I started using essential oils last summer on a whim when I was looking for more natural ways to support my overall wellness.
Since I got started using oils, I started paying more attention to what’s in my beauty products. The Think Dirty app has become my new best friend, although it was very eye-opening to see a lot of ingredients I don’t love in some of my old favorites.
Now, I’ve replaced many of the beauty products I used to use with oily alternatives. There are DIYs for everything under the sun, from bath bombs to hand soap to dry shampoo. My five favorites are great to use yourself or package and give as gifts to a friend or family member.
1. Glowy Skin Roller
I made this to replace the acne spot treatments I used to use. I didn’t love that they had salicylic acid and benzyl benzoate, so I was excited to ditch them. My skin has never felt better!
To make this, you will need: lemon, purification, tea tree and frankincense essential oils, a glass roller bottle, and a carrier oil. A carrier oil is another oil to help you dilute your essential oils for safer use. I prefer jojoba or Vitamin E oil because both are great for your skin.
Add seven drops of each oil to your roller bottle, then fill the rest of the way with your carrier oil. Replace the roller top, and you’re done! To use, rub it on your problem spots or all over your face after washing and before putting on moisturizer.
2. Bath bombs
I love bath bombs, but I don’t love how much I have to spend on them at stores like Lush. One of the first things I was dying to make when I got oils was bath bombs of my own. After an epic fail of a first attempt, I had luck with this recipe.
I used jojoba oil instead of coconut oil, and I opted not to use the food coloring for most of mine. You can get citric acid in the canning aisle of your local grocery store or online. My biggest piece of advice is to follow the water amount precisely. If you try the molds and it falls apart, add more water in ¼ tsp increments.
You also need some good molds, and it’s very important to leave them in the mold for a few minutes before you remove them (this was one of my mistakes the first try). I like these molds so I can have different sizes.
3. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrubs are one of the easiest DIY’s to make. All you really need is coconut oil, your choice of essential oil, white granulated sugar, and a glass jar to store it in. A drop or two of food coloring is optional. The key to this is equal parts coconut oil and sugar. A basic recipe to try is one cup of sugar and oil. Start with 3 drops of essential oil and add more if you want more scent. My favorite scents are lavender or stress away because they’re very relaxing. I like orange or tangerine for a more energizing scent.
To make it, put the coconut oil and your essential oils into a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a mixer until your solid coconut oil is light and fluffy. Mix in your sugar and food coloring, put it into a jar, and you’re done!
4. DIY Lavender Makeup Remover Pads
I’m a big fan of Ulta’s makeup remover towels, but sometimes mascara is stubborn. Enter these makeup remover pads. You will need: 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, 4 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 tablespoon of alcohol-free witch hazel, 2 tablespoons of filtered water, cotton rounds, and a 4 oz airtight glass container. You can find witch hazel in some natural beauty aisles, or on Amazon. I made these with vitamin e oil for my carrier oil. I found glass jars in the Target dollar section that work perfectly, but canning jars work too.
I’d suggest mixing the liquids in a separate bowl, rather than right in the jar. Then, layer the cotton pads and liquid. Tighten the lid and swirl the jar until the solution covers all the cotton pads. To use them, remove a pad and squeeze out the extra liquid, then wipe over closed eyelids until your makeup is removed.
5. Makeup brush cleaner
Raise your hand if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes. I never clean mine, but I should. Giving your makeup brushes a good scrub every few weeks will help keep germs out of your makeup, and clean brushes are better for your pores. Brush cleaning should be part of your regular beauty routine. To make this yourself, you’ll need a glass jar, castile soap or dish soap (I used Honest Company Lavender dish soap) plus lavender, lemon and purification essential oils.
Mix 6 tablespoons of castile soap with 3 drops of each oil in a glass jar. Put the lid on and shake to mix. Dip your brushes in the cleaner and swirl on the inside of your jar lid in a little bit of water. Do this a few times to really get it clean, then rinse with warm water and squeeze the excess from your brush. Lay flat on a towel to dry overnight. Replace the lid on your jar and store, then repeat once every week or two! Your face will thank you.
A word on essential oil safety
Essential oils have become extremely popular lately, and you can find them everywhere from Bed Bath and Beyond to Amazon to your local grocery store. It’s important to know that not every oil is made the same. Essential oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, which means companies can call them “pure” even when they’re not. A lot of the cheaper brands you see may be heavily diluted with alcohol or other fillers. So, it’s important to do your research and make sure that what you’re buying is really what you think it is. There are a handful of brands that truly do have pure oils, so you do have options. Ultimately it comes down to what you’re most comfortable with, but it’s good to be informed.
I did a lot of research before settling on Young Living as the brand of oils I trust the most. I picked them because they own their own farms and track every step of the process from when the seed is planted to when it’s grown and ultimately distilled. I like that you can visit any of their farms and several of their distillation facilities to see the process for yourself. I can’t speak to the quality of other brands since I haven’t tried any others, but I think these are the best for me personally.
Since essential oils are highly concentrated, it’s also important to use them safely. If you’re pregnant, you should consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils. Citrus oils photosensitive when applied directly to the skin, so they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application. You should also keep essential oils away from your eyes. If accidental irritation occurs, don’t use water to clear it. Instead, use another carrier oil like coconut oil or sweet almond oil to cleanse the area.
Making DIY’s for your beauty cabinet is a great way to get started with essential oils. You can make bath bombs or sugar scrubs to give as gifts, or just spend some time pampering yourself.
Have a favorite beauty DIY? Share it with us @litdarling.