Beauty & Self-Care Treats That Cost (Basically) Nothing

Because self-care don’t have to cost a thing.

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DIY beauty and self care treats to save you money

I write a lot about strategic spending and splurging on anything from self-care items to fashion to like, kitchen tools? Which probably makes a lot of you think that I’m absolutely rolling in cash.

Not so – though my partner and I have good jobs and we’re not exactly living paycheck to paycheck, I’m not out here dropping hundreds of dollars on my skincare every month. In fact, I love a good bargain (hello, ten-dollar HG moisturizer) and I love a great DIY, especially when it comes to beauty and self-care. 

With the holidays coming up, we can find ourselves a little pressed for cash as we’re traveling, getting gifts for others, and getting swept up in sales or bargains (I’m definitely guilty of this.) Not only will these DIYs sate your self-care needs, but package these suckers up in cute mason jars and you’ve got inexpensive holiday gifts.

A note on costs – everything costs money, obviously, so a lot of these DIYs assume you have a couple of things in your kitchen or DIY stash, like olive or coconut oil, salt, essential oils, etc. Buying these things, if you don’t have them, will generally last you longer than buying a product with them in it, and it will have multiple uses — but they can be a bit pricey to buy at the outset. (Looking at you, olive oil and essential oils.) You can often swap out a lot of these ingredients if you don’t have them, too, so don’t feel like you have to run out and buy these things – use what you’ve got!

Let’s get to the DIY beauty treats!

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Body scrubs are one of the easiest DIYs you can make – so easy that I’m at a point in my life where spending cash on a body exfoliant seems… wasteful. This DIY recipe features brown sugar and vanilla, so it’ll make you smell like a dang cookie, but brown sugar and oil will make your skin feel suuuper soft. Plus, the brown sugar is a little less gritty and will dissolve more easily than salt (see below), making this a good choice if you have sensitive skin.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of oil (I recommend coconut oil if it doesn’t break you out – if it does, olive oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil would be fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients into a jar or airtight container (mason jars, washed-out jam jars, or even old Lush tins work great for this). When you’re ready to use, wet your skin (either in the shower or bath) and massage into your skin in long motions towards your heart (or in circles around areas like your elbows, knees, and hands). Makes one 8-oz jar’s worth.

Recipe adapted from

Also Read: 14 Best Bath & Body Works Products You Need to Try 

Citrus Sea Salt Scrub

For something a little more bracing and invigorating, try a sea salt scrub scented with citrus zest. Sea salt is an excellent exfoliant that’s great for oily and rough skin, and citrus scents like sweet orange and grapefruit are known to promote happiness and energy. Just be sure not to get this in your eyes, and be sure not to actually add citrus juice to this, as you could potentially get a chemical burn (not cute!).

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 cup jojoba or olive oil (again, same deal – use what you have and what works for you)
  • 1 tablespoon citrus zest (I recommend orange and grapefruit)
  • 3-4 drops of orange essential oil or grapefruit essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients into a jar or airtight container (mason jars, washed-out jam jars, or even old Lush tins work great for this). When you’re ready to use, wet your skin (either in the shower or bath) and massage into your skin in long motions towards your heart (or in circles around areas like your elbows, knees, and hands). Again, be sure to avoid your eyes! Makes one 8-oz jar’s worth.

Recipe adapted from

Coconut Bath Melts

Real talk, I love bath bombs, but you do the math on those puppies and it turns out to be about 2-4 dollars a bath – if you cut them in half! You can get way bigger bang for your buck by making your own bath bombs, but they take a ton of ingredients that can be a little pricey and are lowkey kind of tricky to make. For an easy DIY that’s just as luxe, whip up a batch of these coconut bath melts – and all it takes is coconut oil and some (optional) essential oils.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 15 drops essential oil (optional) (I suggest lavender, rosemary, or orange, but use what you’ve love/got!)
  • Silicone ice cube trays (shapes optional, but fun!)

If the coconut oil is solid, melt the coconut oil either in the microwave or over the stove. Take the oil off the heat and add in the essential oils, if using. Carefully pour the hot oil (key word here is carefully, because hot oil!) into the ice cube trays, then transfer to the fridge or freezer to solidify.

To use, just pop one into a hot bath and let dissolve for an extra moisturizing soak. When storing, remember that coconut oil melts at temps of 70 degrees or above, so if your house runs hot, consider keeping these in the fridge until you’re ready to use. If they do melt, no worries – either melt them back down and refreeze them, or just scoop into the bath with a spoon. Makes ~1 ice cube tray’s worth.

Recipe adapted from

Rosemary Chamomile Bath Soak

If you’re looking for a more fragrant and relaxing bath experience, try making your own bath soak. This requires you to have Epsom salts. If don’t have them, they are pretty inexpensive if you’re interested in upping your bath game – especially if you work out a lot, as they help to relieve muscle tension! Combined with soothing rosemary and chamomile, this bath soak is like steeping in your own cup of fragrant, relaxing tea. Yum.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 bags of chamomile tea
  • 1/4 cup dried rosemary
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil (optional)

Cut open the chamomile tea bags and empty the contents into a bowl. Add the Epsom salts, baking soda, and dried rosemary. Mix together and add essential oil, if using. Store in an airtight container.

When ready to use, pour half or all of the mixture into a large, hot bath and stir with your hands to mix. Then, enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

What do you think?

What are your favorite DIY self-care recipes? Have you made any of these? What are some of your favorite presents to DIY? Let me know in the comments below!

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