• Face Food

    Local woman turns her lifelong passion into a book called 'EcoBeauty'
  • Slicking on a sour-cream facial mask was as familiar to Lauren Cox at age 5 as dolls and dress-up. Her birthday parties were spa-themed, and custom-made lip gloss or bath salts often numbered among the gifts.
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    • Skin Care Recipes
      Pumpkin Pie Mask
      1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
      2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt or sour cream
      1 tablespoon honey
      Directions:
      Stir all of the ingredients together until you...
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      Skin Care Recipes
      Pumpkin Pie Mask

      1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

      2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt or sour cream

      1 tablespoon honey

      Directions:

      Stir all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth paste. Spoon the mask into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about 2 weeks.

      To use, after cleansing, spread 1 tablespoon of the mask over your face and neck, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes and mouth. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry.

      Yield: 3 1/"2 ounces



      Get-the-Red-Out Facial Mask

      1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt or sour cream

      2 tablespoons honey

      Directions

      Stir the yogurt and honey together until smooth.

      To use, after cleansing, spread the entire mixture on your face and neck, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes and mouth. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry.

      Yield: 3 ounces

      Sushi Body Scrub

      1 cup ground, uncooked rice

      1 tablespoon powdered kelp or seaweed

      1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder

      2 tablespoons light sesame oil

      1 teaspoon rice vinegar

      Directions:

      Stir all of the ingredients until well mixed. Spoon the scrub into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in a cool, dry location, where it will keep for about 4 weeks.

      To use, massage the scrub into damp skin in a circular motion, then rinse well with warm water.

      Yield: 9 ounces

      Marie's Basic Hand Cream

      1/4 cup water

      1/8 teaspoon borax powder

      1/2 cup sunflower oil

      Directions:

      2 tablespoons grated beeswax

      Bring the water to a boil. Place the borax powder in a clean, heatproof bowl, pour in the boiling water and stir well. Set aside. Place the oil and beeswax in a microwave-safe container, mix together and microwave on high heat for 2 minutes, until the beeswax is melted. Pour the oil mixture into a blender or food processor and blend on low speed, adding the hot water mixture in a slow, steady stream. Blend on high speed until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a clean container to cool. You should have a white fluffy cream.

      To use, massage into your skin.

      Yield: 4 ounces

      Popsicle Soaps

      6 popsicle molds or other plastic molds

      Coconut oil

      2 to 3 bars of colored glycerin soap

      Fruit-scented oil (optional)

      6 wooden popsicle sticks

      Directions:

      Grease the molds using a small amount of coconut oil. With a sharp knife, chop up the soap into small chunks, then put it in a microwave-safe container or a small saucepan. Microwave on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the soap is melted. If melting the soap on the stovetop, use low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the soap is melted. Once the soap is melted, stir in the scented oil, then pour the soap into your molds. Cover the mold with plastic wrap or foil, then insert a wooden stick in the center of each "popsicle." Let the soap cool completely and set up, then remove the plastic wrap and unmold the soap. Wrap in a small plastic or cellophane bag and tie a cute bow around the stick.

      Yield: About 6 soaps (varies depending on mold size)

      — Recipes from "EcoBeauty," by Lauren Cox with Janice Cox.
  • Slicking on a sour-cream facial mask was as familiar to Lauren Cox at age 5 as dolls and dress-up. Her birthday parties were spa-themed, and custom-made lip gloss or bath salts often numbered among the gifts.
    "It was always fun," Cox says. "I'd never get tired of it.
    Cox was an enthusiastic participant in her mother's passion for home beauty treatments, which led Janice Cox to publish three how-to books over the past 15 years. Once Lauren, 20, was old enough to create new versions of her mother's concoctions, her own book wasn't far behind. Combining Lauren's love of cooking and cosmetics, "EcoBeauty," contains 100 recipes for body gels, scrubs, butters and myriad other products homemade from all-natural ingredients.
    "It's cooking for your skin, basically," Lauren says. "I was trying to come up with creative names and fun flavors."
    Pumpkin, coffee, chocolate, carrots, milk, sugar and spices make up the foundation of Lauren's favorite formulas. All are easily assembled in a home kitchen — even a college dorm room — and can easily be decorated as gifts. Lauren and Janice both favor recycled containers for storing homemade beauty aids and for gift-giving, a major selling point of "EcoBeauty," published in August by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.
    With more than 40 color photographs, the 152-page book brings home beauty to a younger audience interested in natural living and do-it-yourself projects. While Janice's books appealed to a generation of penny-pinchers, Lauren's is no less relevant to teens and young adults hard up for cash, the Medford family says.
    "You can easily make these for pennies of what you're spending dollars on in the store," Janice says.
    "If there's something I need, I can just whip it up really fast," says Janice's 17-year-old daughter, Marie Cox, who contributed the recipe for Marie's Basic Hand Cream to her sister's book.
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