Freaked out by the lengthy lists of unpronounceable ingredients in some of your beauty products? Looking for an alternative that saves you some money? Roll up your sleeves and try making your own necessities like deodorant and toothpaste right at home. You’ll be surprised at how easy and cheap some of them are.

Shopping list

Shea butter (11-oz bottle), $8
Shea butter is a great addition to any DIY beauty product because of its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains vitamins A, E, and essential fatty acids that help maintain skin elasticity while hydrating your skin. It can also be used to soothe minor scrapes and sunburns.

Coconut oil (30-oz jar), $15
Coconut oil has become quite a superfood lately, but it’s also great for your skin. Not only is it a great moisturizer, but it also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. And the delicious scent makes it that much better.

Almond oil (16-oz bottle), $9
Thanks to its high content of vitamin E, almond oil is another common hydrating ingredient in beauty products. Almond oil is great for soothing dry skin conditions such as eczema.

Baking soda (16 oz), $2
Baking soda is popular ingredient in DIY beauty because it’s an anti-fungal, so it helps prevent bacteria growth. It also whitens and can be used as an exfoliant.

Arrowroot (16 oz), $5
Arrowroot has a number of health benefits and is a popular addition to DIY beauty products because it helps create a powdery consistency.  It is especially great for deodorant because it reduces odors while also moisturizing skin.

Essential oil, $9 per bottle
This isn’t a necessary ingredient for any of the recipes, but it’s a great way to personalize a beauty product with your favorite scent!

A good rule of thumb with DIY items is to assume that the shelf life of your product is the same as the shelf life of your shortest ingredient. Most of these ingredients last for a very long time, so you shouldn’t run into too many problems. To get the most out of these recipes, be sure to keep the products in a jar with the lid on when not in use.


Recipe credit: Wellness Mama
Where you side on the controversy surrounding the link between antiperspirant deodorants and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer is a matter of personal choice. But for those of you who would like to opt for the more natural (and cheaper!) option and have sensitive skin, this recipe is for you.

– 3 tablespoons of coconut oil ($.75)
– 3 tablespoons of baking soda ($.18)
– 2 tablespoons of shea butter ($.72)
– 2 tablespoons of arrowroot ($.31)
– Essential oils (optional) 

Approximate Total Cost: $1.96
Approximate price of store-bought deodorant: $3-$4 

– Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until just melted.
– Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot.
– Mix well, and add optional essential oils (lavender is a great option).
– Pour into a small glass jar and store either at room temperature or in the fridge, depending on the preferred consistency. 

Whipped Body Butter:

Recipe credit: The Prairie Homestead
While coconut oil by itself is an option for moisturizing before bed or after a shower, if you are looking for a more lotion-like consistency, try this whipped body butter. Although there may not be a large price difference, going the DIY route gives your body the advantage of all natural ingredients.

– 1/2 cup of shea butter ($2.90)
– 1/4 cup coconut oil ($1)
– 1/4 cup almond oil ($1.12)
– 10-20 drops of essential oil (optional)

Approximate total cost: $5.02
Approximate store bought lotion: $5-$6 

– Melt and stir all ingredients (except the essential oils) in a double boiler over medium heat.
– After the mix becomes a liquid, leave the mixture to set so that it starts to harden. It is ready when it is still somewhat soft. Putting the mix in the fridge or freezer will speed up this step.
– Once the mixture has partially set, use a hand mixer until it becomes fluffy. Picture the consistency of fresh whipped cream.
– Let it sit in the fridge for around 10 minutes before scooping into a glass jar for storage.


Recipe credit: Trash is for Tossers
The blogger behind Trash is for Tossers switched to making her own toothpaste for a number of reasons. To start, conventional toothpaste contains ingredients such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, fluoride, propylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide, which have been linked to cancer and other health issues. While the risks are not yet fully determined, if you personally feel that you would like to use a product with only recognizable ingredients, making your own is a great option. She also points to another reason for making a variety of your products yourself: the environment. By making your own products and storing them in reusable jars, you are no longer wasting the plastic and cardboard that is used for packaging.

– 2 tablespoons coconut oil ($.50)
– 1 tablespoon baking soda ($.06)
– 15 drops of essential oils (optional)

Approximate Total Cost: $.56
Approximate Cost of Store bought toothpaste: $3-$5

– Mix all of the ingredients in a glass jar.
– Spoon on to toothbrush for use. If the mixture has solidified you can run it under warm water to melt it slightly.

Photo Credit: Sarah Spitz

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