How did May Lindstrom come to be? Have you always had an interest in skincare?
One of my first memories was of washing my hands before dinner at a friend’s house as a little girl. I was maybe five or six, the age of my daughter now. As soon as the soap touched my skin, I began to scream. My skin erupted in a red rash and I felt like I was on fire. I was terrified, and this began a chapter of fear of touching anything, of being touched and certainly of using products of any kind on my wildly sensitive skin.
Over the years, I learned what ingredients worked with my body and which didn’t. I learned I had to completely avoid synthetic perfume, foaming agents, colors, and conventional preservatives, which were in basically everything. I learned that my path forward was in looking back; trusting in the wisdom of those who came before me and this magnificent planet that holds a bounty of answers that resonate most closely with my own body.
Throughout my later teens and twenties, I immersed myself in research, and ultimately, in studying results-oriented formulation based in plant medicine. This led to significant bespoke work in the chapter that followed, developing formulas specific to each of my clients who came to me with traumatic skin histories. Challenges ranging from severe eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, post-cancer and radiation therapy, burns, scars and so on.
Having crafted products for years from this place of acute need in a heavy personal context, I yearned to create something that maintained that attention to efficacy and ingredients integrity, but was also simply luxurious and lovely. My foundation in purity and simplicity is solid, but it was time for me to embrace playfulness and beauty in my potions. I wanted to feel something powerful and good when I entered my cleansing ritual. I wanted to feel peace, joy, celebration, worthiness and pleasure all in that one moment. I wanted to share this feeling with the world, carving out a safe space to rediscover the connection to ourselves. THAT is what the May Lindstrom Skin collection is all about. Here is where we return to ritual. Here is where we return to our own love and care.
You have a hand in the alchemy that goes behind every May Lindstrom product. Can you please share what the development and sourcing process looks like.
I love to breathe in something new, cup a drop of a flower essence in my palms, inhale and see where my imagination takes me. I like to envision who will fall in love with this new treat. Who this man or woman is who will resonate with these elements once I've crafted it into a new blend. Sometimes a new trial will begin with an ingredient that has me enamored (which was the case with blue tansy when I first read about it fifteen years ago, and ultimately became the star of The Blue Cocoon). Other times, it’s to address a particular skin concern (acne, eczema or painful inflammation), or to fill a gap that feels apparent in the ritual I present. I have visions, and it might be as simple as seeing the texture or color of a final treat, or catching scent of something that lives in my imagination and going on a wild adventure to make it spring to life.
On a personal level, you’ve dealt with many complications related to environmental irritants and allergies. Can you offer a word of advice for those who may be going through similar challenges?
With my collection, I make a very conscious effort to always draw attention to how amazing we already are, and how deserving we are of self-love and truly beautiful care that feeds both our skin and soul. I cringe at mainstream beauty marketing and the stories it tells us, and mourn for the women who hear and believe these falsities about themselves. You are not broken. You are whole, heard and treasured. And you deserve care and touch, your own primarily. We’ve been taught that self-care is selfish, and that is one of the most unfortunate messages we could be proliferating. I want every woman to know that she matters, that this time is hers, and that love that starts from the romance within and ripples out into the world and offers transformation far beyond ourselves. My brand is an invitation for you to create the time and space for the personal connection you deserve. What I want to is to get this message out there, to start a shift in how we care for ourselves, starting with the most basic and intimate of rituals. How we cleanse.
Being a woman of many roles and staying so involved in the day to day of your business, do you have any special grounding practices?
My family grounds me. My two small children 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. The window of time may often feel compressed, but when I’m able to wrap my entire body around the warmth of my little ones and just breathe them in, I can pause the world.
Outside of this, two things:
One, I still cook most every day. Chopping vegetables, tasting, seasoning, being close to fire, all of this feeds my soul and brings me back to earth.
Two, a bath. Simply submerging in warm water and silence is enough to reset the noise of my mind. Here is where I can hear my own truth and remember who I am.
There are so many ways to mix and match your product line. Do you have a favorite combination or application technique right now?
So many! Every day is the opportunity to communicate with your skin, to touch its surface and listen to the messages that are there for you. Right now, I’m loving blending The Clean Dirt and The Pendulum Potion together and massaging into soft, warm skin while showering. I leave this for a few minutes while I cleanse my body, then rinse, massaging with my fingertips. Even after all the grains have washed away, continue the massage. Here you can feel where areas of congestion are, where dead skin is freeing itself and new skin is shining through. Tune into your fingertips and really take this time to feel everything. After a final rinse, more facial massage with The Youth Dew and The Blue Cocoon melted into a vibrant blue and orange puddle of love. Finish with a generous misting of The Jasmine Garden, letting the droplets bond with the steam in your shower, giving you a full sensorial bath.
We’ve got Summer on our minds. Any special Summer skin tips as we head into the new season?
First of all, hydration is absolutely key, both inside and out. This is the time to prioritize giving your skin a big drink. Plenty of fresh water and good fats internally, and nutrient-dense oils externally.
Secondly, shine a spotlight on your skincare ritual. What’s working? What’s leaving you hungry for something different? Have you explored the ingredients list of your products lately? How do you feel about them? Skin is an ever-evolving organ and as the seasons shift, so does its needs. Tune in and really spend some time listening to your skin, touching it and paying attention to the messages it is giving you. Maybe you need a bit more moisture? Less friction? Time to toss that item you bought on a whim that’s not really resonating and maybe increase the one that you know your skin really loves that you tend to save for a special treat.
Lastly, commit to consistency. Show up for yourself. To me, skincare and self-care go hand in hand. My cleansing ritual bookends my day, gives me somewhere soft to begin and end from that feeds me. Intentional touch, beautiful and nourishing ingredients, and a time-out that is just for me. Every day, no exceptions. I have two nights a week that no matter what, I do The Problem Solver. It keeps my skin clear like no other (seriously, the results are crazy) and it also forces a slow down that as a workaholic, mother-of-two, is difficult to find. It’s not always fancy, with a hot bath, candles and a glass of wine. Just as often it’s dishes, cleaning up the house and catching up on overdue emails. Either way, it counts. You count. Make the time.
Scent plays such an important role in the experience of your products. We can’t help but wonder if you’re also a great cook! Do you spend much time in the kitchen?
Actually, my original and biggest remaining passion is food. My intention was always to be a chef and I began working in professional kitchens at thirteen. I still cook constantly, though no longer as a profession. Food is my heart and fuels my inspiration like nothing else.
Could you pass on a word of advice for those who are interested in creating a business of their own?
Advice is tricky. All I know is what I did. Leapt, full force. Find what resonates with your voice and the very core of who you are. There are a bajillion beautiful small scale brands in skincare and beyond that eventually fail. You have to be willing to do it anyways. You must find the drive to keep pushing the envelope. Know what you want, and be open to inspiration. I didn't have any big connections in this world, no investors, or any extra power moves that were super special. I had me, and a dream. No marketing, no PR, no sales team (or ANY team in the beginning, for that matter), and very little cash in the bank to start this off with. I made something that was good and did all I could to share it authentically. It resonated and touched who it was supposed to. I grew as organically as the ingredients I used and I believe this is where the magic comes from. Be obsessive with your word and give your vision all you’ve got.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone told you at the start of it all?
I started this company early in the days of “green beauty” and I was quite young myself. I definitely battled with “imposter syndrome” and lots of fear and vulnerability over those first years. I knew what my mission was, but did not know if anyone else would get on board, if my work would matter or resonate, if this would ultimately fail. All I really wanted to hear was a little outside validation for what I already held as truth: “Don’t hesitate. You’ve got this.”
What are your top 5 favorite CAP Beauty products and why?
I forget to do this more often than not, remembering halfway through my shower when I'm already wet and it's too late. But when I do remember - what a delicious treat! It takes getting used to, but the way your skin tingles and glows after is crazy addicting. Follow with The Pendulum Potion head to toe as a body oil and you won’t even believe your own softness.
I am enamored with the simultaneously sleek and heavy packaging and even more so with the formulations. I layer "Desired Glow" and "Lovely" for a super natural flush that makes me look and feel a little bit giddy.
This classic formula has been in my rotation for over a decade and I still love it. A touch blended with The Blue Cocoon and pressed into cheek and brow bones leaves you with the most dewy, natural, “lit from within” glow. The substantial little glass pot lasts forever and easily slips into a pocket or purse.
Naps have become a serious luxury and I treasure them. A soft bed, clean sheets, sleep mask, nice oils by the bedside... I can have the perfect getaway in my own home in the middle of the day if I consciously make space for it.
It’s my twice-a-day, every-day magic for maintaining my skin that has finally found its best and healthiest state.The Blue Cocoon has changed my world and that of many thousands of others. Designed with the intent to calm and soothe the inflammatory conditions of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, and acne, even normal skin types see an incredible benefit. The Blue Cocoon’s hero ingredient is blue tansy, which calms and relieves inflammation on a magical level. It's like a meditation and spa vacation for your skin. In aromatherapy, blue tansy is used to reduce anxiety, heal sleep disorders and soften the feeling of being out of control. Total bonus: The Blue Cocoon doubles as my favorite eye and lip treatment of all time.