With a bit more time on our hands and nowhere to go, many of us have turned to DIY projects during the pandemic. I recently got the chance to read the updated edition of Plant-Powered Beauty, a book about natural skincare ingredients and how to make plant-based products at home. Read on to learn more about the book, its authors, and my fave recipe!
Book Review & Scrub Recipe}
Disclaimer: A digital copy of this book was provided to me at no cost for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.
Although quarantine life has had its ups and downs, being at home 24/7 has allowed me to be more in tune with my health and lifestyle. I started to go for long bike rides, spent more time outside (socially distancing, of course!), and recently adopted a gluten- and dairy-free diet. And while I found alternatives to my favourite meals and local retailers who specialize in selling green products, I’m always looking for new ways to be informed as I make the transition into using more plant-based beauty and skincare products.
Luckily for me, at TBR, we received the updated edition of Plant-Powered Beauty: The Essential Guide to Using Plant-Based Ingredients for Health, Wellness, and Personal Skincare ($28.99) written by Amy Galper and Christina Daigneault. Galper is a pioneer in the field of aromatherapy as the Executive Director and Founder of New York Institute of Aromatherapy. Daigneault is a certified aromatherapist and the President of Orchard Strategies, a PR firm that specializes in representing social impact companies. They met at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy and wrote Plant-Powered Beauty with the intention of inspiring others to make their own beauty products.
Plant-Powered Beauty is the perfect guide for the curious cat or DIY-er who wants to make a small (or big) leap into a more natural beauty routine. With this easy-to-use book, the authors have created an approachable yet educational tool for consumers who want to be mindful of the ingredients they apply to their skin. We nourish our bodies with whole foods like fruits and vegetables, so why not care for our skin the same way we eat? After all, skin is our largest organ!
What Plant-Based Really Means
The first half of Plant-Powered Beauty breaks down the technical aspects of skincare. Galper and Daigneault geek out over the science behind plant-based ingredients, explaining what works and why. This info provides a great foundation for understanding how products are crafted. For those who spend hours at the skincare aisle deciphering ingredient lists, a great tip is to focus on the first three to four ingredients, since they make up most of the product.
Galper and Daigneault also show you how to find the plant-based elements of a product’s ingredient list. If words like ‘shea butter’ and ‘almond oil’ are closer to the top, then you know the beauty product is more plant-based. The book also contains an excellent section on essential oils and the therapeutic powers they have on us physically and emotionally.
The second half of Plant-Powered Beauty provides easy-to-follow recipes to put your new knowledge and know-how to the test. There are over 50 recipes with step-by-step instructions, using ingredients that you probably already have at home. With Plant-Powered Beauty, you can DIY masks, scrubs, massage oils, cleansers, lip balms, and more!
Each recipe also includes beauty tips and tricks, like how sugar is a natural humectant that helps preserve moisture, or why coconut oil works so well as a makeup remover (it solubilizes water-resistant substances like mascara!). The updated version of the text offers additional insights into the beauty industry’s hottest new ingredient: CBD and its powerful healing properties.
Cucumber-Thyme Body Scrub
I decided to try my hand at making the Quick and Fresh Cucumber-Thyme Body Scrub, an herbaceous Dead Sea salt scrub with hints of cucumber, tarragon and thyme. Daigneault & Galper recommend adding two drops of rosemary or peppermint essential oil to the mix, which provides a therapeutic and sensorial experience.
I’m a big fan of body exfoliators, and this one was no exception. Even though was this the first time I have made my own, it took just 10 minutes to prepare! This scrub smells amazing and left my skin feeling smooth and looking radiant. I recommend lightly wetting your skin before using the scrub. This softens the application, while maintaining the scrub’s efficacy. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again soon!
RECIPE: Quick and Fresh Cucumber-Thyme Body Scrub
Plant-Powered Beauty, p. 214. Reprinted with permission.
- 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh tarragon, stems and tiny branches removed
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, stems and tiny branches rmovd
- 4 tablespoons Dead Sea salt
- 2 drops rosemary or peppermint essential oil
- Place the cucumber, tarragon, and thyme into a blender. Pulsate for 1 to 2 minutes, until the ingredients form a liquid, frothy texture.
- Transfer the mixture to a glass or stainless steel bowl.
- Add the Dead Sea salt and stir until fully incorporated.
- Add the rosemary or peppermint essential oil and mix.
Use the scrub immediately. Makes enough for one use.
Like cooking a meal from scratch, there’s a joy and satisfaction in concocting your own skincare using plant-based ingredients. I now have a deeper appreciation of ingredients used for skincare and feel even more empowered to make my own products. I must admit, long after the formula has been absorbed or washed away, making my own natural products has had endless positive effects on my body, mind and soul.