Yael Alkalay, the long-haired willowy beauty behind Red Flower, isn’t just a product-maker and perfumer. She’s a spa anthropologist, having immersed herself in cultural bathing traditions, like the onsens of Japan and the hammams of Turkey and Morocco, to create sumptuous body-care rituals. Her seven-step steamy odes have New Yorkers using every inch of their bathtub ledge for the at-home rituals.
Now Alkalay has eyes on your medicine cabinet. Red Flower has just debuted Nature, a skin-care line inspired by Finland’s uberclean arctic landscape and its wellness culture. (Those sauna-seeking Finns know their detox.)
Why move from body care to skin care? “When I created this line, I’d been hearing the theme of frustration—‘Nothing natural works,’” says Alkalay, whose rough-luxe store, filled with her popular petal-topped candles, is a Prince Street beauty destination. “Women feel overwhelmed by all the products, the things they’re supposed to do, and they’re frustrated by lack of results. I wanted to make something really easy to use and that was loaded with amazingly clean and really effective natural ingredients.”
Indeed, the all-natural ingredients are standouts both for exoticism and effectiveness. The organic milk solids, coupled with evergreen extracts, make for a non-drying cleanser. Reishi and maitake mushrooms boost the skin’s resilience and collagen production in the masque. And white arctic peat (literally dug from Lapland) exfoliates while a bounty of cold-pressed berries infuses the skin with antioxidants. The overall effect feels like an invigorating misty walk through a clean forest.
Although Red Flower’s products do the heavy lifting, you lend a hand as well: The products come with acupressure instructions, which Alkalay directs women to try while applying them. “Women have given up on time for themselves, on simple rituals that build beauty from within. The shower can be a time to reconnect, using restorative products,” says Alkalay. Instead of agonizing in front of the mirror about the changing landscape of our skin. “I think that builds radiance and agelessness, because it comes from within.” Though we don’t mind a little help from Nature.
Where to try: Red Flower Nature Radiant Rejuvenation Facial at Sense, A Rosewood Spa At The Carlyle (1 hour, $225).
Where to buy: Red Flower, 13 Prince St., between Elizabeth and Bowery, 212-966-5301, www.redflower.com
Would you take the time in the shower to give yourself an acupressure facial massage? Or would this be filed under the good-idea-but-I-don’t-have-time category? Tell us, here!