Woman in shower washing hair with shampoo.

How to Make Your Own Personal Care Products

The DIY approach can save cash and even work better than store-bought items.

Woman in shower washing hair with shampoo.

You can learn to make your own shampoo.

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If you’re looking to get hired for a new job or you want to impress your date, make sure you have your personal hygiene basics in check. You wouldn’t want to hire someone with major body odor or kiss someone with coffee-stained yellow teeth, or at least I wouldn’t. Plus, making your own products is so cost-effective, why wouldn’t you put your best foot forward. With a few key ingredients, you’ll be smelling, feeling and looking good in no time. Here are five recipes to try:

1. Shoe powder: Do you have stinky feet? Get a plastic bag and combine one-half cup of corn starch, one-quarter cup of baking powder, one-quarter cup of baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as tea tree or sage. Then, shake the bag. You can then transfer the shoe powder into any container of your choice. Cost: $2.25 with premium ingredients, $0.99 or less with regular ingredients.

2. Deodorant: The smell of body odor is so unpleasant. I’ve been in enough crowded buses, cars and gyms to know how bad these smells can get. So if you or someone you know has this embarrassing issue, it’s time to take matter into your own hands. Mix one-quarter cup of baking soda and one-quarter cup of corn starch (or arrowroot powder). Add in six tablespoons of coconut oil and mash it until it creates an even consistency. If you like a hint of aroma, add in your favorite essential oil. Cost: $2.50 or less with premium ingredients, $1.25 or less with regular ingredients.

3. Dry shampoo: If you’re limited on time or want to save on water, dry shampooing is the way to go. For light hair, combine one-quarter cup of cornstarch and a few drops of essential oil. For dark hair, combine two tablespoons of cocoa powder, two tablespoons of corn starch and a few drops of essential oil. Comb the powder through your hair and you are done. Cost: $1.50 or less with premium ingredients, $0.75 with regular ingredients (add extra for cocoa powder).

4. Teeth whitener: Who doesn’t like their teeth to look picture perfect? They say that first impressions leave lasting impressions, so it’s important to me that my teeth are clean and look sparkly white. Take one-half teaspoon of baking soda and one-half teaspoon of warm water. Mix until the baking soda has dissolved.  Dip your toothbrush and brush gently. Follow it up with regular toothpaste. Cost: $0.13 or less with premium ingredients, $0.08 or less with regular ingredients.

5. Moisturizer: If you have dry skin or want to manage a good skincare regimen, a good moisturizer is the best place to start. Not all moisturizers are created equal and some of the best ones can be created in the comfort of your home. Combine one-half cup of coconut oil, one teaspoon of vitamin E oil and about five drops of lavender oil. Transfer it into a small jar and use when needed. Cost: $7 or less with premium ingredient, $4 or less with regular ingredients.

Note: Premium ingredients include organic raw extra virgin coconut oil, aluminum-free baking powder, pure baking soda and 100 percent pure lavender oil. Regular ingredients are generic brands you would find at your local supermarket.

After experimenting with these recipes, you might discover you enjoy the DIY approach, as well as the savings it generates.