Seasonal DIY Beauty Products

Follow along with these simple DIY beauty product recipes to nourish and protect skin and hair year-round, organized by season.

article image
Adobe Stock/svittlana

Home beauty is one of my passions, and DIY beauty is something I’ve done most of my life. The topic of natural and homemade beauty has never been more popular than it is right now, and there’s a massive increase in the number of people creating their own products. What might’ve started out as a necessity for our grandmothers is a lifestyle choice these days.

Following are some recipes, organized by the season when the treatments are most effective and the ingredients are easiest to find. Although most ingredients can be found year-round, I like to use what I find locally or grow in my own garden. Plus, you’ll save money by shopping what’s in season, and if you’re like me, your routines and treatments also change with the seasons. Because skin and hair are drier in fall and winter, I like to use more oil-rich products, while I prefer lighter, cooler products in the warmer months.

These beauty products are fun to make, beneficial for your hair and skin, and make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and for no reason at all.

Spring: The Season of Renewal and Celebration

This is a fitting time to pamper your skin and hair. It’s also the season for graduations and many weddings, and there’s no better gift to give than a basket filled with homemade self-care products.

Clay Hair Mask

Yields 2 ounces (enough for 1 treatment).

Natural clays function as deep conditioners, cleanse the pores on your scalp (especially beneficial for oily skin), and help prevent dandruff. The amount of clay needed will vary with hair length. This recipe is for shoulder-length hair.

  • 1/4 cup natural clay (such as Rhassoul mud or French green clay)
  • 2 tablespoons pure water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  1. Place the clay in a small bowl.
  2. Add the water and apple cider vinegar, and mix into a paste.

To use: Massage into your scalp and hair. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water (no soap or shampoo) for several minutes, and dry gently with a soft towel.

Lilac Skin Toner

Yields 8 ounces.

Lilac leaves create a toner with a nice fragrance and mild skin-cleansing properties. This is good for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

  • 1/2 cup freshly picked lilac leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Place the lilac leaves in a bowl, and pour the boiling water over them. Cool completely.
  2. Strain off the leaves, and pour the liquid into a clean bottle with a lid.

To use: Apply to your skin with a cotton ball.

Nail Strengthening Oil

Yields 3/4 ounce.

Castor and olive oil help to moisturize and restore flexibility and strength to dry, brittle nails. This is great for fingernails and toenails.

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon castor oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients, and mix well.
  2. Pour into a clean bottle with a lid.

To use: Rub a small amount into your nails. Leave on for 5 minutes, and then wipe off any excess oil. Repeat as often as you like. Shake well before each use.

Summer: The Season for Fresh Ingredients

Now is the perfect time for creating beauty products, and also for stocking up and preserving summer’s bounty of herbs, produce, and flowers for the other seasons.

Sunburn Lotion

Yields 3-1/2 ounces.

If you happen to get burned in the hot summer sun, this lotion will help soothe your skin.

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 to 2 drops peppermint oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a thin, milky solution.
  2. Pour into a clean bottle with a lid.

To use: Gently apply to sunburned skin, and allow to dry. Reapply as needed. (You’ll want to rinse your skin afterward, because the lotion leaves a fine, powdery film as it dries.) Shake well before each use.

Conditioning Hair Pack

Yields 4 ounces (enough for 1 treatment).

Sun, wind, chlorine, and saltwater are surefire ingredients for dry, damaged hair. To restore moisture to your hair, apply this treatment once a week throughout summer.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional*
  1. Combine mayonnaise and avocado in a small bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add coconut oil or lemon juice, if using.

*NOTE: For extremely dry or damaged hair, add coconut oil. For oily hair, add lemon juice.

To use: Rinse your hair with warm water, massage mixture into hair and scalp, cover your hair with a shower cap or a cotton towel, and let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Without rinsing, shampoo and style your hair as usual.

Summer Foot Cream

Yields 5 ounces.

This cream will help keep your feet looking their barefoot best.

  • 1/4 cup almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup glycerin
  • 1/4 teaspoon evening primrose oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon geranium essential oil
  1. In the top of a double-boiler over medium-low heat, or in a heat-resistant glass container in the microwave, melt the almond oil, beeswax, and coconut oil.
  2. Slowly stir in the glycerin, pouring it into the mixture in a thin, even stream. Set mixture aside to cool completely.
  3. Stir in the evening primrose oil and geranium essential oil.
  4. Pour into a container with a clean lid.

To use: Massage a small amount into your feet before going to bed.

Autumn: The Season of Change and Excitement

This is the time of year when the weather is becoming crisp, with cool mornings and chilly evenings, and these conditions make for drier skin and hair.

Foaming Bath Salts

Yields 48 ounces (enough for 24 baths).

Adding these salts to the bathtub is a sure way to relax, and they’re a breeze to make.

  • 1/2 cup mild liquid soap (such as castile)
  • 1 tablespoon light oil
  • 1 teaspoon natural color or food coloring
  • 2 cups Epsom salts
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups sea salt
  1. Mix the soap, oil, and color together.
  2. Place the salts in a large bowl. Pour the liquid mixture over the top, and mix gently.
  3. Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on cookie sheets, and let air-dry until completely dry, up to 24 hours.
  4. Put dried salts in jars or containers with lids.

To use: Pour 1/4 cup of bath salts into the bathtub under running water.

Tapioca Facial Mask

Yields 2 ounces (enough for 1 mask).

This simple facial mask will leave your skin soft and smooth, and it’s perfect for all skin types.

  • 1 tablespoon small pearl tapioca
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Mix the tapioca and water in a small bowl, and let it sit until soft, at least several hours and preferably overnight.
  2. With the back of a spoon or fork, stir mixture until a smooth paste forms.

To use: Massage the paste into your face and neck. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dry, and then rinse with warm water.

Scented Dusting Powder

Yields 8 ounces.

Orris root powder can be found in craft stores where potpourri supplies are sold, as well as in natural food stores and online.

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon orris root powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon essential oil, in scent of
    your choice
  1. Place the cornstarch and orris root powder in a blender, and blend on low speed.
  2. With the blender running, slowly add the essential oil, and continue to blend until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Carefully pour the powder into a clean container with a lid.

To use: Dust your body with the powder using a fluffy powder puff or soft brush.

Winter: The Season for Moisturizing

This season is marked by cold weather and dry air, and both affect the condition of our skin and hair. Winter is the one season when everyone needs a good moisturizer, even people with oily skin. Brisk winds and low humidity are also hard on hair, and using a rich, deep conditioner will help restore moisture.

Hot Oil Treatment for Winter Hair

Yields 4 ounces (enough for 1 treatment).

Use this on your tresses once a week in winter to keep them looking their best.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  1. Place the olive oil in a blender, and add the boiling water. Blend on high speed until the oil has broken up into tiny droplets.
  2. Pour into a small cup if using immediately, or place in a container with a lid for later use.

To use: Work into your dry hair, massaging well all over. Wrap your hair in a cotton towel or shower cap, and let sit for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition as usual.

Winter Moisturizer

Yields 12 ounces.

This moisturizer is light, fluffy, and nonoily. The stearic acid powder can be found at some natural food stores and online stores that specialize in herbal and cosmetic ingredients.

  • 2 tablespoons apricot kernel oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup stearic acid powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 1 cup water
  1. Combine the oils and stearic acid powder in a heat-resistant container. Heat in a water bath until it becomes a clear liquid and the stearic acid powder is melted.
  2. Combine the baking soda, aloe vera gel, and water in another heat-resistant container. Heat just until boiling, either in a water bath or for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave.
  3. Slowly add a third of the water mixture to the oil mixture, and stir. (It’ll foam slightly as carbon dioxide is released.) Pour into a blender. With the blender on high speed, add the remaining water mixture in a slow, steady stream, and blend until it becomes a white, fluffy cream.
  4. Spoon the cream into a clean container with a lid, and allow it to cool completely.

To use: Massage a small amount of cream into your skin.

Beekeeper Lip Balm

Yields 1/2 ounce.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This has a long shelf life, and only two ingredients. To make a larger batch, just keep the ingredient proportions equal in measure.

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated beeswax
  1. In a heat-resistant container, mix the ingredients together, and heat gently until the wax just begins to melt. Remove from heat, and continue stirring until the wax is completely melted.
  2. Pour into a clean lip balm tube or a small container with a lid.

To use: Spread lightly on your lips.

Janice Cox is a homemaker, a natural beauty expert, and an author, as well as the beauty editor for Herb Quarterly magazine. This article is excerpted from her book Natural Beauty for All Seasons (Ogden Publications).

Natural Beauty for all Seasons

Seasons change and your skin care routine can, too. In Natural Beauty for All Seasons, natural beauty expert Janice Cox walks readers through 250 body, bath, and hair care recipes that they can make on their own during each season! Not one of the recipes calls for any more skill than being able to boil water. And an introductory section reveals what equipment is necessary and where needed ingredients can easily be found.

Start your year off right with the New Year’s Champagne Scrub and the Sweet Orange Yoga Spray. As the winter months fade and flowers start to bloom, use the Mint Julep Toner or the Flower Petal Steam Facial. When the summer nights grow longer, try out the Farmers Market Facials or beat the heat with Swimming Pool Hair Care. And as leaves start to fall, enjoy the Cranberry Juice Astringent or the Weekend Warrior Massage Oil. These recipes are just a few packed into this indispensable book that will leave your skin rejuvenated for whatever the seasons bring.