May: This line was born out of a desire to create blissful bookends in my day, a time-out morning and night that was just for me. Having formulated for years out of necessity (I am blessed with highly sensitive and chemically reactive skin), I yearned to create something that was simply luxurious and lovely. My foundation in purity and simplicity is solid, but it was time for me to embrace playfulness and beauty in my potions. I wanted to feel something when I picked up a bottle and entered my cleansing ritual. I wanted to feel peace, joy and celebration all in that one moment. And I wanted to share that with every woman I loved and cared about so she could feel this too.
Institute: When did your love of skin care begin?
May: My adventures into skincare began as a small girl. Growing up, I would spend full days mashing wild plants into a pulp and covering myself, and everyone who would humor me in “potions” made from these vibrant green liquids and the clays I would dig from the iron rich soil in my yard. I have been a formulator of sorts from the very beginning, moving from child’s play, to my work cooking in professional kitchens, and back again to magical beauty potions.
I am passionate about pure, potent ingredients and about a return to our roots. Our planet provides such an elegant bounty of delicious botanicals, clays, salts and spices that it is hard for me to fathom how we have strayed so far from that to the current trend of hocus-pocus performed in laboratories, mass produced plastic bottles filled with damaging synthetic chemicals and cheap fillers.
I believe in simplicity. While I have given an incredible amount of attention to designing products that create a feeling of decadence and celebration, my very core is as basic and grounded as it gets. Beauty truly does come from within and I know that without a healthy body and spirit, our skin suffers. I can talk for days about nutrition and the delicate balance of our inner workings. There is no magic bullet in a bottle, not from my line and not from any other.
May: I purchase raw ingredients in their fresh and active state from a small handful of suppliers who work directly with farms from all over the world. With the plant ingredients especially, this is incredibly important. It is imperative to fill each and every bottle with the most vibrant raw materials possible. That sometimes means a lot of searching and alternating areas of the world I source from for each ingredient as seasons fluctuate and certain crops are more or less abundant. It’s a major part of what we do, and something our very foundation is built on.
Institute: What has been your proudest moment since starting May Lindstrom?
May: January of last year. I’d been running my entire business as a one-woman show out of a bedroom in my house – blending and filling each and every bottle by hand, shipping every package and making every phone call and email. All this while nursing my baby girl and learning the balance of new parenthood. That month I finally asked for help, hired my first three employees all in one week, and moved us into a work studio the next. It was a massive leap of faith, and when I landed, I looked around and realized I had created my own little family. They were in this with me, and together we could do anything.
May: In the morning I keep things very simple – a splash of cool water and gentle massage most days, followed by The Youth Dew or The Blue Cocoon and The Jasmine Garden. If I’m feeling dehydrated and sensitive, I’ll wear The Honey Mud into the shower, giving myself a quick enzyme and antioxidant treatment, and protecting my skin from evaporation of precious oils. In the evening, I’ll cleanse with The Honey Mud (it’s a double duty powerhouse), every second or third day adding in The Clean Dirt to effectively exfoliate, brighten, restore tone and give serious glow. Once or twice a week, I take a time out to indulge in a full treatment with The Problem Solver. It’s warming, powerfully detoxifying, and an anti-inflammatory superhero. After, massage with The Youth Dew, followed by The Blue Cocoon, and a generous mist of The Jasmine Garden.
Institute: Describe your travel essentials?
May: The entire collection comes with me everywhere I go, in sweet little mini bottles (releasing soon!). I formulate for myself, first and foremost , and for my crazy sensitive and reactive skin, each piece is a must. I carry The Blue Cocoon and The Jasmine Garden on board any long flight, keeping my skin hydrated and fresh, so I can step off the plane even better than I stepped on.
May: The Blue Cocoon is my absolute favorite treat of all time, on the entire planet. The Blue Cocoon is essentially the most beautiful facial oil you’ve ever experienced in a unique waterless and waxless balm form. In the jar, it is a solid. Once it touches skin, it turns immediately to a lovely fluid. This is used both as a daily hydrator or as a special treatment for skin that is sensitive, inflamed, damaged, acneic or irritated. It can be used as a spot treatment or for the full face, neck and decollete. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and soothes skin in the most beautiful way, providing the perfect level of hydration and healing, eliminating any redness and irritation. It works wonderfully for all skin types, and is especially effective for those prone to eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea.
This contains blue tansy, which calms and relieves inflammation on a magical level. It’s like a meditation and spa vacation for your skin – in aromatherapy, blue tansy is used to reduce anxiety, heal sleep disorders and soften the feeling of being out of control. Total bonus – this can double as my favorite eye and lip treatment of all time.
May: My go-to DIY: A hot bath, salty as the sea, and pure raw honey blended with a bit of cinnamon, slathered thick from forehead to breasts… simple, and life-changing.
Institute: Apart from May Lindstrom what are your other beauty staples?
May: Simple things – raw coconut oil for head to toe hydration, good salts for the bath, chlorella powder for a quick and nutrient rich masque treatment.
May: For me, diet is absolutely key to beauty and well-being. I eat very well and am a lover of good food. I subscribe to two different CSAs and love having these mystery boxes of super fresh fruits and vegetables show up on my doorstep. Living in California, I am very blessed with incredible access to the best farm-fresh goodies year round. It inspires me to cook gorgeous food that feeds both my soul and my family’s bellies. I believe in eating the rainbow, choosing the most vibrantly colored produce you can find and mixing up your meals regularly for nutritional variety. I incorporate tons of whole unprocessed grains and every type of legume I can get my hands on.
Institute: What foods do you avoid?
May: I focus on vibrant, whole foods, but I also believe in a little indulgence. There’s little that is entirely off limits one hundred percent of the time. There’s a saying: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” :)
May: Yasmina Rossi. She’s a model, but so much more than that. In her sixties now, she’s simply the most stunning woman I’ve every met face to face. Her skin glows in the most incredibly magical way. You can see her inner beauty resonate through her outer beauty. Ethereal, radiant, glorious. She’s phenomenally inspiring.
Institute: What do you do when you are having a ‘bad’ skin day?
May: The Problem Solver. Always. It’s a miracle worker.
Institute: What is the best thing we can do for our skin?
May: Feed your skin well, give it rest, and shower every inch with love – just like the rest of us.
Institute: Do you have a daily exercise routine?
May: I wish I could claim that exercise played a steady role. Quite honestly, it is not something I have ever made consistent time for. I try to take regular walks with my yellow lab and little girl, but I will admit it’s not nearly as often as we would all like.
May: My family. My husband will turn on music in the morning, loud. My three year old squeezes herself between us and we all dance around wildly. It’s super goofy, but gets us all off on the right foot, and connected to each other.
Institute: If I only had 10 minutes to get ready, which steps would you say I should never leave the house without doing?
May: When I’m rushing out the door, with barely time to toss on jeans and a tshirt, I toss The Jasmine Garden and The Blue Cocoon in my bag. A quick mist and a touch of my favorite treat, and I’m good to go.