When May Lindstrom first launched, she took green beauty by storm with her sensuous offerings of beautifully created soul-healing chef inspired products that engaged women to reconnect with their deeper heart. Beauty bloggers, green beauty queens and the media alike were smitten by this entire experience built around the May Lindstrom line.
Fast forward a few years and May Lindstrom continues to scintillate but as is all too common in the green beauty world – the growth of emerging lines (Gressa, Laurel, Kypris to name a few) gunning for the same audience who have doubtlessly carefully studied and expounded upon the very flowery exposition employed by May Lindstrom on transforming a skincare product into an all-inclusive experience of spiritual empowerment, has also taken some of the luster and newfangled novelty away. So as the flash subsides, we’re left to wonder how do the products actually perform?
What is it?
May Lindstrom’s The Honey Mud (along with Blue Cocoon & Jasmine Garden) are her newest products which aptly carry on her renown of crafting products that engage the senses. The Honey Mud looks, smells and feels like a dessert and if I felt braver, I’d be able to confirm if it tasted like one too. It’s described as a “cleansing silk” which is such a beautiful imagery and you might have seen it compared in similarity to a pudding, which is pretty accurate.
The Honey Mud is a cleanser/mask depending how you want to use it. As a cleanser you apply it onto damp skin and massage with the tips of your fingers and rinse off. As a mask, we’re instructed to apply more liberally onto cleaned/dry skin and allow 10-20 minutes for the mask to penetrate.
What’s in it?
Raw honey***, white halloysite clay, macadamia integrifolia (macadamia nut oil)*, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)*, argentum metallicum (colloidal silver), 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**.
*Certified Organic, **Wild harvested, ***Collected from unsprayed and unfertilized fields of Michigan wildflowers. Gluten-free. Not suitable for vegans (contains honey).
This is essentially a mix of honey, clays and plant oils with a dash of anti-bacterial ingredients added in from witch hazel and colloidal silver. Those who have a fear of colloidal silver (not me) would do best to avoid this as it’s listed higher on the ingredients list than I’ve usually seen it used. I do like that the honey is collected from a very clean source of wildflowers.
I know that between the time I purchased this and now, May has changed the source of the honey & clay which as a result has altered the color to be lighter but she assures the performance and results are not changed (source).
My experience – As a Cleanser
Firstly, May Lindstrom is the master at creating exceptional experiences. I can’t deny the feeling of joy I get when I open a new May Lindstrom product to try for the first time and this was no exception. The full jar was filled like a gourmet cupcake frosting which instantly made me squee inside.
I first tried The Honey Mud as a cleanser and this was not successful. I would not describe this as being akin to a ‘cleansing silk’ – instead I found the mix of honey, clays and oils to be quite sticky and heavy in texture which caused me to pull and tag at my skin which is not what you want with a cleanser. The worst part came when I tried to remove the cleanser and found no matter how carefully I rinsed, there was always a residue even though we are instructed that rinsing will clean The Honey Mud off. When the water turned clear and my skin turned slightly red from all the washing I decided to suck it up, dried off with a towel and went about my day. Throughout the day I kept smelling the cleanser on my skin and felt the residue film was still there. For a cleanser, it just never made my skin feel clean. Soon after one day later I broke out with 3 large, painful zits on my otherwise clear skin.
After this, I waited about 2 weeks for the breakouts to go down before making another attempt. I was determined to make this work and ended up in the same boat. I ended up having to use another cleanser TWO times to get this cleanser off my skin. So needing another cleanser to follow-up in order to make skin feel clean is not a good sign right?
The Honey Mud as a cleanser = no go.
At this point I was looking online at how other bloggers were using The Honey Mud – silently throwing a side eye in front of my computer screen at those exclaiming how great this worked in cleansing (AND EXFOLIATING!?!) their skin. I saw a few polite bloggers who did say they ‘preferred’ to use The Honey Mud as a mask rather than a cleanser which in blogger speak means “this doesn’t work as a cleanser.”
My experience – As a Mask
Knowing this would not work as a cleanser made me motivated to make this work as a mask. I applied liberally and found the experience pretty fun. It literally feels like putting chocolate pudding on my skin. I keep it on for 20 minutes when I feel the mask has dried and becomes less sticky.
Used as a mask, I loved how quick and effortless it was to apply this ready-made mask. The size allowed for pretty long-term usage (I think I’ve been using it for over a year and am just now at the last morsels – see pic above) granted I wasn’t exactly reaching for this stuff everyday. I know I’m in the small minority here but I wasn’t crazy for the scent when masking which can give off strong whiffs that become instantly heady. I can only describe it as an old house smell mixed with chocolate.
Learning the lessons I gained from the cleanser experience, I always rinse this mask off using a system: first with an oil cleanser to get all the stubborn oils off my skin, then with a light foaming cleanser to clear everything else off and make sure nothing is stuck in my pores before rinsing. It’s quite an effort but for me – it’s a must in order to prevent breaking out.
I like using this in the morning because of how quick it is to do and you go about your day feeling like you really took time for yourself. I didn’t experience any results and to be honest was mainly just using this to use up the product cause I kind of had to figure out a way to use it up.
I’m always conflicted when it comes to a May Lindstrom product. What do you do when you love and support the woman but the products just never seem to do it for you? I can’t help my experience and as much as I try to be positive to this day when I see some post about how The Honey Mud worked for healing acne, I have a visceral reaction to just write a quick message “BULLSHIT”. But alas that’s just my personal experience and I know I can’t speak for everyone.
This is one of the more disappointing products I’ve purchased and I will not repurchase again. However this does not discourage me from trying other May Lindstrom products and I’ll still have my finger’s ready to click the “bring it home” button when she releases new products. I’m still a fan girl even though The Honey Mud and I are not skin care soul mates.
The Honey Mud can be purchased for $80/3.38oz or 100ml:
Spirit Beauty Lounge
Any readers have a similar experience or any tips that may help others in the same situation? Share in the comments!
This was a great post. I just finished one of these too. It also took me a year because I just don’t love the texture of honey. I didn’t like it as a mask. I got into it more when I swiped it here and there and then really wet my hands to emulsify it. I use an acid based toner pad after my second cleanse so I didn’t have the residue issue. I decided to try the clean dirt. My goodness I am a klutz. There is no pretty dropping little droplets of water into a palmful going on over here!
Thank you Nancy! We must be in the same group who does not like the texture of honey on the skin, the sticky unbreathability makes me feel suffocated. I was able to emulsify it just fine, it turned that cloudy color on my skin but just could not rinse it clean!
Good advice on using a toner pad after to wipe up! I started doing that by splashing some Arcona Cranberry Toner on a cotton round.
How did you like Clean Dirt? I’m on the deMamiel scrub.
I have used the clean dirt a couple of times. Sometimes I really wish I’d remember to read reviews more closely before buying. I imagined this would be more finely milled, like a clay powder. It’s a little, well sharp, mixed just with water. I haven’t tried mixing it with cream cleanser yet. So far I still prefer to exfoliate with toner, a washcloth or Tata Harper’s mask. And let me just say, I can’t get the mixing with water done right and make a mess all over the sink. I have moved it to the shower.
Completely agree with your experience. I have combination/acne prone skin and haven’t been able to get this to work as a cleanser. As a mask, I prefer to use it with a powder clay mask, in order to dilute the cloying effects of the heavier oils. I am in the exact same boat as you – love May, but sadly this product (and The Blue Cocoon) didn’t perform as expected. I am not exactly sure how either of the two products cure acne for certain users – for me, they aggravate any existing inflammations. The only MLS product that I can use without any negative effects is The Problem Solver, which is my absolute HG mask, and repurchased already!
Ruhi! Seems we have very similar skin. Very smart to combine with a powder clay mask to lift the cloying oils. I think I was just a little ‘over it’ to try it and just wanted to get through the product. The Honey Mud really does a number to me skin. Sad to hear The Problem Solver is the only one that doesn’t have any negative effects for you but at least it’s a HG right??
Well the Jasmine Garden doesn’t do a number either, but considering the high price, and the fact that the main base is plain water, I won’t be repurchasing again. xx
Same here. I have never been able to use the products without a pretty bad burn/irritation. However, I follow her on social media and totally support what she is doing. Not every product can work for every skin. BUT her products do smell amazing!
Yeah I kind of wish she could get a pilot program going and have us as her guinea pigs so we can be like “ok.. not this again” lol
Same here ! I dont think her cleansers are worth the money. So many other clean products out there that do a great job.
My best friend who has sensitive skin bought it. And her skin was irritated and red when she used it. So she gave it to me. I inherited the mud and mask as well. I like the mud but I dont think I want to purchase it for that price. Mask was a disappointment. And this cleanser was meh !
Thanks for sharing!
I think I have everything from May Lindstrom apart from the bowl and brush. I once read an article about how this brand had absolutely got it right, in that as a consumer you are buying time for yourself, the ritual. We are buying into the luxury and indulgence that forces us to make time for ourselves – it’s actually very clever and my hat goes off to May Lindstrom. For me, the blue cocoon does work and I have acne prone skin, I’m not sure I would re-purchase though due to the price. The other product I like is the problem solver. One thing that does concern me is that every time I make the mask the dust inevitably puffs up and I end up inhaling a bit and coughing all over the place, things like that concern me – that can’t be good? I haven’t tried the jasmine garden yet, but this has reminded me I really need to use that soon. I do like the youth dew too but there are better out there.
I was about to say it looks like you’re quite the May Lindstrom fan but then realized I pretty much have or have had all her products too! She nails the experience beyond doubt. I think as someone with not genetically gifted skin, the results mean way way more to me that if I don’t see or feel the benefits, no marketing or gorgeous exterior packaging is going to keep me around.
I know what you’re saying about the powder puffing up. I almost instinctively hold my breath when I dump it into the palm of my hands and quick add water to weigh it down. The good thing is that as a green product, it does not use talc which has been shown to have correlation with cancer when inhaled.
Hats off on the review. I’ll have to agree that this beautiful pudding has been sitting unused in my chest of masks–which is what it is for me too–a mask and certainly not a cleanser. Even as a honey mask, I have others that work much better (Om Aroma, Wildhoney Apothecary) and don’t cost as much, though it does feel incredible. You nailed it on the head that May Lindstrom makes beauty and skin care an art form and a self-loving ritual which, in today’s frenetic world, is worth its weight in golden honey mud. Thanks for setting the record straight! XO
Thank you for sharing your personal experience Sarita! There’s a lot of new products you listed that I’ll have to add to my try list!
I’ve never used her products but got to see them in person for the first time last month and I really didn’t like how any of them smelled. I was eager to treat myself and was hoping the Blue Cocoon would appeal (I love the name and the product itself was such a pretty color) but alas it did not. Smell is so subjective. The packaging is pretty and from what I’ve read the products are thoughtfully developed and she is a lovely person.
Thanks for sharing Peony! I agree that smell is so subjective, case in point I also felt kind of different for not liking the smell of The Honey Mud and to me The Clean Dirt was just a little off in the smell as well * certainly didn’t smell like Christmas morning from all the descriptions.
As always thanks for this thoughtful and honest post, you are one of the only voices left in the green community that I can trust, that isn’t constantly trying to sell me yet another holy grail product.
I recently tried a sample of Blue Cocoon and while I loved the texture and smell, my skin didn’t like it as much, the balm felt very greasy on the skin and I reacted with pimples. I then used the balm on the dry skin around my nails and it worked well, but not as well as a 6 Euro (for 7ml) balm I buy from a German natural cosmetics brand (Maienfelser Naturkosmetik). So yes, the product felt like a luxury, but the results weren’t as good as they needed to be for the prize.
Aw I wish it wasn’t that way but I always try to write as truthful as I can. I’m glad the Maienfelser balm worked for you, I’ve been hearing a lot about how Blue Cocoon hasn’t worked but having only used a sample, can’t attest – most likely I would break out too from all the comments here.
Sigh, my first comment seems to got lost so here we go again.
Thanks as always for this thoughtful and honest review, you are one of the few bloggers in the beauty community that I can still trust, who isn’t always trying to sell me yet another holy grail product.
I recently got a sample of Blue Cocoon and while I liked the scent and texture, the product itself was a bit disappointing. I first tried it on my face, but I didn’t like how greasy the balm felt and I reacted with pimples. I then used the balm on my hands on the dry skin around my nails and it worked well, but not as well as a 6 Euro (for 7ml) balm I buy from a German natural cosmetic brand (Maienfelser Naturkosmetik). So yes, using the balm felt like a luxury, but I expected a lot more from its effect on my skin.
I like how you don’t pull any punches with your reviews, I happen to like honey mud but I use it as cleanser/mask in the shower on the days that I wash my hair and that is when I find that it does wash off completely. I do have to say that since she changed suppliers etc the mud feels a little thinner in texture, scent is not as strong and it actually washes off more cleanly not just in the shower. So I do find the latest batch better. But I liked it enough to purchase again in the first place. I do think that you need to use a wipe of toner to remove the left over cleanser (that goes for both cleansers in her range). Yet honey mud is most definitely not an exfoliating cleanser, not sure why would anyone say that, agree with you on that!
Thank you Tamara! Good to know the latest batch is better and very helpful advice to wipe with a toner first.
Lovely and honest review! Thank you. I have dry skin and this cleanser also did not work for me – it left too much residue. I also tried her blue cocoon, which resulted in pimples. The youth dew has far too many citrus oils, which I avoid because they can photosensitise. The cleansing clay left my skin red with all the heating spices. The only thing I like is her body oil – like the scent and the sparkle but find it a tad pricey for what it is.
Thank you for sharing that this didn’t work for dry skin. I was always curious about Blue Cocoon for long term use, every now and then on some dry patches I think are fine but I do worry how it would go when used regularly. Thank you for the thoughts, I’ll have more reviews of this line coming up!
I unfortunately agree with you on the ML range. I keep buying and trying trials because she’s so lovely and the praise is universal! As you predicted in past comments, my skin HATED problem solver. The spices are too much and I get cysts above my jawline, even if I temper it with honey. Instead, I find that Josh Rosebrook’s mask is gentle and effective.
I also can’t use blue cocoon although my face lives frankincense and myrrh and lavender in other (even heavy!) formulations. Likewise, honey mud and clean dirt are too much. I’m sure I’ll try them again because they are such luxurious products!
The funny thing is, it’s only in your her comments section that I find more than one negative comment about this range, and of course green bloggers hide their true feelings. I wish this wasn’t so, but alas.
I’ll say the newest lovely-lady-owned range I’ve found and that my skin is OBSESSED with is Yokimomo (etsy and uo). I can’t use products with vitamin e, but the products I can use are beautiful, effective, and not drying, which is hard to find sometimes. I recommend it so much!
Daniella, I am always interested in finding new Etsy loves – my shopping cart is constantly full of lovely things I would love to try. I can’t find anything when I do a search for Yokimomo – are there any particular product names I could search for instead? Lisa
Auto correct fail :! It’s yoshimomo :https://www.etsy.com/shop/Yoshimomo?ref=s2-header-shopname
The hydra clear is my hg moisturizer for my reactive, dry, acne-prone skin!
I wanted to love The Honey Mud, but I’ve barely gone through half in the almost-year that I’ve had it. The residue just drove me crazy. I’ve actually bought most of her line also, but the only things that I would repurchase are The Problem Solver, and possibly Blue Cocoon (which I bought as part of a deal that gave me a free full sized Youth Dew). I don’t mind spending for luxury products, but around that price point there’s brands that work so much better for my skin.
I think we had a very similar experience from the sound of how little this was used! I’ll get reviews of the others up soon.
I use the Clean Dirt and the Honey Mud on a regular basis and the results have been great. I recieved a sample of the Blue Cacoon and Youth Dew which also work well with my combination skin. I am looking forward to her new releases .
Great to hear! How do you use the products on your skin? Any tips you can share with the rest of us?
thanks for this
Hi, beauty! I have been rejecting some products because of colloidal silver and I would like to know your thoughts about it. Have you found reassuring information?
I always get a question about this every couple of months and I do not have any concerns about colloidal silver. I think most of the concerns are misplaced and Green Derm covers this better than I ever can: http://greenderm.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-take-on-colloidal-silver.html
Thank you for the information 😉
I recently purchased The Honey Mud, after receiving a sample from The Detox Market. I absolutely love it. I tried it and use it as a mask only. I have not tried it as a cleanser. I don’t know why. I guess I figured if it is safe and more beneficial to use for 20 mins, then why limit myself to a cleanser? Lol I have sensitive, combination skin. The first time I used it, I could feel the small whiteheads that were buried by my cheek coming out as I massaged the honey mud onto my skin. 20 minutes later, I washed/massaged my face and could actually SEE the whiteheads sitting on the palm of my hands. It really was magical. I have never used a product that worked so well. I also received a sample of The Problem Solver, but have not found the courage to use it because of its ingredients. I fear the spices may be too much for my sensitive skin. Anyway, just thought I’d share my experience. ✌
I used the honey mud and thought it was blah. Honestly, how can someone ask for $80 for this. As for the Problem Solver, I very much appreciate your review as it was quite similar to my own. I’m frustrated that I am out of this money and my skin is worse off when I use them.
I found Dr. Alkaitis. Lovely products, FYI.
I only wish I’ve looked more into blog reviews before ordering ML’s products. Lesson learned.
Fully agree with the master-marketer part of your review, as well as with the rest. I have had the Blue Cocoon, the Honey Mud and the Problem Solver.
I feel downright cheated for the descriptions and reviews of the Blue Cocoon, as compared to the results it delivers. Whereas no two visages are the same, there are some of benefits anyone should get. I get the moisturizing, you get the calming, she gets the two combined. I got breakouts, dry flaky skin and irritation. LOADS of breakouts and red skin. I do not have acne, and except for the occasional bi-annual pimple my skin is clear. I have quite sensitive skin, hence the rush to get the latest miracle-calmer for the skin. After the initial trial, I stopped. Once my skin recovered, I gave the cocoon another go. In time, I gave it 4 goes, and the results were the same, each and every time, Swiss-clock precision: breakouts, irritation, dry skin, redness. I now use it as a hand cream. And even as such, I do not notice anything magical on my hands. Thanks, May Lindstrom!
The Honey Mud is at best mediocre, I agree with your review. Home-made honey, clay and oil can be as much effective as the Honey Mud. You can put the money difference in the kids’ fund and feel good about yourself.
I find it a pity though, that marketing took by storm the green beauty to such a degree. It is not a favour done to the rest of the green beauty world.
Oh yeah, if you read my review of Problem Solver on here, it wasn’t working out for me either. The formula is kind of chaotic.