Don’t Buy, DIY: Make These 6 Beauty Products at Home to Save Money

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How much do you spend on beauty products? 

We’re willing to shell out to take care of ourselves. But what if you could save your hard-earned cash and customize your regimen to your needs by making a few of your own health and beauty essentials at home — with ingredients you already have in your pantry?

You can! Here are a few DIY beauty products that’ll help keep both you and your wallet looking good.

6 DIY Beauty Products You Can Make at Home

1. Volumizing Sea Spray

On those all-too-frequent days I can’t get to the beach, I use this hair spray for lots of lift and a breezy scent. You could pay as much as $26 per bottle, but these replacement options will keep you volumized for mere pennies per ounce.

The main components of a great texturizer are salt for volume, a softener to counteract the salt’s drying effect and something to make it smell great!

Combine a cup of hot water with a tablespoon or so of coarse salt — sea salt or Epsom salts work great. The more salt, the beachier the look. Add in aloe, some conditioner you already have or maybe some of the water-based gel in your cabinet to add softness and hold.

After it cools, add a few (optional!) drops of essential oil and pour into your spray bottle. Bend over your sink and spray liberally on damp or dry hair at the roots. Shake, scrunch, flip and otherwise adore your instant big, sexy, beach-day look! 

I used this spray almost daily when I was working up north and missing my seaside Florida hometown.

Off-the-shelf cost: $14.99 for 6 ounces.

DIY cost: $1 per bottle at most, and your first batch of ingredients will last forever.

2. Dry Shampoo

When your day is too full of responsibilities

excitement for a full shampoo and conditioning, you reach for dry shampoo for a grease-free look that won’t strip your hair’s natural oils — but there’s no need to strip your wallet, either.

Dry shampoo dispenses greasiness with an oil-absorbing powder that disappears in your hair. Depending on your hair color and what’s on your shelves, you can try cornstarch, fine arrowroot flour, baby powder or even unsweetened cocoa powder (my personal fave, though I’m a pretty dark brunette and a total chocoholic). Apply to your roots and comb through until the product disappears.

Not into smelling like chocolate cake or a baby’s bottom? I like to comb in a drop or two of that essential oil I use in my sea salt spray for scrumptious-smelling hair. 

Off-the-shelf cost: $23 for 3.5 ounces of a fancy kind, or $6.99 for 3.4 ounces of a drugstore brand.

DIY cost: You probably already have these items in your pantry. Otherwise, maybe a couple of bucks at your grocery store’s bulk bin.

3. Exfoliating Salt or Sugar Scrub for Hands and Body

This product is pretty much just sugar or salt, oil and something that smells good. Go ahead and raid your pantry and grab that essential oil.

Plus, you can choose between a micro-exfoliating granulated sugar scrub or a macro-exfoliating coarse sea salt scrub, experiment with white or brown sugars, coconut or olive or almond oil… the possibilities are endless. 

Off-the-shelf cost: $16.50 for 8 ounces at Bath and Body Works, but I’ve seen these bad boys go for $40 for 8.2 ounces from premium dealers. No way!

DIY cost: About $3 per batch, depending on the type of oil you choose

4. Body or Face Lotion

You can make a fabulous body lotion by simply adding a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to the coconut oil you’re already using.

Or, experiment with shea butter-based lotions and try other nourishing oils, like avocado or jojoba. Depending on how much you trust your face, you could try a gentle mixture — I’m pretty oily, though, so I’d proceed with caution!

Off-the-shelf cost: Amazon lists a 12-ounce Aveeno lotion for $5.93, which is pretty standard for drugstore body lotion. Facial skincare products are hugely variable and can be quite expensive, like $32.76 for 2 ounces.

DIY cost: About $3 to $5 per batch

5. Facial Toner

Check out the ingredient list on that refreshing spritz you use before your moisturizer or in the middle of the day — it’s pretty much a bottle of watery perfume!

By experimenting with tea, rose water or witch hazel, you slash costs and get to figure out what works best for your skin on the cheap. If you’re starting to amass those essential oils I keep mentioning from all this DIY, check out some of these skin-type-specific recipes

I like using a cotton pad to apply my toner, but you could grab another spray bottle if you enjoy the spritz effect.

Off-the-shelf cost: $45 for 8.4 ounces is not unheard of, though you can find drugstore options for less than $8 for around the same size.

DIY cost: Depends on your ingredients, but could cost pennies or up to $4 per batch

6. Face Masks

Whether your skin is dry, oily or a combination — and even if you’re dealing with acne well after high school — you can try tons of at-home treatments. Raid your kitchen for apple cider vinegar, honey and egg whites. How about avocado and cocoa powder

The good news is, not only do you already have these ingredients on your grocery list, but you can try a variety of treatments without breaking the bank. My oily summer skin loves apple cider vinegar, but milk and honey feels decadent before bed!

Off-the-shelf cost: A 1-ounce charcoal mask from Sephora costs $13.00, but who knows which one’s right for you?

DIY cost: From pennies to $5 per mask, depending on the ingredients you choose

Although a few of these recipes require some initial investments like essential oils, glass containers, spray bottles or shea butter, you’ll be left with ingredients to keep making personalized beauty products for a year or longer — and with extra cash in your pocket.

Jamie Cattanach is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.