Learn DIY Skincare at This NYC Rooftop Farm

Making your own skincare is easier than you might think
Making your own skincare is easier than you might think | © Katherine Hanlon / Unsplash
Photo of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor31 August 2018

Aside from growing the city’s best produce and offering some of its finest views, Brooklyn Grange farm also hosts interesting and unusual workshops on its sun-drenched rooftop.

You’ve never tasted a tomato sweeter than the heirloom varieties grown by Brooklyn Grange. New York’s most successful urban farm currently produces 50,000 tons of organic produce a year, distributing it locally at vegetable-focused restaurants and farmers markets.

Besides being incredibly fruitful, its primary location – a 1.5-acre (0.6-hectare) rooftop in Brooklyn Navy Yard with Manhattan skyline views – is also a peaceful, pretty setting for educational workshops and activities.

Each summer, the farm offers a curated program of food and nature-themed events led by visiting experts such as Laena McCarthy, a wellness coach and food entrepreneur whose class Make Your Own Skincare will teach attendees how to mix their own herb-infused oils and balms.

A tour at Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm | © Brooklyn Grange

“DIY products are 100 percent in your control, free from toxins, customized to your skin type, healthy and nourishing, way cheaper than commercial brands. And best of all, they’re fun and empowering to make,” explains McCarthy, adding: “Sephora sells a ‘pure radiance’ face oil for $110. I teach my students to make this $110 product at home for less than $10, and with minimal effort. All you need is a trusted recipe, good base oils, good dried plants and time.”

Once the products have been blended and bottled, she teaches a warm-oil massage technique called abhyanga. Borrowed from Ayurveda – a 5,000-year-old Indian system designed to address each individual’s natural constitution, or dosha – regular application is said to keep the body supple and healthy.

“It’s the ultimate expression of self-love, and my all-time favorite self-care practice,” McCarthy says. “Literally, your skin will be glowing and warm. A regular, weekly practice enhances circulation and leaves your skin feeling baby soft.”

Abyanga massage is said to be especially useful for vata doshas (constitutions governed by the air and ether elements). Since vata people tend to be sensitive to the cold, with rough or dry skin, the warm stimulating practice of Abyanga can help restore balance.

Join the $65 workshop – Make Your Own Skincare: Infused Oils and Balms for Self-Care – on September 11 2018, 6.30-8.30pm.

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