DIY beauty recipes to match your budget

Harsh winter weather can really do a number on skin. Between constant hand-washing to avoid getting the plague and dry, blustery winds, my skin becomes a sad, chapped shell. Defend your epidermis this season with some simple DIY products that are mild, affordable alternatives to their chemical-ridden equivalents. Plus, these can all be made on a student’s budget, likely from ingredients you already have around the house.

Lip scrub

I think I speak for the majority when I say that cracked, peeling lips get tiresome quickly. Your mouth does a lot of work for you, so show your lips some lovin’ with a smoothing, enriching scrub.

Lip scrub is the universally beneficial solution, especially in these crisp winter months. No need to spend a fortune at a beauty boutique; it’s deceptively easy to make at home and you can personalize it however you would like. It’s also an awesome, economical gift idea that can be made in bulk.

Combine a heaping tablespoon of softened but not melted coconut oil with a teaspoon of honey. Mix well to get rid of lumps and until you have a thick, pale beige paste.

Coconut oil is amazing to cook with, but it also has tons of fatty acids and antioxidants to moisturize and nourish skin (and hair). The honey acts as a binder and has natural cleansing and healing properties as well.

Finally, slowly mix in two packed teaspoons of brown sugar. White sugar will work fine in a pinch, but it lacks a bit of the exfoliating quality that brown sugar has. Once the sugar is coated in the base, you can store it in any small, airtight container for up to a month.

Baby food jars and recycled lip balm pots make great storage options. Optional additions include vanilla extract, orange zest or cinnamon. Just dab a bit on, scrub gently and rinse or wipe the excess. Voila, mistletoe-ready lips!

Hangnail cure

Few things ruin a day like repeatedly getting a hangnail stuck on every knit thing you own. Avoid the usual struggle with a little “finger food.” Only two ingredients and your fingertips will be looking a lot less gruesome.

All you need are five grapes (red have more antioxidants than green) and a tablespoon of sugar. The sugar crystals buff dead skin and hangnails while the fruit acids gently soften any remaining raggedness.

Slice the grapes in half, dip the juicy side into the sugar and gently massage around the cuticle for about 30 seconds. Remove the excess sugar with a damp towel and moisturize. Do this once a week or any time your digits are feeling particularly shredded for a sweet reprieve from hangnail hell.

Citrus facial cleanser

You can benefit year-round with this citrus facial cleanser, especially those with oily or uneven skin tones. The citrus acts as an astringent and helps restore natural acid balance.

You will need the peel from one grapefruit or orange, two tablespoons of its juice, a half cup of olive oil and a half teaspoon of borax. Borax can be found in the laundry detergent aisle and is inexpensive and multi-purpose.

Mix everything in a heat-proof bowl and either heat at intervals in the microwave or set over a pan of simmering water on the stove until it is hot, but not boiling.

Let mixture cool and strain into a clean container. Use in place of sodium lauryl sulfate-laden face washes which strip skin and your face will thank you.

Who says you can’t spoil yourself and save a few bucks at the same time?