Now that natural, biodynamic, and organic skin-care products are widely available at Whole Foods and beauty boutiques across the city, another beauty frontier is emerging in support of the back-to-the-land movement: Raw food beauty.
Lauren K. from Bushwick, Brooklyn (last name redacted for fear that lazy neighbors will dump their compost on her doorstep!), whose skin is creamy and poreless, is one of its pioneers. She uses the pulp and peels discarded from her juicer on her face. “I don’t like things to go to waste,” she says. “And I don’t want to pay $50 for the same ingredient packaged a teeny tiny half-ounce pot. Especially since it’s usually in there with a bunch of chemicals.”
Lauren’s method isn’t really very different from what I do in front of my bathroom mirror every morning. Only she’s in the kitchen. Her method? Smooth the bits from the juicer reject bin over her skin, let it dry—“you can’t move around too much until it does,” she warns—and hop into the shower to wash it off.
Sometimes she mashes the peel and the pulp, “but you’d be surprised what sticks just by rubbing it on,” Lauren explains. She’s not hung up on the unfinished texture or “cosmetic elegance” either, which is what lures most of us to buy the jarred stuff.
Antioxidant blueberries and tingly exfoliating grapefruit are just some of the fruit that does double duty as Lauren’s breakfast and beauty ritual. And she’s also done a lot of research on additional ingredients that have a skin-care benefit, such as avocado, aloe, and honey. “I know they’re used in products and spas. But I’d rather use the real thing,” she says.
Since eating fruit and vegetables begets great skin, does applying them directly to your face speed things along?
Some skin-care companies say that traditionally formulated products have been designed for bio-availability, meaning the fruit and botanicals have been prepared in way that your skin can absorb them. And others stress the necessity of irritation testing.
But maybe that’s still thinking inside the box. And the next era won’t come in one at all.