I’m a huge sucker for fancy and expensive face products. I could spend hours in Sephora and ULTA and not even bat a lash at makeup. I was one of the lucky kids in middle school and high school who had a near perfect complexion. Sure, I had the occasional zit, but I never had breakouts. Then I got to college. My acne popped up the same month that I got braces. College is a great time to have acne and braces, in case you’re wondering.
I feel like I have tried almost every type of face product. The only thing that has ever worked for me was seeing an aesthetician for monthly facials. Since I’m not working I can’t justify the expense of monthly facials. A few Pinterest pins and Google searches got me interested in making my own face masks as well as my own facial scrubs. I found tons of good ideas but none were as comprehensive as I wanted.
After tons of research, I’ve put together a list of safe and cheap alternatives to popular face products. Check the hyperlinks for source information.
- Salicylic acid- use the side of a knife to mash-up an Aspirin, mix with water until a paste forms and use it as spot treatment or overnight.
- Lactic acid- make a mask with Greek yogurt
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid- make a mask with Greek yogurt and lemon juice
- Retin-A- make an egg yolk mask (I prefer egg yolk mixed with honey)
- Glycolic acid- pineapple juice or pure sugar cane mask
- Sulfur- make an egg yolk mask
- Toner- use apple cider vinegar or witch hazel
- Eye cream- witch hazel works wonders on puffy eyes. It’s one of the ingredients in Preparation H, which is an old wife’s tale solution for tired eyes.
- Benzoyl peroxide- make a 5% tea tree oil solution (see directions below)
- Exfoliant- add baking soda to your face wash or wash with baking soda before face masks
- Makeup remover/ night/ cold cream- coconut oil
- Antibiotic to fight acne- honey
- Fade spots- lemon juice or lavender oil
There is no point putting face mask recipes on here when tons of them exist on the Internet. My favorite place to find face mask recipes is Home Made Masks. She has the best info!
As a reminder, make sure you know what products work for you before trying these alternatives. It isn’t a good idea to mess around too much with different products. For example, mixing acids with antioxidants such as vitamin A and retinol can be counter productive. I wouldn’t experiment with my skin too much. I find it better to stick with what I know works.
I feel like I should give full disclosure and let my readers know that I am using Rodan & Fields face products from Kayla and so far, I LOVE my Unblemish face wash. These alternatives are fun, however I don’t consider them to be a complete replacement for my own skin care regimen.
5% tea tree oil directions:
- A 5% solution consists of 5mL oil to 95% mL of water. The easiest way to do this is to break it down to a 1:19 ratio. For every tsp. of tea tree oil you should add 19 tsp. of water or roughly 2/5 of a cup.
*I’m an awful chemist. I was a teaching assistant for Chemistry while I was working on my masters and my students hated asking me for help. Even they knew I was useless when it came to measurements. My tea tree dilution directions are NOT perfect. This would NOT be proper lab work, but it works fine for your face. Don’t judge my math skills, please. If you have a better way to break down a 5% solution, please let me know (Meesh- I’m thinking of you here)!
Do you have any good DIY face mask ideas? My favorite was the egg yolk and honey. It dried up a couple zits in just minutes! While I’d love to do an egg yolk and honey mask everyday, I don’t think I have the time to mix it up that often.