Ingredient Hunting With A Holistic Skin Care Expert

To find plants at their peak, Alkalay often forages during spring and summer at Bay End Farm, in the town of Bourne. There, she ducks into the tiny cafe to grab an iced coffee before chatting with Kofi Ingersoll, the third-generation owner of the 35-acre organic farm, which supplies her with beets (known for their skin-revitalizing properties) for the 10,000 Collection, along with cucumbers and lavender used throughout the range. Ingersoll is eager to show Alkalay the cucumber patch, where the gourds have grown well thanks to the generous summer rainfall. Tipping her face up to the sun, Alkalay tastes a deep green cucumber. “It’s perfect.”

Fresh haul in tow, Alkalay heads to her downtown New Bedford studio, a cooperative work space she keeps for the summer. Tucked in a textile mill, it has soaring 15-foot ceilings and views of the bay from the paint-chipped windows. Here, she sets up her portable steam distiller and manual hand press to experiment with her bounty. “I like to engage with the ingredients to see what possibilities they hold,” she says. She’ll jot down recipes in a small notebook to be considered for future formulas, while continuing to tinker with other plants — like bay berries, for example (“separating the wax from the berry, I haven’t mastered yet,” she says).

Spread out on her desk — constructed from a battered wooden hurricane barrier — are the bottles and jars for the 10,000 Collection. The labels appear to be missing, until Alkalay reveals that they are hidden on the bottom of the containers. “The simplicity of the packaging feels like a luxury,” she says. Ready to get back to pressing, she grabs a clipping from a raspberry shrub that’s curiously smushed. “Oh, I think Salty sat on it!” she says, smiling at the dog who is now stretched out near her feet, fast asleep.

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