Homemade Beauty


Eco-minded gals already know to avoid parabens, artificial fragrances, phthalates, harsh chemicals, et al.—but do we know and understand why?

This is what is so great about Stephanie Tourles’ tome, Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, which I picked up at Bookshop Santa Cruz for $18.95. The book is more than just a sweeping collection of recipes. It is also chock full of thorough explanations of the science of skin, hair and nails (how they work and when they thrive, complete with fascinating facts and diagrams) as well as guidance for identifying one’s own needs (i.e. skin type).

Tourles also delves into everything one would need to know about herbs, essential oils and other natural ingredients, and even spends 37 pages on an ingredient dictionary where the cosmetic properties and uses of everything from almond meal to ylang ylang are described.

This useful information lets the reader journey through the sea of enticing recipes armed with the knowledge of how and why these concoctions work, plus which would be most useful for them, individually. The only drawback to owning this book is that I want to make everything in it, but—a lot like with baking—it would be quite an investment to stock my cupboard with all of these ingredients. Instead, I’m slowly making my way through the simpler recipes, like the Chilled Cucumber Skin Tonic and the Papaya No-More-Pores Double Mask Treatment. Up next, I’m conquering the Wrinkle Chaser steam. Here’s the recipe:

Wrinkle Chaser

(From Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, page 171)

3 cups distilled water

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed

2 drops rose otto or geranium essential oil

Preparation and application tips: First, thoroughly cleanse your skin. Next, boil the distilled water. Add the crushed seeds to the boiling water. Remove the liquid from the heat and allow to steep for five minutes. Add the essential oil. Place the pot in a stable place where you can sit comfortably for 10 minutes. Remove lid and drape a large bath towel over your head, shoulders and the steaming pot. Close eyes, hold face 10 to 12 inches from the edge of the pot, breathe deeply and enjoy.

You can find recipes from the book and beyond on Stephanie Tourles’ blog.