Masquerade: May Lindstrom

The Problem Solver ($100 for 8.45 FL OZ/ 250 ML)

Before trying May Lindstrom, I was already well acquainted with the existence of the brand, as most of us lovers of green beauty are. The whole look of the brand indubitably  oozes luxury and holds a promise of a beautiful self-care experience. I have read many different opinions, from those who are obsessed with the products to those who believe the ingredients included are irritants for the skin and are there for mainly visual and aromatic appeal rather than functionality. Thus, I glanced at May Lindstrom from a distance for quite a while before I decided to try it firsthand and observe for myself what I thought of some of the products. It’s difficult to determine what product will work for who, as we are all unique and possess a different history of how our skin has been treated. We know there are some ingredients we shouldn’t be using, such as the controversial ingredient Hydroquinone that was in a product I used before my green beauty switch, and there are others which are touted to work for some, and not for others- I’m looking at you coconut oil. This is the same case for ingredients such as spices and honeys in masks, aside from many others. If you have sensitive skin, I will emphasize now that some of the products from her line may not be the best choices for you and to certainly patch test first. In general, it is good practice to always do a spot test before applying masks with ingredients you aren’t sure of, as well as for any product, be it toner or moisturizer. If you are particularly concerned about the inclusion of sodium bicarbonate in the mask, please see the comment thread at the bottom of the page where this is discussed.

I first got a sample of The Problem Solver through Integrity Botanicals a year ago (click here for more info), and that sample was enough to keep me wanting the full size even up until now- which by the way is a hefty 250 ml. I did use The Clean Dirt prior to this, and after noticing they shared many ingredients, I decided to purchase The Problem Solver in its place once it was used up, as it is more potent. I absolutely love how both products fizz up once they are activated with water and create a mousse- I’m not one to be lazy enough to only wear pre-moistened/ready-to-wear masks, but the mousse texture of The Problem Solver does makes the application process of dry masks a little more fun. Make sure you mix very well, as it takes a few seconds to fizz up; at first I would make the mistake of continuing to add water when in fact I just had to be more patient. The scent is so warm, sweet, and comforting as well, thanks to the added spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. This mask is just filled with spice and everything nice 😉 (aka Fuller’s Earth Clay, Ascorbic Acid, Charcoal Powder, etc…).

Whenever my skin is feeling super congested or breakouts are coming on (hello luteal phase of cycle), this is my go-to mask. It’s unquestionably the most intense mask I have, which is why I don’t use it more than once a week and usually only once every two weeks. My skin is not very sensitive, although it’s not normal as well, and I experience no issues with this mask as long as I am using it properly based on the standards I discovered for my own skin. You’re directed to leave it on for either 45 minutes or until the mask fully dries, but I find my mask on its own will dry after 15 minutes, and will be too drying if I leave it on for longer. If I add The Honey Mud, which I always do to soften the intensity, I can leave the mask on for a full 45 minutes without any discomfort. Let me just say this mask combo is SO GOOD, each complementing and balancing the other out wonderfully. Once applied, you can feel your face heat up, a testament to the ingredients working to pull out the toxins and stimulate your skin. And once washed off, skin is clearer and blemishes with less inflammation; a breakout is gone so much quicker after I use this mask. For these reasons, I can’t see myself without this mask in my cabinet. Whereas the other masks I like to think of as helping to maintain the health of my skin, I see this as my potent superpower mask that will knock out my blemishes and blackheads.

Ingredients: Fuller’s Earth Clay, Red Moroccan Rhassoul Clay, **Theobroma Cacao (Raw Cacao), Red Alaea Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Bicarbonate, Bamboo Car- bon 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 **Certified Fair Trade ***Wild Harvested} 

The Honey Mud ($90 for 3.38 OZ/ 100 ML)

It. Smells. Amazing. Just like all May products, this product is deadly due to a highly addictive aroma (click here for more info). I would purchase this milky mask just for its scent, which is sweet but not sickeningly so, rather marrying nuts, spices, honey into a decadent aroma. Yes it’s pricey, yet the formulation is very smooth, thick, and silky, so you only need a small amount to very easily spread onto your face. It’s like a luxurious pudding made specifically to make you and your skin happy. Its formulation, aroma, texture, and performance make me appreciate this mask as much as my Velvet Resin Mask from moss skincare.

Although you can also use this product as a cleanser, I will not not do so, choosing to use it throughout the week as a mask either on its own or combined with The Problem Solver. It is too sticky for me to want to bother taking the time to use my fingers and massage it into my skin, and regardless I am happy with the cleanser options I already use. Yet as a mask, this is a wonderful option. I will leave it on my skin for anywhere from half an hour to even up to a full hour. It will start drying into a stickier finish, but I use a washcloth (Pai Skincare) so this does not bother me in the slightest once I am ready to remove it.

My skin feels balanced, plumped, and soft- a quality no doubt thanks to the combination of clay, witch hazel, oils, and honey in the mask. Honey + me = happy, we know this. This mask a great choice for those who are interested in a gentle clay and honey-based mask which you can use on the daily; for those who have sensitive skin and thus must forego The Problem Solver or any clay-based masks, patch test this first. If you have sensitive skin, go for the Beurre Céleste  honey-based mask from moss instead (click here for my review of it), which contains no clay and is ultra gentle.

In all, using May’s products are an experience to be sure, as she is a master in creating everyday luxury products with unique ingredients, aromas superior to all other brands, and carefully formulated textures. Yet this does not mean her products are solely for a visual and sensory feast- they perform and they perform well. Try some samples and see for yourself :).

Ingredients: *** Raw Honey with Bee Pollen and Propolis, White Halloysite Clay, * Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia Nut Oil), * Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Absolute) Oil, * Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, * Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) CO2 Total Essential Oil, * Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, ** Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, Argentum Metallicum (Silver) {* Certified Organic, ** Wild Harvested, *** Collected from Unsprayed and Unfertilized Fields of Wildflowers}