I’m no fan of big label skincare that are expensive. There are ingredients in my kitchen that could also do the job at a fraction of the price. But when I do buy for skincare products, I go for the ones that are made of natural ingredients and vegan, and of course affordable.
Below are the products I’ve bought or made myself that I highly recommend for you. These products are tried and tested over the years and have personally worked for me with wonders.
For the DIY directions below, the amount of oil and astringent are ultimately up to you as each skin is different so feel free to adjust to your preference.
1. Coconut oil as make up remover (among other uses)
Honestly, I think makeup removers are overpriced and they leave my face feeling gross. I use coconut oil instead. I simply swipe a cotton ball in coconut oil and gently wipe on my face. The coconut oil removes the makeup instantly and leaves a pleasant aroma. Depending on how heavy your make up is, you might need to use more than one cotton ball.
Coconut oil could also run expensive so I buy the ones that are in the lower end quality. I save the high quality ones for cooking and baking, but I wouldn’t mind grabbing some in the kitchen if I run out of the cheap kind. I just make sure to transfer to a different container so I don’t contaminate what I use in my food.
Sometimes, I also use coconut oil for my scalp and hair as deep conditioning cream. I’ve been lazy these days to do it but if you are inclined to try, simply dip a comb in melted coconut oil (make sure the oil is not hot), then comb through your hair. Cover your hair and scalp with a plastic bag to conceal the moisture, wait for at least 30 minutes then rinse. I suggest trying this right before taking a shower.
There are TONS of other uses for coconut oil including: facial moisturizer, body oil, lip balm, etc.
2. Tea Sugar Scrub
I love tea. I have it every morning as part of my morning ritual. Although I could drink a whole pot to myself, I sometimes end up with leftover.
Instead of throwing it away, I add about a tablespoon of sugar to about two ounces of leftover green tea then I scrub my face with the tea infused sugar.
Tea has tons of antioxidants. In fact, there are fancy skincare lines that brag about having green tea in their products, so why not use the tea directly to yourself and skip the fancy shmancy tea infused skincare?
3. Purple Rice Scrub with Lemon applicator
I think I got this tip from famous YouTuber Michelle Phan but instead of using plain white rice, I use purple rice for the extra nutrients.
Simply ground the rice using a food processor. Cut a lemon in half to use one half as the applicator. Gently squeeze the lemon to bring out a little bit of its juice then dab the lemon to about two tablespoons of ground rice. Apply the rice all over your face. To reapply, just keep squeezing the lemon before dabbing on to the rice.
Wait for about 20-30 minutes. It might sting only a little bit at first as the combination dries up on your face. After 20-30 minutes, rinse your face. I highly suggest to do this at the kitchen sink so nothing gets clogged in the bathroom. You will feel your face to be super soft! I usually do this practice every other week.
4. DIY Face Cleanser
This is a simpler, cheaper, and lazier version of the recipe I found on Luminous Vegans (I adore this blog!). Basically, fill up your container 1/2 with filtered water, 1/4 jojoba oil (or almond oil for cheaper alternative), 1/4 castille soap. If you have an oily skin then add more castille soap than jojoba, and vice versa if you have a dry skin.
Shake the bottle before each use. The texture may seem runny but once you apply and gently rub on your face, it’ll be a bit creamy and thick. Rinse and pat face dry.
5. DIY Toner
Just like the DIY face cleanser, the recipe to this is also simple and straight forward. Fill an empty bottle half way with filtered water, 1/4 witch hazel, 1/4 lemon juice. Shake before each use.
I apply this toner after washing my face. I use a cotton ball to apply the toner then I gently dab all over my face, then I apply coconut oil as moisturizer.
6. Baking Soda
Like coconut oil, baking soda has so many uses including in cooking, bodycare, skin care, dental care, and even cleaning pots, pans, clothes, upholstery, etc. Not to mention, baking soda is super cheap! I couldn’t believe only few people I know use baking soda. It’s like a miracle product that people tend to ignore.
I use about a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in with a few drops of water to exfoliate my face, paying more attention to areas with black heads.
I also swear by using this in the shower to exfoliate my underarms. I rub baking soda to my underarms and exfoliate well then I do a final rinse. As a result, I leave the shower very clean and odorless. My shower is never without a container of baking soda.
7. Mineral Deodorant Body Spray
I’m very cautious of using vegan deodorants that don’t last long. Unfortunately almost all of the vegan deodorants I know don’t last long.
I remember in the Philippines, Filipinos use a crystal mineral called “Tawas” that act as a deodorant. I have used it before and it didn’t work well for me.
The only brand I could trust is Crystal Essence. I am not sponsored by this brand by the way, they probably don’t even know I exist but I’m telling you to use their product because it works.
Crystal Essence does have “Tawas” crystals but also other ingredients that keep me odor free for full 24 hours. I also like that this comes in a spray bottle. I got this product at Rainbow Grocery San Francisco. I’m sure you could grab one at similar stores like Whole Foods or online.
8. Vegan and Natural Bar Soaps
When I was a kid, my family would use bar soaps as our main soap in the shower. Then on to my teens and 20s, I switched to using liquid body wash and body puff. Now I’m back to using bar soaps but with a little upgrade.
I’ve come to appreciate the natural, fragrant bar soaps similar to the French milled versions. I just make sure they are 100% vegetable oil based and the palm oil is sustainably sourced. Some brands like Pacifica would disclose this kind of information so you don’t have to do the legwork.
Anyway, I’m particularly fond of Rose flavored bar soaps that has a romantic, soothing aroma. Funny thing is, I used to despise this kind of scent because it smelled “old” to me, I guess I am getting old! If you’re not fond of the French Rose scent, I suggest to go with Gardenia, Vanilla, or Coconut.
I hope you find this list helpful. The list has worked well for me over the years and I hope it’ll work for you.
If you have your own list, please feel free to share. I’m constantly learning and in search for great vegan face and bodycare products.