Have you ever flipped through a new recipe book and ‘oohed and awwed’ over the lip-smackingly gorgeous photos? The kind where you can imagine tasting and smelling each recipe as though it were right in front of you?
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That’s what happened to me when I picked up 101 Easy Homemade Products for your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife’s All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants. As I flipped through the recipes in the book, I found myself wishing I could try each and every one.
Meet Jan, The Nerdy Farm Wife
I’ve been following Jan Berry’s work through her blog The Nerdy Farm Wife. I was drawn to her website a little over a year ago because her herbal product recipes are always beautiful (thanks to her eye for photography), and thoroughly researched and tested. I fell in love with Jan’s ebook Natural Soap Making because of her easy-going communication style that simplifies a process that could otherwise seem confusing or intimidating.
She’s done the same thing in her new book: By using simple language she has convinced me that I, too, can make these hair care products, health remedies, and household cleaners, and that they will actually be safe and effective.
I thought DIY Skin Care would be Too Expensive. I was wrong!
For me, one of the challenges of making my own skin care products has always been the outrageous list of ingredients that usually accompanies an online recipe, and which seem expensive and hard to find. Jan does a good job of explaining what each ingredient does for the recipe and offers substitution ideas in case you can’t find it. In fact, I was excited to discover that most of the herbs she uses in the recipes are ones that I grow myself, and that she tells me exactly how to use these fresh-from-the-garden herbs. Plus, no fancy equipment needed!
Your Homemade Spa Treatment
Jan walks you through an explanation of ingredients and equipment. I especially appreciate the explanation on how to make blocks of beeswax easier to use–I always wondered! She also explains how to substitute candelilla wax or sunflower wax for the beeswax, to accommodate vegans and others who can’t tolerate bee products. She gives the proper measurements of substitution for each.
The book then takes you on a stroll through a vast collection of herbal skin care recipes, including salves, balms, body butters, creams, and lotions. I was mesmerized by the recipes for Peppermint Pine Headache Salve and Dandelion Body Butter.
If you didn’t feel pampered enough, you’ll feel like you entered a spa as you stroll through the next section of bath soaks, salts, melts, and scrubs (I can’t wait to try the Garden Herbs Bath Soak).
Lip care (Daisy Vanilla Lip Balm!) and hair care is next, followed by homemade soaps.
Home remedies like Lavender Dandelion Pain Relief Oil and the nontoxic Lavender Fabric Softener stand out for me. Even the dog can be pampered with the Peppermint & Parsley Fresh-Breath Dog Treats!
Don’t Give Up Your Herb Habit.
Jan says, “In spite of my jungle of a garden, I still can’t resist buying or growing new varieties of flowers and herbs as I discover them. Rather than give up my compulsion, I’ve made it my mission to see how creative I can get in using those plants that surround me.”
She gets me.
Our skin is our largest organ, and many of us know that our store-bought skin care products–with their toxic ingredient lists–are just not cutting it. Jan’s simple instructions and explanations leave me no more excuses: It’s time for me to make time to nurture my own health and wellbeing (and that of my family) by making more of my own personal care products.
This book will join my “frequently used and referenced” collection of books.
Check out 101 Easy Homemade Products for your Skin, Health & Home, and be sure to tell me about your favorite recipes below!