photo: iStock

Hello winter! Although there are many reasons we love this time of year — snow flurries, warm blankets, cinnamon lattes, the smell of pine trees — when it comes to our skin, this season can be a bit tough. The freezing temperatures and lack of humidity can be harsh, often drying out our skin, making our hair brittle, chapping our lips, and stripping away our natural oils. But don't fret! This holiday season you won't be feeling any winter grooming blues at all. We've got you covered. No need to spend all of that extra cash at expensive salons or on spa treatments. These easy to follow DIY recipes will have you glowing all winter long. And the best part? You can purchase all of these items at an affordable price at your local grocery store. Who says beauty has to hurt?

Related from Vivala: THE Makeup Routine for Dry Skin This Winter


Shiny Hair Mask

When your hair is extra dry there is only one thing left to do: smooth it out and restore its original moisture. DIY hair masks are great because they replenish hair and add natural shine without unwanted chemicals or processed products. To kick things off, we are going to create a banana hair mask that only takes five minutes to make! Bananas are great because they are rich in oils and antioxidants that regulate hair oil, promote a healthy scalp, and heal dry, damaged hair.

For this mask you will need:

1 overripe banana (heals damaged hair)
1 T coconut oil (conditions and softens hair)
1 T olive oil (hydrates and gives shine)
1 egg yolk (nourishes and prevents breakage)
1 T honey (restores moisture)


1. In a small round container or bowl, smash the banana with a fork or spoon until it is completely pureed and there are barely any chunks left. Tip: It's better to use an overripe banana so that you can smooth it and smash it easily. You can also opt to blend it, but that takes more time.

2. Add all of the other ingredients and mix well.

3. Apply the mask to your hair and comb it to evenly distribute it from roots to tips. (You can apply it to either wet or dry hair).

4. Leave the mask on for 5 to 10 minutes to let it sink in. You can put on a shower cap or tie it into a bun to lock in moisture. Rinse thoroughly with warm water until mask is removed. Optional: You can choose to shampoo and rinse after the mask, but it is not needed as this mask leaves your hair smelling delicious and looking clean! Tip: Repeat once every two weeks for extra healing or when you feel your hair is getting dry again.


Brown Sugar Face Scrub

Natural ingredients have incredible benefits for your skin. Brown sugar is a natural exfoliant, it feels amazing on your face, and it removes dead skin cells, leaving your face smooth and radiant. It is also less abrasive than other ingredients, like salt. We've included natural yogurt and coconut oil in this recipe as they are great skin moisturizers, as well as baking soda for extra cleaning (the baking soda is optional as the scrub works well without it, too). 

Tip: Only add half a tablespoon of baking soda. If you add too much it can irritate the skin. (If you happen to have a pimple, you can also use baking soda with a bit of water and it serves as a spot treatment). The best part of this DIY scrub? You can use it on your body and lips, too, and it only takes three minutes to make.

Here's what you need:

2 T brown sugar (removes dead cells and minimizes pores)
1 T natural yogurt (moisturizes and prevents acne)
1 T coconut oil 1(conditions and has antiaging properties)
Optional: half T baking soda (cleanses and brightens) 


1. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl or container and mix thoroughly until a paste is created. Tip: Be careful to not add too much oil and yogurt as it will make the scrub too drippy. Also, adding too much brown sugar will make it dry.

2. Massage the scrub onto your face using both hands in a circular motion.

3. Rinse well with lukewarm water. 

4. For extra pampering, place a warm washcloth onto the face. Finish off with your favorite moisturizer for ultimate smoothness. You can repeat this scrub once a week or once every 10 days.

Related From Vivala: I Drank My Way to Better Skin

Vanilla Lip Balm

Ever dreamed of creating your own lip balm? Now you can — and it's easy to boot! For those winter-chapped and brittle lips, a moisturizing and hydrating lip balm is just what the doctor ordered. For this lip balm, vanilla extract is added to give it a nice scent, but you can also add a lavender or peppermint one depending on what you like. You can keep it all-natural or add a subtle tint by adding one of your old lipsticks. Tip: Be careful to not burn the beeswax, otherwise it won't work; you can also make as much or as little as you want, depending on how many lip balms you plan on making. Prep time is six minutes.

Here's what you need:

1 cup shaved beeswax (for texture)
3 T coconut oil (moisturizes and has antibacterial properties)
3 drops vanilla extract (soothes and adds fragrance)
1 T olive oil (creates shine and smoothes lips)
2 T shea butter (protects and conditions lips)
1 small lip balm container
Optional: old lipstick (for subtle color/tint)


1. Beeswax comes in a block, so you'll have to shave a cup of it with a cheese grater or a knife. Pro-tip: It's WAY easier with a grater. 

2. Place the shaved beeswax into a small bowl or a measuring cup. Add the coconut oil and shea butter and place it in the microwave for one minute so that it can melt. Afterward, make sure its mixed well. Tip: You can also use a pot to melt the wax, but it takes a bit longer. If for some reason you don't happen to have beeswax around, you can use an old Voluspa candle. When melted, they can serve as lotion and balm, too!

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix evenly until smooth. If it is not fully melted, you can pop it into the microwave for an extra 10 seconds.

4. Place the liquid mix into a small container (an old EOS lip balm container works perfectly). 

5. Leave it in the fridge until it is hardened, and voilà! Your lip balm is ready to use. You can also place it in the freezer, but be careful to not leave it in there for more than 10 minutes — it WILL freeze!