Health Lifestyle

Edible Beauty: How to Transform Everyday Foods into DIY Beauty Products

12 min read

With many store-bought cosmetics full of potentially harmful ingredients, more and more people are starting to make their own DIY beauty products. And some of the most potent ingredients in these formulations can be found in your kitchen. So what are the foods that can do as much good on the outside as on the inside? And how can you turn them into safe and effective creams, scrubs, masks, and mists?

When you do a Google Image search of your mind for “spa facial,” do you visualize recumbent, peaceful ladies with cucumber slices over their eyes? If so, you’re familiar with at least one example of using food as a DIY beauty product.

As a nutritionist, I know how a plant-based diet can support a glowing, healthy appearance from the inside. Eating well is associated with clear skin, lustrous hair, and unblemished nails.

It turns out that some foods can also nourish your body from the outside. It makes sense — after all, your skin is your largest organ (unless you play the keyboard at a cathedral), and its job is to protect your insides from harmful foreign substances and to absorb good stuff into your bloodstream. And a lot of that “good stuff” can come from common everyday foods found in your kitchen.

In addition to eating and drinking the food, beverages, and other edible ingredients you have on hand, you can enlist some of them to perform double duty as DIY beauty products.

It’s a growing trend; from homemade face masks to all-natural hair treatments, people are turning to their kitchens instead of cosmetic counters to find safe beauty solutions. You might even be interested in joining them. After all, making your own beauty products can save money and reduce your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients found in factory-made beauty products.

So, if your interest is piqued, this article will introduce you to the world of DIY beauty, showing you how to create your own skin care and hair care products using ingredients you likely already have at home. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner curious about crafting your own beauty products, this article will equip you with the tools needed to transform natural ingredients into effective beauty treatments.

The Benefits of DIY Beauty Products

Let’s look at some of the reasons you might want to include kitchen ingredients in your beauty regimen.

Safe and Natural Ingredients

Young woman reading ingredients of skin care product while shopping at the store. Personal care and modern cosmetology

Many commercial beauty products, such as soaps, shampoos, conditioners, creams, scrubs, moisturizers, and toning gels, contain harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances. Some ingredients, such as phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde, may even be damaging to your health.

Using commonplace food items can ensure that the things you’re applying to your skin and hair are safe and natural. Not only do they reduce the risk of allergic reactions and skin irritation, but they also provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what you’re putting on your body.


Many effective skin care ingredients can be sourced from your kitchen. Even if you have to go shopping, DIY beauty products are generally a lot less expensive to make from scratch than their store-bought counterparts. In many instances, a little can go a long way; and what you don’t use for skin or hair care, you can eat! (I wouldn’t make tzatziki from the cucumber slices after you’ve removed them from your eyes, though!)

More Sustainable

Bottles of eucalyptus essential oil, leaves and mortar on light grey table Chernetska

DIY beauty products can also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by minimizing food waste. To be clear, I’m not encouraging you to start bathing in leftover lentil stew. Rather, you can use foods like coffee grounds and slightly-past-their-prime fruits and veggies in your beauty routine.

This also minimizes waste associated with beauty product packaging, since products are often packed in plastic containers that end up in landfills. By reducing demand for these commercial products, you’re contributing to reducing landfill waste generated by unsold and returned products, items that expire on store shelves or in warehouses, and even the little tester bottles that sit enticingly in front of product displays.

By creating your own beauty products, you can use up food, reuse containers, and source ingredients in bulk — all good ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

Plus, you are also avoiding the environmental harm caused by the production and transportation of commercial products, as well as their use of unsustainably sourced ingredients.

Health Benefits

If all these food-as-beauty products did was provide aesthetic solutions, that would be more than enough. But what if I told you that they can offer genuine health benefits as well?

Some ingredients have antimicrobial properties, while others reduce inflammation. Using natural ingredients can improve your skin and hair health over time, leading to lasting benefits beyond superficial appearance. And simply by avoiding harmful chemicals, you’re also reducing the amount of toxins your body has to deal with, which can help you live a healthier, nontoxic life.

Foods You Can Use on Your Skin or Hair

I don’t want you to get the idea that any and all food is good for your skin — I’m not by any means suggesting the “food fight” beauty regimen. But these are just some of the ordinary, plant-based kitchen ingredients that can perform double duty in your beauty routine.


Bowl of guacamole, avocado and lime on white textured background, close up

In addition to their impressive health benefits, avocados are also great when applied to your face, body, or hair. They’re high in monounsaturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E (which works as an antioxidant internally and topically), and they contain vitamin C (which helps produce collagen). The avocado peel also serves as a potent antibacterial agent.

Coconut Oil

While there’s debate about whether coconut oil (or any oil, for that matter) can be part of a healthy diet, there’s plenty of evidence that it can do good when applied topically. You can rub it on your body and in your hair — just avoid the face, as it can clog pores.

The lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, can lock in moisture, and is anti-inflammatory, which can help protect the skin and improve its ability to serve as a barrier to unwanted pollutants.

Sea Salt

Oil salt scrub. Cosmetic surgery, hand peeling. Massage of female hands peeling preparation Spa and Wellness.

Salt is another food that can stir huge controversy when nutrition nerds get together, but it’s without a doubt an effective skin exfoliant. It can help with oily skin, including on your scalp. But you may want to take it easy; salt can be very drying if overused. You don’t want to make people think of vegan beef jerky when they look at you.

Salt can also calm irritated skin, and in some formulations, even improve skin hydration and help stimulate nerve receptors, which might help with pain and other sensory issues.


An oatmeal bath has long been a go-to skin remedy. If you’re of a certain age, you might have relieved your chicken pox itchiness in a bathtub filled with hot water and Aveeno, which contains powdered oat extract.

Colloidal oatmeal, in particular, has been studied for its dermatological benefits. Boasting anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic activity, it can treat a bunch of skin conditions. (Actually, I doubt that oatmeal boasts. It seems pretty humble to me.)

Oats can also act as an exfoliant, which means that scrubbing with them can remove dead skin cells.


Pouring green tea into a teacup. Japanese green tea image

The leaves of the tea plant contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may protect your skin from UV-induced damage (think bad sunburn) and even cancer. Polyphenols fight free radicals, which aren’t nearly as cool as they sound (unless you consider damaging your cells, proteins, and DNA cool).

Topical application of tea extracts may improve skin conditions and even combat cellulite. And the caffeine in tea probably won’t make your skin jittery; instead, it may stimulate hair growth and improve the condition of your hair.

Coffee Grounds

Like tea, coffee contains antioxidants which are good for your skin and hair. Paired with caffeine, these compounds may stimulate hair growth. And like oats, coffee grounds can be used as an exfoliant.

Edible Flowers

Glass bottle with attar bubbles and rose petals, cotton pads. Healing homemade skincare moisture toni

Edible flowers can add a lot of nutrition, flavor, and beauty to your cooking. And some of them can also be used as DIY beauty products.

A 2018 study found that rose petal extract reduced inflammation caused by exposure to solar UV rays. And in 2020, researchers discovered that you have tiny little noses all over your body. Well, not exactly; what they found was that the skin contains olfactory receptors, and the aroma of roses activated some of them to reduce stress-related skin issues.

Hibiscus flowers also contain hibiscus acid, which has been shown to reverse skin aging and may even promote hair growth.


There are several fruits that you can use as part of your skin and hair care routines. Grapes and berries can be turned into creams that provide UV protection for your skin, while fermented papaya and mangosteen (which is a purplish fruit native to islands in Southeast Asia and not a cross between a mango and Bruce Springsteen) can provide luster and body to your hair.


Lie back and let the mask do it's work

This list wouldn’t be complete without the cucumber, star of a thousand self-care stock photos. But luckily, its reputation is deserved. Cucumber fruit, juice, and seeds are all good for the skin and can help with sunburn pain. And yes, chilled cucumber slices placed over the eyes can actually reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Tips for Using Homemade Beauty Recipes Safely

While beauty products made from common foods are natural, that doesn’t mean they’re perfectly safe for everyone. Just as with synthetic ingredients, natural ingredients can cause irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals.

Several strategies exist to ensure that ingredients are safe for your body externally. This is especially important for people with sensitive skin and chronic skin conditions.

Patch-Test Your Creations

Just a little bit

A patch test is like dipping a toe into the pool before jumping in. You apply a small amount of the product on an inconspicuous spot and monitor your skin for any unwanted reactions. If you have any itching, redness, or other indicator of irritation or allergy, don’t use your concoction!

Consider Your Skin and Hair Type

I highly recommend tailoring your DIY recipes to suit your specific skin and hair type. Ingredients that work for dry skin, for example, may turn oily skin into a greasy mess. And if you’re using a recipe designed to cleanse oily skin on dry skin, you may end up an honorary member of the crocodile club.

For example, baking soda can be drying, while oils can create more oil and lead to acne.

If you have sensitive skin, you may also want to avoid fragrances or even food-grade essential oils.

Store Products Properly

Open Empty Glass Transparent Jar On White Background

The thing that makes natural products so great is also their potential downfall if you don’t pay attention. Because they don’t contain additives or preservatives, food-based beauty products can go bad pretty quickly.

Avoid spoilage and potential bacterial growth by storing your DIY creations in airtight containers. Here are some that we like:

If your DIY beauty mixtures include foods that require refrigeration, they will likely need to be refrigerated. Use them up quickly, ideally within 3–5 days. Mixtures that use water or watery ingredients, such as fruits and veggies, tend to spoil the quickest. If you don’t have time to use them right after you create them, make sure you do so within 1–2 days.

If your beauty creations use shelf-stable ingredients or ones that don’t spoil easily, you can keep using them for up to a few months. Just make sure to keep them away from moisture, to prevent mold growth.

Make Small Batches

If you make frequent small batches, you’ll always be using fresh product. And you’ll reduce waste since you’ll be consuming only what you need. As an added bonus, if you’re making skin and hair care products at frequent intervals, you can play around with different ingredients each time you whip up a fresh batch.

DIY Beauty Recipes

Get ready to enjoy creating your own DIY beauty products, crafted from 100% natural ingredients without harsh chemicals, fragrances, or dyes. These products leverage the natural power of plants to enhance the radiance of your hair and skin. Plus, all these homemade beauty recipes are cruelty-free and eco-friendly, giving you skin care options you can feel great about using!

1. Calming Facial Mist

DIY calming facial mist with essential oil and tea

Refresh and soothe your skin with this DIY Calming Facial Mist, a simple yet luxurious blend designed to pamper your complexion. This homemade facial mist combines the gentle, soothing properties of chamomile tea with the calming, aromatic benefits of lavender tea. Enhanced with a few drops of lavender oil, this mist not only hydrates and revitalizes the skin but also provides a relaxing sensory experience. Perfect for use any time of day, this facial mist can be spritzed on after cleansing or as a refreshing boost on the go. Easy to make and completely natural, this DIY facial mist is ideal for anyone looking to incorporate the healing power of plants into their daily skin care routine.

2. Soothing Oat and Almond Face Scrub

DIY Soothing Oat and Almond Face Scrub in a bowl surrounded by ingredients

Treat your skin to the gentle care of the DIY Soothing Oat and Almond Face Scrub, perfect for all skin types. This homemade exfoliator combines rolled oats, almond meal, and flaxseed meal into a rich, nourishing blend that softly clears away dead skin while hydrating and soothing the skin. The oats provide natural relief by reducing inflammation and calming sensitive skin. Almond meal enriches the mixture with essential fatty acids and vitamin E, softening and revitalizing your complexion, while flaxseed meal enhances the blend with omega-3 fatty acids, promoting smooth and supple skin. Easy to prepare and suitable for use several times a week, this DIY face scrub is the perfect addition to a natural skin care regimen, ensuring your skin looks clear and radiant.

3. Matcha Spirulina Mask

DIY Matcha Spirulina Face Mask in a bowl surrounded by ingredients

Revitalize your skin with the DIY Matcha Spirulina Face Mask, a powerful blend of superfoods designed to detoxify and rejuvenate. This homemade mask marries the potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of matcha powder, spirulina, and ground turmeric. Matcha, rich in catechins, fights inflammation and reduces redness, enhancing your skin’s natural clarity and vibrancy. Spirulina, a supercharged algae, deeply detoxifies and nourishes, facilitating the renewal of skin cells. Meanwhile, turmeric brings its brightening benefits, with curcumin working to lighten hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone. Simple to prepare, this DIY face mask is an excellent addition to any skin care routine, offering regular nourishment for a healthy, glowing complexion.

4. DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub in glass jars

Indulge your lips with the DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub, a deliciously sweet treat that gently exfoliates and nourishes. This simple yet effective DIY lip scrub combines coconut oil, coconut sugar, and a hint of vanilla extract to create a luxurious blend that removes dead skin cells while moisturizing. Coconut oil is deeply hydrating and helps to keep your lips soft and supple, while coconut sugar offers a gentle exfoliation that smooths and revitalizes the lips without being too abrasive. The addition of vanilla extract provides a comforting, warm aroma that makes this lip scrub a pleasure to use. Perfect for weekly pampering, the DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub is easy to prepare and can be used regularly to maintain smooth, hydrated lips.

5. Avocado Rice Water Hair Mask

DIY Avocado Rice Water Hair Mask

Nourish your hair with the DIY Avocado Rice Water Hair Mask, designed to strengthen and hydrate your locks. This natural hair treatment harnesses the fortifying effects of rice water and the deep moisturizing properties of avocado, creating a nutrient-rich hair mask that is truly transformative. Rice water is an age-old remedy for promoting hair growth in Asian cultures. It’s also known for its ability to enhance hair elasticity, prevent breakage, and boost shine. With the addition of avocado, which is rich in biotin, vitamins B and E, and essential fatty acids, this mask deeply conditions the hair, enhancing moisture and improving hair texture. This DIY hair mask can be used regularly as part of your hair care routine to help maintain healthy, lustrous hair. Just blend soaked rice water with mashed avocado and apply it to your hair, letting the natural ingredients work their magic to rejuvenate and protect your strands.

Food Can Nourish You Inside and Outside

By embracing DIY beauty, you can rediscover the simplicity and effectiveness of natural ingredients. Many types of food that are good for you on the inside are also good for you on the outside. And using DIY beauty products not only enhances your health and well-being but also aligns with a more sustainable and mindful lifestyle. By crafting your homemade beauty products, you can gain control over the ingredients you use on your hair, skin, and nails while also reducing your environmental impact and tailoring treatments to your body’s unique needs.

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in creating your own beauty products, we highly recommend Formula Botanica’s free foundational course. Developed by expert chemists, biologists, and pharmacists, this exceptional online program provides a comprehensive introduction to the craft of skin care formulation. The free foundational course also leads to Formula Botanica’s award-winning online Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation, which will turn you into a certified formulator. Whether you’re looking to shift into a career in skin care or simply want to enhance your DIY skills, our friends at Formula Botanica will show you how easy and fun it can be! Click here to learn more and sign up for free.

Tell us in the comments:

  • Have you ever made your own DIY skin care or hair care product? What was in it?

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