CATEGORY: CLEAN LUXURY
TITLE: FOUNDER, MAY LINDSTROM SKIN
May Lindstrom has always been one of our favorites here at Noble. Founder of her own clean skincare line, May Lindstrom Skin, May has worked hard to create products that are nutritious and restorative for the skin while also being incredibly mindful and conscious of how each ingredient is sourced. We chatted with May all about the heart and drive behind the brand.
MAY, FIRST OF ALL, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT DREW YOU TO SKINCARE AND FOUNDING YOUR OWN LINE?
This line was born out of a desire to create blissful bookends in my day, a time-out morning and night that was just for me. Having formulated for years out of my own personal necessity (I am blessed with highly sensitive and reactive skin), and for the intensive skin conditions of my bespoke clients, I yearned to create something that took my obsessive commitment to efficacy and married it with my desire to make each bottle a catalyst for something beautiful. From a very early age, my skin was the focus of heightened attention – as a baby, I struggled with eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. As I grew older, my chemical sensitivities continued to increase, and I became more in tune with how much my environment affected my well-being. For people like me who struggle with intense skin conditions and allergy, this is about far more than surface appearance. It is vitally important to me that my products are effective, that they truly heal and transform skin, that my clients experience immediate and long-term results. But it has become of equal importance that any self-care ritual I create inspire joy, playfulness, over-the-top self-indulgence, and loving care for your skin and entire being. We are not broken, and our skincare rituals should not be reminders of the pain we have faced in our skin and self image, but rather, an opening for light and connection.
HOW DID YOU PUT TOGETHER YOUR PRODUCT ASSORTMENT, AND HOW ARE THEY FORMULATED?
I’ve been fascinated with the process of product formulation since I was a little girl – with the magic of plants and minerals, salts and spices and oils. I love that the more I know about ingredients and how our skin responds to each one, the further back in history it feels I go with my creative voice. The best ingredients are not necessarily the most rare or exotic, or the ones that have had millions of dollars spent to develop them synthetically. More often than not, I keep coming back to the materials that have been used all throughout the world since documentation on beauty rituals began – clays, salts, plants.
From this very simple foundation, I carefully build each formula. I am always first aiming for a certain result – imaging a particular skin condition or concern I can bring relief to. I like to pinpoint a target where I can then measure the efficacy of a product in process. Results are first. Efficacy is everything, but it must also always be paired with delight. I strive to stimulate as many senses as possible. My formulas bring color, texture, scent, temperature, even sound sometimes, all while consistently feeding and nourishing skin.
I have an intentionally small curation of products in this collection. There are only seven core pieces and there are often years between new product releases for me. I don’t believe your skin needs more than this. I’m all about a high-impact, minimal curation.
“Cutting corners is not in our DNA. If anything, we swing wildly far in the other direction- not just up for the challenge of bettering ourselves in every element of our production, but insistent on it.”
HOW DO YOU KEEP THIS HIGH CALIBER OF PRODUCTION WITHOUT SHORTCUTTING OR COMPROMISING THE ‘ETHICAL’ NATURE OF YOUR PRODUCTS?
I value our integrity and “no compromise” approach more than can be expressed simply. We are built on an obsession to deliver intimate service and unparalleled quality. Cutting corners is not in our DNA. If anything, we swing wildly far in the other direction – not just up for the challenge of bettering ourselves in every element of our production, but insistent on it. Every detail matters, from the journey of every seed to each season’s harvest, to the magical process within our private kitchen and the ultimate formula that fills each fresh bottle.
We do not have investors, a board of directors, or some infinite well of connections that got us here. Our clients and their purchases are our sole source of financing and their dollars make the vote on where we put our resources. Showing up and earning the trust and care of each client and their largest and most vulnerable organ is an honor we pour everything into deserving.
The challenges we do face are ones worth fighting. We invest an incredible amount into procuring only the finest, most nutrient-rich, and efficacious ingredients that are sourced and harvested in a mindful and sustainable manner. I purchase raw ingredients in their fresh and active state from a very small handful of suppliers who work directly with farms from all over the world. With the plant ingredients especially, this is incredibly important. It is imperative to fill each and every bottle with the most vibrant raw materials possible. That sometimes means a lot of searching and alternating areas of the world I source from for each ingredient as seasons (and political climates!) fluctuate and certain crops are more or less abundant. It also means going the extra mile to ensure that each ingredient we procure is actually what we are told it is and is at the quality we insist upon (and often pay more than 10x for!).
Adulteration and dilution of raw ingredients is rampant – and rarely talked about. Sourcing has become one of our single biggest challenges, for even the most simple-seeming of ingredients. Attention to this is a non-negotiable.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE UNIQUE, KEY INGREDIENTS THAT YOU USE IN YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN SOME OF THEIR BENEFITS?
A few specific favorites:
Blue Tansy is the shining star of The Blue Cocoon and the secret to that show-stopping color, unparalleled anti-inflammatory power, and truly enrapturing scent. I would describe the aroma as a blend of fresh apple, chamomile, a touch of sweet sage and mint (though it contains none of these things!), something intangible and mysterious and wildly addicting. In aromatherapy, blue tansy is used to help with feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed – it’s powerfully effective at calming both inflamed mind and skin and is perhaps my very favorite ingredient to work with when I’m needing immediate results.
Avocado Oil is one of many plant oils that makes my list of must-haves and is a star ingredient in The Youth Dew. I source the most gorgeous, deep green chlorophyll-rich oil, raw, unfiltered, incredibly potent and brimming with nutrients and healing vitamins B, C, D, E, K and A. Avocado oil hydrates skin, increases cell turnover, plumps and softens lines, helps heal sun damage and age spots, as well as inflammatory skin conditions like blemishes and eczema. This oil absorbs deep, deep into your skin – resulting in a complexion that is soft and radiant, never dull or heavy.
Raw Honey. I can wax poetic about the incredible benefits of this luscious treat, courtesy of our bee friends and their succulent flower nectar. Honey is naturally PH balanced, with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties to help keep skin clear and calm. Raw honey also contains Gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that brightens the complexion, evens out skin tone, and lightens scars and age spots. It’s loaded with nutrients and minerals excellent for skin health such as vitamin B, iron, manganese, copper, potassium and calcium. Honey also acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin. When mixed with water, honey releases peroxide properties which helps heal acne and any irritations and impedes bacterial growth. Sensitive skin loves honey, and I often recommend this as a one-ingredient cleanser for skin in need of major healing and a time-out from product overload.
Cayenne pepper is an unexpected and highly notable acne fighter and skin beautifier in our cult treatment masque, The Problem Solver. Cayenne pepper stimulates blood flow to the skin, which enables oxygen and necessary nutrients to reach the cells. It reduces inflammation and swelling and delivers antioxidant carotenes, flavonoids, and high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E.
Colloidal Silver (featured in The Jasmine Garden, as well as The Honey Mud) has been demonstrated to accelerate healing of virtually every type of damage to the body, especially burns, infections and soft tissue damage. It is used extensively in medical devices to help prevent against infection, and is contained in numerous products in not just the natural world – but most extensively in mainstream medicine. Silver is one of the most studied, most effective, and most trusted ingredients used on the market for all kinds of conditions. Used externally as I do in my formulations, silver translates to serious protection against acne, inflammation, irritation, rashes and on and on…
WHAT SKINCARE TRENDS AND WELLNESS TRENDS ARE YOU DRAWN TO? WHAT ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE MORE HARMFUL THAN HELPFUL?
This is an interesting time. It’s one where there is heightened attention on the movement towards wellness in many aspects of our life – from our food to our skin. With this spotlighting comes normalization of the idea of being active in our own health and wellbeing, and a space for a bigger dialogue around what that actually means. There is so much more education available now on what goes into our skincare and how it affects both our complexions and the full state of our health. I believe consumers are hungry for something different – for skincare that equals self care, and that feeds us beyond the superficial.
So I would say the skincare and wellness trend I’m drawn to is in fact not a trend, rather something we are slowly rediscovering again. What I do is not new. Women have incorporated clays, oils, salts, herbs, and raw honey into their skincare rituals since the beginning of time. I’m here to help us remember this piece of who we are.
For me, proper skincare is about restoring balance. Don’t do too much, keep it simple, get out of your own way: allow your skin the space to heal itself. Then, listen to your individual skin and be responsive to what its needs are on a day to day basis, realizing that your skin is alive, and those needs are ever-evolving.
If you ask me what things are more harmful than helpful, much of it is energetic. Far too often, skincare marketing is built on creating fear, or spurring insecurity. There’s a lot of “anti” language, whether it’s “anti-acne, anti-aging”, etc. Even in green beauty, there’s still so many lists of “no’s” and “toxic” talk that this space feels scary and intimidating, rather than inclusive and celebratory.
AND FINALLY, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SKIN LOOKING SO GLOWING? WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL NIGHT TIME ROUTINE?
We cannot underestimate the importance of treating ourselves well from the inside out. If you are stressed out and exhausted, have hormonal imbalances and poor eating habits, lead an unsettled and unhappy life… you simply will not shine. Do whatever you can to find your rhythm and establish presence (not balance, as that really is quite impossible!) in your world. Eat the rainbow. Nutrition is absolutely key.
Your inner health is reflected in your outer beauty. You will not only look lovely, but you will feel amazing. Flood your plate with fresh greens, bold reds and oranges (beet, sweet potato), blues and violets (berries, red cabbage) and a rotating variety of whole grains and legumes. Hydrate. Chew. Rest.
As a mama to two running a quickly growing business, my personal night routine is quite simple most days:
1. Cleanse with The Pendulum Potion or The Honey Mud (or both if I feel like I need a more deep, double cleanse).
2. After every cleansing or treatment, hydrate with The Blue Cocoon layered with The Youth Dew (going a little extra generous for an overnight treatment, paying special attention to nourishing the eye area).
3. Follow with a misting of The Jasmine Garden while continuing massage.
4. 1-2x/week, I’ll indulge in a full treatment masque with The Problem Solver. While I love the idea of this happening with a specially carved out hour in the evening, complete with soft music, candles and a welcoming bath – that’s far from the likely reality. Often, this is applied thick and quick first thing in the morning while still in pjs. I’ll pack my daughter’s lunch, do a little cleanup around the house, or attend to the first time-sensitive emails of the day while the formula works its magic. Once dry, I’ll hop in the shower, allowing the formula to rehydrate and rinse away easily.
5. Every shower closes with The Pendulum Potion, which I utilize more frequently as a body oil than the facial cleansing oil it was designed as! I treat my every inch from the neck down (with a bit through the ends of my hair as well).
IMAGES COURTESY MAY LINDSTROM