Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY Organic Beauty book review...

I was really looking forward to getting this book. My oldest daughter has sensitive, dry skin but really dislikes the feel of lotion on her hands. So even though I keep some next to every sink, in my purse, in the van and in the car she still never uses it--even when reminded. So a couple of months ago I bought her a bar of vegan hard lotion at the farmers' market and she loved it, but it turned out that she was saving it for later, afraid she would run out. So, I really wanted this book for the two of us. This way she would have recipes for her own hard lotions and I would get the rest of the beauty product recipes.

The book is DIY Organic Beauty and is only available in PDF from Heather Dessinger's (the author) blog, the mommypotamusHERE. All of the more than fifty recipes are basic, clean ingredient based and can be made organically depending on the actual ingredients that you choose to buy. The recipes are formulated to be friendly to both those who have kitchen scales and those who do not and  is packed with photos of the processes as well as links to videos of preparation. There are recipes facial and body cleansers, toners, hair care (including natural hair tints), lotions and other balms, soaks and scrubs, mama and baby care, solid perfumes and body splash, toothpaste and dental care, deodorants (including one for "man stink", which is an awesome name), lip balms and colors, sun protection and after sun skin care, and even some bug repellents. There are also some really great sections explaining the use of essential oils and how to modify them for using on children's and infant's products as well as another explaining the benefits of grass fed tallow for the skin and an ingredient glossary.

I have had the chance to make and share some of the recipes, namely: white chocolate and peppermint hard lotion (which works great as a lip balm, too), the tallow lotion bar (made with lavender) and the natural bronzer. The recipes that we tried worked great and were easy to follow and very effective. I gave away many tiny little bars of the white chocolate peppermint lotion which were incredibly popular. They are made with a large amount of cocoa butter so they smell so chocolaty and everyone loved them. I now have a neat little bar next to every sink in my house and in the big girls' room. When trying out the hard lotion recipes, I used a silicon mini-muffin pan as well as small paper muffin cup liners set inside a regular pan. It works either way, so if you are worried about how to get them out of whatever container you have, line it with paper muffin cups.

White Chocolate-Peppermint Hard Lotion:
Smells just as good as it feels!
The 180 page book is pricey for an eBook at $24.95 but I have to tell you that I really think it is worth the price. Firstly, Heather went through the effort to sift through and test all those recipes that you see on Pintrest and blogs which saves you time and money. Her recipes actually work and after spending money on expensive ingredients to have failed products was driving me nuts. Secondly, she explains the role that each ingredient plays and while there are plenty of simple recipes, there are also complicated ones like homemade lye soap--which I am definitely going to try. You understand the process as well as the result which helps you become more creative as experience allows. Lastly, the whole section on tallow for skin had me sold and there were other important pieces of information that I did not expect to find, like how to preserve your products without scary ingredients.

You can click HERE to get a free PDF sample which includes the table of contents so you can see if this is what you are looking for. See anything you like? Next on my list to make are the beet lip and cheek tint as well as the brunette hair tint to hide the bits of grey that are sneaking up on me.


  1. thank you for the detailed review! I've been interested in this e-book & think I would love it & use it. Just can't get past the price...
    Thank you for everything you do, Melissa. You have such a fun, informative & useful blog!

    1. And Lynne, you are super kind!

  2. I've never before heard of, 'hard lotion'. I'll have to check it out.
    also, wanted to stop by and give url to my other blog that I write for the most.

    Thanks for the info!

    1. I thought it was a little strange when I saw it the first time, too. It is kind of like chapstick for the hands. In fact, I called it that when we gave some to my 80 year old grandmother.

  3. Thank you! I have been looking for a book like this for a long time (one that someone put so much work into and has tested the recipes). I just ordered it :)

    1. I am so glad this was helpful! We really love the book and I am so glad to have it. Let me know what your favorite recipe is.


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