Dorm Room Spa: 9 Easy DIY Beauty Recipes to Try

Get all the benefits of a day at the spa, in the comfort of your own home.

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DIY Beauty Recipes - the best dorm room spa recipes to try and how to have a DIY spa day

There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at the spa, especially for busy college students with a lot going on. Between papers, finals, extracurriculars, and jobs, who wouldn’t want to spend an hour or two getting pampered? Unfortunately, however, trips to the spa aren’t always affordable or accessible for us college girls.

So how do you get all the benefits of a spa treatment without the hefty cost? Easy. Raid your kitchen! Here are nine of my favorite do-it-yourself beauty treatments that are easy (and fairly cheap) to whip together in your dorm room or apartment. Have a DIY spa day and give them a shot!

{RELATED POST: Our All-Time Favorite At Home Spa Essentials}

Disclaimer: As always, we recommend doing a patch test on an inconspicuous area before applying anything new to your skin or hair! This is important to ensure that you won’t have a reaction to the ingredients. We cannot predict how your skin will react to any product – DIY or not – so a patch test is your best bet to ensure a good result.

1. The Olive Oil Hair Treatment

Olive oil

Olive oil isn’t just for cooking — it’s great for your hair, too! Olive oil has been proven to give hair a healthy sheen, help to repair split ends, and reduce frizz.

To give your hair a conditioning treatment, massage about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into your hair and scalp. The amount you’ll use should vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair. And remember to massage it in well – the massaging feels really nice on your scalp, but is also important to the treatment, as massage stimulates helps promote a healthy scalp.

Next, take a warm, damp towel and wrap it around your head and treated hair (“turban” it). Leave it on for about 30-45 minutes. This allows the olive oil to work into your hair to have the full effect.

Finally, rinse out the olive oil with shampoo. This might take a few shampoo-ings (when I tried it, it took 2 rounds.) Give your hair further rest by allowing it to air dry, if you have the time. Then say hello to your luscious locks!

2. The Miracle Mask

The miracle mask: Nutmeg, honey and cinnamon

This DIY mask, made of nutmeg, honey, and cinnamon, is calming and soothing for stressed-out skin – in addition, it smells absolutely amazing!

The secret? Nutmeg and honey act as natural anti-inflammatories, which can reduce swelling and redness in skin. They’re also great for soothing acne scars and preventing infection.In addition, the nutmeg and cinnamon also work to exfoliate your skin when you wash this mask off.

To create the mask, mix 2 tablespoons of honey with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of nutmeg. The consistency should be like a thick paste. After it’s all mixed, apply the mask to your face and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water, scrubbing softly in circular motion for exfoliation.

3. Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Brown sugar body scrub

One of my favorite DIY beauty treatments is this brown sugar body scrub.ย It’s the perfect way to get rid of dry winter skin, as well as prep your body for any sunless tanner you may be applying.

To create the scrub, just mix together half a cup of coarse brown sugar with a tablespoon of honey, a little olive oil, and 1/4 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, then apply all over your body and rinse. The scrub not only smells delicious, but leaves your skin feeling ultra-smooth.

4. Citrus Salt Scrub


Here’s another great scrub that’s perfect for the summer months – it’s so refreshing and smells amazing!Whether you’re gearing up to try a self-tanner or just want silky smooth skin, try this citrus salt scrub.ย This scrub is a little less moisturizing and more refreshing than the brown sugar scrub, so choose whichever one fits your mood and skin needs.

Start off by mixing 1 cup of sea salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil or coconut oil. Then, add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and mix well. Be sure to store any leftover scrub in an airtight container!

5. Oatmeal Cleanser for All Skin Types


Oatmeal and yogurt have major soothing properties and are both super gentle on the skin. Try out this oatmeal cleanser in place of your regular cleanser on your DIY spa day when you have sunburn or just want soft, rejuvenated skin:

In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp of plain oatmeal with 1 tbsp of plain yogurt. Feel free to add a few drops of honey or your favorite essential oil to the mix. (I loveย lavender oil, but you can use whatever you like best! We love to get our essential oils on Amazon, FYI.) Mix all the ingredients together and apply to your face in a circular motion, like you would your normal cleanser, and rinse off with warm water.

6. Avocado Mask for Dry Skin


Making sure to drink lots of water is crucial to staying healthy and hydrated, but you can do your face an extra favor by using this moisturizing avocado mask. (Avocado oil is an amazing skincare ingredient, and you can get some of the benefits for less by using fresh avocado!)

First, mash 1/2 of a ripe avocado and combine it with 1/4 cup of honey. Mix well and apply mask to a clean face. Let sit for 10 minutes. For an extra boost, add 1 egg to the mix. The protein in the egg helps rebuild natural collagen to keep your skin youthful and supple.

7. Strawberry Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

Strawberry mask

While acne is never fun to deal with, it can be especially difficult in the summer, or when we’re stressed,ย and our skin is producing more oil than usual. It also doesn’t help that the beauty trend these days (popularized by Glossier) is centered around a fresh, almost makeup-free look. But no fear — this strawberry mask is great for fighting breakouts and soothing your skin.

Take 1/4 cup of fresh strawberries and mash them together with 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Spread on your face and wash after 10 minutes. Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid, a common acne treatment, and yogurt is great for calming irritated skin.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Long hair

With all the treatments, styling tricks, and stress we put our hair through, it’s no surprise that icky stuff like oil, dead skin cells, and product build up can settle on our scalps, making hair greasy and dull.

If you can’t afford a pricey clarifying shampoo or hair treatment, apply apple cider vinegar after your regular shampoo to restore shine and clear away buildup. (We’ve talked about the benefits of apple cider vinegar before, so check out that article for even more uses for the rest of the bottle!)

9. Rose Water Foot Bath

Rose Water

Here at CF, we love our heels all year round, but open-toed shoes definitely require your feet to be in tip-top shape. Help exfoliate, refresh, and soothe your feet with this rose water foot bath.

Get a large bowl or small tub and combine, but don’t mix, 1/2 cup of sea salt and 2 tbsp of rose water. Then, cut up 3 stems of mint and mash into the other ingredients. Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and mix well. Once everything is mixed, fill up your bowl or tub with warm water and soak feet for 20-30 minutes.

Even More At-Home Beauty Recipes

Tried these and want some more? You’re in luck! Here at CF, we love DIY beauty and have amassed tons of tutorials you’ll want to check out. Here are a few more posts with tons more beauty recipe ideas:

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of DIY beauty treatments? Do you have a particular recipe that’s your favorite? What have you tried? Does DIY save you money? Make sure to leave a comment – can’t wait to hear your DIY spa day tips!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2011; it was completely updated and revamped in 2018 with new photos and information.

72 thoughts on “Dorm Room Spa: 9 Easy DIY Beauty Recipes to Try”

  1. Wow, this is great! I see so many DIY beauty treatment recipes online, but so many of them have the craziest ingredients that no one honestly has just lying around. These all simple, effective, and fun! More DIY posts would be much appreciated [:

  2. I’m doing a “at home” spa night with my mother, and I’m going to try these ideas. Their very simple and I like that! If you have any other simple recipes let me know! Thanks(:

  3. The mask made my skin feel very soft and reduced redness, so that was awesome! The only thing is I should have waited until it wasn’t so hot… it was running down my face the whole time so I couldn’t really just let it sit. I also had a ton left over, probably only needed half. But thanks for the recipe!

  4. I just tried the olive oil and the face mask! My skin feels really smooth and my hair feels much softer than it did a few hours ago, and it is in really bad condition, hasn’t been cut for months! Thanks for the tips, will definitely be doing them again, and will try the body scrub!

  5. I’ve heard of the olive oil one before, but never got around to trying it! I will defiantly try it tonight, and also the face mask, sounds so delicious though, how am i going to stop myself from eating it?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. These sound great! I often use sugar and honey as a scrub and love the way it makes my legs feel!

    I have heard that egg, honey and olive oil as a hair mask is quite effective. Anyone tried it?

  7. All of these are great except for the brown sugar body scrub. When I tried it(twice) it made my skin feel very oily and slimy even after I had rinsed. Not a pleasant feeling.

  8. Hey! These are great ideas! I have done the olive oil treatment and it is fantastic! I am sooooo excited to try the the others! thx ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I tried the cinnamon mask and brown sugar scrub last night. The scrub was a-maaa-zing, but the mask was troublesome. It started to melt (maybe because I was in the bath?) and when I took it off after 25 min my skin was red and burned a little. The redness cleared up in an hour or so and my skin looked really nice the next morning, but I’m not sure it was worth the unpleasantness.

  10. I just tried the mask. I loved how easy it was to make and that I always have the ingredients on hand. It made enough for me to use a couple/few times. I did everything just as directed. I have pretty sensitive skin, so I was waiting for it to possibly burn, but it didn’t. I was surprised how easily the mask washed off – at first. After I washed most all of it off, I still had all these little bits of spices on my face. Probably would have been better to use the mask before getting in the shower and then just rinsing it off in the shower (I could also do all these treatments at once that way).
    The down side? My skin was red afterwards. Not that big of a deal, considering that’s somewhat normal for my skin and I wasn’t going anywhere. However, I had a TON of whiteheads afterward! Maybe that’s technically a good thing, because it’s drawing it all out of my pores. But who wants to do a mask and then walk around with pimples all over their face?! I’m just glad I tried this on a day I was staying home to study.
    Overall: I’m not sure if I’ll be using this mask in the future. I may, MAY, give it another chance. Who knows, maybe it’s just a bad skin moment and it’s not the mask’s fault. We’ll see.

  11. These all three worked amazingly! Especially the face mask! I’ve been desperate to find something effective for my face. I recently tried ProActive, and it DESTROYED my skin and caused me to break out SO badly ๐Ÿ™ This mask is the only thing that I’ve been able to find that will soothe my skin, and my face is finally starting to clear up. It really is a miracle mask! My hair feels really nice after the olive oil, and I absolutely cannot say enough about the body scrub- my skin is so smooth and soft afterward. Thanks SO much for posting these <3

  12. has anyone tried making a good size batch of the body scrub or face mask? I am thinking of making them as gifts. does anyone know if they would go bad? or if they store well?

  13. I tried the face mask last night (however I didn’t have any nutmeg so I just used cinnamon and honey). I was so impressed with the results!! As soon as I took the mask off my skin was a little red, but when I woke up this morning, it was fresh and glowy and the normal redness of my face was drastically reduced.

    For me, the mask worked wonders on reducing redness and fading acne scars and blemishes – I definitely recommend it for those who no longer battle serious acne but have scars and redness left over. Also it’s so easy to make!

  14. I tried this mask, it was very drippy and got all over my neck and shirt…it burnt my face so bad when it came off but now my face it all smooth and soft. The end result is great, but it takes some pain and frustration to get there.

  15. The mask totally burned my face ๐Ÿ™ I tested it on my wrist and it was fine but when I washed it off of my face, my skin was bright red! Idk what to do now cuz I’m going to go get a spray tan and they said no make up ๐Ÿ™

  16. I love the face mask! I just used it for the first time Friday night and my skin felt so great afterwards with no pain while it was on.. I have a question though. How often should the mask be applied?

  17. Since both the mask and the scrub have exfoliating properties, I would recommend using them only about three times maximum per week. If you over-exfoliate your skin, it’s going to get irritated and red–it needs time in between exfoliations.

    Again, this all depends on your skin, some people can exfoliate more often than others. For everyone, I would recommend leaving two days in between exfoliating with the sugar scrub and using the mask if you’re going to use it multiple times a week.

  18. I just tried the miracle mask and I like it! It brought a lot of pore-junk to the surface, which I definitely needed. However, I think 30 minutes was way too long for me as it left my skin feeling pretty itchy and splotchy for a while.

  19. Love this. I am going to use the mask tonight. I have SUPER DRY kninky hair so I can conditon after this lol. Is it okay I am going into 7th grade and use this website? Thanks- Lauren

  20. Cool ideas!

    One thing though:
    Olive oil doesn’t repair your hair, it just temporarily coats it. Nothing you put on your hair can completely fix split ends without coating it in something and making them look like its repaired. Argan oil, any of the “repairing” shampoos, all just a money-grab. What affects your hair is what you put into your body, not on it. Makes sense, because hair grows out of your head, but when its grown its dead.

  21. I tired the face mask. It’d stung my face like heck it also made my face red irrated and dry. Idk if it’s just my skin type but it’s painful

  22. These are great! I have a really great mask for pimples. Just mix a pea sized amount of toothpaste with a little lotion. It brightens skin and fades acne. Just leave it on for 15 minutes.

  23. The face mask is a bad idea. The cinnamon seeps down into your pores and causes any skin to become red in my experience. I would definitely not use cinnamon in any sort of skin treatment unless it was a super small amount. 1 teaspoon for the face mask is WAY too much!

  24. I really like the honey mask! Honey is also really good for your hair. I like to add about 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons (I have thick hair, so some people may not need to use as much) of olive oil to my rinse out conditioner and leave it for about 10-15 minutes after shampooing.

  25. I’m going to try all three tonight to get pampered for tomorrows new years eve =) they sound great and some of them I’ve already tried either exactely like you described or as similar variations. The olive oil one is amazing and yelds even better results if you warm the oil first. I also use it almost daily in summer as a beach treatment on my tips because I have long hair and it dries and splits a lot from the sun and salt water, I simply take a travel shampoo dispenser filled with olive oil to the beach and apply it to my hair from ear lenght to the tips and let it do its thing all day, then I shampoo it as I normaly would when I get home =)

  26. Oh, I remembered something just now as I whipped up the miracle mask and my cat came sniffing around: do NOT let your cat around nutmeg as large amounts can be poisonous to them and 1tsp is a large amount for a cat. I know it is unlikely it would eat a whole teaspoon but I never know, especially since it is mixed with honey so just in case I thought I should warn you.

  27. If you do the olive oil on your hair, be careful it leaves it very greasy and oily. so if you mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste after you do the olive oil, rub into hair and leave for ten minutes then rinse thoroughly and you will love the results. i know i did!

  28. My sister and I did the mud masks today and they were great!! My skin is really soft and the dead skin is gone!! We decided to do them every Sunday!

  29. I am using the mask right now, loving the way it feels. I also added a teaspoon of finely ground coffee (plain ol’ Folgers) for the caffiene. It helps tighten your skin.
    I used to use coconut oil and baking soda as a facial scrub, but it started leaving my skin oily feeling. I do still use it as a body scrub.
    To help with frizz, instead of all the expensive shine sprays and frizz tamers on the shelves, I use the tiniest amount of coconut oil. Run ot through with my fingers, and instant shine and tamed frizz!

  30. I did the nutmeg cinnamon and honey mask it felt weird at first then my skin felt amazing!! But man is it ever messy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I find if I microwave the mask for a few seconds then apply with a paint brush before it cools, I only have to wash a dish and a brush, and no messy fingers. Hope this helps xx

  31. I’ve used the hot oil hair treatment, but always tend to use a mix of Coconut Oil and Olive Oil for best results! However I haven’t yet tried the miracle mask or body scrub, I’ll be sure to try them soon! Thankyou :).

  32. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that I made the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg face mask and reviewed it on my blog. I also linked it back to your original post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  33. Olive oil treatment really does work. However, it is even better when you add 100% coconut oil and avocado. Make sure you ripen the avocado for a few days before you use it, hence making it easy to peel and blend. Once the the avocado is soft enough, you can use either half, or the whole thing–add oil olive and coconut (it has to be 100%, or it won’t work)- blend it until it becomes liquified, and just follow the steps listed above. I hope this helps. This treatment usually lasts for an entire month, depending on how often you blow dry and flat iron your hair.

  34. This mask left my skin softer, it reduced redness, and my skin smells so yummy! I’m going to go this mask all the time now.

  35. i prefer to use coconut oil on my hair, so I don’t have to worry about it dripping on my face since it works as a face moisturizer too! It makes hair soft and gets rid of frizz, as well as leaving a summery coconut smell!!

  36. I just tried the nutmeg and cinnamon face mask: it is awesome, the only thing is I think you could easily cut the recipe in half and have plenty to cover your face! ๐Ÿ™‚ All great ideas!


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