Why DIY When You Can BIY (Buy It Yourself)?

You make your own beauty treatments? That's cool! I’ll be over here in the skincare aisle.
Publish date:
March 14, 2013
masks, shopping, exfoliation, hair, DIY, skin, lush, lemon, sunscreens, sugar, clay, Klorane, lip scrubs, detanglers, Nature's Gate, Freeman

I can’t cook. Actually, maybe I can; I wouldn’t know because I just don’t cook. It seems so tedious! Sure, I’ve boiled pasta and whatnot, but I haven’t even done that in years.

If you’re judging me, I’m judging you for judging me.

Honestly, I resent the idea of cooking. I hate the thought of investing more time into preparing something (probably poorly) than eating it. I’d rather be doing other things that I enjoy more and don’t ultimately result in poop.

I feel the same way about the whole DIY beauty craze. If I can find an inexpensive, ready-to-use option that saves time and has equal or higher-performing ingredients, why wouldn’t I just buy it?

Listen, other contributors on this site will provide you with the occasional DIY beauty project, but me? Yeah, no.

Instead, I’ve corralled a few products that mimic some of the most popular beauty-MacGyver recipes (which, let’s be honest, mimic the products). They won’t cost you much more than the ingredients would, and you’ll be stimulating the economy when you buy them, or something.


Masks are the first things I think of when thinking of DIY beauty treatments, which I try not to do because thinking about them feels like an even bigger waste of time than making them.

There are lots of different purposes for masks, but the one kind I’ve noticed more than any other is pore-clearing clay masks. I don’t think you’re supposed to eat clay, so if you’re going to buy clay powder to make a mask, you might as well just buy a damn mask.

The damn mask I recommend is Freeman’s Facial Clay Mask with Avocado & Oatmeal. (Bonus points for having two other ingredients that are in, like, every DIY beauty treatment.) The clay draws crap out of your pores, while the avocado and oatmeal make your skin feel softer.


There are plenty of recipes for lip scrubs on the internet, and most include sugar because it makes a great gentle exfoliator. It’s typically mixed with a natural moisturizing oil to hydrate the skin and help the sugar glide easily over the lips.

LUSH has three yummy lip scrubs, my favorite of which is Mint Julips. (GET IT?!) In addition to sugar, it contains three oils: jojoba for moisture, marigold for antimicrobial power, and peppermint for deliciousness (the vanilla extract doesn’t hurt either).


All my middle school friends whose moms wouldn’t let them buy Sun-In used to spray lemon juice in their hair as soon as school got out in June. It would turn their hair kind of orange instead of the intended “blonder,” but what I didn’t realize is that it probably helped detangle their hair, too.

Lemon is a staple in internet detangler recipes, but an even more effective detangling fruit is its homely cousin, the citron. This is what Klorane includes in their new Leave-In Spray with Citrus Pulp, which sounds pretty sexy. The milky yellow liquid (not as sexy-sounding) also contains olive oil extract to help detangle and tone your hair without making it feel gross.


Very little surprises me, but when a friend of mine posted a link to a sunscreen recipe on Pinterest the other day, I was pretty stunned.

I mean, if you’re the type of person who subscribes to wild conspiracy theories about beauty companies and sunscreen safety, and this is the only way to get you to wear SPF, great--whip up some homemade protection. But sunscreens technically qualify as a drug, and I’m not into making drugs in my kitchen. (That’s so… meth-y.) Plus, I don’t want human error (which, for me, is inevitable) to mean I don’t get the sun protection I think I’m getting. There’s a reason beauty companies have R&D departments behind their formulations.

The DIY sunscreen I saw contained zinc oxide, a mineral filter that sits on top of the skin to protect it; so if you prefer that over chemical filters that work via absorption, try Nature’s Gate Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Mineral Sunscreen. In addition to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the filters, it contains moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter, but has a not-greasy finish. (Good luck perfecting things like “finishes” in your kitchen, ya hippies!)

DIYers, is there a type of beauty product even you won’t try to make?