The Skin Chef

By Rona Berg / July 6, 2012

May Lindstrom is not at all what you’d expect from a model. Of course she is very beautiful—with no makeup, seven months pregnant, sitting across the table at an outdoor cafe, drinking tea. But Lindstrom is also warm, focused, grounded, funny and more than a bit shy, without a wisp of attitude. “I am introverted,” she smiles. “I’m such a homebody. I hide from the camera, unless it’s for a job.”

There’s another thing that makes her an unlikely modeling success story. “I’m very chemically sensitive, but as a model it is my job to be slathered in things I am sensitive to.” After a high-profile 10-year modeling career, with more than a few severe skin reactions along the way, the irony was unavoidable: “I was extremely allergic to my job!” she says. While searching for a solution, Lindstrom headed for the kitchen and began to mix up her own products. “I originally wanted to be a chef,” she says, “and I love to feed people. My friends would come for dinner, and they would leave with my formulations!”

One day she was booked for a shoot on the beach where the photographer wanted the models to be photographed with beautiful glowing skin. She grabbed some of her oils, headed to the set, and slathered them on the other models. A funny thing happened. “They loved it,” says Lindstrom, “and wanted to know where they could buy it!” The same thing happened again and again, way too many times before a hair stylist friend sat her down and told her to bottle it. And so she did.

Now Lindstrom is moving beyond modeling to grow her skin care line, May Lindstrom Skin (, and looking forward to giving birth to a baby girl at her home in Los Angeles this summer. With all of these good things happening, it’s not surprising that she wants her new line to be a celebration of beauty.

“I decided the line had to come from a place of pure good,” says Lindstrom. “Not like other products that said, ‘Those ingredients are bad for you, they will give you cancer.’ That’s just as toxic as the ingredients are.”

The well-curated line now features four products, all with certified organic, fair trade, and wild-harvested ingredients. Youth Dew is a luscious face oil/serum with avocado, rose-hip and borage seed oils. The Good Stuff, a delicious body oil, features macadamia nut and sea buckthorn. The Problem Solver, a detox mask with raw cacao, bamboo charcoal and warming spices, clears up blemishes and soothes inflammation. The Clean Dirt, a blend of cleansing clays, vitamin C and spices, stimulates cellular rejuvenation and refines the skin. The goodies come in a beautiful black box tied with a satin ribbon, with a hand-made ceramic bowl for mixing the masks, activated with the addition of water. “It’s a way to start and end your day

Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Longtime journalist, author and current editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine, and she has contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. She co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty (Workman Publishing), and is a frequent speaker and guest on radio and television and at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg

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