Need some inspiration for homemade gifts this holiday season? Think outside the cookie box and whip up some luxurious beauty treats. Body scrubs, face masks, bath salts — these easy, surprisingly inexpensive, DIY beauty treatments only seem pricey. Package each homemade blend in a simple, sealable jar with a string of baker’s twine for a thoughtful holiday gift nearly anyone on your list would be thrilled to receive. Just don’t forget to make a batch for yourself!
1Coffee Body Scrub
What it does: An instant pick-me-up that provides a jolt while softening and hydrating skin
Give it to: Teachers, yoga instructors and other early risers in your life
How to make it: Combine equal parts ground coffee and granulated sugar. Add vegetable glycerin (available at natural foods stores such as Whole Foods) or olive oil until you reach desired consistency. Add two tablespoons of ground cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract or essential oil, and stir to blend.
2Lavender Bath Salts
What it does: Soothes tired muscles and minds
Give it to: Your best friend, neighbor or worrywart mother
How to make it: Mix together two cups of Epsom salt with one cup of sea salt in a bowl. Add several drops of your favorite lavender essential oil and blend until salts are infused. Sprinkle some dried lavender throughout for color and texture, and then spoon the mixture into a jar or muslin drawstring bag.
3Yogurt and Honey Face Mask
What it does: Exfoliates and brightens complexion
Give it to: Your sister or niece
How to make it: Stir together equal parts honey and yogurt (one tablespoon each is enough for one mask). Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon, which work to plump skin and boost circulation, into the blend. Transfer mask to a jar and add a homemade label with instructions, such as: “Leave on for about five minutes before rinsing off for smoother, glowing skin.”
4Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub
What it does: Sloughs dead skin cells and smoothes rough areas such as knees and elbows
Give it to: Your loyal baby-sitter or favorite co-worker
How to make it: Stir two cups of brown sugar and one cup of granulated sugar together until there are no clumps. Add about a cup (depending on your preferred consistency) of almond oil and one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a sealable glass container.
5Peppermint Foot Scrub
What it does: Energizes and softens overworked feet
Give it to: Your high heels-loving boss or your child’s soccer coach
How to make it: Add a cup of granulated sugar to a bowl. Slowly pour some coconut oil (warmed in the microwave) until you reach your desired consistency. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil or extract, and transfer to a jar.
6Orange Lemon Salt Scrub
What it does: Softens and exfoliates while citrus oils give a boost
Give it to: Your mother-in-law
How to make it: Mix two cups of Epsom salt with one cup of olive oil. Add fresh lemon and orange zest for fragrance and color.
7Rose Bath Oil
What it does: Hydrates skin and relaxes
Give it to: The friend who loves to host get-togethers
How to make it: Heat a cup of coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until it loses its buttery texture. Slowly stir in rose water (available at most health food stores) until the blend is softly scented. Add fresh rose petals, and decant the blend into a corked bottle.
8Orange Sugar Lip Scrub
What it does: Softens chapped or peeling lips
Give it to: Your snowboard-addicted daughter
How to make it: Combine two teaspoons of sugar with a few drops of vitamin E oil (available at drugstores). Add two teaspoons of coconut oil and a few drops of fresh squeezed orange juice (preferably with pulp) until you reach a slightly grainy consistency. Package in a small tin with instructions, such as: “Massage blend over lips, then remove with a damp cloth.”
9Peppermint Body Oil
What it does: Wakes up skin while drenching it with moisture
Give it to: Your husband
How to make it: Shake together a half cup each of coconut, jojoba and grape seed oil. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and decant into an airtight jar.