Little known fact about me: Before I was a beauty (and fashion) writer and editor, I was a product developer. I was something of a prodigy, really, whipping up proprietary formulas in my home laboratory at the age of 10 and forcing them on unsuspecting neighbors. These exotic concoctions consisted of whatever I could find around the house: spoonfuls of my mother’s only moisturizer, Avon lipstick samples from my dad’s office manager, soap… I would carefully bottle my formulas in empty prescription bottles from my dad’s medical office, and hand them out to anyone I could find.
One revolutionary treatment I developed consisted of applying water to my face, running around the house until it dried, and repeating the process. (An early, primitive stab at the dewy look, I think. I’ve always been a trendsetter!)
As I got older, with the help of beauty books and teen magazines, my formulas grew more sophisticated. I became the queen of the DIY kitchen beauty treatment: egg white and honey masks, mayonnaise for my hair, lemon juice to white nails and elbows.
And then I made a startling discovery. You could buy beauty products. At the store. Growing up in the beauty desert that was my home (the result of my mom’s inexplicable lack of interest in beauty products), the full range of beauty buying options wasn’t clear to me early on. After I discovered beauty counters, I never looked back.
These days, however, I’ve rediscovered my love of DIY beauty. Why? It’s safe, fun and inexpensive, and you can customize the formulas to suit your needs and preferences. The formulas you’ll find here are far more sophisticated (not to mention effective!) than my early attempts, but just as much fun to whip up! So, here, top experts share 5 DIY beauty treatments that are perfect for summer!
Melissa Quin’s Lavender Sea Salt + Shea Butter Body Scrub
“I’m obsessed with DIY beauty recipes…especially when they call for natural and pure ingredients,” reveals Melissa Quin, creator of style, wellness and fitness blog SkinnyAffair.com.
“This sea salt scrub recipe is perfect for summer. I mean, doesn’t sea salt just scream summer? My recipe has three ingredients — shea butter, sea salt, and coconut oil. It’s such a simple recipe…just mix all the ingredients together and seal it in a jar. I use this body scrub once a week in the shower. I apply it on my skin gently then wash it off. When I get out of the shower, I moisturize right away. And there you have it! Silky, smooth, and hydrated skin.”
• 1 part Out of Africa Lavender Pure Shea Butter
• 1 part coconut oil
• 3 to 4 parts fine ground sea salt
• Mason Jar
1. Using your spoon, place 1 part shea butter and 1 part coconut oil on the plate. “I used Out of Africa’s Lavender Pure Shea Butter. It’s 100% pure, unrefined, and is hand harvested in Africa. I picked lavender because it adds a nice scent and in aromatherapy, lavender is relaxing and calming.”
2. Add on the 3-4 parts sea salt to the plate and slowly start to mix the ingredients together. “We’ve all heard so much about the skin benefits of coconut oil. So, I love pairing coconut oil with shea butter. I like to think it adds even more benefits. Why sea salt? We all know about how I love using natural exfoliants to brush away dead skin.”
3. Carefully transfer all 3 ingredients to the jar and thoroughly mix everything together to finish.”
Skyy Hadley Refreshing Cucumber Lemon Foot Scrub
1. Start with 2 whole cucumbers (one per foot), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil; mix in a blender until pureed.
2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and heat it up to warm temperature.
3. Place half of the mixture in a large Ziploc baggie and half in a second baggie.
4. Slide feet right into each baggie, rubbing cucumber mask until each foot is fully soaked.
5. Leave on for 5-10 minutes then rinse with warm water.
6. The cucumber is extra refreshing and reviving for tired toes, the lemon helps exfoliate and the olive oil deeply moisturizes for super softness.
Ole Henriksen’s Shower Smoothie
Celeb skincare expert Ole Henriksen recommends exfoliating before going out in the sun to “rev up circulation, facilitating the elimination of toxins or impurities that may be trapped in the skin.” Plus, we all know that exfoliating leaves skin soft and glowing.
Ingredients: 4 oz. of Epsom salt, 4 oz. coffee grounds, 1 TSP eucalyptus oil and enough sesame oil to form a smooth paste.
1. Mix the Epsom salt and coffee grounds in a medium bowl, then add the oils and stir thoroughly until you have a smooth, but not runny paste.
2. Get in the shower, get wet and turn off the water. Use the entire palm of each hand to vigorously scrub your body for several minutes, from your neck to your feet.
3. Afterward, just rinse and glow. Your skin will feel smooth, and you’ll notice an immediate lifting and constricting of the skin.
Marsha Bialo’s Home Pedicure
BeautyMommy Contributing Expert Marsha Bialo recommends “bi-weekly pedicures to ease aches and pains, reduce swelling and disinfect blisters or lesions.”
1. Give your feet a comfortable place to rest by folding a bath towel and positioning it at the bottom of a bucket.
2. Mix half a cup of Epsom salt with some warm, soapy water to soften skin and calluses and dry out the bacteria from blisters.
3. Remove old polish with a cotton pad soaked with nail polish remover, cut nails straight across with clippers then file them square to remove sharp edges.
4. Soak for five minutes, dip a file into the water and use it to smooth your heels, the balls of your feet and the outer edges of your pinkie toes.
5. Add Calcium Gel Fortifier or Ridge Filling Base Coat by China Glaze followed by a bright, summery coat of polish, and then finish with Seche Vite top coat for a lasting shine.*
Jennifer Segale’s Botanical Beauty Treatments
Botanist and product expert Jennifer Segale of Garden Apothecary recommends botanical treatments for safe, effective skincare. Here, a few of her ideas. She is also a big believe in baths. According to Segale: “Taking baths helps greatly with body and skin hydration. Your body/skin receives water best when in a relaxed state, so if you find yourself downing water quickly, and hitting the bathroom soon after – it’s usually because you are under stress.”
1. Honey + French Green Clay mud mask: Apply to the face and neck three times a week as a cleanser and light mask.
2. Rose Petal + Hibiscus Tea: Drinking hot or cold a few days a week throughout the day to stay hydrated and ease your central nervous system.
3. Jasmine + Bergamot + Violet Leaf Bath Tea: Try our Epsom salt bath tea. This is a salt and botanical blend to soak in with warm/hot water. Do this twice a week for a month and feel the difference in your mind and body! This is a gentle botanical blend that is perfect for the natural skincare beginner.
4. Dandelion + Peppermint: This helps aid in supporting my immune system and origins. If my body isn’t stressed, I don’t break out.
5. Cacao Tea: This chocolate tea feels like I’m drinking coffee or hot chocolate, without the milk, sugar and caffeine. It won’t dry your skin out – in fact, it’s super hydrating. It gives me a lift without stressing out my skin and body.”
Even if you’re not the DIY type, I hope you’re inspired to try a few of these simple beauty formulas this summer!
* For more DIY beauty ideas, go to www.epsomsaltcouncil.org.