In all likelihood, the last time you experienced a DIY beauty product was at a middle school sleepover. Maybe you and a girlfriend gleefully mashed up an avocado, drizzled it with honey, and slathered it on your faces with sticky fingers, expecting magical results. If that sounds about right, Jana Blankenship has a message for you: The magic is still there.
Blankenship, founder of natural beauty brand Captain Blankenship, recently authored Wild Beauty, a book detailing 45 all-natural, do-it-yourself beauty recipes for skin, hair, body, and overall wellness. “I wanted to make this book incredibly engaging and accessible to reach both those new to clean beauty and those who are already steeped in it,” she tells The Zoe Report. The elixirs inside are simple, to be sure — but these aren’t your childhood DIYs. With a focus on pure, potent ingredients and time-honored traditions, Wild Beauty offers how-tos for homemade products that feel grown-up and decidedly luxe.
Are you raising a skeptical eyebrow at the words “DIY” and “luxe” appearing in the same paragraph? Well consider the (cliché but compelling) concept that health is wealth. “I believe we are at the same place where we were with the organic food movement 20 years ago,” Blankenship says. “People are understanding that much of what goes on your skin enters into your bloodstream and the dangers that can come with conventional beauty.” She notes that when it comes to ingredients, quantity doesn’t equal quality — and many ready-made products feature more fillers than actives. “I truly believe that less is more,” Blankenship says. “An effective product can be made with under five ingredients, sometimes just one or two.”
A short ingredient list presents another perk: These products are easy to create and easy to customize. “When you make things for yourself, you find out what you like, what feels good to you, what smells good to you, what works for you,” Blankenship explains. It’s something I’ve noticed myself in whipping up my own face oils and face masks — DIY beauty provides a level of personalization that’s just not possible with pre-packaged products. The creation process also gives you a chance to get acquainted with natural ingredients firsthand. “Even if readers decide to not make the products, I hope they will gain an appreciation of the beauty of plant-based ingredients, an understanding of how to read labels and what to watch out for, and, as a result, the ability to discern which companies to support and products to buy,” the author says.
Finally, think of DIY as an eco-friendly fix for overstuffed bathroom cabinets. “I believe that if we have effective products made with the best ingredients, we don't need shelves overflowing with products,” Blankenship tells TZR. “We consume with abandon in our society and have forgotten how satisfying it is to really love a product and finish it — if we learn to make products that we love and tailor them to our desires, we won't need to buy so much and we will finish what we have.”
Ahead, discover five natural, simple, and luxe-feeling DIY beauty recipes — including a rose-scented toner and a two-ingredient detangling mist — as told by Blankenship.
1. Smell the Roses Face Toner & Body Mist
This refreshing mist helps hydrate and clarify skin and smells like a rose bush. It is perfect to put on skin to prime it for face oil. It is best kept in the fridge for freshness and is best enjoyed cold. It is also a great hair perfume and mist.
Yield: 8 ounces
1/2 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup rose hydrosol
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel or juice
Optional: 8 to 10 drops rose essential oil (add rose essential oil for an even rosier scent if you are a rose fanatic like me)
Additional Equipment: 8-ounce glass bottle, or two 4-ounce glass bottles, with fine-mist sprayer(s)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in large spouted measuring cup and stir well with spoon. Pour into bottle and attach sprayer. Use morning and night on skin before moisturizer or during the day for a refreshing pick-me-up. Will keep at room temperature for up to three months, store in fridge for up to a year.
2. Butterfly Daytime Face Oil
This is a simple but essential recipe for a daily face oil that you can use both morning and night year-round. The combination of jojoba and rosehip seed oil is easily absorbed, helping to soothe inflamed skin, deliver rich moisture, remove dead skin cells, and unclog pores. Adding your favorite essential oil or extract to the mix makes the experience even more joyful. Jasmine, neroli, and rose, besides smelling amazing, help with skin rejuvenation.
Yield: 1 ounce
2 tablespoons jojoba oil
1 tablespoon rosehip seed oil
5 drops jasmine, neroli, or rose essential oil
Additional Equipment: 1 ounce glass bottle with eyedropper
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in measuring cup or bowl with metal spoon. Pour into bottle and close with eyedropper. Use several drops on moist skin morning and night or as needed. If stores out of direct sunlight, will keep for up to a year.
3. Emerald Sea Detox Bath
This dreamy green bath will envelop your senses and balance your body. Nourishing sea kelp stimulates blood flow and draws impurities out of skin. Antioxidant-rich spirulina fights free radicals, retains moisture, and creates a beautiful jade-green hue over the bath. Epsom salt relieves tired muscles and eliminates toxins, while mineral-rich sea salt balances skin moisture and improves circulation.
Yield: 16 ounces
1 cup sea salt
1 cup Epsom salt
2 tablespoons green clay or bentonite clay
1/4 cup kelp powder
1/4 cup spirulina powder
20 drops eucalyptus or lemongrass essential oil
Additional Equipment: 16-ounce jar with lid
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in bowl and stir well. Spoon into jar and close with lid. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per bath or as desired. Will keep fresh for up to a year.
4. Loosen the Knot Tension Release Blend
This powerful blend of essential oils is great for relieving anxiety, tension, headaches, migraines, and PMS. Dab onto wrists and temples, breathe in, and close your eyes.
Yield: 1/2 ounce
1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice
8 drops peppermint essential oil
7 drops eucalyptus oil
5 drops clary sage essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil
Optional: 5 drops lavender essential oil (use if you or your friends love lavender; some people don't)
Directions: Add carrier oil to small spouted measuring cup. With separate eyedroppers, add essential oils to carrier oil and combine with spoon. With funnel, pour slowly into roll-on bottles. Press on roll-on lid and screw on cap. Use as needed. If stored out of direct sunlight, will keep for up to two years.
5. Witchy Coconut Leave in Conditioner & Detangler
This simple but delicious recipe helps condition and detangle your hair and smells like a tropical milkshake. Coconut milk helps restore and revive dry, damaged hair and helps prevent split ends.
Yield: 4 ounces
1/4 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup simple coconut milk (choose a full-fat coconut milk that doesn't have any additives)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a measuring cup and stir well. Pour into bottle and attach sprayer. Mixture may separate; shake well before use. Use on wet hair or on dry hair for added moisture. If stored in refrigerator, will keep for up to six months.