This post is a collaboration with Naturelle.fi
With Easter over and our tummies full of chocolate eggs, it’s time to get out the gentle skin potions. Spring-time is notorious for destabilizing the skin, triggering old skin problems, causing redness, irritation, and random outbreaks of juicy pimples. The Finnish climate is still dry at this point, posing its own challenges for skin care, which is why it is important to amp up the amount of hydrating and nourishing antioxidants in our skin care rituals.
Spring is the perfect time for internal as well as external (not to speak of mental) detoxing. The chaotic state of the skin is a sure sign of the body trying to cleanse itself of old baggage. A lot of people will go crazy with the cleansers and exfoliates at this point, and do a disservice to their skin, which is why I’m sharing with you my own skin potions, selected from May Lindstrom’s products.
May’s products are both gentle and effective. There’s not a skin type that can’t benefit from them. May’s own skin is very complicated, and prone to irritation, redness, and breaking out. The whole May Lindstrom range was created with her skin in mind, in fact, which is why she feels confident in recommending her products for other sensitive skins.
It’s easy to think of May’s products as luxury items to be used sparingly, but when you consider their package size, you’ll find they are actually very affordable. Always look at the unit price to get the true price and value of a product.
For me, my daily skin care is pure pleasure, self-care, and pampering. May’s products, with their beautiful gleaming black jars and phenomenally effective and fragrant ingredients, turn those moments into comprehensive experiences. It’s far from some boring daily routine, and I believe the effects go deeper than just my skin.
May’s products have been key in my journey towards perfect skin: Jasmine Garden is my number one toner, Honey Mud is at the top of my list of go-to cleansers, and I use Clean Dirt four times a week to supplement my cleanser. My latest innovation is mixing Honey Mud with Problem Solver to create the most heavenly mask conceivable (a subject deserving of a post of its own). My skin has also been going through a bit of a spring-detox, and I’ve been using May’s products to help it along.
Not many of us can afford purchasing this entire range of shiny black jars at once, so I have chosen three must-have products for irritated, itchy, red, breakout-prone, or otherwise spring-addled skin.
The duo I would recommend for anyone, regardless of skin type, is the Honey Mud Cleansing Silk cleanser and the Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist toner. These two alone will go a long way in soothing any and all skin problems – the gentle cleanser counteracts those harsh cleansers you’ve been using, and the toner provides plenty of moisture and nourishment.
Whatever your skin type or problem, it is pointless to treat the symptoms if you’re not also caring for the foundation. The basis of all skin care is a balanced hydrolipidic film; the health of the skin’s protective layer and immunity, in other words. You cannot get rid of impurities with harsh cleansers, but harsh cleansing will cause a sustained imbalance in the foundation.
Honey Mud is a perfectly gentle cleansing balm that nourishes, soothes, and cares for the skin. It can be used to remove even waterproof makeup, from the eyes as well as the pores. It’s not entirely water-soluble and should therefore be used with a muslin cloth, or a soft cotton terry cloth towel, dipped in hot water. I believe the reason people choose harsh cleansers is because they don’t know how to properly use the gentle ones; cleansing balms and milks require a cloth or sponge to remove the product from the skin and the pores. Rinsing with water isn’t optimal for the skin anyway, as the comparatively high pH balance of tap water causes imbalance and dryness in the skin.
Honey Mud is not only a cleanser, however, but also an enzymatic antioxidant mask, and therefore an excellent spring-time potion – especially for irritated skin with rosacea, atopy, or dermatitis. It is also very effective in treating ageing skin and discoloration.
What makes the products so incredibly effective is raw honey, which is first on the list of ingredients and therefore the most used ingredient in the product. With its numerous positive effects on the skin, honey is in fact one of the best skin care ingredients. It is antibacterial, a strong antioxidant, and an excellent humectant, or moisture-binding ingredient, and contains plenty of enzymes that stimulate skin processes and regenerate skin cells.
Honey Mud also contains kaolin, which purifies the skin and so makes a great ingredient for all types of cleansing products, pore-minimizing and sebum-regulating witch hazel water, as well as antibacterial and soothing colloidal silver. More skin care products should contain colloidal silver, which is great for soothing irritated and infected skin, and balances out skin processes and strengthens the protective layer of the skin.
The product also contains a wonderful combination of essential oils, including cacao, orange, ylang-ylang, vanilla, cedar, frankincense, and myrrh. In addition to the lovely butterscotch-like scent that this combination of oils creates, each individual oil also contains dozens of wonderful natural components, with their own aromatherapy and healing effects.
Honey Mud is the most nourishing and effective cleanser that I’ve come across so far, and the fact that it doubles as an enzymatic mask only makes it that much greater.
In my March Favorites, I mentioned that I’d been treating my surgical scar – when it was still infected, I used Honey Mud mixed with Jasmine Garden and Problem, followed by a light layer of Blue Cocoon. The infection was gone in under a week, and each treatment reduced the redness of the surgery site.
Another definite must-have from May is the Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist. You know my incurable weakness for mist toners; whenever I find a new brand, the first thing I try is the toner. At the moment, however, Jasmine Garden is the only product that I keep repurchasing as soon as I run out. I have tried my hand at making my own, jasmine absolute-spiked toner, but I’ll never create a scent as bewitching as this. Besides – May’s bottles contain magic that isn’t mentioned in the INCI.
And while the scent of Jasmine Garden is like something from the Garden of Eden, there’s more to the product than just that. The toner combines ingredients that are, as always, great for any skin type, especially stressed, hormonal, irritated or itchy skin, as well as for eczema, atopy, rosacea, and acne. Witch hazel water soothes the skin, minimizes pores, regulates sebum-production, and hydrates the skin. Other ingredients include colloidal silver, the benefits of which I mentioned above. I have used colloidal silver internally to treat flu symptoms, including a sore throat, but it is also great for treating skin problems, even doubling as a preservative.
After gently cleansing the skin, the next step in any skin care routine is ample hydration. You have to remember to properly hydrate the skin in order for the repairing and nourishing skin care products to actually work.
Jasmine Garden is an effective, soothing and moisturizing aromatherapy bath for all skin types, and should be spritzed on morning and evening on the face and neck, before applying serum and skin oil. It can also be spritzed over makeup, and can thus be used to refresh the skin and the senses throughout the day.
Picking my third must-have product was a bit more challenging, but in the end I went for the Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate. This blue, intoxicatingly scented, beauty balm is a multipurpose product for all skin types and imbalances, especially rosacea, atopy, couperosa, and dermatitis, as well as stressed or hormonal skin.
The nourishing, softening, and smoothing oils in Blue Cocoon are diverse: camellia oil, shea butter, cacao butter, marula oil, yangu oil, and baobab oil. Camellia oil is especially popular in Japan, where it is regarded as the geisha’s beauty secret. The oil contains unsaturated oleic acid, omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, B, D, and E.
Rich in antioxidants, fatty-acids, and minerals, African marula oil is a nutrient-rich healing oil used in the treatment of numerous skin problems. It cares for and protects the skin from external stressors, treats discoloration, evens out lines, and brightens and softens the skin. Like marula oil, yangu oil is a thin and quickly-absorbed oil that has been used in African skin care for centuries. Yangu oil provides light, natural protection against UV-radiation, and is excellent for treating very irritated, dry, and sun-damaged skin. Baobab oil is obtained from the Baobab or Adansonia tree, the “tree of life”, and is also native to the African continent. Baobab oil is likewise a staple of traditional African skin care, only gaining popularity in the Western world in the last few years as a so-called cosmeceutical ingredient – somewhere between cosmetic and pharmaceutical.
Apart from these nourishing, repairing, smoothing, and brightening oils, Blue Cocoon also contains a harmonic selection of essential oils: blue tansy, myrrh, lavender, frankincense, geranium, schisandra, immortelle (helichrysum), and ravensara. If I were to delve into the secret of each individual oil, I’d still be sitting here tomorrow. Instead, I have picked out one ingredient to shed a bit more light on: blue tansy oil, or Moroccan chamomile, which contains enough azulene to turn the oil a deep blue color. It is also where Blue Cocoon gets its petrol turquoise color, and most of its scent.
Azulene is great for soothing infection and irritation, and repairing damaged skin, which is why I used Blue Cocoon to treat my surgery scar when it was still irritated and sensitive to the touch.
Blue Cocoon cools and soothes the skin, and, instead of drying them out, I would recommend using the balm as spot-treatment for sore hormonal pimples. In fact, I would say that the secret to perfect skin, besides getting your skin care routine right, is gentle effectiveness, not forceful scrubbing, washing, and drying.
As Blue Cocoon is an oil (a balm in the jar, becoming liquid once applied to the skin) it requires plenty of hydration to be properly absorbed by the skin, and for the product to work to its full potential. The best option is the Jasmine Garden toner; the cacao and shea butter in Blue Cocoon lock in moisture and nutrients, and together with the toner, provide enough moisture that you could even skip the actual moisturizer. One less bottle, and the unit price for the balm is perfectly reasonable, too.
Are you experiencing spring-time skin trouble, and have you found your remedies? Are May’s products a part of your daily skin care routine, or do you save them for luxurious pampering sessions? Please share your own experiences with May’s products!
Bed spread Proloque
Products provided by Naturelle
Photos Katja Kokko
Translation Katja Nikula