I am delighted, humbled, and incredibly honored to be able to share my May Lindstrom interview! Known as the skin chef, May Lindstrom has been creating her fresh, natural, and decadent skincare delights since 2011, though her informal experimentation as a formulator began as a young girl in the outdoors. She is a beauty alchemist who uses pure, potent ingredients to create skin treats that offer both high-performance results and an incredible experience for the senses.
May Lindstrom is a true green beauty pioneer who has and continues to elevate the industry in terms of purity and luxury, to inspire countless individuals to examine their choices, and to set the bar for skincare rituals as self-care. Anyone who thinks that natural skincare means giving up a degree of indulgence and pleasure has not tried May Lindstrom Skin. Her skin treats are addictive, and they have a cult-like following for a reason! May Lindstrom’s treasures restore natural balance to the skin and offer a decadent, sensual experience that invites the user to slow down, to notice, and to take self-care to new levels of tenderness and self-compassion. Her line is truly one of a kind. Moreover, May Lindstrom herself is a person who embodies the term “natural beauty,” inside and out. Her graciousness is remarkable. In fact, I can hardly think of May without “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron popping into my head. See for yourself.
Without further ado, the May Lindstrom interview!
May Lindstrom Interview:
A Candid Conversation on Sensitivity & Healing with Green Beauty’s Most Beloved Pioneer + Alchemist
The Beauty Librarian (BL): I read an interview in which you said, “My skin was a battleground from birth.” This is very humanizing to hear, especially in light of your renowned physical beauty and successful modeling career. How have skin challenges helped shape your approach to beauty?
May Lindstrom: It’s important to remember that we usually only see the highlight reel of people’s lives. In this time of highly filtered, sparkly social media accounts, it can be easy to lose perspective or forget that we are all human. While my skin has finally found its balance at thirty-four, it took me a lifetime to get here.
I have the kind of complexion that is so sensitive and reactive, that one application of the wrong product will leave me covered in blisters and rashes or a terrible breakout. My skin physically hurts when I do not treat it well. And the emotional toll of self-consciousness and shame that rears up far too easily – that’s no joke either.
Finding my voice and the strength to stand up and use it was quite the feat. I’m an introvert and a pleaser and that has a cost. Not having a voice to say No to the products used on me as a model was one of the big reasons I ultimately happily closed that career door. At the end of the day, I believe in making choices that resonate to my very core – and that certainly includes supporting the health and integrity of my skin and my whole self.
BL: What are the most important lessons you learned – as a formulator and human being– due to or through your experience with sensitive, reactive skin?
May Lindstrom: I believe in simplicity and know that this is what works for me on pretty much every level. While I have given an incredible amount of attention to designing products for this collection 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 also learned pretty early on that using even the simplest of common products (even basic soap or lotion) just wasn’t an option for my own personal body. In order to not have constant pain in my skin, I had to learn an entirely new language of care. Ultimately, this is what led to my becoming a formulator.
I believe our skin has the ability to heal itself if we let it. Sometimes our role is to get out of the way! It is our responsibility to provide abundant nutrition and hydration and to be gentle in our care. By limiting our exposure to harsh chemicals and extreme treatments, we open up to gentler methods. I build each of my products on the same philosophy and ingredients that have been treasured and shared by women all over the world since the beginning of time. I trust in earth’s bounty and the wisdom of those who came before me.
BL: Which of your delicious products — in addition to heavenly Blue Cocoon– are particularly helpful for redness and inflammation and how so?
May Lindstrom: The entire collection is formulated to work in synergy to restore balance, ultimately reviving the skin’s integrity and natural rhythm. This leads to lessened redness and inflammation no matter where your starting point was.
The Blue Cocoon is the obvious hero to address inflammatory conditions specifically, but since you prompted, I’ll share details on one more.
The Honey Mud is incredibly gentle and nourishing and helps bring relief to stressed skin. It is formulated to be true skin food. On days you are using The Honey Mud as a cleanser, massage a plump pea-sized dollop into wet skin to emulsify into a gorgeous and silky cleansing milk. Rinse thoroughly, while massaging with the pads of your fingertips. Your skin will feel plump, hydrated and thoroughly fed. As a deeply beneficial alternative, The Honey Mud makes the most nourishing raw enzyme treatment masque. Smooth thickly over clean and dry skin to give it a warm hug. The Honey Mud will maintain its pudding-like texture, rather than turning to a milky emulsion with the addition of water. Allow to penetrate and feed your skin for 10-60 minutes, as desired. In periods of heightened dehydration or sensitivity, wear The Honey Mud into the shower to protect the delicate natural oils of your skin from evaporation in the heat and water, rinsing as your last step.
While I’m here, you should know about The Jasmine Garden as well – this is our gorgeously ethereal botanical mist. This formula adds just a touch of light moisture, and also provides refreshing cleansing action throughout the day with the powerfully soothing combination of witch hazel and colloidal silver. This is particularly wonderful to bring calm and relief to acne and irritation prone skin, as well as to work as a penetration enhancer for The Youth Dew and The Blue Cocoon. The Jasmine Garden infuses skin with antioxidant protection, restoring elasticity and freeing delicate complexions of redness and inflammation.
The romantic aromatic experience of The Jasmine Garden is truly a dream. Soft, sweet, fresh – like a garden of lush flowers in the tropics, somewhere near a field of cocoa beans drenched in rain. This is beautiful after cleansing and before oils, again after oils, to set makeup, and to spritz throughout the day to refresh, cool, calm and heal. I even love to mist lightly on my pillow before sleep, grounding me for perfect rest.
BL: How would you advise someone who is in a bout of self-criticism over “skin issues” to get in touch with and celebrate her/his individual beauty?
May Lindstrom: With my collection, I make a very conscious effort to always draw attention to how amazing we already are, and how deserving we are of self-love and truly beautiful care that feeds both our skin and soul. I cringe at mainstream marketing and the stories it tells us, and mourn for the women who hear and believe these falsities about themselves.
You are not broken. You are whole, heard, and treasured. And you deserve care and touch, your own primarily.
We’ve been taught that self-care Is self-ish, and that is one of the most unfortunate messages we could be proliferating. I want every woman to know that she matters, that this time is hers, and that love that starts from the romance within and ripples out into the world, offering transformation far beyond ourselves.
My brand is an invitation for you to create the time and space for the personal connection you deserve with yourself. This action alone will transform you. What I want to is to get this message out there, to start a shift in how we care for ourselves, starting with the most basic and intimate of rituals – how we cleanse.
BL: You have two adorable children and a lovely family. How has your conception of beauty been informed by motherhood? How has motherhood informed your work as a beauty alchemist?
May Lindstrom: The birth of my children reaffirmed a lot of my core beliefs, philosophies and dreams – alongside my enhanced desire to bring ritual and connection to our skin back to the lives of women (and equally deserving men!). It also resurged my hope for a cleaner, happier planet for us all to live on together. This has always been a concern for me, but bringing new life onto this Earth shines a very acute personal spotlight on the urgency of this matter. I will always operate both my business and my personal life in a way that honors and celebrates our earth mama.