Botanical Soaps

A modern guide to making your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty essentials

Reviewed by Lorraine Hunter

Marta Tarallo is a soap maker with a mission. Her book Botanical Soaps is aimed at empowering people with the tools to transition to a zero-waste lifestyle with a focus on beauty and personal care. The do-it-yourself person looking to simplify her beauty regime might appreciate this book on how to make your own soaps, shampoo bars and other beauty essentials.

Botanical Soaps is divided into two parts. The first explores key ingredients and tools needed and the second provides all the recipes—further divided into four main sections: Bodycare, Skincare and Makeup, Soap and Haircare. Each recipe has details on difficulty, how much it will make, shelf life and any necessary safety information.

This is a comprehensive book for people who are serious about making their own care products. The recipes are well laid out. Illustrations depict what finished products such as Mango and Avocado Conditioner, Oats and Calendula Shampoo, Coconut and Olive Oil Body Wash or Repurposed Food Waste Soap should look like.

Using ingredients like apricot kernel, avocado and several other oils, plant extracts, roots and clays to purify, colour and decorate, this book will help you green up your beauty routine with natural organic products that are kinder for both the planet and your skin, says the author.

There is a good list of ingredient suppliers from around the world including Canada, at the back of the book, as well as other reading materials and resources.

Botanical Soaps by Marta Tarallo, Hardie Grant Quadrille.

Lorraine Hunter is a freelance writer, editor of Trellis magazine and a Toronto Master Gardener.