Clean Beauty Ritual

Detoxing the beauty industry, one word at a time.

Events

Facial Gua Sha with Sandra Chiu & Josh Rosebrook

EventsOctober ComstockComment

"I like to be dewy, it's kind of my thing. It works for my skin." - Josh Rosebrook

"Follow your intuition, listen. Such a huge thing. If we really are listening, we're going to be guided to what serves us." -Josh Rosebrook

"Skincare is my job." - Josh Rosebrook

"For me, it's not about anti-aging, it's about pro-health." - Sandra Chiu

Last Wednesday, I made it to the Facial Gua Sha class taught by Sandra Chiu of @treatmentbylanshin and Josh Rosebrook of @joshrosebrook skincare. It was hosted by The Detox Market of course!

What is facial gua sha? Pronounced "gwa saa", it's a form of facial massage and traditional chinese medicine where you pull a flat carved piece of jade or rose quartz slowly across the face.

When we walked inside, there were two tables set up with flower center pieces and white table cloths. Each place was marked with a small black bag, a 4 oz bottle of Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, a teeny tiny vial of Josh Rosebrook's Active Infusion Serum and an instruction paper with gua sha facial techniques. Sandra was passing out Kaia Naturals face wipes so we could remove our makeup. Then we all sat down. I ran into Stephanie of Ouli's Ointment (which I'm currently reviewing) she's a lot of fun. Water and champagne were being passed around. I helped myself to some crackers and kale salad.

Sandra and Josh began speaking about the benefits of facial gua sha and the difference between facial and body gua sha. Body gua sha, is faster paced where you take the jade tool and scrape. Sandra said if there is pathology in the skin, red flecks will appear while scraping. Giving the practice it's namesake: "gua" meaning scraping and "sha" meaning sand. It leaves marks on the body that look like big purple bruises or how Sandra put it, "a hickey gone wrong". It sounds like an intense treatment, I'm not sure if I'd personally try it or not but it sounds interesting. I do however want to try acupuncture!

With facial gua sha, it's a slower and gentler practice. You pull the tool slowly across the face in repetitions of five or more. Some of the benefits that Sandra mentioned are smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, depuffing the face, increasing circulation, sculpting and helping to reduce congestion for acneic skin.

I asked a question while they were talking about facial oils, Sandra said she noticed that a lot of people apply too much of their facial oil. This made me curious because back, right after I graduated high school, I started experimenting with my skincare by putting straight 25,000 i.u Vitamin E Oil on my face. This was unheard of because we were told that putting oil on your skin was bad, especially if you had acne. The cleansers I was using at the time were those really drying, benzoyl peroxide sls cleansers. I felt that it was exacerbating the problem, not helping it. I switched to a different cleanser, Cetaphil (BLECH. I can't believe I used to put this on my skin >__< I thought it'd be more gentle at the time. I was trying to transition to healthier choices guys lol) I thought it was less drying and I was doing the vitamin e oil at night religiously. I tried the vitamin e oil because I felt that that's what my skin really needed. I saw a difference with my acne and dryness. It didn't completely solve the problem, but I remember it helping my breakouts lessen and my skin looked calmer (I don't do this anymore. Too sticky. But I did for a long time use Jason's Naturals Vitamin E Cream, which I still love) Sandra said she would normally never tell someone with traditional acneic, greasy skin, to put straight Vitamin E Oil on their skin or that at least she would do it cautiously. But that for someone with dryer skin, it made sense and that ultimately she said it was good that I listened to my intuition. Josh followed up nodding, saying, "Which is key. Follow your intuition, listen. Such a huge thing. If we really are listening, we're going to be guided to what serves us." He also said he did the same thing in the 90s. He made the connection between our skin's moisture and oil, saying, "Our skin moisturizes itself with oil, why not try to moisturize the skin with oils?

Next Josh showed us how to properly prep for the gua sha treatment. He said that for him and his skin, he likes his skin to always be hydrated and never dry -- "I like to be dewy, it's kind of my thing. It works for my skin."

Josh's prepping technique with a face mist and facial oil:

  1. Mist liberally on the face and neck with your chosen face mist.
  2. Use your palms to press the water into your skin.
  3. Spray again.
  4. Take about a half a dime size of your facial oil or serum and warm between your palms then apply to your face.

Sandra had us all tie our hair back and she explained the proper use of the gua sha tool. She said the most common thing she sees in these classes, were people not getting the tool flat enough towards their skin. Some techniques require the edges, but for the most part you want to get it as flat on your skin as possible.

Something that Josh said was important for the ritual and that really resonated with me, was to be present while doing this. Take deep breaths and clear the mind with each stroke. Like yoga for the face! I loved this as I have a tendency to speed through my mornings and evenings, whether I'm rushing off to work or trying to get to bed on time. To put it frankly, I need to slow the F down. This is something that Josh and Sandra said is great for that. To take a moment for yourself, for self care. Sandra recommended doing it before bedtime to calm the nerves.

First we did the neck. Sandra says this is good to do first because it's opening the channels for fluids and drainage as you work your way up. Speaking of up, she also said to always go up with your strokes to get the muscle lifting and depuffing benefits. Also to massage where needed while going through the different techniques! We worked up the jaw, (my favorite part, I tend to clench my jaw) then onto the cheeks, then under the eyes, then the brows and finally the forehead. Sandra and Josh all watched as we went through each technique and helped to correct or guide us through them. We did one particular side of the face first and it was crazy how immediate some of the results were on the people around me, including myself. The skin particularly around my nose and mouth had depuffed visibly compared to the other side. My brow looked lifted and the puffiness under my eyes had decreased slightly. There was a woman sitting across from me who had severe wrinkles all over her face and they had relaxed quite a bit. We re-applied our face mist and oil then did the other side.

Afterwards, we all got up and milled around the shop. I chatted with Sandra for a little bit about neck pain and the odd breakouts that were happening under my jaw. She said it was most likely hormonal, but if she was treating me that she would do a whole detailed interview with me to really get to the bottom of it. We chatted a bit longer about chinese medicine and skin things. I thanked her for her time and the talk and then waited to speak with Josh.

I watched him demo his Nutrient Day Cream for someone, I asked if I could try a bit and I was amazed at how quickly this stuff absorbed into my skin. There was no white zinc oxide streaks at all. It was completely invisible. It's officially on my review waitlist. I then geeked out with Josh a little bit about sunscreens and also that they were getting new packaging soon for his products! ( I think it's already debuted!) I showed him some of my photographs and he really liked them which sent me over the moon haha. His energy is so warm and kind! I thanked him for the evening and decided to head on home.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap of the evening! Have a great weekend everyone!

An evening with May Lindstrom

EventsOctober Comstock2 Comments

"I wanted to bottle a catalyst for a ritual." - May Lindstrom

Thursday night, I attended the May Lindstrom spring event at The Detox Market. Their location in Santa Monica is nestled in the heart of the very trendy Montana Ave right across the street from Jurlique and next to a Michael Stars. When I arrived, they were filming inside and we had to loiter for a bit. Which was fine with me because I got to meet a lovely lady named Rose who is starting her own skincare Instablog called @moonlightrosebeauty. Once they opened the doors we filed in trying to find a seat. It's a little smaller than their other location in West Hollywood, but it still gets me so excited when I see all the products. We were sat in little white chairs in the front of the store. I managed to snag a front row seat and looked behind me instantly recognizing Adri of @sortofobsessed. (We've chatted on Instagram before) She introduced me to the lady at her right who was Chrissy of @honeyanddewskin. I met Lori of @riseandgloww in the procession for Pressed Juicery beverages alongside Kye's nori wraps and black bean brownies. It was a lot of fun getting to meet these ladies in person and geek out about our passion for skincare. Once we settled, Suzanne Hall, co-founder of The Chalkboard Mag and May Lindstrom herself settled onto some stools. May's hair was slicked back into a sleek long braid and she wore a military green blazer. May's skin was absolutely glowing. We were all remarking about it and how it must be because she uses her own products. As she was settling in, she looked at me and said "I'll try not to kick you!" Because we could have played footsies she was sitting so close in front of me haha.

She started by speaking about her childhood, where she grew up and her early struggles with her extremely sensitive skin. Everyday actions like washing your hands in a restaurant bathroom, were scary things for her because of their hand soaps. If she used them, they would cause her hands to bleed and blister. Or going to a sleepover, she was unable to touch the generic skincare products that her friends were playing with. This was a day to day thing and caused a lot of trauma for her growing up. It became very clear to me, that May really understands what struggling with your skin means. Mentioning that even at 34, she still deals with issues whether it's hormonal acne from breast feeding or perioral dermatitis. This really resonated with me because of how much I struggled in high school with my skin. I had cystic and hormonal acne that I had no idea how to fix at the time. It drove me crazy and made me hate looking at my face. Eventually I was able to solve most of my issues with probiotics, healthy eating and being more careful about the products I put on my skin. I have yet to really try May's products and see their efficacy, but seeing where she came from and hearing about her own struggles is reassuring in a brand. 

She was a formulator and loved food from a very young age. Experimenting with things from her family's garden and pictures from recipe books. As she described her products, she spoke about them as if they were food items. Words like "pudding" "mousse" "treat" "delicious" "meal" all evoking a sense that we were experiencing May's wonderful culinary treasures. Which, we were.

The first product I got to touch was The Good Stuff. What May referred to as her "Fabric Free Lingerie" and that she's pretty sure it's the reason why her husband married her. A body and hair oil, it smelled intoxicating and of cacao and rose. It left tiny gold flecks on my skin and I couldn't stop smelling my hand haha. The oil was silky and moisturizing when I rubbed it on. This was May's first launched product, she laughed saying "There were a billion first products that didn't make it here." A testament to her perfectionism. It's surprisingly her lowest selling product meant for the body. "Nobody invests in their body even though it's all of your skin." Something I'm personally working on.

When she showcased her upcoming The Pendulum Potion, her newest product to come out in 3 years. Which in this industry, is pretty crazy because most brands are coming out with a new product every 6 months. May wants her products to speak for themselves. "The collection is concise on purpose." She only releases a new product when it's perfected and she feels it's really needed (mentioning she's working on developing a washcloth that will actually work well and isn't abrasive! she promises she will get it for us!) The color is this beautiful Spring earthy green. It has a thicker oil texture which is difficult to remove without water. But once the water touches it, it becomes easy to manage and I noticed my hand felt more hydrated after removing it. When asked by Rose that she had problems getting it all off when using a sample at home, May responded by saying you have to use a washcloth to remove it, but that the great thing about the product was that it was nutritious for your skin if left on. This product is supposed to be able to remove all your makeup, lipstick, sunscreen and "all the days troubles". I'm waitlisted for it, so it will have it's own review here once I get my hands on it (I hope to be able to really dive in and write about all her products as time goes on)

Each and every one of her products smelled incredible and most of the time, indescribable. The Jasmine Garden smelled soooooo good (so refreshing when I sprayed it on my face) When I inhaled the scent of The Honey Mud, it was the first time I'd ever smelled a skincare product and thought I wanted to eat it. But it wasn't just the smells that were heavenly, it was also the textures of each product.  Something that really surprised me, was when she mixed The Problem Solver mask in her gorgeous mixing bowl. It's a powder that you mix water with. May explained that the ratios are very important if you want results when using her products. She brought it over to me and I was surprised to see how fluffy it had become. It was a black, puffy thick mixture and a really beautiful obsidian color. The Clean Dirt had a similar puffy texture, but was a brown sienna like color.

But when she brought out the Blue Cocoon with a gorgeous tiny golden spoon, it was sensory overload. Absolutely beautiful. The turquoise melty balm is her favorite product. One that she says is really good for bloggers (hello!) because of how many products we are constantly trying. May says that it's also an antihistamine. This is May's go everywhere with her product and she says that it's her healer. While I have yet to try this all out for myself, I have to admit, this is probably at the top of my skincare wishlist. When I put it on my hand, it went it on quite smoothly, melting quickly. It moisturized where I put it on my hand and left the skin feeling soft. I won't be able to say more until I get my hands on it, but the scent is incredible too. The best way I can describe it, is an herbal honey-ish like scent yet even that doesn't do the smell justice. The major ingredient is Blue Tansy which gives it that lovely hue, so I could be smelling that. But bottom line, it smells wonderful.

The Youth Dew is also very silky. It has a bright yellow color and like everything else it smelled amazing. I rubbed it all over my neck, my neck felt moisturized.

The Jasmine Garden smells unbelievable. Like fresh jasmine. After spraying it on, my skin felt refreshed after my long day at work and there was a slight..not a tingling sensation...but a refreshing sensation.

I really had no idea what to expect when I arrived. but every single product she showcased smelled incredible and felt really nice on my skin. Breathing them in, touching them. They are an experience. I have yet to really dive into them all, but I cannot wait.

The evening ended after the demonstrations and with a brief Q & A session. Someone asked May if she used sunscreen and what her opinion was. Apparently, May doesn't use sunscreen and when she does, she mixes pure zinc powder with the Blue Cocoon. She also mentioned that she will probably make a sunscreen at some point when she's ready and only when it's perfect.

Afterwards, we all scattered about the store to check everything out. I couldn't stop inhaling her products haha. They each smelled so good! I waited in an informal line to speak to her and I honestly just wanted to thank her for the evening and for her passion and for what she was doing. A lot of what she said resonated with me and I just wanted to tell her that. Something I'm working on is getting better at coming up with questions. Not stupid questions, but I tend to get so overwhelmed by all the awesome all I can say is, "AHHH that was awesome!!" Then later the questions will come to me. Anyways, she greeted me with a hug. I introduced myself and told her what I was thinking and thank her for the evening. (Check out the whole 1 hour and 40 minute talk on The Chalkboard mag's facebook page. I can't possibly go over everything and I think it's a must watch. I'm the girl sitting at the front in black haha)

When she asked about my skin and if I was happy with it, I told her about my skin issues and how I literally can't touch ice cream or I break out in cystic spots. This goes back to some of the things she was saying in her talk about how it's usually us getting in our own way with our skin. Whether it's putting too much retinols on our skin or eating terribly, skin care starts with our own healthy choices. For me that was a huge turning point. If you want beautiful skin, put down the ice cream (I recommend Coconut Bliss if you need an ice cream fix) put away the crappy foundations and take care of yourself. The bottle is only a bottle. There is no such thing as a skincare fix all because our skin is a living organ. It will continue to react to the environment, what's happening with your body and what you eat. Skincare handles those issues when they happen. Anyway! She told me she has the same issue and that dairy and sugar are huge troublemakers for her as well. I told her I take probiotics for it and she recommended The Problem Solver and the Blue Cocoon for me. 

I talked with so many wonderful people afterwards. I met Vanessa who is working with her and is a nutritionist. Danelle is also working with her and is a creative director and was the guinea pig in the video who's face I smelled haha! It's captured in the video (the face mask she was wearing did smell amazing)

I ended up chatting with May again later and asked her if we could take a picture and she said yes (she really is a wonderfully sweet and kind woman) I thanked her again and called my Lyft home.

And with that the evening was over. I have a product review backlog I'm currently working through, but her products are definitely going to be on this blog in the future.

In the meantime I'm keeping my eye out for those little golden spoons and that washcloth May. It was lovely getting to share those moments with you.

I hope you enjoyed my article on the evening and a special thank you to Elena of The Detox Market. I listed below the tips May recommended from the video with each product and some quotes or May-isms that I really loved.

Here I am with the lovely May Lindstrom. I'm smiling like such a goober. We both agreed there needs to be selfie stations.

Here I am with the lovely May Lindstrom. I'm smiling like such a goober. We both agreed there needs to be selfie stations.

My minis that I received that evening in my giftbag!

My minis that I received that evening in my giftbag!

May's Tips & Tricks:

The Good Stuff: Use on dry skin if you want more of a shine. Put on the clavicles, legs and shoulders. She likes to keep it in the shower and use it on wet skin before she gets out of the shower. She recommends to fill the palms with it, run it all over and put it through your hair. May also loves to use it as a hair leave in treatment the night before she washes her hair.

Pendulum Potion: Massage in the oil, use a hot washcloth (for the steam) and press it on your skin. Sweep it away with light strokes gently. Rinse with water. Take it all the way down your neck if you want. If you have really active acne outbreaks, don't use a washcloth.

Honey Mud: You can actually use this as a gentle cleanser. If you put this on dry skin, it looks like pudding. If you put it on wet skin, it turns to milk. Splash the skin, take a big dollop and massage it into your wet skin. Then rinse off. When used as a mask, put it on clean and dry skin and wear as long as you want. Not great at removing heavy makeup as a cleanser. A pea sized amount goes a long way with wet skin. She mixed with The Clean Dirt at around 58 minutes.

The Clean Dirt: She recommends doing The Clean Dirt in the shower because it's messy. She says it shouldn't be used everyday but about as often as you need to wash your hair. She likes to use it on her chest for fall off. (It fell on my jeans in the video it was pretty funny XD) Leave it on and then rinse it, don't overdo it though. She also recommends using it on your shoulders and armpits. She recommend it to be blended with The Honey Mud to help with brightening & hyperpigmentation.

The Problem Solver: Make sure it's measured correctly. It should be bubbly and fizzy when mixed. Don't rub or scrub this off ever, only rinse off. She recommended mixing it with the Blue Cocoon for painful pimples and cystic acne. She likes to do it once a week at full strength either mixing it with The Jasmine Garden or water and once a week mixed with The Honey Mud. The Honey Mud mixture is better for more sensitive skin. Combine The Problem Solver with the Youth Dew for wet painful pimples that haven't yet come to a head.

The Blue Cocoon: You only need a very small amount. After your cleanser and rinsing, skip the towel and massage the balm in. May recommends following this with The Jasmine Garden. As well as rubbing it on your chest. When I told her I had asthma, she actually recommended that I rub it on my chest to help with that. She says it's great for an eye treatment and to rub it into lids and lashes.

Youth Dew: May recommends mixing it with the Blue Cocoon to help with acne and to use it with wet skin after you've cleansed and rinsed. She says to massage it in well on fine lines and where she feels a breakout coming on. She says this is also a leave on.

The Jasmine Garden: She recommends using this after the Blue Cocoon and if you can to mix it with The Problem Solver as a mask. Spray on top of the oils.

 

May-isms:

"Don't be scared of your products."

"I am a little over the top and I admit it. But it's the only way I want to do things. "

"I formulated this as a cleanser, but everyone uses it as a mask." -On the Honey Mud

"Always always play."

"First take off the day, second put the nourishment back in." -On the honey mud

"Get out of your own way. It's not in the bottle. Sometimes the bottle is the reminder."

"I deal with nature, she's my boss."

"You should pick it up and want to tell your girlfriends about it."

"I'm still a food person."

"All I do all day long, is talk to you."

"Learning to play. Learning to listen to our skin."

"When I go home after an insanely long day and there's been 5 billion challenges and I can't get the ingredient and I failed a client and that shipment didn't make it and this thing went wrong and everyone's losing it and I go home to my two children who need me and my husband who needs me and no sleep and every other thing like most people, what am I going to do to make it okay for me? What am I going to do with my 30 seconds that I get that night? What am I going to do with my 5 minutes that I get that day? Maybe today is the day that I ask for that hour from my husband. And learning that lesson that I can take it too. The mantra that I say all day long that I say to each of you is 'I have to take it back'."

"My mantra that I say to myself all day long and that I say to you is, 'I have to take it back.'"

"This is my practice. Some people have meditation, yoga or running, I do this: I wash my face. I use oils. I take a deep breath. If it's not enough, I do it again and again everyday and I show up. And that's it. That's my practice."

 

Beginnings & The Beauty Chef

Nutrition, Wellness, EventsOctober ComstockComment

Last night, I was at an awesome event held at The Detox Market in Beverly Hills. They were hosting one of my favorite leaders in the clean beauty industry, the one and only Carla Oates creator of The Beauty Chef. She's launching her newest product, Glow Advanced, in the USA this week.

She's been leading the charge on natural beauty for a long time now with nutrition always being at the forefront. From a young age, Carla came to understand the correlation between what you ate and how it affected your skin. At 13, she had eczema and after seeing a naturopath and eliminating certain foods from her diet, she saw drastic improvement. This really cemented the concept for her and she keeps it with her always. That's an understatement, but the woman has helped pioneer wellness into the beauty industry. Which is amazing.

My skin in high school was terrible like everyone else's. When I stopped eating a crap ton of ice cream and junk food, I saw a huge difference (jeez go figure October) but my acne was still there. I tried all of the mass market acne products and saw no results. I knew it was internal, I stopped eating dairy and was eating clean, but I had no idea what to do. My mother, who is a holistic nutritional fountain of knowledge, wanted me to start taking probiotics and drinking kefir for my overall health. After week or two, I started noticing how much it was helping my skin. I researched about gut health and was blown away by it all. This was back in 2011! I've since been taking probiotics and drinking kefir religiously for years. I get the occasional hormonal breakout or when I've been bad with my nutrition, but the probiotics are always consistent. So when I heard about The Beauty Chef's products, I was immediately intrigued. I held off on trying it mostly because of the price point. I continued oogling it and playing the "In the Cart, Out of the Cart" game. But after a recent bad breakout and seeing that Carla was speaking, I threw down my money and ordered Glow Advanced. I've been wanting to try her products for a long while and I feel so silly for waiting.

When I walked into The Detox Market last night, I felt I had found my Mecca. The walls are filled with all of these incredible clean beauty teas, wellness powders, organic foundations, serums...the brands that I have only ever gaped at online. There was a lovely display of fresh flowers and at the end of the long room were the words "Detox your life". Yes, I had indeed found my people. My trek from Santa Monica had been worth it.

We were an intimate group and I could tell I wasn't the only one geeking out on all the products. I met several wonderful women there last night as we contemplated the selection of natural deodorants while drinking a rose chocolate Glow smoothie.

After browsing and chatting for a bit, we all sat down to hear Carla speak. She spoke of her journey, how important probiotics and fermented foods are for your health and the important connection between what we ingest and our skin. Glow, her mainstay product, is her absolute essential. When asked what was the one product she couldn't live without, she said it was Glow. It's the hero product in her line and she takes it every day. It's a powder that you can add to smoothies, acai bowls or just throw in some water and down. It's a prebiotic and probiotic blend targeted towards your skin. There's been a lot of acclaim around it and I can't wait to try Glow and Glow Advanced.

The Q&A portion ended and we all took a picture with Carla. Afterwards, I told her how much I loved what she was doing in the beauty industry and thanked her for helping to start this movement of beauty nutrition. She thanked me and we chatted a little bit. Such a nice lady!

I snagged a bottle of The Beauty Chef's Collagen on my way out. I had such a great time.

My new morning ritual will be including Collagen and Advanced Glow. I'm waiting for my shipment of the Advanced Glow, but I can tell you that Collagen is delicious and tastes great with water. Like berries! I will keep you guys updated on my progress with it and when I finally get my Advanced Glow in the mail. I hope you enjoyed my very first blog post. In the meantime, stay healthy my friends.