So my mother got a fun little book for an early Christmas present called "Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You", by Raisa Ruder and Susan Campos.
When she opened it, everyone in the room got a little chuckle. My mom's family is Polish and is very familiar with the image of the grandmother in the kitchen wearing her babushka (wrap or scarf worn around the head), concocting all sorts of goodies. Raisa Ruder's background is Ukrainian and Russian, but she is now a well known Los Angeles-based aesthetician. In this book, she shares how many of the expensive ingredients used in high end skin care products today have roots in those used in her grandmother's kitchen decades ago.
"Babushka's Beauty Secrets" discusses how you can take inexpensive items found at the grocery store, and use them to make your own cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masks, and many other products to use in various spa-like treatments. There are recipes for treating age spots, acne, and other skin issues, in addition to products for giving yourself manicures, pedicures, body treatments, and hair treatments.
All in all I think this is a really fun book to have. It offers some great advice about inexpensive ways to care for your skin that, if used over time, could give you nice results.
My issue is that the author is saying that these recipes are "better than botox". I just don't see how that can be possible. Botox is injected to paralyze a nerve so your face cannot make the expression that is causing the wrinkle. Nothing you put on your face will do that. Topical products can certainly soften and improve the appearance of wrinkles, but they cannot take them away.
The author also says that putting the actual fruits on your face that alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and enzymes are derived from provides as good an exfoliation as the ingredient would in a product. I have to disagree with this because those ingredients have to be extracted and specially formulated so they can actually penetrate the skin. I am not saying that you wouldn't benefit at all from using the fruits in homemade products, but it would not be as effective or quick of a result as you would see from using a skin care product that uses AHAs and enzymes that have been specifically formulated to be able to be absorbed by the skin. You need science for that.
This is where the fusion comes in...great results come when you take a natural ingredient, then use science to make it more potent and bioavailable, so the effects are maximized.
I will nit-pick one other little detail in the book...the author says it is fine to use plastic storage containers or old shampoo bottles to store products. I discourage the use of any plastic containers at all for anything containing food products, especially if there is heating involved. The salts, sugars, acids and enzymes in the food can cause the plastic to break down and the chemicals to leach into the food, which can be toxic. Glass storage containers and glass mason jars come in a variety of sizes, are reusable, and are inexpensive. I recommend you use them for all of your food storage needs, as well as homemade skin care products.
I will be making a list of my favorite books in the near future, and even though I have a couple of small issues with this book, it will still be included on the list. I think there is a lot of great information about skin care and ingredients in general, as well as a familiar nostalgia in the anecdotes about Babushka. It is available from all the main booksellers.