There’s no better time than Earth Month (yes, it's no longer just one day) to slather food on your face in the name of beauty. And Alexis Wolfer, who’s been called the "MacGyver of beauty," wants to enable you in this endeavor.
Wolfer started her beauty site, The Beauty Bean, back in 2010 after writing her grad school thesis about the influence of women’s magazines on eating disorders and body image. Wolfer herself suffered from an eating disorder in college, and later went on to work part-time in Lucky’s accessories department. “I loved the beauty and fashion world, but I was like, ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this.’” And so The Beauty Bean was born.
DIY beauty fixes quickly became the site’s signature -- hence the MacGyver moniker. Wolfer said she would receive commercial beauty products whose marketing materials boasted, “Now contains blueberries!” and she started thinking, “Why not put actual blueberries on your face instead?” She began to experiment with natural ingredients on her face and eventually attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where she became certified as a holistic health coach.
And now there’s a book. The Recipe for Radiance, available to buy now, contains recipes -- to put both in and on your face -- that address specific beauty concerns like acne, stretch marks and fine lines. Wolfer designed and tested many of the recipes herself, and there are also a fair amount that she picked up from celebrities like Brooklyn Decker and Donna Karan. “I was shocked by how many of these women who have access to all of the latest and greatest beauty products immediately have a DIY remedy that they use regularly,” Wolfer said. “These are women who could have $500 face creams up the wazoo in their homes if they wanted to, and they’re going to their kitchens and making their own face masks. I was really inspired by that.”
Wolfer was kind enough to share an exclusive recipe with us (which you won’t find in the book) for a DIY acne-fighting face mask, and a recipe for a lemon scrub whose hand-softening benefits I can vouch for, because I tried it at the book launch.
Anti-Acne Strawberry Yogurt Facial Mask
• 1 strawberry, de-stemmed
• 1 Tbsp full-fat Greek yogurt
• 1 tsp raw honey
• 1 Tbsp white sugar
• Muddle the strawberry until the pulp is smooth but the seeds remain intact. Combine with remaining ingredients.
• Apply a thin layer to your face, neck and décolleté, avoiding the eye area.
• Let sit for 15 minutes before using gentle, circular motions to exfoliate the skin before rinsing off with warm water.
The fruit acids in the strawberry and the lactic acid in the yogurt will gently break down dead, dull skin cells, the honey will moisturize the skin and the white sugar and strawberry seeds will gently scrub it all away. Plus, the probiotics in the yogurt and the antibacterial honey will keep breakouts away too.
• 1 lemon
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin cold-pressed coconut oil
• Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze about half of the juice from each half into a small bowl.
• Rub the exposed side of the squeezed lemon halves on any dry, dull skin.
• Add sugar to the bowl with the lemon juice. Stir to combine, without letting the sugar melt.
• On the area already primed with lemon juice, rub in the sugar mixture to scrub away dead, dry skin.
• Rinse with warm water and pat dry before massaging skin with coconut oil.
With citric acid to break down dead, dull and dry skin, and sugar to scrub it away, this easy, at-home, lemonade-like remedy is the ideal way to take skin from rough and rugged to soft and silky. It can help to fade age and sun spots, too, making it a solid remedy for parched skin.
Photos: Alexis Wolfer, ManchesterMonkey