7 DIY Fall Beauty Hacks That Actually Work

7 DIY Fall Beauty Hacks That Actually Work

Summer's all about maximizing your time outdoors—but all that fun in the sun can take its toll.

Factor in heat, humidity, bug bites and chlorine, and you’ve got a recipe for wreaking havoc from head (hello, split ends!) to pedicured toe.

If the season has left its mark on you in the form of parched hair, skin and nails, read on because we’ve enlisted top beauty experts to share their favorite DIY fixes that will leave you feeling refreshed for fall—no fancy (and pricey) lotions or potions needed.

2 DIY Beauty Hacks for ... Sun-Damaged Hair

If your ends are dry and limp, Miami-based stylist Danny Jelaca has two words for you: fish oil.


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Simply puncture an omega-3 fish oil capsule, and massage it into your ends. Let it absorb for at least 30 minutes, then shampoo.

Why It Works: The same essential fatty acids that benefit every cell in the body when ingested can also help restore moisture, softness and shine to hair.

When to Do It: 1 to 2 times per week

Cost: A few cents per pill

No Time to DIY? Try Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil at just $5.98, or Pantene Everlasting Ends Split End Repair Crème for $5.99.

For allover deep conditioning, Jelaca recommends making your own hair mask by mashing half an avocado, and stirring in two tablespoons of coconut oil.

Apply from roots to ends of wet (for fine) or dry (for coarse) hair. Rinse after 20 to 30 minutes.

Why It Works: “Avocados are full of emollients, nutrients and fats that can treat, condition, moisturize and protect hair,” Jelaca says. Coconut oil contains natural fatty acids that can help keep hair hydrated, locking in moisture and improving elasticity.

When to Do It: Once a week

Cost: $1 to $2 per treatment

No Time to DIY? Try TRESemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Hydration Mask for $4.99, or Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Hair Conditioner for $5.95.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Make Beauty Products Last Longer

3 DIY Beauty Hacks for ... Sun-Parched Skin

Many medical-grade products for sloughing away dead skin cells contain one key ingredient: glycolic acid—which is actually found in sugar cane.

You can get some of its restorative benefits by whipping up a homemade sugar scrub for your face. Mix 1/2 cup of white sugar (sub in brown sugar if you have sensitive skin) with 1/4 cup of olive or coconut oil. Then apply 1 tablespoon of the mixture to your face, and gently scrub in a circular motion.

Why It Works: Glycolic acid is a powerful exfoliator that works to turn over the top layer of sun-damaged skin, revealing the softer, brighter skin underneath, notes Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili of the Belage Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston.

When to Do It: No more than twice a week—doctor’s orders!

Cost: Less than $1 per scrub

No Time to DIY? Try St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemonade + Mandarin Facial Scrub for $3.49.

RELATED: How to Get Beautiful Skin at Drugstore Prices

Too much sun exposure can have you seeing spots, known as hyperpigmentation. While prevention (a good sunscreen) is the best policy, there is a way to diminish the appearance of sunspots.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Before bed, saturate a cotton swab with the solution and apply it to your face in a thin layer, letting it soak in overnight. If you notice redness or stinging, dilute the solution with a few drops of water.

“It will take six to eight weeks before you see improvement,” Dr. Yalamanchili says. “Your skin will also be more sensitive while using this treatment, so be sure to use good sun protection.”

Why It Works: The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar combined with lemon juice, a natural bleaching agent, can be an effective lightening treatment.

When to Do It: Nightly

Cost: A few cents per use

No Time to DIY? Try Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream Moisturizer for $25.99.

Caffeine is the true MVP—it stimulates circulation, boosts cell turnover, helps remove excess fluid from tissues, tightens blood vessels, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

For head-to-toe exfoliation, you likely already have a miracle scrub ingredient in your pantry: coffee.

Mix 4 ounces of Epsom salt, 4 ounces of caffeinated coffee grounds, 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil until it’s a smooth paste. In the shower, use your palms to vigorously scrub your body using upward motions—working from your feet to your neck—and then rinse.

Why It Works: Caffeine is the true MVP—it stimulates circulation, boosts cell turnover, helps remove excess fluid from tissues (temporarily reducing the appearance of cellulite), tightens blood vessels, and acts as an anti-inflammatory to minimize redness from breakouts or sunburn.

Eucalyptus also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, and decongestant properties.

When to Do It: Once a week

Cost: $2 to $3 per treatment

No Time to DIY? Try JAVA Body Wash for $14, or JAVA Coffee Bean & Raw Sugar Body Scrub for $28.

DIY Beauty Hack for ... Brittle Nails

Between water activities and one too many manis, summer can do a number on your nails—but there's an easy hydrating fix.

Celebrity manicurist and global nail artist Tracylee Percival recommends quick-absorbing extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Soak fingertips in the oil for 10 to 15 minutes, then massage it into your fingernails to increase hydration.

Why It Works: These oils are full of plant-based nutrients, including antioxidant polyphenols, vitamin E and essential fatty acids that help protect nails and the delicate skin around them.

When to Do It: Daily

Cost: A few cents per use

No Time to DIY? Try Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil for $5.99.

DIY Beauty Hack for ... Tired and Callused Feet

From strappy heels to barefoot walks on the beach, your feet can take a beating in the summertime.

But with this spa-worthy home pedi, you can help eliminate callused heels and dryness in no time. Mix 1 cup of cane sugar with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of lavender essential oil.

Pour half a cup of Epsom salt into a warm footbath and soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Then apply the sugar scrub to your feet in circular motions, paying special attention to your heels.

“Once the sugar starts to dissolve, rinse and pat dry, then apply a hydrating cream,” recommends Percival.

Why It Works: Epsom salt is a detoxifying, natural healer that will cleanse, ease aches, reduce swelling, and disinfect cuts. Lavender has a calming and antiseptic influence. And aside from removing dry skin, sugar also helps skin retain the moisture from any oils and lotions applied after exfoliation.

When to Do It: Once or twice a month

Cost: $1 to $2 per treatment

No Time to DIY? Try Bliss Aloe Leaf and Peppermint Foot Patrol for $16.29.

RELATED: Your Guide to Green, Natural Beauty Products on a Dime


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