May Lindstrom The Problem Solver

One of the things I love the most about May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver is that it gives me an excuse to treat myself for 45 minutes. That’s 45 minutes of sipping tea and reading Murakami’s insane IQ84 with a jet-black, spicy, chocolate-y, wet cookie infusion sitting on my face. Or watching my new show obsession, Scandal, as this mask tightens, warms, and sucks nasties out of my face.

Try not to snort the powder when you’re scooping it out of the jar or mixing it up with your favorite medium (water, for me. It’s simple)–it’s spicy. That’ll be the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Sounds more like a recipe for Christmas cookies, but this one’s not for your taste buds–these spices warm up my face within the first 15 minutes of the mask. Be careful if you’re especially sensitive to spices or sensitive to excessive warmth (definitely have heard that this is a little too spicy for some people). Luckily, my skin does not act out as a result of this “healthy inflammation” once a week and instead seems to signal to itself, “Yo, go heal yourself.”

While cinnamon and cayenne pepper stimulate blood circulation (read: makes your face feel warm, potentially red under that cookie of a mask), nutmeg and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory. All of the spices are anti-acne in some way–cinnamon is battles acne bacteria, turmeric balances sebum production, clove is antiseptic. But for goodness sake, keep this away from your eye sockets unless you want your eyes to sting excruciatingly, speaking from accidental experience.

During the 45 minutes, you may notice black specks appear on your shirt, your laptop, your desk, and it’s okay–you can just wipe them away. Or wear a towel bib if you don’t want to bother (I have done this). Along with the warm feeling, fuller’s earth clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, and bamboo carbon charcoal powder squeeze and tighten up my face, leaving no place for nasties. The clays are rich in minerals such as calcium, silica, and iron which help to detoxify and draw out impurities, as Evan Healy, aesthetician and founder of Evan Healy skincare, says.

Rhassoul clay is super absorbent, pulling out unwanted toxins with its high concentration of minerals. Fuller’s earth clay (a mix of sodium/calcium bentonite) swells and produces an electric charge that draws out toxins and binds them to the clay–just add water. Bamboo carbon charcoal powder also helps to suck up excess oil and draw out toxins through its ability to attract and hold harmful substances (Google “bamboo carbon charcoal powder” and “adsorption” and various studies about using this powder to remove phenol and nitrate-nitrogen from water pop up).

At the end, you’ll have a gray cast over your face that your mom will laugh at (and then eagerly ask if it will tighten her pores) and if you laugh back, it may crack, so try to be serious. You’ll probably be able to see little air dots from your pores and maybe wet spots where the clays have drawn out a whitehead (score!)

I reach for this mask when I want 45 minutes of time-out. Time-out from work, from pimples. At the end, I’m revived, I’m rested, I can shower (definitely recommend to rinse off in shower–can be a mess) and dry my hair as I finish the rest of my work. If I’m lucky, I end up with one less pimple. I sometimes end up a little rosier than usual, but that is temporary.

A few more interesting ingredients: Cacao. Antioxidants. Is it enough cacao for antioxidants (like have you had enough wine for antioxidants)? Don’t know. Hasn’t hurt.

Ascorbic acid. Is my skin brighter afterwards from the extra vitamin C? Can’t really say. It’s not darker, for sure.

Gotu kola. Wound-healing, antioxidant-boosting, stimulating. Affirmative and cool name for a plant that is related to parsley.

tl;dr Spicy cocoa meets clays & charcoal makes detoxifying and healing mask that jives well with my combo-acneic skin. Be careful if you’re sensitive to spices. Favorite mask for 45 min of time-out. About price for size: it’s a big jar. Also, May Lindstrom is a major babe.

Have you tried this mask? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your favorite time-out mask?

Ingredients: fuller’s earth clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, theobroma cacao (raw cacao)**, red alaea sea salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), sodium bicarbonate, bamboo carbon charcoal powder, vanilla planifolia bean*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower*, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, boswellia carteri (frankincense)***, centella asiatica (gotu kola)*, archangelica (angelica) root*, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)*, myristica fragans (nutmeg)*, syzygium aromaticum (clove)*, curcuma longa (turmeric)*, capsicum annuum (cayenne) pepper*.

*Certified Organic
**Fair Trade Certified
***Wild Harvested

Disclaimer: I purchased this mask myself during a No More Dirty Looks promotion where each order included a sneak peek at the not-yet-but-now-released Honey Mud. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. This post contains affilate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Additional Sources:
Allison, Rhonda. “Understanding Inflammation: The Root Cause Of Skin Aging.” Skin, Inc 26.3 (2014): 54-58. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 21 July 2014.

Dalai, Manoj K., et al. “Anti-Cholinesterase Activity Of The Standardized Extract Of Syzygium Aromaticum L.” Pharmacognosy Magazine 10.38/S2 (2014): S276-S282. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.

Rubino, Jessica. “Ayurvedic SKIN CARE.” Delicious Living 30.6 (2014): 43-44. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.

Wallace, Bevin. “Facial Clays Primer.” Natural Foods Merchandiser 30.11 (2009): 26. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.

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The Skincare Tag

Thank you Marcella from Naturally Marcy for tagging me! Hope you enjoy~

DESCRIBE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE IN 5 WORDS
My skin is the king.

WHAT’S YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Dry, acne-prone

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCT?

Oils. I love facial and body oils so much. I love how concentrated they can be and the nourishing benefits they can have! Never thought I would ever say this before I got into green beauty–I used to be all over oil-free.

For facial oils, I love YÜLI Skincare’s Cell Perfecto PM for night and M.E. Skin Fuel for mornings. The Cell Perfecto PM has drastically faded my acne scars and M.E. Skin Fuel fuels my skin with moisture and good-enough-to-eat ingredients (pomegranate, broccoli, um yum?). I like Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s Vitamin C Serum as an extra when I need an extra layer of moisture–it makes my face super soft and smells relaxingly of roses.

For body oils, I love Osmia Organic’s Sunset and Flower body oils. Sunset smells sultry and delicious, Flower like a fresh flower field. Lina Hanson’s Global Body Serum (see post here) also smells deliciously of citrus and vanilla. And they all are fabulous at moisturizing.

TOP BLEMISH ZAPPER?

Eating healthy, stressing less, exercising often, more sleep, and leaving those blemishes alone! I find my skin goes from not blemishy to very blemishy very quickly as soon I as up the snacks, the stress, and start going to bed regularly at 2. But when I’m on that yoga mat more mornings than not. drinking those green smoothies, chilling out, and sleeping, blemishes don’t even stand a chance. But when I am naughty and pop pimples, I do like the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (see post here) to help with the healing afterwards.

I also love a weekly (or bi-weekly) mask treatment to ward off spots. May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver and YÜLI Skincare’s Pure are kicking blemishes off of my face like pros. The Problem Solver is spicier, more warming (like you actually feel a warming sensation), and takes more time (45 min). Pure is gentler, takes less time (10-15 min). Both are clay-based, leave my face soft, and suck the life out of blemishes.

FACE WIPES – YAY OR NAY?

Hail to the not necessary. I used to have face wipes on hand for a quick midday makeup removal, but I so much more enjoy my proper cleansing routine. I feel like green beauty does cleansers so well that face wipes are just not needed. Even if you’re feeling lazy, you can almost DIY a “face wipe” with a cleansing oil like the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (see post here) on a cotton round followed by a splash of water. But if you’re into real cleaning, I love the oil to remove makeup, followed either by YÜLI’s Halcyon (super gentle and floral) or May Lindstrom’s newly released The Honey Mud (chocolate honey).

TONER – YAY OR NAY?
Hail to the absolutely yay. I love toners. They’re great for that extra boost of moisture pre-moisturizing, post-makeup, or in the middle of the day.

Simple: Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin Spray (see post here)
Astringent: Vered Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner (see post here and here)
Acne-Prone: YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir (see post here)
Oily: Pai Orange and Rice Bioaffinity Toner
Extra moisture: YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir (see post here)

HIGH-END SKINCARE OR HIGH-END MAKEUP?
Taking high-end to mean quality–both. I think in general skincare should come before makeup, because you should take care of your skin before you start adding extra color to it. I banned myself from blush and bronzer until my cheeks healed from redness and acne, and now, I am having a ball experimenting with color.

WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL SKINCARE PRODUCT YOU’VE TRIED?
Well, my mom and my sister thought I was crazy when I brought One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm home and told them it was a cleanser and a moisturizer. Then when I broke out they were like, “Well obviously because you were using a cleanser as your moisturizer!” (True story: I did actually mix up a cleanser and moisturizer once, was breaking out for a month, and did not realize my mistake until my mom pointed it out to me)

YOU’RE IN A PHARMACY AND YOU CAN ONLY PICK ONE ITEM, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Quick, someone find me the jojoba oil! Makeup remover, face moisturizer, body moisturizer, you name it.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP SKINCARE TIPS?
I can sum it all up with a bit of Kant: treat humanity as an ends, not a means.

You are a part of humanity, so treat yourself, and therefore your skin with respect. You may want to try all sorts of awesome products, but resist! Don’t use your skin as a means. Listen to your skin and see what it needs first. Protect your skin! With sunscreen (or a wide-brimmed hat) and gloves in the winter. Keep dirty hands away from your face–blemishes don’t need anymore reasons to pop up!

I have had a lot of fun reading everybody else’s skincare tags, and I’d love to read yours, reader! I’d also love to read Garcy’s from Eco Diva Beauty and Asti’s from Skjonnhet.

A liquid, a powder, and a gel…

Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? I personally like the one about pandas and commas, but I also really like these three very different and beautiful cleansers. I’m cheating a bit with the Vered Organic Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner, but that’s because this sensually-smelling toner moonlights as a cleanser (you can read about it from Fig+Sage). A botanical plethora of essential oils and herbs is infused into grape alcohol, distilled water, and vegetable glycerin to make a non-drying, refreshing step as a cleanser or a toner. While I liked the simplicity of this as my sole cleanser, my finicky face likes this more as a toner. The toner can be swiped on with cotton pads or slapped on with bare hands, and I rather like both methods. After applying, I leave the remaining moisture and slather on my face oil, which mixes beautifully and feels wonderfully soft and hydrating.


The Clean Dirt from May Lindstrom Skin is a whole ‘nother beast. You can see the powder-to-mousse action from Beauty by Britanie, skjonnhet, kimberlyloc, and the woman herself which is terribly good fun. The concoction also brings Christmas cookies to mind thanks to its clays and warming spices that come together to purify and exfoliate the skin. For that reason, I would definitely dub this as the strongest out of the trio, and my usage ranges from once in a while to two times a week as to not terrify my breakout-happy skin. Sometimes I leave it for an extra minute or two as a mask before washing off, and every time I go to bed with soft skin and visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

The Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser is the most classic cleanser of the bunch, as I’ve mentioned before, with healthy foaming action and a gel-like texture. This combined with the Vered toner and Vered Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil (not pictured) have been a pimple-fighting powerhouse these past couple of months. I have been seeing less and less breakouts each month and am liking the downwards trend very much. But that’s a story for another time…In the meantime, have you tried any of these cleansers? What are your favorites?

Note: When it comes to makeup removal, all of these can to some degree, but removing makeup separately before cleansing always results in no makeup residue once it comes to toning. Also, none of these should be getting friendly with the eyes.

Wednesday Wishlist

Going counterclockwise,
YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir

I am interning in the Land of Cubicles this dry, Californian summer away from my humidifier, and even though I’m chugging the H20, my face is le parched. My temporary solution is rosewater, but I’m looking at a cocoon for the future. For very sensitive and irritation-prone skin? Yes, and yes. Calms irritation and inflammation, while delivering deep hydration? Please.


May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
Love the Aztec Indian Healing Clay, but I think I need a super, chocolate-y-detoxing upgrade to match my newfound affinity for juicing. Do I have 45 minutes to sit around in a jet-black mask? Did I mention I’m episodes behind Doctor Who and Game of Thrones?

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen
I appreciate Devita’s for its moisturizer texture, but I am enticed by this tinted contender from Canada. Cue motivation to slather current sunscreen all over, all day, every day.

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Solar
Eye cream and gold in one? A one-swipe stop for beautiful that’ll screams summer. At least I can give my computer some beach envy.

Have you tried anything on this list? What are your thoughts?

*Image credits in links.

Loving yourself…and Spirit Beauty Lounge

 

Ordered from Spirit Beauty Lounge. If SBL was a physical store, I think I would just live there for the rest of my life. Seriously love browsing through SBL’s amazing products.
On Valentine’s Day, you typically have your gushy “I love Valentine’s Day!”, the proud “It’s Singles Awareness Day!” (“Galentine’s Day” even), and the bitter “I hate this day.” But this year, I saw this message for the first time wedged in between Valentine’s Day sales and soft pretty pink beauty how-to’s (Chalkboard Mag has a lovely one): “Love yourself!”

So, this is me, patting myself on the back, saying, “Jade, old chap, I know you’ve been stressed over school and hating on yourself for the little things, but it’s okay. Have some cookies. Or better yet, some May Lindstrom Clean Dirt that smells like the best cookies and has the most amazing ingredients. Now you’re a super poor college student and can never spend money on anything else again, so you better enjoy it. And more importantly, love yourself. You do your skin no favors if you don’t love and accept yourself.”