The hottest new fashion is the oldest one in the world: do-it-yourself. EcoBeauty joins that bandwagon with an environmentally-friendly edge by introducing you to the bounty waiting in your fridge. With recipes ranging from hand cream to hair treatments you can make your kitchen your spa, and enjoy that sense of high style.


While you’re mixing oils and waxes for your next facial, you can read quick tips on natural labeling and absorb the reputed health benefits of your ingredients. Don’t get overly attached to that information, though: the chart that guides natural labeling is definitely a conscious-shopping boon, but you will still benefit more from the antioxidants in the berries you’re using if you eat them instead of rubbing them on your face.


The recipes are easy, the ingredients are available at most grocery stores and the directions are realistic. Author Lauren Cox fears not the microwave, and neither should you. Most of the recipes take minutes to concoct, and as long as you follow the storage directions will take weeks to consume. All focus on simple skincare. You can create moisturizers and blackhead treatments but if you want an anti-wrinkle cream, you will have to look elsewhere.


True to its green message, EcoBeauty also encourages you to re-use old shampoo bottles and skin care product jars as you mix. Cox goes so far as to instruct you on weaving a basket from newspaper, for a “totally recycled” gift theme. The packaging suggestions are all cute but realistic. Most people do have an excess of empties, paper bags and newspapers lying around. Cox shows you how to give that clutter some much-needed new life.


This book is highly recommended for budget-conscious beauty treatments at home, but don’t bank on this for business. Several recipes need tweaking for consistency, and Cox ignores the knotty environmental and legal issue of preservative use. For an adamant do-it-yourselfer, this book will find some love in your library, your kitchen and at your next spa party. For someone looking to open a business, enjoy this for the basics but move on to another recipe collection.


~review by Diana Rajchel


Author: Lauren Cox with Janice Cox

Ten Speed Press, 2009

pp. 152 $19.95