DIY Beauty: All-Natural Homemade Face Wash

DIY natural face recipe wash via @poorandpretty

I have been testing my all-natural homemade face wash for about two months now, and I’m happy to say that it has performed better than any store bought product! Because it contains no harsh surfactants, it doesn’t strip away my skin’s natural oil. Rather, the jojoba oil and castile soap combine to gently remove dirt without drying out my face. It’s pretty fantastic, and perfect for those with sensitive or problem skin, dry or oily. See more details about each ingredient below.

DIY natural face recipe wash ingredients via @poorandpretty

You will need:

  • 1 8oz bottle — I recommend these.
  • a funnel
  • 1 cup castile soap — a very mild soap made from olive oil
  • 1 tbs jojoba oil — similar to our skin’s natural oils; it penetrates deeply without leaving an oily residue & is suitable for all skin types
  • 1 tsp rose floral water or rose hydrosol (they aren’t exactly the same thing, but pretty close) — works as an astringent to balance skin; fights acne
  • a few sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary — rosemary is an antiseptic and encourages cell regrowth
  • 11 drops of lavender essential oil — antiseptic, heals blemishes

DIY natural face wash via @poorandpretty

Place the funnel on top of your bottle and add the castile soap, jojoba oil, and rose floral water into the bottle. Remove the funnel and drop in your rosemary, then add the lavender. Shake it up!

DIY natural face wash with lavender and rosemary via @poorandpretty

And that’s all there is to it! Be sure to shake well before each use, as your ingredients will separate. As with any new body products, you will likely need to try this out for 2-3 weeks before your skin becomes acclimated to it. I’d love to hear what you think!


DIY Lemon & Honey Facial Peel

Lemon and honey facial peel via @poorandpretty

DIY Lemon and honey facial peel via @poorandpretty

I wanted to break up my road trip updates a bit with a quick & easy beauty tutorial. This isn’t your standard chemical facial peel. It won’t give your skin second-degree burns or make you look like Lucille Bluth. Lemon juice acts as a natural “peel” because it removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and refreshed, but also more exposed. As such, I don’t recommend using this right before heading to the beach. And because of the combination of lemon and baking soda, it may burn sensitive skin. Please test on a small patch of your skin before spreading it all over your face.

Lemon and honey facial peel ingredients via @poorandpretty

Ingredients/Supplies — this makes 2-3 uses:

  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tbs baking soda
  • ½ tbs honey
  • a glass jar (if you are storing leftovers — remember, lemon is acidic!)

Lemon and honey facial peel via @poorandpretty

1. Mix all of your ingredients together. Tip: If you mix the honey and baking soda together first, it won’t fizz as much when you add in the lemon juice.

2. Wash your face as you normally would with your chosen face wash, then pat dry.

3. Apply your lemon and honey peel liberally, and rub in gently with fingertips for about 30 seconds.

4. Let sit for up to 10 minutes.

5. Rinse off and follow with astringent or toner and your favorite moisturizer. Use moisturizer with SPF in it if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun after you use this peel.


Download this right now: Think Dirty app

Think Dirty app

If you’re a Poor & Pretty Facebook fan, you’ll have already heard of Think Dirty — the app that tells you how toxic your beauty products are. It’s free to download and super easy to use: just scan the barcode on your shampoo, lotion, nail polish or other cosmetic and Think Dirty tells you how “dirty” it is based on its ingredients. It also gives you a breakdown of the ingredients, and suggests “cleaner” alternatives.

Think Dirty app screenshots

Think Dirty’s quickly-growing database currently has over 113,000 products in it, but if your favorite mascara isn’t in listed, you can add it effortlessly. Just type in the brand, product name, and snap a photo of the front and back (make sure you capture the ingredients!) and one of the superheroes at Think Dirty will add it for you.

Think Dirty mystery ingredients

Right now, Think Dirty is only available for iPhone (get it here), but an Android version is in the works. You can help speed the development, support company growth, and score some truly clean skincare products by supporting the Think Dirty Indiegogo campaign — I did! :)


DIY Homemade Natural Perfume Spray

DIY Perfume via @poorandpretty

DIY Natural Perfume via @poorandpretty

I’ve never been big on wearing perfume, especially once I discovered all the weird and toxic ingredients in them. But Stan really, really likes when I wear pretty fragrances, so I promised I’d learn how to make my own. I was kind of blown away by how easy they are. Check it out:

DIY perfume supplies via @poorandpretty


  • 2 oz cobalt glass bottle with mister — the amber or blue color filters the light, keeping your perfume stronger for longer.
  • 10-20 drops body-safe fragrance or essential oil(s) — see step two for details
  • 4 tbs vodka — the higher the proof, the better, but don’t use anything flavored. I had this bottle in the freezer for a while, so I used it.
  • 2 tbs water, distilled
  • funnel (optional, makes adding the vodka to the bottle easier)
  • pipette (optional, makes adding the fragrance oil easier)
  • label
  • latex gloves (or similar, if you’re allergic)

A note about supplies: You can purchase most of these supplies through From Nature With Love, my go-to for bath & body supplies.

DIY Perfume pouring via @poorandpretty


Step One: Place the funnel on the amber glass bottle, and add the vodka to it. Do not add the water. You’ll do that in step five.

DIY Perfume adding fragrance via @poorandpretty

Step Two: Put on your gloves to protect your hands (fragrance oils can irritate your skin). Using a pipette, add your fragrance or essential oil(s). If you purchase your essential oil from a natural foods store, they will most likely have a dropper-type top so you won’t need a pipette. But if you are using a fragrance or essential oil purchased from a soapmaking supply store, be sure to also order pipettes.

How much fragrance/essential oil should you add? It’s hard to say because oils vary in strength and your preference will be different than someone else’s. Generally, it’s safe to add up to 25% of a fragrance/essential oil to your perfume mixture. However, fragrance and essential oils also have a “maximum use level,” regulated by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). For example, the Amazing Grace oil I used here has a maximum use level 25% for perfumes because it is the “extreme” concentration (I found that info here). This means I can use up to 1½ tablespoons for this mixture (though that might overflow the bottle). I started with about 15 drops, but it isn’t very strong, so I will probably add more.

What’s the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil? Essential oils are natural, made from the pure essence of plants, whereas fragrance oils are manmade. If you want a truly natural perfume, use essential oils. Don’t be afraid to mix scents!

Important: If you are purchasing fragrance oils, make sure they are “body-safe.” Some fragrance oils are made only for candles and can cause skin irritation.

DIY Perfume Amazing and Poppy via @poorandpretty

Step Three: Cap your perfume and shake it up.

Step Four:  Label your perfume and store it for two days in a dark, dry area, like a closet.

Step Five: Add the water, shake it up, and store for two more days.

Step Six: Unscrew the cap and replace with the sprayer pump. You may have to trim the end a bit to make it fit. Try to leave it as long as possible, so you can get the perfume at the very bottom of the bottle.

DIY Perfume via @poorandpretty

Step Seven: Shake, mist and enjoy! If you need to add more fragrance or essential oil, do so carefully, as they are very concentrated. Be sure to shake the perfume before every use, as the contents may separate.


DIY Beauty: Avocado Hair & Face Mask

DIY avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty

DIY avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw my “Hulking out” photo (if you missed it; I’ve included it below ;). Really though, I was just wearing this avocado hair and face mask. It’s rich in protein, vitamins (especially A), and antioxidants to gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin and hydrate your hair. Plus, apple cider vinegar is great at eliminating build-up and dry skin that leads to dandruff. Okay, okay, I get it. It’s awesome. Now, tell me how to make it!

DIY avocado hair and face mask ingredients via poorandpretty

Super Smooth Avocado Hair & Face Mask. This should make enough for one hair and face application, even if you have the thickest hair in the world (like me). It will not store well, so use it as soon as you make it.


  • ½ an avocado — rich in antioxidants and vitamins to promote hair growth, overall scalp health, hydrates and gently exfoliates skin and helps prevent wrinkles.
  • 1 egg yolk — don’t use the egg white! It’s a royal pain to get out of your hair. Egg yolk is also rich in protein, fat, and lecithin (an antioxidant) and acts as a hair conditioner.
  • ¼ cup organic soy milk —chock full of protein, vitamin E, and antioxidants, soy milk encourages cell turnover for healthy skin. Only use organic soy milk, you don’t want GMOs on your face!
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil — high in fat, oleic acid, and antioxidants to heal skin cells,  repair skin damage, and prevent wrinkles.
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar — prevents scalp buildup and dandruff.

DIY avocado hair and face mask egg yolk mixture 1 via poorandpretty

Step One: Combine everything but the avocado in a small bowl.

DIY avocado hair and face mask egg yolk mixture via poorandpretty

Step Two: Whisk the ingredients together and voilà! You have just made runny mayonnaise! Ew. Please don’t eat this.

DIY avocado hair and face mask blender via poorandpretty 843x403

Step Three: Add the liquid mixture and the avocado into a blender and blend away. Stop two or three times to check for avocado chunks.

avocado face and hair mask - poorandpretty

Step Four: Apply mask to hair. If you’ve ever used a home hair dye kit, you’ll want to apply this mixture to your hair in the same way. Separate out your hair, then work in the mixture with your hands (and maybe a comb, but I did just fine without one), working from your scalp out to your ends. When you’ve covered your entire head, spend a little extra time working it into your scalp. Pull your hair back with a hair elastic or claw and cover it with a shower cap. You’re going to leave this on for about 45 minutes.

Step Five: Apply mask to face. After you wash your hands and face (use your regular facial cleanser), use the remainder of the mask on your face. Apply in gentle upward strokes, avoiding the eye area. Leave this on for about 5 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water and follow up with your favorite astringent and moisturizer. Check out my winter and summer skincare tips for a few of my favorites.

Step Six: After 45 minutes, hop in the shower and thoroughly rinse the avocado mask out of your hair. Follow up with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.

avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty 843x843

Here’s to the end of winter and the end of dry skin & scalp!