Clean Read

Making your own soaps

By - Jul 25th, 2010 04:00 am
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Photo Courtesy Ten Speed Press

I’ve been a big fan of homemade beauty and bath products ever since I learned to make my own soap over two years ago. And since then I’ve also learned to make bath soaks, exfoliating scrubs and massage oils. I’m always on the hunt for more homemade beauty and bath recipes, so I was very happy to find Lauren Cox’s book Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends (Ten Speed Press, 2009).

Cox learned to make homemade beauty and bath products from her mother Janice, who has also written about the topic. Now it’s the younger Cox’s turn to pass her homemade wisdom to others.

Divided up into several sections, Ecobeauty‘s recipes are for your face, body, mouth (yes, you can make your own homemade mouthwash), hands and feet and hair. They include facial masks, bath bombs, foot soaks and deep hair conditioners. There is also a section on combining Ms. Cox’s recipes into different gifts, and fun storing and wrapping ideas.

A majority of the recipes can be made using products found easily at any grocery store. Some require items only found in health/nutrition stores or online. Do your homework when purchasing these items to find the best deal. And if a recipe calls for more exotic ingredients — like shea butter — stick with the instructions and don’t try substitutions.

However, there are times when a recipe can be amended. The Sandal Sugar Scrub I used on my feet asked for a teaspoon of coconut oil. I do not have coconut oil at home, and I found it too pricey for my pocket book. I decided to substitute olive oil instead, and it worked out just fine. It’s always best to use your own judgment.

For the most part, the recipes are very easy to follow. The layout of the book is clean and crisp, and the photos of the products are lovingly done. Interspersed throughout are quick tips on being environmentally conscious, saving money, health and beauty. One quibble: I’m not fond of the book’s binding. I would have preferred a spiral bound book because then I could lay it flat on my work space in my kitchen.

Ecobeauty is an informative manual for anyone interested in making homemade beauty and bath products for both personal use and as gifts. This book helps you to be “green,” creative and economical. Making these creations is also fun for a girls’ night in, a slumber party or other activity, and it’s full of recipes for everyone’s taste, need and spending habits.

Categories: Books

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