Photography by Becky Reams
Elisha Reverby shops at farmers markets like the rest of us, but she’s not looking for flavor. A batch of raw honey needn’t be sweet nor a bundle of fresh herbs provide zest. Reverby, a self-taught skin care expert, is searching for healing properties and how foods will feed and feel on the skin.
She is founder of Elique Organics in Venice, a skin care product line cooked up from edible ingredients. Her inspiration has been brewing for a very long time.
Meanwhile, as early as 1991, she rigorously searched for natural solutions to skin care in an industry she felt was plagued with chemical ingredients that were carcinogenic and disruptive to hormone cycles. Influenced by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the 1920s Austrian who originated Biodynamics, Reverby adopted the philosophy of a holistic agricultural system—that all aspects of life are connected to food and agriculture.
She has learned that the unique health benefits of each food we put in our mouth is equally nuanced when we put those foods on our face. Her ingredients read like a grocery list and provide insight on how to heal common skin problems with what you might find in your own kitchen.
Reverby sources ingredients from all over the world but her freshest ingredients start in a private Santa Monica garden where she cultivates plants and flowers that are distilled into essential waters and oils, the basis for many products in her skin care line.
She shops local farmers markets, relying on Fat Uncle Farms for almond products, Maggie’s Farm for bay leaves and herbs and Coleman Farms and J. R. Organics for ad- ditional produce used in the waters and oils. She gets beeswax from Harry’s Honey out of the Mar Vista market, and her ever-im- portant honeys come from a local network of treatment-free beekeepers rather than one source, as she is always in search of the cleanest products.
Beyond the items available online and a limited supply in ABC Carpet & Home in New York, Reverby prepares fresh-made treats out of her beauty kitchen in Venice. She serves up custom farmers market masks for her clients who desire an intense personalized skin treatment.
Unlike most chemical-based products, nature’s products—like those in our refrigerator—are perishable, therefore, she makes masks to order. She also brews up products for the hair including a mask made with dark beer and flax and macadamia nut oil.
Soon home-delivery for her prepared facial foods will be available in Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and Mar Vista. Reverby also shares recipes for homemade skin care on her on YouTube channel. They’re like bite-size samples you can try in your kitchen first to see how your face likes the taste of real food.