On the surface, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Why would we, of the Seamless era, suddenly don our chef’s hats for the sake of beauty? After all, there are plenty of pre-made, organic concoctions with which to slather our hair and faces. With one click of a button, Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, Josie Maran’s Argan Hot Oil Self-Heating Hair Treatment and countless others can make their way to our doors, no dish washing required. Not to fear monger, but in a world where purportedly “honest” companies are repeatedly called into question, why not treat our bodies like the temples they are and take matters into our own trusty hands?
To that end, we’ve whipped up tutorials for four of our favorite all-natural DIY beauty treatments. With recipes for the hair, eyes, lips and skin, we’ve got you covered head to toe. The ingredients will cost you far less than even one of your go-to luxury cleansers — and yield way more product. Plus, with the right packaging handy, you’ll hardly (read: Monthly) have to repeat this painless process. To those still dubious, we promise the results (both spreadable and corporeal) are as appetizing as the recipes suggest. Spend all the dough you’re saving on that orgo-vegan chocolate cake you definitely weren’t attempting Chez (Your Name Here).
Cucumber Green Tea Eye Detox Tea Pads
These are the only gray circles we’ll allow near our eyes. Antioxidants and tannins in green tea help shrink the delicate pores and blood vessels surrounding this area, thus deflating puffiness. Meanwhile, the vitamin K in this metabolism-boosting beverage helps to lighten dark circles. The cucumbers in this concoction serve to soothe skin irritation and reduce swelling.
Why not go for the store-bought stuff instead? “You have to remember that green tea gets oxidized when it gets exposed to air so the best way to use it is to brew it fresh, or use it fresh, like make it at home and combine it with different things,” explains dermatologist Dr. Monica Halem.
- 1 cucumber
- 3 green tea bags
- Round cotton pads
- Ziploc bags
- Brew a strong batch of green tea (approximately 1.5 cups). Let cool.
- Peel and slice cucumber and put into blender with green tea. Liquefy. Pour cucumber tea mixture into bowl.
- Saturate cotton pads in cucumber tea mixture. Press the cotton pad to remove excess liquid and place into Ziploc bag. Repeat with remaining pads, placing in single layer, careful not to overlap. Freeze.
- Use pads as needed, letting them thaw slightly before putting on eyes.
(Recipe adapted from Michelle Phan’s DIY Ice Cucumber Pads)
Homemade Coffee Brown Sugar Scrub
Like green tea, coffee is full of antioxidants as well as caffeine, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation, affirms Dr. Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist and psychiatrist. Combine the beans’ health properties with its granular structure and you’ve got the ideal exfoliator.
Coconut oil, for those who have somehow managed to escape talk of it thus far, is the veritable wunderkind of the beauty world. “Research has shown that from the use of coconut oil on skin, hydration improved and skin surface lipids remained in tact,” explains Dr. Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology. When dealing with “thick, scaly, fissured feet, or rough leathery elbows and knees, coconut oil might have the advantage over regular moisturizer.”
Balancing out this body scrub is grapeseed oil, which, in addition to its high skin-brightening vitamin C and antioxidant content, can help regulate the production of natural oils. No matter what kind of skin you live in, this rejuvenating body scrub is the one.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup granulated brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coffee grounds (increase amount for more exfoliation)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Mason jar for storage
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Apply to skin in shower or bath and rinse off. Store scrub in airtight container (like a mason jar) for up to one month.
Moisturizing Hair Mask Smoothie
Banana brings vitamins A, B, C and E, minerals including iron, zinc and potassium and strand-strengthening amino acids all to the cutting board. Plus, the oils and potassium found in the fruit nourish your scalp and tresses.
Avocados are so amazing for your hair, you may never want to waste the stuff on ingestion ever again. The superfood is packed with vitamins A, D, E and B6 and is high in proteins, amino acids, magnesium, folic acid, copper and iron. Additionally, the monounsaturated fatty acids that reside in avocados can easily penetrate the cuticles of your hair to moisturize, reinvigorate and fortify your strands. Meanwhile, those same fatty acids along with vitamin E are easily absorbed by the scalp and help to nourish, exfoliate and stimulate your follicles to spur new growth.
To top it off, conditioning your hair with eggs is always a shining idea — the protein-rich food helps rebuild damaged keratin proteins in hair. Ultra moisturizing olive oil seals the deal, so to speak — it’s full of antioxidants, which remove buildup from the scalp, allowing new hair follicles to grow as well as vitamins A and E, which shield the proteins in hair and help hold in moisture. While your hair is marinating, remove the eggs and oil from this hair mask’s equation and you’ve got yourself a delicious power snack.
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
- 1/2 cup coconut water
Directions: Combine ingredients using a blender. Massage mask into hair and comb through (stick to just the ends if you have oily or fine hair) and cover with shower cap or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Wash out and follow up with your usual shampooing/conditioning routine.
DIY Brown Sugar Lip Scrub
Kiss crusty lips goodbye in the most delicious of ways. You wouldn’t think it, but along with being the ideal exfoliator thanks to its small, gentle grains, brown sugar is a formidable antibacterial and exfoliant due to the alpha hydroxy acid in its chemical makeup. Glycolic acid breaks down dead proteins in skin tissue, supporting cell turnover and boosting collagen production. Honey, a natural humectant, takes in moisture from the environment to keep your pout plump. It, too, is full of enzymes and antibacterial compounds that cleanse skin and promote tissue regeneration. Vanilla extract, the final leg in this sweet trifecta, is a powerful antioxidant in its own right.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2.5 tablespoons granulated brown sugar
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- Small jar for storage
Directions: Mix all ingredients and rub into lips using a circular motion. Wipe off with tissue. Store leftover scrub in airtight container in a cool, dry place (or the refrigerator) for up to one month.