cover image Organic Beauty: An Illustrated Guide to Making Your Own Skincare

Organic Beauty: An Illustrated Guide to Making Your Own Skincare

Maru Godas. Smith Street, $24.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-922754-78-3

Illustrator Godas debuts with an fun manual on preparing organic skin-care products at home. An “illustrated herbarium” details the cosmetic properties of various plants, noting, for instance, that marigolds reduce inflammation, lavender relieves acne, and nettle helps prevent hair loss. Godas recommends harvesting plants just before they flower, because that’s “when the plants are full of active ingredients,” and then hanging them upside down to dry and storing them in airtight glass jars. Describing how to make plant-based balms, exfoliants, face masks, lotions, shampoos, and soap, she shows how to mix a mashed potato and yogurt to make a face mask for reducing puffiness, and how to whip up dry shampoo by whisking together cornstarch, rice flour, baking soda, and lavender essential oil. Most of the projects are simple to follow (creating spray deodorant merely entails mixing witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and lemon essential oil in a bottle), but Godas provides step-by-step illustrations for more complex endeavors, such as making castile soap by adding caustic soda to water, blending the solution with heated olive oil, and leaving the results to harden for a month. The colorful, cartoon-like depictions of the plants and projects are a treat, and the mostly straightforward processes promise easy results. It’s a wonderful guide to going natural with one’s beauty care routine. (Sept.)