This year, I decided to gift myself “The Year of YES”. Saying yes to new possibilities, new adventures, new projects that take me out of my comfort zone and opens up my space to further cultivate and grow. Whatever comes my way, I’m ready to roll with it! Of course, some of my “yes” decisions that will take place this year have had a bit of planning and were well thought out, but some were spontaneous (like my engagement in 2014) that will lead to two people walking down the aisle and saying a big “YES” this upcoming spring… I get goose bumps just thinking about it!
I begin this amazing new year with one of the most exciting trips. An opportunity that is very special to me and so rare that I can’t begin to express in words how fortunate I feel. I have been bursting with excitement for months and in just a few days, I’ll be on my way to Los Angeles to work with the most exquisite skin chef in the skincare industry,May Lindstrom! Yup, you heard me right. The one and only, May Lindstrom! Hello internship of a lifetime, I embrace you with open arms.
In the past five years, I’ve made the switch to natural and organic products. Nourishment inside and out is integral to our overall health and since our skin is the largest organ in the body, I am very careful with what I apply. I’ve tried many brands, played around in the kitchen formulating my own creations and it wasn’t until I came across May Lindstrom’s skincare line that I began noticing results. And I’m taking about real results. The nutrient-dense products potent with antioxidants leave your skin looking radiant with an instant glow beyond the surface. These results are deep within the skin with the ability to heal, nourish and hydrate.
Say goodbye to skin irritations, sun spots, stripping, flaking and scaring from all the harsh products out there that leave your skin deprived and screaming for real wholesome ingredients and say hello to gorgeous healthy looking skin. The earthy warming spices, anti-inflammatory ingredients mixed with superfoods are soothing and calming on the skin. In my case, it helped heal my cystic acne, reduce my redness, inflammation and minimize my pores. Of course, lifestyle, diet, hormones, genetics all play a major role in the overall skin health, but I wasn’t able to find anything as effective as these products that are so targeted to decrease inflammation topically without sacrificing quality and purity of ingredients. I believe that a well balanced diet complimented with a great skin regimen is the key to luminous skin.
Ingredients you can trust and labels you can understand. This is what May’s products encapsulate. Spices and superfoods that you can add in your culinary dishes are used in her skincare products. Nourishing the body without any compromise. Raw honey, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, vanilla, cacao, cloves and nutmeg are just some of the elements throughout the products and for me, these are some of my smoothie essentials. Hmmm… makes you wonder. It doesn’t need to be so complicated, all we need is simplicity for our body to have a reaction for the better. It’s a miracle that what we truly require, what we really need are ingredients that come straight from our loving earth and are not made up in laboratories filled with chemicals and harmful toxins. The truth is I didn’t know either many years ago and it wasn’t until I was faced with a health scare that I began making sure that quality needs to come in every form and if I was to continue using skincare products that I would find ones with the highest and purest ingredients.
When I enrolled myself at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, I couldn’t look the other way and close my eyes knowing all the information I was gaining from my studies. This is what happens when we learn new information, it is not easy to avoid the truth because the little voice in back of our mind continues to remind us of it. In my case, I couldn’t even try if I wanted to. My health was on the line.
May and her team blend the raw ingredients in her LA private studio and each batch is handcrafted using sustainable, conscious, organic, bio-dynamic ingredients without parabens, petroleum, sulphates, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, DEA, TEA, pesticides, fragrances, artificial dyes, carcinogens or propylene. These are ingredients you would find in conventional skincare products and as they enter the bloodstream, they disrupt our hormones and immune system, causing toxicity to our reproductive system and impairing the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. To make things even more complicated, some “natural or organic products” often contain chemicals or synthetic ingredients so reading labels becomes the most important task when selecting a product.
I am in love with the entire MLS line, they are part of my daily ritual and they are so exquisite in their own way, but compliment each other to give your skin the glow it was yearning for. One product in particular has really made a difference on my skin. The Blue Cocoon is a magical beauty balm brought to you with the most incredible scent to give you the ultimate experience. The calming ingredients help reduce inflammation, hydrate, nourish and protect the skin from the effects of our ever changing climate. It is curated to be incorporated in every season – from bringing relief to sunburn skin, reducing redness and inflammation, as well protecting during the cooler climate and crisp air.
Below is a look at the benefits of each ingredient in the Blue Cocoon. You’ll understand as to why this really works and why it is such a superior product on the market. This is the perfect potion for anyone hoping to heal cystic acne, scar tissue and bring a sense of calmness to delicate, inflamed skin conditions.
Blue Tansy (Morocco) – reduces inflammation, irritation, swelling, itchiness, excellent for sunburned skin, promotes tissue regeneration, treats bruises, soothing and healing, calms the mind as well as the skin. Traditionally used for medicinal purposes to treat rheumatism, digestive problems, sores and fevers.
Baobab (Africa) – slows down the aging process, reduces inflammation, rich in Essential Fatty Acids (helps to improve the skin), high in vitamin C (6x higher than oranges), rich in vitamin A & E, regenerates cells, cleans pores and it’s an excellent ingredient for healing eczema.
Virgin Marula Oil (Africa) – slows down damage to collagen, plumps skin cells, rich in antioxidants, high in vitamin E and C, highly moisturize skin, helps reduce redness and heals damage skin.
Yangu Oil (Africa) – high content of Essential Fatty Acids, rich in antioxidants, provides natural sun protection, improves skin elasticity and suppleness.
Myrrh Oil (Arabia) – antiseptic, prevents sunburn, powerful antioxidant, prevents skin aging, soothes chapped/cracked skin, heals skin conditions and accelerates wound healing – acne, eczema, skin infections.
Frankincense Oil (Arabia) – regenerates skin and healthy cells, reduces wrinkles, reduces inflammation, eliminates sun spots, tones & tightens skin, helps wounds heal faster, helps fade stretch marks and scars, as well heals acne.
Vanilla CO2 (extracted of the fruit beans from Madagascar) – calming, soothing and aromatic.
Camelia Seed Oil (Japan – oil comes from the nut of the beautiful camelia flower that grows in the middle of winter) – enhances cell regrowth, replenishes, nourishes, moisturizes skin, it’s composed of Omega-9 fatty acids, vitamin A, B, and E, plant collagen and protein, protects skin from harmful UV and environmental damage, protects skin from age spots, freckles and pigmentation.
Shea Butter (Western Africa) – renews, protects skin against aging and harsh climate, anti-inflammatory, skin regenerating, heals burns, cuts, stimulates collagen production, deeply moisturizing, repairs wrinkles, fine lines, scars, high in antioxidant properties, used as an after-sun care, heals eczema and provides vitamins, nutrients skin neeeds during cold season and summertime.
Cacao Seed Butter (South America) – high in antioxidants, fights off free radicals and prevents skin from being destroyed, deeply hydrates the skin, heals skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis.
Lavender Oil (Bulgaria) – treats acne prone skin, relieves itchiness, decongests and adds moisture to the skin, speeds up healing process, lessens eczema outbreaks, relieves tension, inflammation, increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells, heals burns, chapped and sunburn skin, antiseptic, boosts circulation and keeps cells healthy.
Geranium Rose Oil (South Africa) – very soothing, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, balances the secretion of sebum and clears oily skin/returns the skin to a normal balance, helps with burns, eczema, wounds and acne scars.
Immortelle Oil (Mediterranean Countries) – healing plant for damaged skin tissue, restores healthy skin, has antioxidant properties, stimulates cellular regeneration, heals scar tissues, excellent for acne and inflamed skin (anti-inflammatory), reduces redness, stimulates production of new skin cells.
Aromatica Oil (Madagascar) – antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and promotes detoxification.
Schisandra CO2 Fruit Extract (China) – reduces inflammation and calms the skin, delays the signs of aging, inhibts oxidative cell damage, reduces irritation, protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and wind.
My ritual is as follows:
The Honey Mud (Morning & Evening) – for gentle cleansing to remove makeup and daily exposure to environmental toxins. Tip: you can also use this as a masque treatment leaving it on the skin for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Jasmine Garden (Morning & Evening) – botanical mist that helps restore elasticity and reduce inflammation. This feels like I just walked into an exotic garden. This mist helps provide hydration to your skin and balance pH levels. I love bringing this with me when I travel for that extra boost of nourishment, especially on long flights. Follow with a serum or moisturizer as soon as you tone while the skin is still wet.
The Youth Dew (Morning) – a few drops of this potent organic serum in the morning applied on wet skin helps to hydrate the skin. It is infused with botanicals oils and CoEnzyme Q10 (an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, encourages skin repair and regeneration). Tip: try adding a couple of drops of Youth Dew on wet skin before putting on the Problem Solver masque treatment.
The Blue Cocoon (Evening) – a pea sized massaged all over the face, neck and décolletage. Tip: I love to massage a tiny bit more in the palms of my hand and just before I meditate, I deeply inhale this beautiful scent that brings a sense of calmness throughout my mind and body.
The Problem Solver (2x per week) – warming spices, raw cacao, healing bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients and salts powder that turn into a mousse with the touch of a few drops of water. Tip: Combine the Honey Mud and Problem Solver together to elevate your treatment experience.
The Clean Dirt (3x per week) – a cleansing clay that exfoliants to remove dead skin cells and encourages blood flow leaving your skin smooth and radiant. Tip: try combining the Honey Mud with the Clean Dirt for a mini treatment for 15-20 minutes.
I use the Problem Solver masque twice a week and I always like to add whatever ingredients I have in my medicinal cabinet or pantry. I remember the first time I ever tried the Problem Solver. I was speechless at how clear and calm my skin looked after as I have never seen those kind of results so quickly with any product. If you are set for time, you can quickly whip up the Problem Solver and go read a book or meditate for the next 45 minutes. If you are feeling adventurous, try adding other ingredients that you have around the home. This is one of my favourite recipes that I have been using lately.
In the recipe below, I added organic blue-green algae as it is one of the most nutrient-dense whole foods on the planet. I consume this superfood due to its high potency of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids. It contains eight essential amino acids that the body easily absorbs (morning drink: love to add 1/2 tsp. of blue-green algae in a glass of water with fresh lemon juice and a dash of lemon salt). It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, vitamin B6 and folate. Blue-green algae helps to balance the immune system calming the inflammatory response. As for our skin health, blue-green algae assists in repairing skin cells and reducing UV damage, enhancing circulation, removing dirt and toxins deep within the skin as well moisturizing and hydrating.
New Zealand Manuka honey has natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that helps heal wounds, repairs tissue damage and removes bacteria from the skin leaving your skin looking healthy. It works great as a cleanser when applied to wet skin. I love using this on its own in the morning.
Probiotic powder is wonderful to add to any mask. It helps to clear complexion, minimizes acne, reduces inflammation, calms the skin, eliminates redness and nourishes the skin.
Baobab is one of my favourite superfoods. I am in love with this wonderful immune booster and use it daily during the colder months. It is super high in vitamin C, rich in vitamin A, E and fiber. It provides the body with a wide range of minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and potassium. It is a wonderful immune booster, helps regulate hormones, if taken in the afternoon (1 tbsp. of baobab in 8oz glass of water) it’s the perfect picker upper. Also, if you feel a cold coming on – this is one superfood you need in your pantry. Baobab is also used in many holistic beauty products as the skin eats it up. The vitamin C content is quite high and helps with collagen formation and repairing the skin.
Avocado provides nourishment, hydration and is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. During the windy cold months, this fruit added to a mask helps moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation, itchiness and dryness due to its omega-9 fat concentration.
- 1 tbsp. May Lindstrom problem solver masque
- ½ tsp. blue-green algae
- 1 tsp. manuka honey
- ½ tsp. probiotic powder
- ½ tsp. Organic Burst baobab powder
- 1 tbsp. avocado
- a couple of drops of water
- Add all ingredients in a bowl.
- Gently mix them together with a brush. If more water is required, add a couple of more drops of water. Be careful not to add too much. You want to create a mouse consistency.
- Massage over face and neck.
- Leave it on for at least 45 minutes. (I like to leave mine on for 1 hour and 30 minutes). You may experience a warming tingling sensation which is normal.
- Rinse and follow with a toner and serum or moisturizer.
“skin is delicious. it is sensual, delicate and erotic.
skin is intimate. it envelops, seduces and protects.”