my dalliance with may lindstrom (round one)

So, as I recently mentioned, in a moment of weakness I ordered samples of much of May Lindstrom’s exorbitantly expensive skincare line from They’ll sell you samples of each for $2, but with a catch: you’re limited to five samples.

Decisions, decisions! I opted for the Honey Mud cleanser, the Clean Dirt cleanser, the Problem Solver mask, the Youth Dew serum, and the Good Stuff multipurpose oil. The Blue Cocoon description sounds suspiciously like glorified Aquaphor to me, so I took a pass despite its high marks on the web.

Your first challenge is to navigate the absurd product descriptions online, resplendent with phrases like “cool serenity”, “intoxicating”, “gently whimsical”, “exquisite nourishment”, “power packed bouquet”, “magic dust”, and “superstar”. Are we talking about chakra crystals? Shots of Jagermeister? A Pinterest project involving baking soda and essential oils? A Yankee candle? Really. This is a facial cleanser, not a twelve-day Thai spiritual retreat. My soul will not levitate over my body and find God while my face mask is drying.

Okay. I’m a lumper, not a splitter. My colleagues will spend fifteen minutes debating over the most appropriate diagnostic nomenclature for a benign tumor or condition, whereas I am (in)famous for walking in, looking at the case, and saying, “Who cares?” If the possible diagnostic options all have an identical net effect on the patient — no further treatment, no horrible prognosis, no otherwise sinister implications — then any unnecessary debate about the most precise nomenclature is just mental masturbation. I am all about E-F-F-I-C-I-E-N-C-Y, and crafting a ridiculous diagnosis describing some daffy variant of a blah-blah-blah, which means ZERO POINT ZERO to the doctor treating the patient, is plain old silly. In fact, if you use some crazy terminology in a report which forces the doctor to Google it to find out what the fuck you are talking about, then you are wasting their time.

Ahem. So. Yes, I’m a lumper. This is why I view the Clean Dirt and the Problem Solver in somewhat similar veins. They are both gritty powders that you mix with water. They both look like poop once mixed. They both smell INCREDIBLE, like pumpkin spice bread. They will both indelibly stain white washcloths and will require enthusiastic scrubbing off white surfaces.

The first round with the Problem Solver. Did I make it too watery? Does it look like I smeared diarrhea all over my face?

Round 2. Less water. Where’s the beef? Why does it feel like my face is going to crack? Why do I look so filthy? What’s happening?

I tried the Problem Solver a couple times, making sure to leave it on for at least 45 minutes per recommendation. It itched. It cracked. I was afraid to make any facial movement for fear shards of aromatic clay would shoot off my face and stab the cat. I was so excited to be able to scrub it off, despite the permeating aroma of freshly-baked autumnal treats. (Frankly, it was making me hungry. And sad that fall is still months away.) Once all was said and done, my skin looked… okay. I mean, it looked nice, but no nicer than after any of the other tried-and-true tricks up my sleeve.

The Clean Dirt, in my humble and uneducated opinion, seems really similar to the Problem Solver. It’s gritty, smells yummy, and makes a fucking mess. I can see how the Clean Dirt would be particularly satisfying if you had a real face full of heavy makeup you needed to sandblast off, but for everyday purposes I couldn’t justify the cost or the mess. Furthermore, the texture is fairly coarse — I can’t imagine those with sensitive skin wouldn’t have some issues with either product. In fact, Problem Solver has left me with small scaly patches of mild irritant dermatitis each time I’ve used it. Nothing horrible, and it’s gone in a couple hours, but STILL.

In sum? I will pass. And I am SO RELIEVED that, for once, I am not irresistibly compelled by a grossly overpriced skincare product. $200 that can go into my G-wagon fund. Heh.

10 thoughts on “my dalliance with may lindstrom (round one)

  1. Yes! I had exactly the same reaction to the Clean Dirt and the Problem Solver; redundancy, these sound like the same thing. I hate masks anyway, I either wash something off or leave it on for the rest if the day/night and 45 MINUTES! Are you kidding? I can just about manage 20 before I am completely sick of the whole thing! You look very fetching in your Mask of Poop anyhow and yay for the G wagon fund.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen these for a while and have almost pulled the trigger, but couldn’t justify the cost for a cleanser. Thanks for taking one for the team.


  3. I didn’t have any luck with May’s products either, including Blue Cocoon. Unfortunately I jumped right into the hype before samples were an option. I’m a sucker, I know.


      1. Wow, I’m brutal at keeping up with comments. Sorry!

        Ya, I would say Aquaphor is a pretty close comparison it. I just found it way too thick, way too greaseball-y… and this is coming from someone with dry, sensitive skin. I really don’t understand what all the hype is about. Then again, I’ve pared down significantly and I would imagine most people would look at what I use, and raise eyebrows.


  4. Ah, May Lindstrom. I love the idea… but… I can (and do) make most blended oils/powder cleansers etc. myself, HOWEVER … The Problem Solver I do spring for. Why:
    1. The price is not exorbitant. It’s actually quite reasonable. (8.45 oz for $90 is A LOT of product.) (Ok maybe not compared to the Aztec clay you can get at Whole Foods but that stuff just irritates my skin.) (My other favorite is Evan Healy Rose Clay- at $26 for 2.1 oz that one comes out to cost even more.)
    2. I believe a good clay mask is a key skin care item. If I’m going to have one, it may as well be one that’s reasonably priced, doesn’t irritate my skin, and is loaded with Vit C.


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