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We Tried It: DIY Au Naturel Beauty Treatments

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We’re never in short supply of amazing beauty products around here, but this week we decided to kick it old school slumber party style and whip some au naturel beauty treatments in the comfort of our own, uh, tiny apartments. Here’s what happened when Zoë shaved with coconut oil, Annie slathered a sweet, sweet brown sugar scrub all over her body, and Storm did an avocado mask — i.e. he took a pile of guac to his face.

spray on exfoliant
Courtesy Zoë Ruderman

Zoë Ruderman, Senior Style Editor: The first rule of using coconut oil to shave: Do not even think about touching the jar until you’re done with the rest of your shower routine. That’s what I did, and in hindsight, it was the right move since my hands got really oily after using the oil (rocket science, I know) and I wouldn’t want to be rubbing them on my face or in my hair like that.

Coconut oil turns to clear liquid in the heat (it’s solid and lard-like when cold) so I was able to just pour it from the jar into my hand then slather it on my leg. I was surprised at how little I needed to do an entire section. Probably has to do with the fact that it doesn’t mix with or get washed off by water, unlike shaving cream. This, though, is the disadvantage too: It doesn’t wash off easily. But, then again, that’s not the worst thing since it’s really moisturizing and negates the need to put on lotion after a shower.

In the end, the pros outweigh the cons–as long as you don’t slip. Tip: Shave at the head of the shower so you don’t coat the whole tub with oil.

The best part is that I was able to shave way more quickly than I normally do. Well, if you don’t count the time spent on the photo shoot to get pictures to accompany this post. (Sidenote: Now that I’ve posted photos my boyfriend took of me in the shower to the internet, don’t I become super-famous now? Isn’t that how that works?)

spray on exfoliant
Courtesy Annie Daly

Annie Daly, News Editor: I have very sensitive skin, so I’m normally hesitant to try homemade concotions, on the off chance that I mess them up/they mess me up, and my whole body erupts in hives. But I was open to trying a DIY brown sugar scrub because a) it’s my job now, and b) my equally skin-sensitive friend does them on the reg, so I figured I was good to go.

Step one: Find a recipe. I googled “brown sugar scrub” and ended up landing on this super random beauty blog called “C Jane Create.” No clue who Jane is, but she promised that she had the best recipe yet, so I decided she’d be my girl. Jane told me to mix together ¾ cup brown sugar, ¾ tablespoon fine salt (well actually, she said to use coarse salt, but apparently I can’t read and only noticed that after the fact), and 1/8 cup olive oil. I also added a lime because my friend who did the Peace Corps in Belize told me that the women there add lime to their scrubs and have amazing skin, and I’m never one to turn down a pro tip.

Step two: Bring concoction into shower. I was mildly disgusted at first because the mixture comes out looking very brown and goopy (see above and I’ll spare you the obvious analogy), but then I slathered it all over my body with a loofah, and…instant convert. Seriously, the scrub made my skin soooo soft. I felt like a grown-up baby! But after I was finished, I still rinsed off with my Dove bodywash, because I felt kinda sticky still and didn’t want to dirty up my just-washed sheets.

Verdict? Awesome. Even though the goop looked less than appealing, it made my skin feel so soft that the visual disturbance was beyond worth it. Plus, I did it last night, and my skin still feels incredible today. Win.

spray on exfoliant
Courtesy Storm Heitman

Storm Heitman, Contributor: After a long, lazy summer of growing my beard out, I’ve recently decided to ditch my scruff. I love the clean-shaven change, but the skin on my face and neck is becoming increasingly dry and irritated every time I use my Gillette Fusion ProGlide. So I decided to try this natural face mask, made from a mixture of an avocado, half a banana, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a generous spoonful of honey, because it supposedly works to moisturize and nourish razor-burned skin. And if all else failed, I figured it would make for a delicious chip dip!

Initially, the thought of smearing avocado on my face didn’t seem all that weird (hey, I’m no stranger to diving headfirst into a bowl of guacamole after a few margaritas). But as I prepared the concoction by mashing the ingredients together with a fork, it began to take on a brownish-green color and a really unappealing chunky consistency. Alas, I put my hesitation aside, massaged it onto my face, and then chillaxed on my bed for ten minutes to let it work its magic. But sadly, it didn’t really stick to my face–the green globs of fruit sort of just dripped slowly down my face and onto my bed, my carpet, and the hallway leading to my bathroom (sorry roommate!).

But here’s the thing: it actually did end up working. After I snapped the most horrifying selfie known to man (see above), I washed the green goo off my face and everywhere else it wound up, and my skin felt baby soft and the red bumps my razor left behind had disappeared! Still, I probably won’t be trying this again anytime soon. It was more messy than helpful, and it seemed like an awful waste of a perfectly ripe avocado and banana.