DIY Skin + Hair Care Tricks That Work.

When Steph and I first started Guinea Pigging Green, one of our most popular podcasts was our Green Beauty episode. While it’s amazing that we’re starting to vote-with-our-dollars for products that are better for us and for the planet, it can get expensive.

The Good News: Some of these purchases are entirely unnecessary.

Here are 4 DIY solutions that I use:

hey dad!
hey dad, you’re on the blog!

1. Make your own body scrub.

I got this tip from my long-lost hair dresser. All you do is mix half-and-half almond oil and white sugar. I’m sure that other oils would also work, but the almond oil smells nice and is a great moisturizer. You can play around with the ratio to make it rougher (more sugar — like a foot scrub) or lighter (more oil).

I like to make a batch and keep it in an air-tight tub in the bathroom. It’s customizable, inexpensive in bulk, eco-friendly, and only uses two ingredients!

Verdict: 5 stars

2. Shave your legs with coconut oil

Someone once told me that Rich Roll (an inspiring plant-based ultra-athlete) shaved his face with coconut oil. So, as a fan of both coconut oil and Rich Roll, I had to try it. I was immediately hooked and I will spend the rest of my life wondering why people spend any amount of money on shaving creams (“green” or otherwise).

A cheap, natural, environmentally friendly alternative that also moisturizes? Count me in. Just make sure you have a steady stream of water to wash out your razor.

Verdict: 5 stars

3. Rescue dry hair with a hair mask every month or two

My dirty-little-secret is that I only sometimes care to use conditioner… Whoops. That said, I will make my own hair masks so I think that evens it out. My favourite combination is equal parts olive oil and coconut oil with a spoonful of honey.

  1. Heat it in the microwave and mix well
  2. Dampen the ends of your hair
  3. Coat the ends of your hair with the mask and pull your hair into a bun (sometimes I use plastic wrap to hold it all in)
  4. Leave for at least half an hour
  5. Rinse well. Like, SUPER well.

It takes some practice to minimize the mess and it might take a few washes to get all of the oil out of your hair — I’m warning you — but once you do, I swear your hair will practically make woosh woosh sounds like you’re in a commercial.

Verdict: 4 stars

4. Wash your face with a mixture of olive oil and castor oil

I first talked about this discovery here, but essentially, the olive oil moisturizes and the castor oil pulls out impurities. I use a mix of 50/50, but you can use more olive oil for dry skin or more castor oil for oily skin.

For this one, you’ll need a washcloth handy. Wet your face and massage in the oil mixture. Soak your washcloth in hot water and let it rest on your face. You can re-wet the washcloth more than once if you want to give yourself a mini-spa treatment before using it to wipe off the oil.

For me and those I know who have tried this method, it seems common for your skin to get slightly worse before it gets better (although it does get better). Combined with the inconvenience of needing to remove it with a washcloth, I had to dock a few points.

Verdict: 3 stars

Side note regarding face-stuff: I also often use derma e (it has a whole line for different skin types) and when travelling I use Graydon’s All-Over-Soap on my face — it works as a body wash and shampoo too, so it’s perfect for packing light.


So, have you tried any of these yourself? What are your DIY shortcuts that seem too good to be true? Let us know in the comments below or on twitter @GreenGuineaPigs!

Plus, we’re new to instagram so come say hi!

— Laura

Episode 3: Green Shower + Beauty Products!


Hello all. Thanks again for tuning in thus far, we appreciate you bigtime!

This week on the podcast, we’re getting into it re: green personal care products aka personal hygiene products. Laura and I are both working on transitioning to healthier, less toxic makeup and shower stuff, and we wanted to share our favourites with you all. We also discuss a few DIY solutions in case you don’t want to shell out for the sometimes pricey green products. Listen to Episode 3 right here. And, as always, you can also find us on iTunes! (and if you have it in your heart, rate and subscribe to us there!!)


Let’s get into it! Here are your links.

First up – a cheat sheet to the major toxins to avoid (if possible) when buying your products! In the podcast, we mention the big 3: parabens, SLS/sulfats, and phthalates. I carry a copy of this around with me and cross-reference labels because all chemical names sound the same to me!


We also mention a great resource – The EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. (I falsely said in the podcast that it was at – my bad!!) Another helpful place to look is PETA’s Cruelty-Free Database.


On to the products. We adore Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar – you can see us wearing it in the above photo! We both use this mascara from The Body Shop, and I also like their concealer. Laura recently found an awesome deodorant alternative that works like a charm – Lafe’s Natural Crystal Deodorant Stick. I love the brand Live Clean for their shampoo, conditioner and body wash – and you can find them in most drugstores! We’re also giving a shoutout to the great 18-in-1 soap by Dr. Bronner’s. Laura has been using a JASON bodywash that her roommate left behind and is, coicidentally, a great green product!

Lastly, we talk about some DIY options! Here’s a great resource about washing your face with olive oil + castor oil. Also, almond oil + regular white sugar is an amazing body scrub.

Whew! So that’s our green products round-up. Hope that you enjoy the episode – we had a really fun time making it. Protips for the next time you’re in a bad mood: just start forced laughing with a friend and soon you’ll be laughing hysterically for real! :)