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DIY grooming products for men and women
Grooming products are expensive, and gay men spend too much money on overpriced products because we’re sold on status. These are the natural and affordable recipes we use to stay looking fresh. While you’re here, get your free copy of the 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life here.
Living fabulously and looking good with natural DIY grooming products
Not to brag, but people are often surprised to learn how old we are. And yet, we don’t spend a lot of money on personal care.
So, what are the best cost-conscious ways to stay looking and feeling fresh? What DIY strategies do we use to take care of our skin and hair without spending big bucks on high-dollar personal care products?
Continuing with our 2021 Live Fabulously Not Fabulously Broke campaign, on this episode of Queer Money®, we share our top 7 tips for creating a personal care routine that doesn’t hurt your wallet, reminding you that what you put IN your body impacts the way you look and feel and describing our own personal diet, exercise and meditation routine.
We walk you through several of our DIY recipes for foot and body scrub, hand and body oil, face oil, eye cream and hair treatment.
Listen in for insight on adding healthy, natural ingredients to lemon water and smoothies—and learn how to look and feel absolutely fabulous without going fabulously broke! Then, get those recipes and more below.
Our favorite, affordable DIY grooming products on Queer Money®:
Quick hits for looking fresh
- Drink lots of water
- Eat fish 2 – 3 times a week
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid processed flours and sugars
- Take 1 fish oil pill per day
- Exercise regularly
Morning freshener products, recipes and instructions
1. Warm lemon water
- 1 liter/4 cups of warm water
- Half a lemon
- A few dashes of turmeric
- A couple of dashes of cayenne
- Freshly grated ginger
Warm the water in your microwave or teapot. Mix the rest of the ingredients and then add the water. Let steep for three minutes before drinking.
Drinking this each morning hydrates your body and gets the stomach churning. Plus, turmeric has powerful medicinal properties with its curcuminoid compounds, is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps fight certain cancers. Cayenne boosts the metabolism and lowers blood pressure. Finally, ginger also has medicinal properties, lowers cholesterol and helps fight certain cancers.
2. Breakfast smoothie
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 banana
- 1/4 pineapple
- 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of ground organic flaxseed
- 1/4 cup of wet chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons of frozen açai berry
- A few leaves of fresh kale
Grind your whole flaxseed in a coffee grinder or blender. Soak your chia seeds in warm water while putting together the rest of the recipe. Melt the coconut, if needed. Blend all ingredients together adding the chia seeds and coconut oil last and adding the coconut oil as you’re blending. This helps to keep the coconut oil from coagulating.
Flaxseed is loaded with nutrients, fiber and Omega 3 (high-quality protein) and fights cancers. Chia seeds are also loaded with nutrients, especially important bone nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein, and antioxidants. Açai is loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals expedite the appearance of aging, and açai’s superpower is to kick the butt of free radicals. Açai also boosts brain function. Finally, in addition to also being nutrient-dense and loaded with antioxidants, it’s loaded with vitamins C and K.
Men’s grooming products for personal hygiene
3. Night eye cream
Our eyes are usually the first things to give away our age. We use eye cream every night, not because we’re afraid to grow old. We just want to put up a good fight.
If it’s not already in a liquid form, lightly warm the Coconut Oil on the stove. When the Coconut Oil is fully melted, transfer it to a bowl. Add the Vitamin E capsules by poking a hole in the capsules with a pin. Then, add the Rose Hip Seed Oil and mix all ingredients.
For storage, I pour our nightly cream in our ever-growing number of contact lens cases. This makes for easy travel and gifting.
Coconut Oil is an anti-aging agent that fights inflammation and helps with skin problems, such as burns, eczema and dermatitis.
4. Face oil
We use this daily. It’s important to stay moisturized, and Colorado’s climate is dry. This simple recipe is great for keeping us moisturized and smelling good.
- 3 parts organic Coconut Oil
- 1-part organic, Hemp Seed Oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree Oil per 4 oz mixture of the above
- 3 to 6 capsules of Vitamin E
- 3 to 6 drops of Rose Hip Seed Oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a bottle with a dispenser. Dab a small amount on your face, but not too much or your face will appear greasy.
Coconut oil re-hydrates the skin and is especially helpful in the winter. Hemp Seed Oils fights skin irritations and abrasions. An added benefit for the hygienic man is that Tea Tree Oil is a natural anti-acne treatment. Even at 40, we still have the occasional blemish.
5. Hair balm
Spending $25 on hair conditioners not only wrecks your budget but traditional conditioners use toxic chemicals that wreck your hair. Plus, if you’re not sold on the man bun, you’re regularly cutting your hair and that makes expensive conditioners a waste of money.
We like Humble Bee and Me’s Hair Balm. We switch out the Lavender, Rosemary, and Lemongrass for Tea Tree, Peppermint, Sandalwood or Eucalyptus for a more manly scent. Men still like to smell like men, whether they’re gay, straight, tops or bottoms.When it comes to looking good, it’s both an inside and outside job. - David Auten of Debt Free GuysClick To Tweet
6. Face exfoliator
No one likes dry flaky skin. Keeping your face looking bright and fresh is simple with the exfoliator from Inhabitat that’s gay man-approved. Remember to follow it up with a DIY face oil to soothe and replenish your skin.
7. Shave cream
If you’ve turned from the dark side of being uber-hipster to the light side with the clean-shaven, this PopSugar After-Shave is a fav. It makes for a baby soft face that’s extra smoochable for your special guy.
9. Lip balm
10. Hair pomade
If your hair is like mine, it’s unmanageable until it’s as stiff as, well . . . . Momtastic shows us how to whip up a smooth operator for your wild style. This is not only simple, it’s cheaper than the $20 brown tubs you buy at salons.
Not only will these men’s grooming products save you money on the traditionally expensive men’s grooming products, but they’ll save you money long-term by avoiding harmful chemicals. So, grab your man, get into the kitchen and whip yourselves up several batches of age-defying men’s grooming products.
More homemade men’s skincare products
These DIY men’s grooming products will not only save you from looking older, they’ll save you money. In small quantities, these organic products can be expensive. Our trick is to buy them in bulk from Amazon and choose the cheapest shipping option, which is often free. Many of the same ingredients are used in the various recipes, so that’s a cost saver, too.
11. Body scrub
This recipe is so easy, we don’t know why anyone buys body scrubs for their grooming products. We use either three parts coarse salt or coarse sugar and one part either Almond Oil, Hemp Seed Oil or Olive Oil. To make a manly scent, we add Tea Tree Oil or Sandalwood Oil.
12. Body oil
We use this oil daily. It’s important to stay moisturized and Colorado’s climate is dry. This simple recipe is great for keeping us moisturized and smelling good.
- 3 parts organic, Coconut Oil
- 1-part organic, Hemp Seed Oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree Oil per 4 oz mixture of the above
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour with a dispenser into an empty bottle.
Coconut oil rehydrates the skin and is especially helpful in the winter. Hemp Seed Oils fights skin irritations and abrasions. Tea tree oil helps cuts, scrapes, insect bites, itchy skin and others skin problems.
13. Natural deodorant
We know. It’s the scent of a man that gets us aroused, but the skunk of a man can scare even the burliest of bears. This Frugally Sustainable Deodorant keeps the skunk away. The Black Pepper, Ginger Oil and Nutmeg Oils sound extra tasty, too. Of course, you can always go with the surefire alternative of mineral salts that fight odor-causing bacteria.
14. Hand cream
Heads outta the gutter, gentlemen. This hand cream is for hands. No one, not even the die-hard gym bunny, likes calloused, chapped hands. Once again, we like Inhabit’s Hand Cream. It smooths the roughest of hands. Sandalwood Oil and Sage Oil are nice additions to this recipe. This recipe makes you smell like a manly man that can cook. That’s hot!
15. Foot scrub
No one likes to feel their man’s cold, calloused feet under the covers. We can’t help you with cold feet, but we can help with calloused feet. Some men’s grooming products can be re-purposed with small changes.
As with the body scrub, use either three parts coarse salt or coarse sugar and one part either organic Almond Oil, Hemp Seed Oil or Olive Oil. We use either Tea Tree Oil because it’s good for fighting fungus or Mint Oil because it’s good for fighting infections and foot odor.
These are our men’s grooming products for your bottom (half). Don’t feel as though you must follow any recipe religiously. Making DIY men’s grooming products is more art than science, more cooking than baking. Mix it up and see what works for you.
More hygiene products for men – but the store-bought kind
1. Dollar Shave Club
I quit shaving because it’s a small pain and facial hair’s fashionable. David shaves and prefers to shave and save. Razor blades are damn expensive and a man with thick hair can dull a blade faster than a Latin mass. A four-pack of razors at Target goes for $12. $12 a month is $144 annually.
Why he’ll want to join the club?
- Future buys will be cheaper than going to the store
- Stop shopping at the store
- Dr. Carver’s Daily Shave Butter is buttery goodness
2. Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Anti-Aging Body Lift
One of the things that amaze me about myself – and others, too! – is my healthy and young-looking skin. No really! We’re often asked, “You’re how old!?” We attribute that to a consistent routine that includes applying Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Anti-Aging Body Lift to our faces every night.
Every. Single. Night.
Osmotics is the only thing I’ve gone to bed with more than my husband. With the anti-aging magic of it copper peptides, you’ll love it as much, too. I get the 5 oz/$94 jar, and it lasts me three months+ because I only apply a small amount.
- It firms bust, belly & behind for visible lift, and
- improves the appearance of crepey skin
3. Acqua Di Gio for Men
Nothing makes me more excited (maybe I’m exaggerating) than the smell of a good-smelling man. Other than the natural scent of a good-smelling man, nothing beats Acqua Di Gio for Men.
With a combo of calabrian bergamot, neroli and green tangerine, there’s no better stocking stuffer for under $100.
What’s good to know?
- Applied appropriately, on pulse point to the wrist, inner elbow or neck, 1 bottle lasts years
- It’s a fresh and sensual scent reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea
4. Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue
The other cream we can’t live without is Peter Thomas Roth’s Power K Eye Rescue. If we go one night without using it, we can’t look at ourselves in the mirror because we can see that we’re not the fairest of them all.
This is another high-end personal hygiene product at $100 for 0.50 oz, but you’ll love it. So, everyone’s happy and it’s well, well worth it.
It’s worth it because:
- Reduces the appearance of dark circles and lines
- Provide antioxidant benefits with all its Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Green Tea
- Finally, a little dab’ll do ya
5. Birchbox for easier grooming
Gay men love our products almost as much as we love our travel. For $10/month or $110/year, Birchbox Grooming will give your stylish gay guy feel-good grooming and self-loving product designed especially for men, including skincare, makeup, tools and more. He’ll also be able to upgrade to get monthly lifestyle products or accessories, and he’ll have you to thank all year round.
What you’ll love
- You can create a custom profile to get the products you most like
- After providing your first 5 sample review, you’ll get another $5 off coupon
- You can earn reward points for future purchases
6. Freshly for freshly prepared food
Beauties an inside and an outside job, but do you hate to cook or simply not have time to cook? The answer to your prayers is with chef-prepped and healthy gourmet meals by Freshly sent straight to your door. All you need to do is heat and eat. Amazing, at $8.99 per meal (prices vary depending on the plan you pick).
Better yet, Freshly uses zero gluten, refined sugar, or artificial ingredients. As if this couldn’t get any better, get $60 off your first four orders ($15 per order) of Freshly with code LAUNCH15.
You’ll also love . . .
- Meals average 500 calories, range from 300 – 650 calories
- Customers can specific dietary preferences and needs, from vegetarian to vegan to pescatarian
Resources for looking and feeling more fabulous
- 5 Fitness Tips for Gay Men in Their 40’s
- 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life
- Debt Free Guys on Facebook
- Debt Free Guys on Twitter
- Queer Money Facebook Group
- Queer Money on Instagram
- Subscribe on iTunes
Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll receive payment at no cost to you if you buy through these links. We only recommend products we use or thoroughly vet and would recommend to our moms. Buying too many of these is how you live fabulously broke. To live fabulously with financial security, start here.
More ways to live fabulously not fabulously broke:
- 35+ Most Stylish Gay Men Gifts for 2021
- How to Start Being a Happy Gay Man
- 2021 Gay Camping Guide + 53 Gay Campgrounds