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Health & Relationships

Homemade beauty treatments that actually work

Pampering yourself doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here, we've put together some unbelievably simple (and affordable) recipes for the perfect homemade beauty kit.

woman with face mask and vegetables

Credit: WAYHOME studio, nipaph, Nataliya Arzamasova, Maks Narodenko – Shutterstock

Beauty treatments are often considered a luxury as they can come with hefty price tags. However, beauty brands are some of the worst culprits for massively marking up their products.

By making your own natural beauty treatments at home, you can pamper yourself with lovely skin and hair products, while keeping well within your student budget.

We've got some of the simplest homemade beauty product recipes, covering everything you need for the ultimate home beauty kit. Prepare for a healthy body, chilled mind and a happier bank balance with these cheap beauty saviours.

You will need a blender for most of these recipes. Think of this as an investment – you'll get beauty products and nice dinners out of it, and it can be bought for less than your average bottle of moisturiser.

Homemade skincare products

Here are the best DIY beauty treatments for your skin that you can make at home:

  1. Sugary Minty Lip Scrub

    woman applying sugar lip balm

    Credit: New Africa – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.04* | Time taken: 5 minutes

    •  ½ tsp olive oil (£0.01) – or jojoba oil if you have it

    •  1 tsp caster sugar (£0.01)

    •  1 or 2 drops of peppermint extract (£0.02).

    Method

    1)  Mix these ingredients together and rub onto the lips, massaging for a few minutes.

    2)  Lick off the lip scrub and enjoy the peppermint taste and feeling of super-smooth lips.

  2. Almond and Orange Body Scrub

    orange and almonds

    Credit: Richard M Lee – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £1.76* | Time taken: 10 minutes

    •  Handful of almonds (£0.38)

    •  Peel of 1 orange (£0.30)

    •  200ml olive oil (£1.08) or rapeseed oil.

    Method

    1)  Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender.

    2)  Apply to the body and massage gently into the skin.

    2)  Rinse off with warm water.

    Warning: Avoid this scrub if you suffer from body acne.

  3. Strawberry and Honey Face Mask

    strawberry facemask in pot

    Credit: Quayside – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.46* | Time taken: 15 minutes

    •  4 medium-sized strawberries (£0.44)

    •  1 tsp honey (£0.02).

    Method

    1)  Mash the strawberries up using a fork, and add the tsp of honey.

    2)  Massage into a clean and wet face, rubbing in a circular motion.

    3)  Leave for 10–15 minutes, then remove using a warm, damp cloth.

    For best results, use every day for a week.

  4. Avocado and Pineapple Face Mask

    man with green face mask

    Credit: Light-Studio – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.72* | Time taken: 20 minutes

    •  ½ ripe avocado (£0.48)

    •  3 small chunks of fresh pineapple (£0.05)

    •  ¼ lime (£0.08)

    •  1 tbsp olive oil (£0.08)

    •  ½ tsp honey (£0.01)

    •  ½ tsp raw cider vinegar (dilute with water if you have sensitive skin) (£0.02).

    Method

    1)  Cleanse your skin by applying ½ tsp of raw cider vinegar to a cotton wool pad, and rub gently over the face. Avoid the eye and lip area, and if you have sensitive skin, dilute the vinegar with water first (note: redness and a tingly feeling is common with this step).

    2)  Blend the avocado and pineapple until smooth but textured, and squeeze the lime into the mixture.

    3)  Using a fork, add the olive oil and honey until well mixed.

    4)  Apply the mask to your face with a cotton wool pad or fingers, and leave for 10 minutes. Remove most of the mask, leaving just a thin layer, and boil some water on the hob. While it's heating up, massage your face in small circles using your fingers.

    5)  Once the water has boiled, remove it from the heat and hold your face over the steam (careful not to get too close!), using a towel over your head like a tent to trap the steam and create a mini facial sauna.

    6)  Enjoy for 3 minutes, and then remove the excess face mask with warm water.

  5. Tomato and Cucumber Toner

    tomato cocumber

    Credit: Studio Photo D Florez – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £1.04* | Time taken: 8 minutes

    •  1 cucumber (£0.39)

    •  1 tomato (£0.65).

    Method

    1)  Blend your (chopped) veggies in a food processor until smooth.

    2)  Pat the mixture onto your face using a cotton pad or your fingers. Leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

    This mixture will keep for four days in the fridge. For oily or acne-prone skin, use every day for the best results.

  6. Yoghurt, Orange and Lemon Moisturiser

    woman smiling in mirror moisturiser

    Credit: Artem Varnitsin – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.50* | Time taken: 5 minutes

    •  250g plain yoghurt (£0.45)

    •  1 tbsp orange juice (£0.02)

    •  1 tbsp lemon juice (£0.03).

    Method

    1)  Mix the ingredients together well, and apply to the face using a cotton pad or your fingers.

    2)  Leave for one or two minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Homemade hair care treatments

These natural hair treatments can be made at home for little cost:

  1. Cocoa Dry Shampoo

    cocoa powder

    Credit: Gaux Alex – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.05* | Time taken: 5 minutes

    •  2 tbsp arrowroot powder (£0.03)

    •  2 tbsp organic cocoa powder (Note: blondes should omit this ingredient... unless they fancy turning brunette) (£0.02).

    Method

    1)  Combine ingredients and apply to the roots using a make-up brush or similar.

    2)  Working in sections, brush the powder through the hair until the oil has been absorbed. Repeat if necessary.

  2. Honey Hair Conditioner

    honey

    Credit: Julia Sudnitskaya – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.67* | Time taken: 35 minutes

    •  ½ cup of honey (£0.35)

    •  4 tbsp olive oil (Note: reduce the amount if your hair is on the oily side) (£0.32).

    Method

    1)  Mix the honey and oil together. If you have a bottle with a squeeze top lid, use a funnel and pour the mixture in. If not, use a jug to pour the mixture onto the hair in small amounts.

    2)  Massage into your hair until it's evenly covered.

    3)  Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave for at least 30 minutes. The mixture may drip, so either plug the shower cap with cotton wool or wrap a towel around your shoulders (either way the result will be worth it!).

    4)  Follow this process by shampooing and rinsing your hair thoroughly.

  3. Avocado Hair Mask

    woman in yellow jumper with avocado

    Credit: ViDI Studio – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £1.63* | Time taken: 20 minutes

    •  1 egg yolk (£0.15)

    •  1 tsp olive oil (£0.02)

    •  1 tsp honey (£0.02)

    •  1 ½ avocados (£1.44).

    Method

    1)  Mix together the egg yolk, oil and honey.

    2)  Mash the avocado using a fork, and blend with the rest of the mixture.

    3)  Apply to your (wet) hair, starting at the ends and working your way up. Let it soak in for 15–20 minutes, then rinse, shampoo, and rinse again.

    If your hair is particularly oily, don't apply to the roots.

  4. Sugar Scalp Scrub

    brown sugar

    Credit: Riggleton – Shutterstock

    Ingredients

    Costs: £0.06* | Time taken: 10 minutes

    •  2 tbsp olive oil (£0.04)

    •  2 to 3 tbsp brown sugar (£0.02).

    Method

    1)  Mix together well, but do not heat the oil as this will melt the sugar and eradicate the 'scrub' part of this recipe.

    2)  Wet your hair, and if you have other styling products in it already, apply conditioner to make it easier to work with.

    3)  Separate the hair so you can reach the scalp, and scrub in a circular motion for around 5 minutes.

    4)  Rinse well, then shampoo and condition hair as normal.

Extra natural skincare tips

As well as the homemade beauty products and treatments above, here are some extra tips to improve your skincare routine:

  1. Using body scrubs two to three times a week is enough to keep your body well exfoliated.
  2. All of these recipes can be made in batches and kept in the fridge in an airtight container. If you can, add a date with a sticky label and make sure you use them within three to four days.
  3. Know your skin! Unless otherwise stated, these recipes are suitable for all skin/hair types, but if you do have sensitive skin, be gentle when using the scrubs and abrasive ingredients.

What about your old clothes? You could give them a new lease of life too.

* Prices are correct as of May 2020 (using Tesco.com, Sainsburys.co.uk and HollandandBarrett.com prices as guidelines).

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