Happy May Day (and Blessed Beltane) from Brooklyn Herborium! We hope you are enjoying the warmer air and longer light, we certainly are.
Mayday, May 1st, is the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, meaning spring is in full bloom! Traditional festivities honor the fertility of the season and include bonfires, flower crowns, and dancing the Maypole. The veil between worlds is thin and there’s magic in the air!
For the rising energy of high spring, we thought it would be useful to share with you some self-care rituals for your high energy life, recognizing that life, like your skin, changes within its own imperfection and that THAT, in itself is perfect. So when you look in the mirror and see a pimple or stress bump you don’t have to think “why is by body punishing me?” you can simply say “oh look, my body is doing everything it can to function well and keep me healthy, what can I do to support it?”
At Brooklyn Herborium, our recommend Regimen (when you do it) and Rituals (how you do it) are deeply connected with The Natural Calendar. If you need a refresher or want a closer look, visit Emma’s article Crafting Your Functional Skincare Regimen. In addition, we recommend these products in connection with this unique stage of the Natural Calendar:
The Sun Cycle: Your Daily Regimen
The Sun Cycle is the pattern created by the rotation of the earth which gives us our days and nights.
The sun cycle guides the daily rhythm.
COW FART JUICE
A highly intoxicating blend of healing herbs that have natural anti-microbial properties, Cow Fart Juice may be helpful for all kinds of skin disorders. In addition, it has elements of what the skin needs to produce a higher amount of elastin when the skin is healing, leading to less scarring and firmer, plumper skin. Apply as a spot treatment over compromised or wounded skin, or use as an oil cleanser on skin that has open wounds or is prone to infection. Read the Article
Cow Fart Juice in Your Rituals
- Drip one drop onto your finger and dab directly on any wound that is healing or has scabbed. In the morning, this would be after your Moisture Duo and at night apply one drop of Cow Fart Juice after you have misted with a Mineral Mist.
- You may use Cow Fart Juice at night as an Oil Cleanser–particularly if you have skin that has open wounds or is prone to infection. Use 6-10 drops and massage into the skin well. Press a steamy washcloth to your face and wipe gently ro remove. Follow with a Mineral Mist and do not Moisturize.
- Cow Fart Juice is not intended for daily use all over the face unless you are going through a period of time in which you have large areas of scabs. In this case, you would want to work with one of our Holistic Skin Care Specialists to get you in the right place and then switch to Nourish & Replenish OIl in a proper Moisture Duo once the situation has resolved.
The Moon Cycle: Your Weekly & Monthly Regimen
The Moon Cycle is created by the movement of the Moon around the Earth. It is what creates the waxing and waning phases of the moon as well as the appearance of the New Moon or the Full Moon. Our regimen for weekly and monthly rituals follow the Moon Cycle. These are the rituals and practices that are not appropriate for every day, but can be beneficial when used judiciously and at the right times. These are your intelligent intermittent practices.
CLEAR COMPLEXION CLAY
To keep your skin clear and bump-free, use a clay mask in your beauty ritual once a week (or, at least, a couple times a month) as part of your functional, supportive skincare regimen. These simple and lovely moments of self-care, intermittently dispersed along with your daily care of flushing with water in the morning and misting with transdermal minerals at night, provide the body with what it needs for the continual flow that is necessary for proper elimination in the skin.
Clay has been traditionally used to draw out impurities through the processes of adsorption and absorption and makes a lovely ingredient in a weekly mask. When made into a proper mask it performs a double duty by encouraging blood flow to the dermis while its elemental minerals bind with metabolic and environmental toxins in a way that other types of cleansing just don’t address. On its own, clay is not really a skin care product, but a raw material and most people find it to be drying and irritating.
All of our Perfection Clay Masks do a great job of ionic cleansing, but they also offer so much more. Packed with vibrant whole herbs that provide nourishment and retain moisture when mixed with hot water, each unique formulation offers just the right amount of drawing and soothing. The activated charcoal in our Clear Complexion Clay is useful to clear out Stress Bumps that form when the body is utilizing the skin as an organ of elimination.
“Don’t dry it out, Draw it out.” -Emma Graves
Tips for Your Perfection Clay Mask Rituals
- Throughout the entire year, we recommend spending 5-10 minutes in a clay mask about once a week. If you have lots of time, you can give yourself a mini-facial: Oil Cleanse, an Herbal Cleanser Such as Sow Your Wild Oats or Integrity Biome Mask, and then your Perfection Clay Mask. Otherwise, do the best you can with what you have, wherever you are.
- For best results, use a bowl and measure the Perfection Clay with the proper tools (at least until you can do it with your eyes closed), mixing in very hot water (measure this too), stir gently and with intention, then allow the mix to set for a few moments before applying it to your skin. Whenever possible, avoid metal when using clay.
- Our Perfection Clay Mask (Clear Complexion, Sense & Sensitivity, Pore Refining) are best mixed in a 3:2 ratio (Yes, we use Fibonacci ratios for everything…can’t help but keep returning to the beauty of sacred geometry). This could mean 1 tsp clay and 1.5 tsp water or 2 tsp clay and 3 tsp (1 Tbsp) water. Feel free to use more than one kind of Perfection clay, just keep the ratios consistent.
- Clay masks only work up until the point right before they dry! Therefore, you must keep your mask slightly moist. Use a spray bottle and mist frequently, rest with a hot towel over your face, get in the steamy shower, or you can buy reusable silicone face masks to put over your mask to keep it moist.
- If you experience heavy congestion such as hardened blackheads, apply NO EVIL, Cow Fart Juice, or Seeds of Change and massage as though you are oil cleansing, then apply your mixed mask right on top of the oil and keep the mask moist for about 8 minutes before removing.
- Perfection, like an element, is neither created nor destroyed.
The Earth Cycle: Your Seasonal Regimen
The Earth Cycle is created by the movement of the earth around the sun and the tilt of its axis. It is what gives us the seasons that create the year. Within our regimen, this earth cycle allows for both transitional practices as well as special occasions, such as “holidays.”
ROSE RENEWAL MASQUE
Rose Renewal Masque gently removes dead skin using powerful AHAs from nature (in the form of organic fruit and cane sugar extracts), for an immediate brightening and smoothing effect. We take the AHAs and pair them with free-radical-fighting green tea and other plant-based anti-oxidants in a gentle, occlusive emulsion of Organic Rose Distillate, Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Apricot Kernal Seed Oil and Organic Coconut Oil.
Rose Renewal Masque for Special Occasions
- In the evening, wash your face with LOMAH, Vita-C Nightly Cleanser or Oil Cleanse or with NO EVIL.
- Apply a light layer of Rose Renewal Masque using long, upward strokes using your fingertips. You can also use the tip of a cotton swab or small fan brush to glide over each area in long sweeping motions, leaving a thin layer of the masque evenly on the surface.
- Leave on for up to 15 minutes before removing with a warm, wet washcloth and follow with a splash of cool water.
- Usually we do not recommend moisturizing before bed, but after masks that exfoliate, we make an exception if you feel dry. However, if you do not feel dry, you do not need to moisturize.
- Unless you are super-sensitive, the skin usually looks fine (maybe slightly red) directly after the masque. This is normal. The glow-like bloom from this mask reveals itself 4-6 days later. Plan accordingly.
- This mask is truly meant for special occasions, and not “all the time” use. Using it all the time could create a situation where you are “breaking down” more than you are “building up” which could leave you in a deficiency. Take note that there are products marketed for everyday use that are much stronger than this one and remember that just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean it is a good idea.
- Do not use more than 2 times per week. Although this is a gentle, natural AHA in a small percentage, it can still make your skin more sun-sensitive. Please limit your exposure to the elements and wear an appropriate hat for best protection-SPF prevents the sun burn–but not the exposure–so we don’t really think that it is ample protection.
May your days be full of sunlight and flowers, your nights made of dreams and stardust, and may Green Blessings be upon you and your loved ones.
The Women of Brooklyn Herborium
If you have any questions about appropriate regimen and rituals for your own skin, we recommend making an appointment with one of our Holistic Skincare Specialists.
By Emma Graves
Emma, a certified herbalist & highly skilled aesthetician who has been working in natural skin care since 1998, originally developed the Between You and the Moon product line to serve her clients in finding a method of natural, holistic skin care that provided tangible results. A 4+ generation holistic practitioner, her love of skin care and holistic methods was chronicled in her early blog “The Pimple Whisperer,” some of which is still available on this website.
Illustration by Krista Dragomer
Krista Dragomer is an Ohio-born mixed media artist living and working in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Her work can be seen at www.kristadragomer.com