Photo: Melissa Massello/ShoestringSpa Week, the bi-annual event where thousands of beauty salons and spas across the country offer a range of treatments discounted to $50, is in full effect through Sunday (October 20th) — but, with just a fraction of that budget, you can create an at-home spa, pampering yourself from head to toe, using just one main ingredient and these six DIY recipes. Meet coconut oil, the new Duct Tape of craft kitchens: a single miracle product with seemingly endless uses.
COCONUT OIL & HONEY HAIR MASK
Several variations on DIY coconut oil hair masks can be found on Pinterest — some using avocado, some using banana — but I liked that this simple one from The Everygirl is tried & true for dry, damaged hair, which mine certainly is after the chlorinated & salt water of summer swims. Make this recipe & apply to dry or wet hair first while making the other recipes, below, then retreat to a hot tub for a full night of pampering.
WHIPPED COCONUT OIL BODY BUTTER
Using this popular (and dead simple) recipe from CafeMom, I whipped up some eucalyptus, lavender & ylang ylang body lotion in just under 10 minutes. Simply throw 1 cup of unmelted coconut oil into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with your preferred essential oils or other fragrance, and whip on high for 6-7 minutes. Then transfer to a jar with a lid and store at room temperature or in the fridge. Et, voila!
Here's a quick little video I shot of the process & results — husband approved:
COCONUT OIL & LIME SUGAR SCRUB
Modifying this recipe from The Idea Room, I simply mixed together melted coconut oil, sugar, and lime juice in a bowl and then transferred it to a decorative jar. Aside from the 25 seconds it took me to melt the coconut oil in the microwave, this entire recipe took less than a minute to make — and is just the thing for sloughing off dry skin and softening "summer feet" before winter's harsh dryness takes hold. (It's also gentle enough to use on chapped lips to exfoliate dry skin before applying lip balm.) I absolutely love the transportive staycation scents of coconut oil & lime for darker days and beachy dreams.
COCONUT & TEA TREE OIL LIP BALM
The most frustrating part of this Free People recipe is having to go to multiple stores (beeswax from the craft store, everything else from the grocery store), but once you have all the ingredients together it's pretty foolproof (plus, using the double boiler makes it cleanup pretty easy, too). Pour into an old, empty lip balm tin — I used these sample jars from the Origins counter at the mall.
COCONUT OIL & BERRY LIP STAIN
Substituting melted coconut oil for olive oil, and POM juice for whole pomegranate seeds, I made this DIY lip stain recipe from The Beauty Department in just a few minutes and thought the result rivaled my go-to stain, Benetint by Benefit — though, given its perishable ingredients, will only last a few days in the fridge.
COCONUT OIL DEODORANT
Given all the research linking aluminum and other ingredients in traditional antiperspirant deodorants to a host of health concerns, such as breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease, I've long been meaning to try making and using an all-natural deodorant. This simple recipe from The Prairie Homestead worked surprisingly well — I opted for tea tree and lavender oils — the difficulty of finding arrowroot aside.
Do you have a favorite DIY beauty treatment, using coconut oil or other ingredients? Leave us a note in the comments below.
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About the Authors
Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out
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