Thursday, February 26, 2015

DIY Beauty Basics 101

Over the years I've gotten hundreds (if not thousands) of emails about DIY beauty and almost everyone has the same questions.
  • Where do I even start?
  • How long do I try a product before I switch?
  • Should I keep my store bought products?
  • How do I find my routine?
  • Why does my skin look like this?!
  • What's your beauty routine?
So I'm going to be smart and answer all of those questions now. In one place. YAY for being smart! It just took me three years.... and my friend Natasha telling me to write this.... DETAILS!

You should know that I'm not a doctor or a dermatologist. I'm just a really crunchy girl who happens to really like looking beauuuuutiful. I also may have done a lot of research (and experimentation) with DIY beauty. So let me tell you what I figured out...

Starting out with DIY beauty? Learn what you need to know here about getting started the right way!
Where Do We Even Start?! 

I know. I know. That's not what you wanted to hear, but honestly starting anywhere is better than no where, am I right?! YES! Of course, I am!

So pick your #1 concern. Is it spot for blemishes? A DIY face wash? Wrinkles around the eyes? Dry Skin? Go with your primary concern FIRST. You can find a list of DIY beauty products here to give you some ideas: DIY Beauty or Essential Oil Recipes

IMPORTANT: Don't try to overhaul everything at once. WHY? Because you will have no clue which products work and which don't if you switch out your entire routine at the same time.

Natural Skin Care 101

Think about this: What if you overhaul your whole routine and you break out! What do you change? I have no clue. Do you have a clue? I'm going to guess... NO.

So start with ONE new product. At. A. Time. PERIOD. No questions ask. ONE. That's all. ONE. Got that? ONE. Don't email me "Sherri, I started these 20 products two weeks ago and my skin is horrible. What do I do!?!" {head bangs against desk}

Seriously, it hurts my heart every time I get an email like that. Don't hurt my heart. Puh-lease.

Keep Store Bought Products or Toss?
You may get better results if you stop all your store bought products and actually just wash your face with water and use your one new awesome DIY product.

Scared? Most people freak out when I say that, but listen--- this is WHY.

The chemicals and the oil stripping properties in the store bought products will fight against the natural DIY products because they have different goals. The store bought products want to strip oil while DIY products want to help the skin produce the right amount of oil. You can see the dilemma.

However, if you want to use your fancy stuff and your DIY stuff at the same time-- you can. Just don't email me asking about why your skin is bipolar. It's literally fighting, confused and in a state of shock. It's not impossible to transition this way. It's just harder.

Carrier oils for skin type #DIYbeauty

What To Use
Oils. Lots of oils.

I KNOW! It's so weird!! But it's totally awesome! We think slathering our faces in oils will cause pimples, but let me tell you that we've been LIED to! Oils actually makes our skin look better and behave better! {mind blown}.

You can also use aloe vera, avocado, bananas, honey, castile soap and other natural items for skin care. I find that using a mixture of carrier oils, essential oil and natural products works amazingly well for my skin and most of my readers, too!

You do have a lot of choices about which products you use, but I ALWAYS suggest using unrefined, cold pressed carrier oils that are organic. A lot of times it's the pesticides and chemicals that our skin reacts to-- not the oils!

Also, puh-lease also use essential oils that are grown beyond organic standards because due to poor labeling laws-- I don't trust what most essential oils say on the bottle! I always recommend getting the purest and most natural products possible because chemicals, pesticides, processing methods and other manufacturing tricks can cause our skin to become worse! And that leads a lot of people to believe that natural skin care isn't right for their bodies.

For example, when I first started with DIY beauty, I used store bought essential oils and I broke out and I even developed a nasty eczema like rash. I thought all essential oils were created equal, but they aren't! I stayed away from all essential oils for DIY beauty until a friend told me about true difference in quality. Only when I found high quality therapeutic essential oils did I see the amazing difference that they made in my skin care routine.

Read more about Carrier Oils
Read more about Essential Oils
Read more about Natural Ingredients

You can also watch this video for a more detailed "class" on DIY Beauty and what ingredients/recipes you may like to use

How Long To Test Out a New DIY?
A minimum of 2 weeks is absolutely required. It takes 2 weeks for our skin cells to turn over so if you get a pimple while testing out products in the beginning-- it very well could have been developing BEFORE you switched products.

The exception is Comedogenic Acne. That means something (almost always a carrier oil) is clogging your pores-- it's not going to change. If you see this, then you should switch your carrier oils ASAP and there is no need to wait two weeks. Click her to read more about comedogenic acne and blending carrier oils. No need to switch essential oils for comedogenic acne-- it's the carrier oils that are clogging pores!

After two weeks you should start to see results, but I like to give my skin 2 more weeks on a regiment to give my skin the ability to completely turn over all the cells. This lets me know exactly what the product is doing for me. Sometimes I don't need 4 weeks-- I know after 2 weeks the tremendous difference, but occasionally giving your skin a little extra time is best.

If after 2 weeks, I've seen an improvement in my skin, then I know I can add in a new product and repeat the cycle until I've replaced all my store bought products. If I've seen something I don't like with a product, then I know I need to change that particular DIY recipe.

Now what to change, right?! Well, I have a theory about this! Let me tell you about it...

Comedogenic Acne Rating with Carrier Oils #DIYbeauty
My DIY Theory
When you buy a store bought product and it makes your skin go crazy, then you throw it away and call it hopeless right? Well, since we control all aspects of a DIY we don't need to do that. We just tweak.

 Let me give you an example...

For instance, let's say that my goal is to help my dry winter skin and I've decided to start a DIY moisturizer. If after two weeks I notice that my skin isn't absorbing the moisturizer very well or that I'm getting some big ole nasty bumps, then I know something in the DIY moisturizer isn't quite right for my skin. I need to tweak!

A great starting point for tweaking is to check the ratings for comedogenic acne to see which rank the highest-- that's what I change first!

Carrier oil 101 for #diybeauty

EXAMPLE: I will switch the coconut oil for almond oil to see if that makes a difference.


I'll just use the base ingredient (let's say it's aloe vera) and slowly add the rest of the ingredients back in until I see the negative change happen again. The beauty of this last method is that once I see the negative outcome, then I know I will need to avoid that ingredient in ALL DIY recipes. For me, that's olive oil! I can't go near the stuff or my skin goes crazy.

You can also tweak routines to get better results. If my winter skin moisturizer isn't giving me the results I want, then I can change the carrier oil to something more heavy duty-- like avocado oil which is great for dry skin.

Read more about troubleshooting carrier oils

What's Your Routine?!
Everyone wants to know my routine and copy it. Meh. I don't really recommend this because what my skin likes isn't going to be what everyone's skin likes. This is why we are, you know, INDIVIDUALS.

Learn how to get started with DIY beauty the right way. #DIYbeauty
But as an example, this is my skin care routine. You definitely don't need to follow my routine and I actually hope that you don't. My dream for you is that you will listen to your skin and develop your own routine! Trust me-- if you start paying attention, you'll learn that your skin will talk to you and tell you exactly what it wants.

Face Wash
Wrinkle Blasting Moisturizer or my Mighty Manuka Moisturizer
Eye Serum

African Black Soap
OCM (if my skin is dry)

Every Two Weeks:
Bentonite Face Mask

Puh-lease do not exfoliate more than every two weeks unless you have been advised to do this by a doctor.

Awesome Tips and Tricks
  • You may want to avoid creams and butters at first. They are more likely to clog your pores.
  • Your skin will go through a transition-- this is normal. It has to figure out how to produce oils at the right pace. Expect a little learning curve.
  • You may see results quickly. Some times our skin is beyond thrilled to be able to do it's own thing. Other people's skin can go into a little bit of shock because it's become co-dependent and lazy since it hasn't had to actually DO anything for, like, 30 years. It's important to remember everyone is different so your experience may not be the exact same as your friend's.
  • You WILL need to switch out ingredients at some point. This is not a one stop shop. If you expect it to be super easy, you will probably be disappointed. If you expect to play around, you'll be really happy with the process. It's really fun to get to know your own skin!
  • Don't give up! I have never met someone who says they regret switching to a DIY routine. Not only do they say they have better skin, but they are also saving money! YAY!
  • You can find a list of DIY beauty products here: DIY Beauty
How Do I Know It's Working? 
Remember to listen to your skin. If something feels wrong-- stop using it. There should never be a burning sensation or a rash when using natural products. If you have an allergy to a food, then please do not use that food or a product derived from that food in your skin care routine.

How Long Should I Wait To Try Changing My DIY?
At least 2 weeks! That's because it takes the skin 2 weeks to turn over so you may not see the true results until after 2 weeks.

Will my skin get worse before it gets better?
Depends. Some people will notice a "purge" and have more acne and white heads during the transition from chemical products to more natural ones. This is because the skin needs to figure out how to work and regulate it's own oil production. Be patient!
Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!


  1. Sherri, how would you incorporate magnesium oil into your moisturizers? Thanks for all of your amazing recipes!
    I could spend all day reading all of your ideas! Thanks

    1. I have a similar question about her magnesium oil. I wonder if she checks this anymore?

      I wanted to ask about the recipe her mom used for adding mag oil to face lotion & eye serum. In her mag oil recipe page (where I can't post a comment for some reason) she describes her mom's results so of course I'd LOVE to get that recipe.

      "My mom uses this in her eye serum and face lotion because she swears it helps with saggy skin! I wish she took pictures for you guys because the results are insane! Her neck skin has tightened up and her eyes no longer have that saggy look to them. Simply amazing!"

      Sherri, I'd really appreciate it if you would provide your mom's recipes! Thank you so much!

    2. I have a similar question about her magnesium oil. I wonder if she checks this anymore?

      I wanted to ask about the recipe her mom used for adding mag oil to face lotion & eye serum. In her mag oil recipe page (where I can't post a comment for some reason) she describes her mom's results so of course I'd LOVE to get that recipe.

      "My mom uses this in her eye serum and face lotion because she swears it helps with saggy skin! I wish she took pictures for you guys because the results are insane! Her neck skin has tightened up and her eyes no longer have that saggy look to them. Simply amazing!"

      Sherri, I'd really appreciate it if you would provide your mom's recipes! Thank you so much!

    3. My mom just puts a few drops in her moisturizer at a time. You have to be careful because too much can cause itchy skin -- so start small and work your way up!

    4. BB, I would love to provide you with my mom's EXACT recipe, but if you knew my mom-- you would know that she never measures anything. This is why I never had the same cookie recipe twice. Haha!

      She says she makes my recipe (eye balls it) and then adds a few drops of magnesium oil to the mix. Everyone WILL be different with the magnesium oil though because it depends on which one you buy and if you make your own OR if you have a sensitivity to it. So start small and work your way up. You don't want your face to be itchy!

  2. Roman Chamomile oil is out of stock what can I use in it place? For the dark circle under the eyes

    1. Benay, there isn't too much that can do what roman chamomile can do, but extra frankincense and rose hips oil can help a bit.



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