The Best Homemade Beauty Products for Less

BlogHer Original Post

After doing my post on green cleaning, I started thinking about how much money I was saving by not buying commercial cleaning products and how much safer I felt my family was without being exposed to all those chemicals. I started thinking of other ways to cut chemicals and unnatural products out of our lives and decided a great place to start would be some beauty items.

I'm not fancy -- I'm mostly a Chapstick-and-mascara-hair-in-pony kind of girl -- but I'm a sucker for a smelly lotion or delicious lip balm. So I started hunting around Pinterest and blogs that boast natural or raw living ideas. I came up with four products I wanted to start making, and one afternoon, I got to work. I ended up with lip balm, body butter, sugar scrub and lotion bars.

Lip Balm

The lip balm was one of the things I was most excited about. I seem to go through it at an extraordinary rate. I get tired of shelling out the money, even for my cheapy Vanilla Lip Smackers. (I know, but I can't help myself! I swear I'm 30, not 13.) I really cringe to hand over $3 or $4 for something a little fancier.

To make the lip balm I used:

  • 2 T. beeswax
  • 4 T. natural oil (I used safflower, but I've seen sunflower used as well. I assume olive oil would also be a good option)
  • Few drops of strawberry flavor

I simply melted my beeswax and oil together in a bowl in the microwave until melted. Added some strawberry flavor to it and stirred well, then dumped it in my pots. I found these pots for $.79 each and they hold .5 ozs. I only got four, but ended up with enough lip balm left over to make probably two more. I put what was left into an old baby food container and gave it to my four-year-old.

Cost break down:

  • $1.12 for beeswax
  • $.33 Safflower oil
  • $.35 strawberry oil 

Total cost: $1.80 for 4 pots

I had leftovers, but I just did the math for what I had here. Each pot of lip balm cost me $.45 for half and ounce. My lip smackers run $1.49 these days and are .14 ozs each. Mine - $.90 per ounce. Others - $10.43 per ounce.

Body Butter

I LOVE body butter. It's so silky and smooth and has an amazing ability to soften any part of your body, no matter how rough. I have this weird thing with my feet, and I have to slather them with lotion before I go to bed every night. If it's not good lotion, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and they'll be too dry and I'll have to lube them up again. I love body butter for this exact reason -- it keeps them nice and hydrated all night and most of the next day. The thing I don't like about body butter? Its price tag!

To make the body butter I used:

  • 1 c. shea butter
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. almond oil
  • A few drops of lavender oil I had on hand

I put all the ingredients into a large bowl inside a pot of water on the stove and simmered until it melted. Once it was all liquid, I put the bowl in the fridge. It was taking too long to firm up, so I stuck it in the freezer instead.

Once the liquids had turned back to almost a solid state, I used my hand mixer to whip them. The consistency is something like icing and it smells heavenly! I put my body butter into these jars. I grabbed them 50 percent off and gave one to a friend. Each jar was 8 oz (they're not stuffed, but nicely filled) and is perfect. You have to be careful not to get this body butter too warm or it'll "melt" back into a liquid. If that happens you'll need to melt it all, freeze it again and re-whip it back into butter.

Cost breakdown:

  • Shea butter - $13.44
  • Coconut oil - $2.48
  • Almond oil - $4.24

Total cost: Three 8 oz jars = $20.16

Mine - $.67 per ounce. Others - $2.14 per ounce

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