These simple DIY personal care recipes are perfect for beginners or those who have been making products for years. From treating rashes to soothing insect bites, these creations can be used at home or on the go!
Creating simple products from scratch is a great way to repurpose old jars from your favorite products. I recommend these recipes for my customers at Just So Natural Products, as many of our products come in reusable Miron glass jars. (Learn more about Miron violet glass.)
Ingredients and Sources for DIY Personal Care Products
Ingredients for DIY personal care products can be expensive in the short run, but can save you money as you transition away from store-bought to DIY. If you’re a beginner, start with coconut oil and an essential oil that appeals to you. Each will go a long way!
Bentonite clay is formed from volcanic ash. It has a strong negative electromagnetic charge, and when activated by water, it acts like a magnet attracting various metals and toxins.
Extracted from wildcrafted Hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel is noted for its ability to remove oil and impurities from even the most delicate skin, while soothing irritation and redness.
Shea butter is my absolute favorite addition to my homemade personal care products. Truly a skin superfood, shea butter is full of nutrients, wonderfully emollient, and easy to apply. (I typically choose refined organic shea butter. Unrefined has a different texture and odor, but still goes on nicely.)
A carrier oil is a seed, nut, or plant oil that is used as a base to make your own personal care products. The oil “carries” an essential oil or another ingredient deep into the skin. Carrier oils can be combined or used individually. Look for carrier oils that are organic and unrefined. Cold-pressed is another key term. Expeller-pressed is acceptable, provided high heat is not used to extract the oil.
My Favorite Carrier Oils
1. Coconut Oil
Look for a high-quality brand of coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil will smell like coconut, while expeller-pressed or fractionated coconut oil will not. Coconut oil is suitable for any skin type and is my #1 choice for these recipes, since I always have coconut oil in my kitchen! (For those sensitive to coconut oil, babassu oil makes a suitable substitute.)
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is full of proteins, fatty acids, and antioxidants. It absorbs deeply into the skin. It makes a great moisturizing carrier oil and works well in combination with other base oils.
3. Sweet Almond Oil
Almond oil is a popular carrier oil as it absorbs well and is easy to apply. It works well for all skin types. Rich in magnesium and other nutrients, sweet almond oil offers natural sun-protective properties and is highly emollient. Those with a nut allergy may be allergic to almond oil.
4. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil (pronounced ho-ho-ba) is closest in composition to our skin’s natural oil. Jojoba oil is technically a plant wax, but remains in liquid form unless cooled to 50 degrees or so. It is high in vitamin E, making it highly effective as an anti-aging oil.
Look for the purest you can find. Ask questions of the company about sourcing and methods of extraction. Essential oils are best kept in a darkened jar at a constant temperature. When preparing these recipes, use Miron glass or darkened jars, or refill clear glass jars frequently.
Plant wax or beeswax is used to create a balm or salve. I typically use beeswax, but candelilla or carnauba wax may be substituted.
5 DIY Simple Personal Care Recipes
1. Bug Bite/Rash Remedy
This recipe combines bentonite clay with witch hazel to create relief for itchy skin or bug bites. Keep this remedy handy when traveling or hiking. Water can easily be substituted for witch hazel, but the witch hazel offers a nice soothing touch.
2. Fragrance Boost
This recipe is great for small jars. Carry this with you for an added confidence boost. Fill the jar with your favorite carrier oil and several drops of essential oil. I use lavender, but rose geranium or a citrus blend would work well too.
3. Nail Cream
Coconut oil strengthens and nourishes your nails. Not only is it a natural antifungal, it also helps with ridges and even adds shine! Simply rub coconut oil onto your nails and cuticles daily. Add an essential oil like tea tree for added benefit!
4. Bug Repellent
Ditch the harsh chemicals like DEET and try this combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils. Simply stir in a few drops of one or more of these oils into a carrier oil and apply as needed. The following essential oils offer excellent repelling properties.
- Tea tree
(I avoid citrus oils for this recipe because the skin can burn more easily when in the sun. Read more about the phototoxicity of some citrus oils.)
You can also create a bug repellent balm by adding shea butter and beeswax.
5. Eye Cream/Cellulite Rub
This combination of fresh coffee grounds and coconut oil improves circulation and diminishes puffiness around the eyes. The caffeine helps constrict blood vessels, which will reduce swelling and help with cellulite. Caffeine has antioxidant properties and helps slow down the photoaging of the skin (deterioration due to UV light exposure). Just So Natural Products offers a more luxurious version of this balm. Check out Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream!