Americans spend billions of dollars a year on beauty products- BILLIONS. We spend more on beauty products than we do on healthcare, which is a little insane if you ask me. Most beauty products are overpriced, filled with harsh chemicals, and don’t really work. After all, if they worked, you wouldn’t have to keep buying each new version and variety.
After trying homemade products I’ll never go back. My skin was always irritated before (when I was using high end products from Sephora), and now it’s much smoother and better hydrated- and of course it’s much less expensive and doesn’t come with a bunch of plastic packaging. To make your homemade skincare solutions feel more glamorous, why not put them into some lovely vintage looking bottles and jars? Thrift stores often have them, or you can buy them online. (Note: I am not making money from this link, I just like the products/prices.)
I am not a chemist or a licensed beautician, but this stuff isn’t exactly rocket science. Most high end skin products are based on very few, very simple ingredients (and then they’re loaded with preservatives and scents and lots of fillers). Ingredients that are time tested and widely known to be soothing, like honey, aloe, rose or green tea, are very popular, even in $90 bottles of moisturizer. They’re the best ingredients we have- so why not go right to the source?
Humectant Honey Mask
If you’re struggling with dry skin then honey will be your new best friend, honey is a humectant- which means it attracts and retains moisture. Buy quality honey, some brands have many additional ingredients- it should just be pure honey. Honey is a primary ingredient in many high end skin products, there are even entire beauty brands that base all of their marketing on their use of honey. I make a batch of this once or twice a week in the winter when my skin is extra dry, you will see a difference immediately. If you do it at night you’ll also wake up with the loveliest skin ever.
Ingredients- 2 tbsp. honey + 1 teaspoon warm water
Mix in a small bowl and apply it thickly on your face and neck (put your hair up first). Leave on for about 15 minutes, then wipe off the excess- you can leave the honey residue on your skin so you don’t have to fully wash your face. You could also drape a hot cloth over your face while the honey is on your skin- this will help open up your pores even more.
Green Tea Brightner Treatment
This is a nice little pick me up for your skin, it’s great to perk up a dull complexion, green tea is also soothing after sun exposure. It has the greatest effect if you do it regularly. Some people believe this can also help with acne, I haven’t used it for that so I really don’t know. (Of course consuming green tea is great for your skin as well, to get the maximum benefit squeeze some lemon in- it helps you absorb the antioxidants.)
Ingredients- 1 green tea bag + 1 cup water
Dip the tea bag in hot (but not boiling) water for a couple of seconds. Now dab the tea bag all over the skin on your face, pressing it in firmly with your fingers and even lightly massaging your skin. If the bag dries you can quickly dip it in the water again and continue. Do this for 3-5 minutes.
Brown Sugar Scrub
Lots of products are made for the purpose of exfoliating, but you really only need this one. Brown sugar is excellent at exfoliating skin and scraping away the dead skin cells. It also has antibacterial properties – it literally polishes the skin. Combined with olive oil it becomes easy to apply and extra moisturizing. I use this on my entire body about once a week, or whenever I’m in the bath.
1/4 cup brown sugar+ 2 tbsp. olive oil (you can play with this ratio depending on how smooth or coarse you want the mixture- the less oil you add, the more exfoliating it will be- but if you have highly sensitive skin you may want more oil)
I keep a container of this scrub in my bathroom at all times- I have highly sensitive skin but still use this 3-5 times a week on my face without irritation.
Moisturizing Makeup Remover
So simple- just use olive oil on a cotton ball or cloth. It will break down even waterproof makeup, but it’s still gentle enough to use on your eyes. I buy extra virgin olive oil in bulk, so I just put the oil I use in the bathroom into a separate, pretty little bottle.
Nature’s moisturizer, and the main ingredient in many high end lotions and creams is Vitamin E. Good old simple, reliable, Vitamin E. You can apply vitamin E by either buying pure Vitamin E Oil, or Pure Argan Oil (which has loads of vitamin E in it, some people feel that Argan oil is easier absorbed by your skin- I have used and liked both, Vitamin E Oil is cheaper).
Just apply a small amount to your face and your dry skin is gone. Pure Vitamin E oil is also the best thing in the world to get rid of scars. I have had lots of major surgery, and have more than 2 feet worth of scar tissue on my body. Every surgeon’s recommendation? Pure Vitamin E Oil, no fancy product, no prescription, just regular Vitamin E Oil.
The primary ingredient in most toners is witch hazel (even fancy brands like Murad & Kiehls) . You can buy large bottles of rose petal witch hazel (or plain if you prefer) at many health food stores or online. Use it exactly the way you used to use your expensive toner and enjoy the savings!
I’m really excited about this post because I firmly believe that being frugal doesn’t have to mean the end of luxury and enjoyment. What’s more luxurious than lathering on a homemade scrub from a beautiful glass bottle while soaking in your tub? I love taking time out of my day to just take care of my body and relax.
In my experience, being healthy (which for me means working out and being fit), taking time for yourself, and feeding yourself well, are the best antidotes to low self-esteem. People (mostly women, but the number of men is rapidly growing) spend major bucks to feel better about themselves, but the problem is they’re fixing a symptom and not the real problem. Eye cream that costs $75 will not make you feel beautiful if you’re not happy with yourself on the inside. So enjoy these simple home recipes (they really do work) and relax! Pamper yourself, feel beautiful, feel strong, and feel smug knowing that you’re not contributing to the billions already spent on disposable beauty.
I’m sure there are a million more awesome homemade skincare recipes, so I’ll look forward to reading your favorites in the comments! I’ll do another post soon that gives you all the steps to turn your bathroom at home into a relaxing spa experience- which is one of my favorite ways to luxuriate in the awesomeness that is frugal living.