of a cup of fresh strawberries and mash them together with 1/4 of a cup of plain yogurt. Leave on your face for 10 to 15 minutes. To absorb excess oil without drying out your skin, apply Milk of Magnesia to your face, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with tepid water.

Dry skin: Mashing half an avocado with 1/4 cup of honey makes a good face mask for dry skin. Leave on your skin for 10 minutes and rinse with tepid water.

Lip Balm

Lip balms can be made at home, so you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive products that promise to keep your lips soft and supple.

Cocoa lip balm: To create this chocolate-flavored lip balm, you’ll need cocoa butter (2 ounces), peppermint essential oil (4 drops), neroli essential oil (1 drop), chocolate fragrance oil (1 drop), and sweet almond oil (1 drop). Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler, add the sweet almond oil and stir well. Add the essential oils and chocolate fragrance oil and stir well. Transfer to a suitable container and allow to cool before using.

Bath Treats

Bath-time treats can be expensive so why not try making your own for a fraction of the price?

Chocolate Milk Bath: To create this nourishing and indulgent bath milk, you’ll need baking soda (1/4 cup), finely powdered oats (1/4 cup), chocolate milk powder (1/2 cup), rose geranium essential oil (2 drops) and ylang ylang essential oil (1 drop). With the exception of the essential oils, add the other ingredients to a bowl and stir together. Add in the essential oils on a drop-by-drop basis, stirring well in between drops. To use, add to the bath water after it has finished running.

Coffee Body Scrub: For this body scrub, you’ll need sweet almond oil (1/4 cup), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), peppermint essential oil (8 drops), granulated sugar (1 cup) and fresh coffee grounds (1/2 cup). Add the sweet almond oil, vanilla extract and essential oil into a glass measuring cup, stir well and put to one side. In another bowl, add the coffee grounds and sugar, combine with the first mixture and stir well. To use, massage gently across your body and make sure you avoid your face.

Making your own skincare products doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult and because you have complete control over the ingredients, you shouldn’t encounter too many adverse reactions. Even if you don’t have the right ingredients ready and waiting at home, making your own beauty products can still work out cheaper than buying chemical-based products in the store, and you can feel good about how green you’re being too! 

Do you have any good green skincare recipes?
(photo credit: j_silla)

Sally Aquire
Sally is a UK-based freelance writer. As well as personal finance, she also writes on health & beauty and lifestyle topics. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, shopping, hanging out with friends and generally making the most of her downtime!

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  • gina

    Sounds like fun to try, but I can’t imagine making any of these things on a regular basis. Sometimes it is worth it to pay for convenience.

    • Erik Folgate

      Good point Gina, but some of these products are things you wouldn’t use on a regular basis, right?

      • http://madsaver.com Mac

        Therein lies the problem. Most of these recipes need to be used within a few days since fresh food is being used. Sounds cool, but I can’t see my wife ever trying these remedies. The Maple Oat Facial Scrub sounds nearly good enough to have for breakfast though! ;)

        • Karmella

          I think the masks especially – most of us don’t use them all that often, and might not think to or want to buy a full bottle/jar at the store. It would be easy enough to whip them up. And I could see using the recipes if I had just a little bit of stuff to use up, like the end of a cucumber or a few strawberries.

  • Karmella

    That’s really interesting about strawberries as a natural source of salicylic acid – I didn’t have any idea. I think I will give that mask a try – it prbably smells amazing too@!

  • http://www.thegoldandoilguy.com/ Christina

    Interesting…I will surely try some of this…I prefer preparing my own skin care products, though it consumes time and kind a messy, I love the effect on my skin. I’ve been using brown sugar as a body scrub at least twice a week and it sure works wonder for me. Let’s see how the chocolate milk batch will work :D

  • Em D.

    I guess one of the big advantages of homemade products is you know exactly what is going on your skin. Just be careful of the ingredients- natural isn’t always the same as good for you. For example peppermint can also be a skin irritant. I’ve always been intrigued by making my own products but know I’ll never do it regularly, I can barely stay on top of making my own meals :)

  • http://www.yourfinances101.com/blog David/Yourfinances101

    Our household just switched to homemade dish liquid and homemade toilet bowl cleaner. In addition to being cheaper, its way better for the environment.

    And the homemade stuff works just as well.

    • http://madsaver.com Mac

      Now that sounds like something I could use. Did you follow some sort of recipe somewhere to create these homemade solutions? If each lasts more than a few days, I’m game for trying a few of these out!

  • Elizabeth I

    Coconut Oil is great for the skin as well and works well as a regular oil for cooking.

  • Winston C

    I didn’t realize how expensive skincare products are until I had to buy some to treat my oily face and acne. And there are so many choices and a lot of them cost a fortune. So I just use whatever my sister recommends because I am so clueless in this field.

    In the meantime, I will see if I can make those DIY skincare products. There are a lot of stuff I have never heard before.

  • Elizabeth I

    I forgot to mention that coconut oil is great for eye make up removal.

  • http://www.buyflexcerin.com/ Relief from Joint Pain

    This blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!
    Thanks for sharing these great tips. Very nice indeed.

  • Bimbo

    Hi.
    Thanks for the recipes. Just a quick question about the maple oat facial scrub. I would like to try it but i don’t get the sequence of following with a toner, moisturizer. Am i supposed to wash the scrub off and then do the toner?
    Thanks

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