Review | Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Book

As soon as the Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Book was released at the beginning of February, I’ve been looking forward to trying out some of the treatments from it.

So when I had a rare couple of days off last weekend I took the opportunity to have a much needed pamper day. A combination of working weekends, wearing make-up every day and the cold weather meant that my skin was crying out for some TLC. Neal’s Yard have put together a hard-back beauty bible filled with natural remedies you can make at home.

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The book is logically set out with lovely imagery and simple step-by-step instructions on how to make your own natural beauty products and DIY pamper treatments. The directory highlighting the properties of each natural ingredient and the section on the science behind skin at the beginning of the book are informative without being complicated. They provide a foundation of knowledge, like knowing your skin type and what treatment it requires, before getting stuck in. Some of the recipes require ingredients which are initially a bit expensive, like the different oils, but once you’ve purchased them the cost per use is considerably cheaper than drug-store beauty products. There is a real sense of satisfaction making your own beauty products as you know exactly what’s going into them. The natural ingredients means that the treatments are also good for sensitive skin as they don’t contain any artificial additives that might cause irritation.

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For my pamper session, I chose two recipes that would comfort my slightly dry and lifeless winter skin. First of all, I made the honey and oat scrub on page 122. It is very easy to make and can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. The combination of honey and oats creates a gentle but effective exfoliator, which boosts circulation and removes any dead skin cells, leaving a radiant complexion. I then used the avocado and banana moisturising mask (page 129) to nourish my skin. When I rinsed the mask off after leaving it on for 10 minutes, my skin felt moisturised and considerably softer. The recipes I tried worked really well and I’m looking forward to making some others, including hair treatments.

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If I’m being honest, the only criticism I have is that the section on make-up looks feels slightly unnecessary. If Neal’s Yard sold their own range of organic cosmetics or the book included instructions on how to make you own, the section would make more sense. However the book doesn’t advise what make-up to use and therefore isn’t that helpful as it makes replicating the look difficult. Also, there are make-up tutorials galore online, which name specific products and provide a more useful guide. Instead, setting the make-up tutorials out in step-by-step images recalls my mum’s beauty books from the seventies and seems out-dated. Otherwise, it is a fantastic book to have on your shelf as a go-to guide when you feel like treating yourself to an additive and guilt-free beauty treatment, which feels luxurious without costing a bomb.