DIY Skin Care Products That Will Save You Money

With all the lotions, potions, and serums, skin care can get kind of complicated — and more importantly, expensive. However, there are skin care products you can make at home to save money that genuinely work, and bonus, they're often made from things you likely already have.

As of 2014, studies showed that the cosmetics industry brings in over 55 billion dollars annually, and that the average woman spends $15,000 over the course of a lifetime on makeup and skin care products. I've done the math for myself and some of my friends, and sadly this amount came out to way more for most of us. When I added up the cost of sunscreens and moisturizers that my sensitive skin can actually tolerate, my favorite serum, and exfoliators — not even to mention actual makeup — I was truthfully closer to $400 for the year.

And when I thought about this in terms of a five-year financial plan, as well as all of the things that money could be used for, I decided there had to be a more cost-effective way to go about skincare without majorly sacrificing effectiveness. I'm a big believer in scientifically-backed products and methods, and I never assume something is good for my skin just because it is all natural or DIY. It's why I set out looking for cost-effective DIY skin care products that have legitimate proof of effectiveness.

If you're tired of paying a ton of money for skin care products but also want to be sure you're not sacrificing quality when it comes to DIY, here are nine at-home skin care recipes that will both work and save you money.

1. Clay Mask

According to professional aesthetician Veronica Gorgeois, clay masks are a great way to treat blackheads and oily skin, but good quality store bought varieties can range anywhere from 20 to 60 dollars. Instead, Gorgeois recommended just buying clay from your local health food store (you can get it here for about six dollars), and simply mixing it with some toner. The clay not only lasts forever, but you're mixing it with a product you already have, saving you money in two places.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $8.80, Amazon

2. Aloe Vera Toner

And if you don't already have toner? No problem. Gorgeois also has a recipe for a super simple and cost effective moisturizing toner made from aloe vera juice and glycerin. I have started making this one at home and not only love how supple and plump it makes my skin feel, but the aloe and glycerin last a super long time.

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice, $17, Amazon

3. Rose Water Spray

This tutorial from POPSUGAR beauty reporter Kirby Johnson is awesome for creating your own personal rosewater beauty spritz that not only smells great, but is also super moisturizing for your skin. And while a bouquet of roses might seem like a big upfront cost, just remember that a typical store-bought bottle can cost around 40 dollars, and there are almost always additives that don't make it 100 percent pure.

4. Honey

I've said it before — honey is a great DIY ingredient both for its antiseptic and moisturizing properties. Beauty vlogger and YouTube star Michelle Phan explains her honey routine at 4:00 in the above skincare tutorial, and notes that while manuka honey (the type she uses) is pricier than regular honey, it's also great for when you're feeling sick or under the weather. Not to mention you can of course actually eat it!

Manuka Doctor BioActive Honey, $20.89, Amazon

5. Turmeric Mask

If you have honey, milk, and turmeric lying around, you can always create your own turmeric mask for skin calming and brightening. According to, turmeric has been used as an ingredient across Asia for centuries, and is best known for helping with inflammation and redness. I again love the concept of this mask because it utilizes ingredients you literally probably have lying around, or at the very least will use again for other purposes, which is way more cost effective than spending money on a one-time use only drugstore mask.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Powder, $13, Amazon

6. Homemade Body Lotion

The Wellness Mama has a super simple recipe for homemade body lotion that again utilizes ingredients that last for ages and can be used for all sorts of other things. The base ingredients are olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax, and you can also add things like Vitamin E and cocoa butter if desired. And it will feel extra nice when you remember that high end, additive-free moisturizers can range upwards of 40 dollars.

Your Natural Planet Beeswax Pellets, $11.89, Amazon

7. Coconut Oil Cleanser

Don't feel the need to necessarily run out and buy Red Door or Bliss products when looking for a gentle, moisturizing cleanser that won't strip your skin of necessary oils. Sherri Griffin, founder of the lifestyle site Overthrow Martha, has a great recipe and how-to for a simple coconut oil cleanser. She says it's especially great for winter or if you have naturally dry skin.

Vita Labs Organic Coconut Oil, $10.79, Amazon

8. Greek Yogurt

According to, yogurt naturally contains alpha-hydroxy-acid, which is a great gentle exfoliant for your skin. Plus, it won't strip away any of your skin's natural oils. This means it's actually a pretty great ingredient for facial washes and masks. You can find a super simple yogurt-based recipe here.

9. Aspirin Mask

According to Women's Health natural beauty expert Renée Loux, "aspirin is an anti-inflammatory, both when taken internally and applied topically, which can help reduce redness and calm inflamed skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. It contains salicylic acid, which is an active ingredient in many acne-fighting products." So don't be afraid to crush up some aspirin, mix with water, and apply to your skin. This is especially perfect if you don't necessarily want to invest in spot or acne treatments all the time, but get the occasional breakout or flair up.

GoodSense Aspirin, $5, Amazon

We all want to be using effective, quality products on our skin, but not necessarily at the expense of our savings accounts. The good news is there are actually some super effective, scientifically-backed DIY methods for good skincare that have the super awesome added bonus of saving you money.

Images: Michelle Phan/YouTube