The 10 Best All Natural, Inexpensive, Skin & Hair Product Replacements

The 10 Best All Natural, Inexpensive Products for Skin & HairOver the past 3 or 4 years I’ve slowly been transitioning to a more natural lifestyle. I admit I haven’t completely given up my store bought products, but by switching between them and homemade, I find I keep my skin, hair, and wallet much happier.

Shampoo: Baking Soda

Skip the shampoo with parabens, sulfates, and toxins (your scalp absorbs these!) and instead try a paste of baking soda and water. The combination of baking soda followed by a vinegar rinse (below) is extremely clarifying and for anyone who uses styling products it’s a great way to wash all that crap out. I use about a tablespoon of baking soda in a small bowl, and mix enough water to make a paste that’s spreadable but not so wet that it slides out of your hair. I then pour the paste on top of my wet hair, and massage it into my scalp as much as possible. The baking soda will not lather up, in fact it can get quite stiff in your hair, so I sometimes will splash just enough water into my hair to make it workable again. I don’t worry about getting it down the strands of my hair, as that happens naturally in the hair washing process, particularly when I rinse.

Conditioner: Apple Cider Vinegar

After you’ve washed your hair with the baking soda, you’ll want to followup with a rinse of apple cider vinegar. I usually put about a quarter cup in a measuring cup, and then once in the shower I’ll add water to it so that I don’t get that cold shock of room temperature liquid! 🙂 Pour it slowly over your scalp making sure to get it through all your hair, and then rinse well (really well, you don’t want to smell like a salad). If you like you can add a drop of essential oil to the mixture to help with the scent. Once you’ve done the vinegar rinse your hair will feel like silk!

Deep Conditioner: Coconut Oil

For hair that is dry or has been heat damaged, apply coconut oil overnight. I only use this in the ends of my hair (no more than a teaspoon, but you may need more or less depending on your hair type and length). Once I’ve massaged it through, I tie my hair up in a high bun and sleep on it overnight. When I wash it out the following day, my hair always feel so much softer. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry coconut oil yet, you can always purchase it online, which is what I do. This is the brand I’m using now, but I plan on trying Barlean’s next as I have used their other products with happy results.

Face Wash: Honey

Honey is the best face wash for skin. It’s super gentle and washes off incredibly easy once it comes in contact with water. The antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties of honey make it perfect for anyone with blemishes, as it maintains a clean environment for the skin to heal. Simply apply a small amount of honey to a wet face, and massage your skin well (this also helps clean up skin as it gets the blood flowing to regenerate new cells). The honey will not later up like a typical face wash. Rinse with water as normal and the honey will easily dissolve away. I like to buy my honey locally (from an older couple that sells it out of their mudroom!). It’s raw which is always best, and amazingly is less expensive than the poor interpretations of honey sold at the grocery store. If you can’t find any local raw honey, you may like to try this.

Mask: Manuka Honey

For skin that needs an extra dose of blemish fighting ingredients, manuka honey is the solution. Manuka honey comes the manuka bush in New Zealand, which is responsible for tea tree oil. If you are familiar with tea tree oil, you will know that it is frequently used in products for acne. You will also find that manuka honey has a slight grit to it, which exfoliates the skin. I massage it well into my skin, and then leave it on for around 20 minutes before rinsing off. Honey masks are also moisturizing which is incredible for the winter months. This is the one product on this list of significant expense, but it is well worth it. When purchasing, make sure your Manuka honey is certified. I buy my manuka honey here.

Toner: Witch Hazel

After cleansing, I always like to use an astringent, and for that I use witch hazel. Simply pour into a spray bottle, and give one or two light sprays. My skin always feels off when I skip this step. Some people like to use rose petal witch hazel, but I personally use the plain stuff and it suits me just fine. Note: I’ve linked to Amazon for your convenience, but I can find witch hazel at my local drugstore for a fraction of the price (about $2), so it may be worth it to you to check there first.

Moisturizer: Coconut Oil

Finally, no skin routine is complete without moisturizing. I know there is a whole movement right now involving different oils (particularly argan and jojoba), but I haven’t tried that out yet, as I prefer the more cost efficient and multi-use coconut oil. I warm a very small amount up between my fingers so that it melts, and then I literally pat it into my skin. It’s important not to overdo it, as this can cause blemishes to flare up. Start light and see how your skin reacts to it.

Eye Makeup Remover: Coconut Oil

For those who like to wear mascara on the daily, coconut oil is about to become your new best friend. Wipe a small amount into a cotton pad and then hold over your eye for 5 seconds before swiping away. It takes a few wipes but I find it removes all my eye makeup really well. For someone who’s eyes are very sensitive to irritation, making sure there’s no mascara flakes or residue is critical. The best part is, the coconut oil will moisturize your lashes, making them less susceptible to breaking, which means longer lashes! It may take a few weeks to a month to see results, but they will definitely grow if you are consistent with the coconut oil routine.

Lip Balm: Bag Balm & Honey

Technically this can still be a one-ingredient recipe by using only bag balm, but I like to add honey for a slight sweet taste, which is more reminiscent of the lip balm you buy at the store. For this I reuse small containers that I’ve saved from other products (samples work best for this), and then I make sure to clean them out well. Honey being antibacterial actually never goes bad, and I’ve read that it’s been found in ancient Egypt dating thousands of years back, and still completely usable! For the recipe: I like to use 3-4 parts bag balm to 1 part honey. Any more honey and it will be too sticky. Mix well so that everything is evenly distributed. You can stick it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up and mix easier, if needed. Bag Balm is a Vermont company (my home state!). You can read more about it here if it’s a new product to you. They don’t have an online store, but you can find it on Amazon.

Teeth Whitener: Hydrogen Peroxide

Finish off your bathroom routine with this super easy teeth brightener. Peroxide is in many bleaching products that dentists use, but using the store-bought hydrogen peroxide will save you a lot of money and is also much gentler. Swish a small amount around your teeth for about a minute, and then spit it out. Do this several times a week to brighten and maintain your whites. I don’t do this every day as I find it irritates my gums with daily use.

I hope you find these as useful as I have! Do you have any tips to share?

VINE & LACE

37 comments

  1. Great list! One to add: olive oil for shaving armpits and legs. Don’t over oil and be careful in the shower but otherwise a fantastic safe alternative to shaving foam. Decant into a small bottle. Buy organic if at all possible.

  2. Love you list. Have been using Apple Cider Vinegar as a conditioner for about 6 months now. It is so much better than store bought conditioners. Interesting about the Manuka Honey. I get that same brand in + 15 rating and take a teaspoon of it if I start to feel a cold/flu coming on. Haven’t had a cold for 3 years compared to having them several times a year. Learned about the miracle properties of it on a trip to NZ. The Australians pratically trampled us to get off the cruiseship so they could buy their manuka honey. lol The only thing I haven’t done on the list is the baking soda. Just made up a recipe of organic coconut oil/organic olive oil/grated bees wax and essential oils. It was a DIY Sleep Salve for your feet but has also totally got rid of my very dry heels that I get each winter. It works much better than any over the counter lotion I have ever bought.

    1. Too funny about the Australians trampling the rest of you for manuka honey. If it’s less expensive there I might just do the same!
      And that salve sounds amazing! Which essential oils do you use?

      1. Wedderspoons Manuka Honey has US/UK & Canadian websites. I’m lucky that I can get it at a local Canadian health grocery store. For the salve I used Lavendar,Ylang Ylang and Orange. I left out the cinnamon & Peppermint after reading the comments. Also the Cedarwood since my DS is highly allergic to cedar so I can’t have it anywhere in the house. Here is the link: http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Sleep-Salve-32384070

        1. Yes, I usually order Wedderspoon Manuka Honey from Amazon, which suits me just fine but is definitely more pricey than your average honey.
          Thanks for the link and recommendation for the salve – I’m definitely going to try it!

  3. Thank you for the ideas. I currently use raw honey as a facewash, about a year now, and love it. I also use jojoba oil for make up remover from Trader Joe’s – works great!

    1. I’ve actually never tried jojoba oil because I often see it in expensive bottles from high-end brands. I hadn’t thought to check Trader Joe’s – thanks for the tip!

      1. It’s basically the practice of swishing oil (coconut and sesame oil are two types to use) in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. It improves oral health and has been said to be good for a variety of other ailments as well. Google can tell you more 🙂

  4. I just tried the baking soda wash and the apple cider vinegar conditioner rise, and I was very surprised at how clean my hair felt after the baking soda. And even more surprised of how much fell out. I got bigger wads than usual that came out…is this normal? I have really long, straight, dirty blonde hair, but I will try again, and hopefully not as much will fall out….

    1. It does get your hair so clean! My favorite part in the vinegar rinse, my hair is always so silky after that. As far as hair falling out… this shouldn’t cause more to fall out than usual. I don’t know the science, but I would think that with regular use, you would notice a healthier scalp, and therefore possibly less fallout.

  5. Thank you so much for this very helpful information! I’m also in the process of using all natural products and I already have some of these products at home LOL! I would also like to suggest other uses for some of the products already listed: I use one spoon of the apple cider vinegar and two spoons of water to make my toner, I also mix a little bit of the baking soda and coconut oil to make my toothpaste. I will be trying your suggestions as well:)

    1. Thanks, Lucy! I like your recipe for a toner, I’ll have to try that out. I’ve used something similar to your toothpaste, but ultimately missed the minty feeling. I need to give it another shot!

  6. Great article! I’ve been using baking soda as an exfoliate for years. I mix it in with my facial cleanser. It doesn’t seem like it would do much, but if you are too rigorous you can feel a little tingle when you rinse. Arm & Hammer has come out with a “shaker” formula and container which is super convenient for anyone who washes their face in the shower.

    1. Thanks, Melanie! It’s amazing how effective baking soda is as an exfoliator, isn’t it? I haven’t seen the shaker containers yet. I’ll have to keep an eye out – they would be so much easier than the paste-prep I do for shampooing.

  7. You can also use baby oil to shave with but it will make a mess in the shower. Right now I am using the rest of my hair conditioner. U can buy a big bottle of cheap conditioner. It will last because I don’t use as much I did with shaving cream. The hydrogen peroxide can also be used instead of mouthwash. You won’t have the burning afterwards and it’s cheaper.

    1. I’ve heard of using conditioner but have never tried it… I tend to use body wash out of pure laziness. I’ll try it your way next time! Also the mouthwash suggestion probably results in better long term results purely through consistent use. Good tips! 🙂

  8. Great list! Just wanted to add that using hydrogen peroxide is actually very good to help with your gums…especially if they are red or swollen. My dentist told me to use it for my gums that were red & sore:)

  9. This is really interesting. I have always heard coconut oil is a really good skin/hair moisturizer so I think I’ll have to try this soon. Thank you for sharing!

  10. You can use equal parts granulated sugar and olive oil (about 1/2 cup each) to make a really nice, all over exfoliant/moisturizer. It’s great to use on your legs and feet especially! Use it on your feet with a pumice stone and your feet will be super soft! You can also massage your legs with it and rinse with warm water before shaving, so your legs are as silky soft as your feet. 🙂 Be careful in the tub/shower, the olive oil will make it slippery, so make sure to clean it well when you’re finished.

  11. I tried to use baking soda and coconut oil as a deodorant BUT I would still get smelly because it’s not quite and antiperspirant. Smells nice at first.

  12. Bag blam it’ s basically lanolin .
    The smell it’ s not the best but it’ s a natural product extracted from the sheep wool .
    It can be less expensive than the bag balm .

  13. You can mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a soft paste and brush with that for teeth whitening. Do this no more than twice a week or you may experience gum damage.

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