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Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin

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Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin

We live in a time where we are more health-conscious than ever before. There are more organic foods widely available and more consumer awareness about ingredients that go into products we buy.

Natural beauty products are part of this growing trend, and this book caters to those who like make-at-home beauty concoctions.

The author, Narine Nikogosian, points out that many of the beauty products on the market today contain harmful chemicals and we aren't aware what kind of long-term affects they might have. The author's solution is to use the beauty wisdom passed down through her Armenian heritage and create natural skin, hair, and body treatments from fresh ingredients found in your kitchen. In case you don't keep certain items in your kitchen normally, like cocoa butter or almond oil, there are shopping lists for the different seasons. Each season requires a different skincare regimen as the winter air is much rougher on the skin than the weather in autumn. You are asked to identify your skin type (Oily, Normal-to-Oily, Dry, Normal-to-Dry) and the recipes for each type are modified seasonally to suit your individual skin type's needs. My skin type is normal-to-oily, for example, so to clean my face in spring I would choose between a Frothy Milk Cleanser or Golden Pink Cleanser which has grapefruit juice. Each recipe is formulated based on a knowledge of dermatology, so it is comforting to know there is little risk of accidentally using something that might make my little oil problem worse. Within the seasonal recipes there are face washes, eye creams, toners, moisturizers, and masks.

Aside from skin recipes catering to every season, there are also ones for your astrological sign. These chapters not only include a little profile on your sign's personality traits, but also beauty traits, what foods you should consume, and of course, beauty recipes. I tried Capricorn's Juicy Honey Orange Moisturizer – it smelled divine and made my pale skin noticeably less dull. While I found the section on my own sign to be particularly interesting and helpful, there are so many recipes throughout the book that you could “borrow” from other signs.

There are also special sections on blemishes/pimples, aging and pregnancy. The hair care recipes are also very useful, as a good conditioning product can be costly. Foods like avocado supply natural moisture (ignore the messiness of a mashed avocado, it does work!). There are even hair masks specifically for colored hair. In case your hands feel neglected, there are recipes for hand soaks and masks.

One of the most common problems during the colder months are chapped lips. There are various lip treatments that sit on your lips for about 15 minutes, follow-up the treatment with almond oil, and you'll soon enjoy smooth, soft lips again. All of the recipes in the book can be made, used, and then stored for a few days in the refrigerator, which makes them that much more convenient and cost effective.

This book is excellent for those who want to know exactly what they are putting on their body. Also, for those who are conscious of animal rights, there is the added benefit of knowing that nothing you make was ever tested on an animal. The recipes are easy and fast to throw together and will make you beautiful without any unknown chemicals getting in your way. 

Return to Beauty is available at most major bookstores (288 pages, hardcover).

Featured writer

Gail Brasie

Gail Brasie

Gail lives near Chicago and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Gail loves books, birds and Gothic Americana music.

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narine nikogosian, natural skin care, organic skin care, return to beauty book review