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I started making my own beauty and body care products back when we were in the trenches paying off debt. DIY beauty and body care products are a great way to get natural and effective products on a small budget. If you invest in a few simple tools and products, you can make endless DIYs. These are the must-have items for making your own homemade beauty and body care products.

One way I like to save money each month is to DIY our body care products. Homemade body care is fast and easy. Here's my list of must-have items to create your own DIY body care toolkit.

Making your own body-care products is easier than you may think and can have a have a huge impact on your family budget.  We spend quite a bit on everything from hand soap to deodorant and beauty products, but there are simple and effective recipes for all of these.  If you invest in a few items, you can build a body care toolkit that  will help you create products that are inexpensive and toxin-free.

We include all personal care and beauty products into our grocery budget for easy tracking, so this is a great way to save some money and make more room for food! 

Related: 10 Tips for Saving Money on Household Items

I get the majority of these products from Thrive Market, which is essentially an online health food store. Think Costco meets Whole Foods. They carry almost all of the natural products and organic pantry staples that we use for 25-50% less than traditional retail store.

You can use my link to try Thrive Market for 30 days PLUS get an additional 25% off your first order. Stock up on all of your DIY beauty and body care needs and see if Thrive Market could work for your family.

1. CASTILE SOAP:

Castile soap is one of my favorite ingredients to have on hand for DIY cleaning.  Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap made of all non-toxic ingredients.  It is gentle enough to be used on skin, but it is tough enough to fight dirt, grease, and germs. Castile soap really is one of the most versatile non-toxic cleaning ingredients.  It can be used on everything: your new baby, your toilet, or your face.

I always buy the unscented version so that I can customize my own scents in whatever recipe I am making.

2. ESSENTIAL OILS:

Essential oils may appear to be a new trend, but they’ve actually been used by generations before us.  It’s only in the last couple of generations that we’ve transitioned over to more conventional store-bought products, over-the-counter medications and scented products.

Essential oils are the volatile fluid inside of aromatic plants.  Some experts consider them the lift-or essence- of the plant.  It’s what gives plants their fragrances and many studies have shown that the essential oil is a significant support int he healthy of the plant.  Among other things, essential oils help the plant heal itself, repair damaged tissue, and rid itself of toxic substances and free radicals.  

A few of my favorite essential oils for body-care include: Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Carrot Seed, and Eucalyptus.

These are the essential oils I use, but you can find essential oils at Thrive Market and other health food stores.

3. CARRIER OIL(S):

Carrier oils are nourishing oils that dilute or “carry” essential oils.  They are often used as the base for serums, moisturizers, cleanser, lotions, etc.  Carrier oils are also effective on their own as a makeup remover.

There are several carrier oil options out there, but some work better for certain skin types than others. This post outlines how to choose the best carrier oils for your skin type. If you’re looking for the quick answer to how to choose the best carrier oil for you, Jojoba oil and Sweet Almond oil are my recommendation since they are great for all skin types.

Carrier oils can generally be used interchangeably, so I would just pick one or two and stick with those.  Don’t feel like you need to buy every carrier oil option out there to make different recipes.  The only exception to this would be if a recipe notes a specific oil recommendation.

4. ALOE VERA:

Aloe vera comes from the aloe plant and is known for it’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.  Most people think of the green gel from the store, but we’re talking about the natural form with minimal preservatives.  The aloe vera that I like to use is clear with a jelly-like texture.

When choosing an aloe vera gel, you want to avoid the green ones (artificial color) and those containing a long list of ingredients.  I also recommend buying a small bottle, because fresh aloe with minimal preservatives has a shorter shelf-life.

5. WITCH HAZEL & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:

I am putting these two body-care items together since can both be used as an astringent/toner on your face.

Witch Hazel is considered an extract and can be used in several different ways to improve skin tone.  It can be used as a facial toner, it can be added to your facial cleanser, it can be mixed in with clay for a face mask, or it can be applied to the skin as an after-shave.  I use an alcohol-free witch hazel for skincare recipes since the versions with alcohol may cause skin irritation.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural way to balance the pH of your skin when used as a toner.  Apple cider vinegar can be added to clay for a face mask that may reduce breakouts.  It can also be applied as a spot treatment to pimples.  Always dilute vinegar with water before applying to the skin.

6. CLAY:

Clay is a mineral-rich addition to your skincare routine that both nourishes your skin and removes toxins.  When you search for clays, you’ll find a variety of options, but the two most common to skincare products are bentonite and kaolin clays.

Bentonite clay is my preferred clay for skincare recipes.  This clay has an electrical charge, which allows it to absorb toxins.  One very important thing to note when working with bentonite clay is to avoid using metal tools (ie. metal spoons).  Metal disrupts the electrical charge making the clay less effective. I most commonly use the Aztec brand.

Kaolin clay is a more gentle clay and is great for those with more sensitive skin.  This is a great clay for all skin types if you are unsure of how you will react to clays.

7. VITAMIN E:

Vitamin E oils is an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals.  I love adding vitamin e to my body-care recipes to help support healthy skin.

8. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL:

I was first introduced to activated charcoal when I was looking for natural ways to whiten my teeth.  In researching activated charcoal further, I learned that activated charcoal can be used for multiple different things including: food poisoning, healthy teeth and gums, removing dirt and oil from skin, and more.

According to Dr. Axe, activated charcoal works through a process called adsorption, which is “the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface.” 

9. VEGETABLE GLYCERIN:

Vegetable glycerine is a moisturizing ingredient that is derived from vegetable facts.  Vegetable glycerine is used in body care products to hydrate the skin.  It is also a great add in to DIY recipes to obtain the “bubbles” that we come to expect from certain conventional products.

This moisturizing ingredient comes from vegetable fats. Vegetable glycerin acts like a humectant, just like honey, which means it hydrates the skin.

10. SUGAR AND SALT:

Sugar and salt are act as an exfoliant in body-care products.  Epsom salt is also a great addition to a soothing bath to promote sleep and ease muscle discomfort.

11. BAKING SODA:

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an ingredient that soothes, softens, and deodorizes.  Baking soda is alkalizing, so it works well for spot treatment on skin or as an ingredient in homemade toothpaste.  I do not recommend using it as an all-over scrub, because it is a bit harsh, particularly for sensitive skin.

12. ARROWROOT FLOUR:

Arrowroot flour (sometimes called arrowroot starch) is made from grinding arrowroot rhizomes into a powder.  This starchy, white powder is very similar to cornstarch and can be used interchangeably with cornstarch if you have that on hand at home.

Arrowroot powder is used in my body-care products as the base for dry shampoo and homemade deodorant.  You can also use arrowroot powder to make a homemade baby powder.

13. STORAGE CONTAINERS:

When you’re making your own homemade body-care products, you will need to have containers on hand to store your products.  I recommend avoiding plastic containers as often as possible, especially when adding citrus oils to your body-care recipe.  Citrus oils can degrade plastic overtime causing it to leach into your products.

Some of the basic storage containers you may need depending on your project are:

Once a container is empty, I just wash it out and reuse it again.  I purchase most of my containers from Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Amazon.

14. DISTILLED WATER:

Some of the body-care products include water.  Water shortens the shelf-life of products, especially when they do not contain any preservatives.  When making homemade products, it is best to use distilled water or water that is boiled and then cooled to extend shelf life.  Distilled or boiled water limits the introduction of bacteria into the product.  If you do use clean tap water, I would recommend making a small batch that can be used quickly.

If you have all of these items sitting in your cabinet, you’ll be ready to make just about any DIY beauty or body care product that you can think of. You’ll become the master of whipping of DIYs fast!

Other Posts You Might Like:

The aspect of beauty that I’m not willing to DIY is makeup. I have played around in the past with DIYs I have found online, and nothing really worked well for me.

So what’s the first DIY beauty or body care product you are going to make now that you have everything you need?


Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols, founder and CEO of Let's Talk Mom Business, has a background in business, research, advocacy, and family finances. LetsTalkMomBusiness.com combines her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and her love for budgeting and frugal living to help others take their family finances into their own hands by teaching budget basics, how to earn income from home as a mom, DIY tutorials, and frugal fun.

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