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Q&A: Inside The Beautiful World Of May Lindstrom

 

As a former model, wife, mum of two, skin chef and the woman behind one of the world’s most luxurious and beloved organic skincare brands, May Lindstrom’s life is as busy as it is beautiful. We spoke to gorgeous entrepreneur to get the insider info on her lifestyle, philosophy, and the evolution of her incredible skincare line, along with her top natural beauty product picks from Beautiful Because.

 

Q: What inspired you to begin formulating your own beauty products?

A: My adventures in 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 humour 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.

May Lindstrom Skin was born out of a desire to create blissful bookends in my day, a time-out morning and night that was just for me. I formulated for years out of personal necessity (I am blessed with highly sensitive and chemically-reactive skin), and spent much of my twenties creating bespoke formulations for those with extreme skin conditions such as severe acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, radiation burns from chemotherapy and cancer treatments or surgeries.

Following this, I yearned to create something that was simply luxurious and lovely, and yet still offered the level of efficacy that I had seen truly transform the skin of my clients. My foundation in purity and simplicity is solid, but it was time for me to again 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. 

Q: Why did you choose to create natural beauty products?

A: Just like with food, organically grown ingredients often have higher nutrient levels, and are missing chemical residues that can irritate skin or potentially cause long-term harm in the body. I believe strongly in utilising the very best possible ingredients in my formulations. By choosing raw materials that are grown in the wild, or by organic farming methods, I feel I am doing just that.

Your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, so I follow the same philosophy for skincare as I would in my diet. There is simply no place for pesticides, preservatives or unnecessary synthetics. It's not about being an "organic" brand as much as it is creating the highest possible quality skin treats that I am capable of.

As a rule, I select only ingredients that are organic, biodynamic, wild-crafted, cruelty-free, sustainable, and both socially and environmentally conscious. There are no fillers or fluff. Every single ingredient is lovingly procured for it's vital purpose. I create my own proprietary formulas with absolutely no outsourcing - this means I do not purchase base formulas, use labs, generics or shortcuts. These are my own personal recipes - every single one, in full.

Q: What was the first skincare product you created, and how did it come to fruition?

A: I’ve been formulating since childhood, but the first piece that was created specific to this collection was The Good Stuff. It’s such a magical and beautiful treasure, and it embodies what I was hoping to inspire with this collection – primarily, a return to ritual, and an embrace of the romance in our own skin.  

I had been dreaming of the foundational concept for this brand for many years, and finally took the leap in January of 2010 when I hired designer, Rodney Kizziah, to work alongside me to develop our packaging. We built out the physical materials to share our story as I finalised the first four treats for the collection and designed our website.

We officially – and very quietly – launched over the week of Thanksgiving 2011 with our first four treats: The Clean Dirt, The Problem Solver, The Good Stuff and The Youth Dew. In January of 2012, the entirety of my packaging was finally finished after two full years of development on that alone, and the first pre-orders were shipped out. On July 31st of 2012, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. The following morning, I launched with my first retailer. From there, it’s been a whirlwind! 

Q: The May Lindstrom brand boasts a cult international following. Why do you think the brand resonates with so many women?

A: I believe we are all hungry to feel something. For so long, our beauty routines have been almost strictly functional, and the marketing in this space tells the story of you being broken, of needing to fix something that is wrong with you. It’s time for this chapter to end, and my brand takes this craving for celebratory and intimate beauty and goes deep to indulge it.

I provide treats for women (and men) who are ready to embrace a love affair with themselves, who know they are worth it, and have discovered that self-care that makes them feel good is part of wellness. It’s about so much more than skincare, or about products in a bottle. What we do is extend an invitation for you to create the time and space for the personal connection with yourself that you deserve. It’s my mission to shift how we care for ourselves, starting with the most basic and intimate of rituals – how we cleanse.

Q: Do you have any favourite products from your line?

A: The Honey Mud and The Blue Cocoon are both incredibly special to me, and were released on the same day. They are the ultimate duo for incredibly sensitive and reactive skin like mine. The Honey Mud lived in my imagination for years before it came to life under my fingertips. I dreamed of a formula that would marry my three favourite things - raw honey, pure plant oils, and gorgeous clays. The day this blend took final form was one of much celebration.

The Blue Cocoon was the formula I dreamed about my whole life and the one I am most proud of and personally attached to. This is essentially the most beautiful facial oil you’ve ever experienced in a unique waterless and wax-less balm form. In the jar, it’s 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 décolleté.

It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and soothes skin in the most beautiful way, providing the perfect level of hydration and healing, eliminating redness and irritation. It works wonderfully for all skin types, and is especially effective for those prone to eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea, as well as skin recovering from trauma or surgery. The Blue Cocoon contains the superhero ingredient blue tansy, which calms and relieves inflammation on a magical level. It's like a meditation and spa vacation for your skin.

The Youth Dew is my ultimate skin saviour. This tiny bottle packs a serious punch, delivering all the hydration your skin needs in just a couple drops while helping to balance your own natural oils, restore health and vibrancy and scare off any little lines or wrinkles before they have a chance to appear - oh yes, and it's amazing for clearing breakouts. I can go on and on, this one will never leave my collection.

Q: You obviously love natural skincare, but are you a fan of natural makeup too?

A: I have many natural makeup brands I admire. Our little world has gotten so much bigger and more glorious! I adore the cream blushes from Kjaer Weis (way to seriously raise the bar on packaging!), the Multi-Use Sticks from Vapour, Defining Wax from EcoBrow and the W3ll People Bio Bronzer – all fantastic products that you can find at Beautiful Because. 

Q: What's next for your beautiful brand?

A: I have so many dreams about what is ahead. We are growing quickly, but my foundation and core philosophy stand firmly on the grounds of intimacy, on being special, and on delivering the most over-the-top client service and a truly personal experience. I want the Skin collection to remain compact and concise, and for each piece to play a vital part of my ideal ritual. I have no desire to add dozens of new treats to the line, but I very much wish to continue adding to our story, and to bring in new pieces that deepen our connection to self and skin.

Looking forward, I see space for more collaboration with other artisans, for just a few more special products that I feel deeply pulled to develop, and I am also looking every day to discover more ways to delight each client individually - asking myself what more I can share that will show each and every one how truly grateful I am for their support of this dream of mine.

Q: What are some of your beauty secrets?

A: Eat the rainbow. Move your body. Breathe. Romance yourself to the point of blushing. Know that you are beautiful. Beauty is a reflection of your inner self – prioritise your own deliciousness, and be truly, fully, authentically You. Be sure that you create time to rest your body and your mind, to play and encourage opportunity for learning and joy, to share yourself fully with others and also to embrace moments of time alone. When we are happy and intimately immersed in our world, our beauty cannot help but shine through.

Q: What’s your favourite health food?

A: I love garlic! I know that’s a funny one, but it makes nearly everything better, and keeps my immune system strong. I’ll often leave a pot of beans to cook on low overnight, and in the morning, will greet the day with a big hearty bowl, swimming in broth and glugs of olive oil, and topped with fresh garlic and herbs. When I start the day like this, I feel like a superhero.

Q: What is your favourite way to unwind and relax?

A: I’m on day #13 of a commitment to stretch or do gentle yoga for at least five minutes, twice a day. This might not sound like much, but I’ll admit that I’m generally about as active as a sloth, and prioritising this kind of care for myself has been very much on the back-burner. I’ve never been someone who worked out or had a regular physical practice. It’s time. And so far I’m loving the difference in how I feel – even after just a few days! 

Q: What keeps you grounded?

A: My family. I’m a mother to two – of an almost five year-old daughter, and a six month-old son. These two and my husband are my everything. When the world is moving way too fast and the days feel too full, I get to go home to these treasures. Instantly, everything comes into perspective.

Q: What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

A: Beauty is what happens when our inner light and innate goodness resonates so deeply that it shines right through our cells, and creates ripples of love that are visible throughout the world. 

Click here to browse the entire May Lindstrom collection.

By Lauren Dunne


 

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