My Frugal DIY Face Routine

Gentle Readers,

Part of my path to financial freedom involves keeping my product-game frugal. For the past two years I have experimented with making my own face wash, pomade, no-poo and ACV conditioner, and recently added face masks.

I make my own products partially because they are cheaper than the store-bought versions, but I also like that there is less plastic in the world due to my beauty regime. I use a few base products to make everything I need. It has also allowed me to have my products individually tailored to my skin, and I’ve never looked better. Vanity gains are happy in my book.

I’ve been very happy with the Oil Cleanse Method of face washing that I found all over the internet. I personally mix castor oil and either olive or almond depending on what I have closest to my hand at the time. I put it in a small bottle and pump once in the shower. I spread it all over my face with my fingers. Then, I wipe it off with a hot rag. This process has eliminated the need for moisturizer. My skin is clear and soft.

I still have the same bottles of castor and almond oil I began with, because it takes an incredible amount of time to go through these products even though I use them for other frugal beauty purposes. I keep some almond oil in a tiny spray bottle and use it for extra moisture in a spot or to remove makeup. 

In the winter, I use avocado oil on my face at night to decrease headaches from my skin drying out in the winter heat. I don’t need such a thick oil in the summer at my age and with my skin type, which I would not have learned without playing around.

Recently, I tried a mask that my girlfriend had and wondered if I could make one of those as well. Per usual, I asked my friends what they are doing in their diy-mask routines. Many of my friends suggested a bentonite clay mask with apple cider vinegar. I had some leftover Aztec Clay from previous pomade endeavors and keep ACV around as part of my hair conditioning routine. So I was ready to go!

It’s really simple. You combine the two ingredients in a plastic dish until it is your desired consistency, and then you apply it to your face. You let it dry for thirty minutes before using a hot rag to wipe it off. Simple. Cheap. I was willing to try.

On a recent Saturday evening, I gathered my ingredients and did what I was told. I used my finger to mix the clay with the ACV, because the internet is convinced that using metal will ruin everything. I have no idea about the science of the thing, but I love having one last thing to clean and my fingers were going to apply the mask to my actual face anyway.

I put the first of the mask on my face.

My eyes burned with rage.

They were not fans of having the ACV so near them. They were fearful of the assault on their senses. Thankfully they calmed down after 5 minutes, but I had 25 minutes to go after applying all of the goo to my face. I went to my room and read until the timer called me back.

I entered my bathroom with a new, clean washcloth and gently removed the mask from my face.

ALARMINGLY my face was red and hot. It was fine when the clay was still on, but the removal caused it great distress. I consulted my friends and they said it was normal. Just wait, girl.

I waited.

It took thirty minutes for my face to calm down. I was not pleased. I don’t believe that beauty should hurt. This was confusing.

And, then, something magical happened.

My face was so soft. They promised me radiance, but they did not think to promise me the only thing I want in my face – SOFTNESS.

Armed with this knowledge, I performed the same routine a week later. My eyes were less than civil with the NEARNESS of the ACV, but everything else went well.

And my face grew softer again.

I have found the ultimate my face routine for me. Home-made face wash calibrated to my skin type and a homemade mask all for less than the cost of the average store-made face wash. And I am as soft as I want to be. It’s been a wonderful learning curve.

Have you tried to make any personal products? How did it go?


Author: ZJ Thorne

Lesbian on the path to Financial Freedom

  • Love this! I’m a coconut oil addict and use it to remove makeup, condition my hair, and as a moisturizer. Oils really do work so much better than the stuff they sell at the store. I’ve been using oils for years and it always amazed me when people would ask what I use on my skin, and then I would get a *ewwwww* and a turned up nose in the air after I told them. Now they all think it is trendy. Go figure. You should post some of your homemade recipes sometime! 🙂

    • Coconut oil is in my hair products and a sometimes after-shave-lotion. It’s weird when things get trendy since so many companies decide it is time to up the price.

      I’ll probably share my recipes soon. It’s really lovely to personalize. My girlfriend definitely approves of my super-soft skin. 😉

  • Finance Superhero

    I can contribute the clueless male perspective here. 🙂

    I don’t think I would ever try something like this, simply due to fear of messing it up and burning my beard off my face. I will let Mrs. Superhero know about some of your practices though, as I’m sure she will be interested.

    I love that you let nothing stand in the way of your financial goals, and you don’t sacrifice personal needs in the process.

    • I don’t think it could burn off your beard, but I appreciate caution.

      Definitely let Mrs. Superhero know. I look better and save money. Vanity and frugality hand in hand caressing my face.

    • I don’t think it would burn through hair – otherwise they would market it to women as such. (Have you read the names of some of the gendered products in the beauty section??? The promises and “problems” solved are ridiculous)

      Definitely let Mrs. Superhero know. I’m always a fan when vanity and frugality go hand in hand & make my skin wonderful.

  • Pia @ Mama Hustle

    I don’t make any of my own products, but honestly, it’s because I use next to nothing. I’ll slap on some moisturizer if I walk past a bottle, but I don’t think about it all that much. I saw this thing on Tumblr the other day that had me in tears laughing so hard – image attached. Literally my life.

    One day, when I figure out how to adult, I too will have a skin care routine.

    • As long as your face is happy, I think you are adulting just fine.

      • I hope to be less of a demon and eat more vegetables, but there is only do much one woman can do.

        • Pia @ Mama Hustle

          Hahaha. My face is happy, but I could do with a few more veggies as well. On a sidenote, I’m curious how much you’ll save over time compared to someone using conventional products. I’m sure you’ll save a ton, plus avoid a barrage of chemicals and plastic packaging waste as well…

          • I definitely save money. But everything is made up of chemicals. I’m just able to avoid some industrial ones.

          • Pia @ Mama Hustle

            Valid point – I’ll find a better way to word that in the future.

          • Pia @ Mama Hustle


          • Science literacy for the win!

  • Sounds like it really works! I use coconut oil for practically everything and that’s not expensive.

    Jenna L

    • It definitely works! I love coconut oil, but it does not feel nice on my face. Thankfully, almond and avocado oil are both comparably priced.

  • Ooh, I have to try this mask! I’m sure my eyes will hate the ACV, too, but sounds like it’s worth trying. I am all about the homemade products as well as just using pure ingredients — I pretty much use argan oil and olive oil for everything, and ACV is my go-to conditioner as well as great for a quick armpit swipe if there’s no time for a shower. 🙂 I’ve also made scrubs with salt, sugar and coffee and I’m hoping to find an option that’s less coarse than all of those — those toxic little microbeads in the pricey storebought exfoliators are in there for a reason!

    • The Aztec clay is definitely less coarse than those options. Let me know how it works for you.

  • I’m Trying

    Girl I love this!!! I swear by ACV, and have recently started incorporating activated charcoal and honey into the routine. Nothing does to my skin what ACV does tho! This time of year (cold), I swear by a tub of coconut oil and a humidifier.

    • Honey on the hair makes it soft. Never done it on my skin.