DIY Beauty Products on a Backpacker’s Budget: Part 1

Here’s the situation: You’ve run out of all of the nice products you brought with you at the beginning of your trip and you can’t really warrant spending a load of money on anything special. But you’re craving some serious pampering time. What do you do?


Okay, well if you’re in Thailand or somewhere where your money goes a long way, then you can pop into a salon and be treated like a queen for the equivalent of a fiver. But if you’re in Australia, New Zealand or somewhere else in the Western World, DIY beauty is your secret weapon. You can spend very little money, use ingredients you might already have, and come up with gorgeous skincare and haircare products that will leave you feeling amazing. And trust me these things make a difference when you’re spending a lot of time in horrid hostel bathrooms.

So this weekend I’m going through loads of low-cost DIY beauty products you can make on the road. They’re all fairly quick to put together so you’re not hanging about in a hostel kitchen all day, but I would suggest investing in a small Tupperware box to keep your goodies fresh. Ok here goes…

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

This is a favourite of mine and one I like to throw together on my travels as it’s so cheap and so effective!

Brown Sugar Scrub Ingredients


1 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar

½ Cup of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (Optional as it smells lush but raises costs a tad – I normally go without)

1 Tablespoon of Honey (Optional for dry skin)


Just mix it all together! To use, just apply in the shower and rinse!


Super soft skin, fully exfoliated for an even tan. This one will last ages, just give it a quick swish around before use to mix the sugar and oil together again. This is the easiest one to go for as it is just 2 ingredients, is really cheap and makes you feel really nice afterwards. Ticks all of the boxes.

Mango Face Mask

Another quick 2 ingredient recipe for a nourishing face mask that smells delicious!

Mango Face Mask Ingredients


¼ Mango

1 Small Tub of Plain Yoghurt


Just mix together! Apply to your face, avoiding the eye area, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.


Smooth, moisturised skin! This one is anti-aging as it contains a boost of vitamin C if you use an unripe Mango or vitamin A if you go for a ripe one! Win/win. I’ve also heard it can be good for acne, which is definitely a plus as my skin tends to break out in a new climate.

Coconut Lip Scrub

As I’ve said before, my lips get really chapped in the heat, so if I’m all out of my fave Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, this coconut one will go down a treat.

Coconut Lip Scrub Ingredients


½ Cup of White Sugar

½ Cup of Coconut Oil


Mix and apply to chapped lips. Just rub in and rinse. And lick your lips afterwards because it tastes great!

Much smoother lips. I still prefer the Lush version but this definitely does the trick in the meantime. And there’s so many things you can do with the leftover Coconut Oil! For starters, it makes a great hair mask just on its own. Melt in the shower by running the jar under hot water, apply to the ends of your hair after shampooing and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse and voila, beautifully moisturiser locks. You can also use it to soften cuticles, as a hair serum or a lip balm without the sugar! Invest!

Sunburn Remedies

Last but not least I just wanted to throw out a couple of supermarket products that can help with any bad sunburn you may have acquired.

Natural Sunburn Remedies!


Firstly, yoghurt is a big hit with sunburn. It’s pretty simple, you just apply, rinse and pat dry for maximum effect. It will cool down and soothe your skin in no time.


Another one is a bit niche but if you happen to burn your eyelids whilst taking a nap on a sun-lounger (it happens), the best thing to do is soak green tea bags in cold water and apply to your lids. Tea has tannic acid that eases burns so will leave you feeling better in no time. If you don’t have green tea, regular black tea will do the trick.

Ok so that was part 1 of my DIY Beauty Special! What do you think? Have you tried any of these out on your travels?

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