May Lindstrom, The Youth Dew: Dissected

My recent update to the “Ditch Moisturisers” routine is a product by a premium brand green beauty bloggers adore. But is it worth the craze?


Reason 1: Pure and undiluted. Pure oils and blends of pure oils are my go-to remedies for skin care because they are what you could call “100% active ingredients products”.

And if I’m to splurge 120€ on a beauty product, I don’t want to buy water and fillers and then maybe about 10% of active ingredients. High quality oils are quite expensive, and if you check out conventional products that claim to contain fancy oils like argan, most likely you’ll find out that the amount of oil and the price on the bottle have conspired to fool you.

Creams and lotions, whether conventional or green, have one common ingredient, and that is water. Creams and lotions are emulsions, mixtures of water and oil. Emulsions need emulsifiers, stabilisers, preservatives, perfumes… Enter chemistry and the toxic journey begins!


(This is actually the bright orange The Youth Dew oil. In a spoon. Yup.)

And yes, organic creams and lotions need preservants, too. They’re a normally less harmful and a also less harsh, but depending on brand and product there’s always an amount of potential surprise.

Reason 2: Ingredient transparency. While only dry products can do without preservatives, oils and pure oil blends have a bit of preservative power themselves. Still, natural and virgin oils need dark bottles and a cool storage place.

A beauty oil or a pure oil blend should contain only high quality oils. Mostly I prefer pure oils – almond, apricot, brokkoli seed (oh, that’s the best beauty oil ever, and I’ll spill all the deets soon), argan… – but sometimes a blend of oils delivers, too. And since fraud lurks everywhere: make sure you’re not paying for argan and getting 90% almond with 8% argan and 2% “natural aroma”, okay?

Another oil feature – if an oil goes off, you can tell by the smell. If a perfumed, stabilised emulsion goes off, you can’t tell by smell or look (well, most of the time). It’s a bit like with pasteurised milk – after four days in your fridge it’s off, but it looks and tastes fresh.

And please remember: it’s not possible to tell from the ingredients list alone, how much of which is inside. The INCI rules are: list ingredients in descending order but if an ingredient makes less than 1% of the formula, list it wherever you like!

See? One more reason to opt for high quality oils or blends of such! Chances are you get at least one of those (the first ingredient on the list) in proper quantity 😉


As I have said before, I only buy products I have checked and researched before.
May Lindstrom is a boutique label based in California and I have seen bloggers rave about it – for a while now. I always take bloggers’ and editors’ favourites with a grain of salt though, and had other things to do 😉 so it took a few weeks or rather months for me to finally start discovering the brand.

It seems to have been founded with the celebration of ageless beauty in mind as it expresses itself with lush visuals (featuring the beautiful founder with her mother and child) and a luxurious packaging. The small range of very sensible products for cleansing and nurturing the skin is made of active ingredients only, embracing the luxury concept.


The product that interested me the most was the oil serum called The Youth Dew – since I was looking for a powerful face oil, light enough for not causing breakouts, lush enough to nurture skin in winter. Because winter is coming, you guys! Winter is coming!

The complete ingredient list was available online (and is exactly the same on the packaging of my bottle):
*Avocado Oil, *Meadowfoam Seed Oil, *Jojoba Oil, *Olive Oil, Plum Kernel Oil, *Sea Buckthorn Oil, *Rosehip Seed Oil, *Pomegranate Oil, *Tamanu Oil, *Borage Seed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Geranium Rose Essential Oil, *Grapefruit Essential Oil, *Sweet Orange Essential Oil, *Lemon Essential Oil, *Rose Absolute Essential Oil, *Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil, *Neroli Essential Oil, ***Carrot Seed Essential Oil, CoEnzyme Q10.
(*Certified Organic/ ***Wild Harvested)

Funny thing: if you have ever smelled the oils used here on their own, you can tell their unique smell and texture in this product. 


Meadowfoam seed oil, a California native, is the only one I’ve never seen in person, but it’s a very stable oil, so my guess was, it goes double-duty in the recipe, providing both shelf-life and a smooth “staying” power.
Then there’s the highly moisturising, silky avocado oil; stable and lightweight jojoba oil that really is a liquid plant wax and has both moisturising and fungicide properties; slightly nut flavoured, skin softening plum kernel oil; the bright orange, rich sea buckthorn oil known for its powerful healing properties and for being free from any known side effects; rosehip seed oil, rich in natural antioxidant beta-carotene, reducing scarring and skin damage, a powerful anti-aging oil; antioxidant-rich pomegranate oil; a Polynesian native skin care secret – tamanu oil.
Listed next we have borage seed oil that has the highest natural concentration of gamma-linolenic acid – while evidence for its healing properties is lacking, borage is a very healthy edible plant (and is actually part of the famous Grie Soß, the Green sauce from Frankfurt, Hessia).
Next listed is kukui nut oil, a Hawaiian beauty remedy used for its skin-softening properties; evening primrose oil is a widely used cosmetic ingredient that, much as borage, has more proven benefits as plant in food than as skin treatment.
Listed next are essential oils of geranium, grapefruit, sweet orange, lemon, roses, orange flower (neroli) and carrot, used for their beautiful scents, and Coenzyme Q10.

For me it looks like a really good recipe to moisturise and to nurture skin; an oil puzzle that makes a lot of sense.”


In this product video, May Lindstrom herself – sporting a little black… towel and an enigmatic smile – shows us the application of the product (in a gloriously picturesque natural setting BTW).

Check out the complete video here.
Picture source: my screenshot of the website.

And the video doesn’t lie. You really need just two drops for face, neck, and decollete – the oil really is that bright orange (hey, buckthorn! I’m looking at you-hoo) – the scent is heavenly and worth every extra second to breathe in the mixture of gorgeous essential oils.

Personally, I like the scent and the lightweight texture of The Youth Dew. The oil works great as basis for mineral makeup. My skin needed about two weeks to get used to the formula, and felt rather dry during that time – or maybe it was due to the seasonal change; it got noticeably cooler here. Now the oil just makes my skin feel great!

It’s also time for a Dr Alkaitis treatment again; I’m eager to see if The Youth Dew is powerful enough for me to skip Vitamin E this time (if you missed it, read all about my favourite 100% active ingredient peeling treatment ever – that comes at about 2.75€ per month here).

It’s luxurious. So if you’re used to luxurious skin products, do try it.
It’s pure. It’s free from any fillers that normally make 90% of face care products (that cost twice as much): no alcohol, no water, no silicones, no paraffins; only active ingredients – only pure oils, Q10, and essential oils.
It’s 100% vegan and free from palm oil or palm oil derivates.
It’s packaged in a light-safe, black glass jar.
You won’t waste any product and glass is always better than plastic, so – yay.
It’s not certified organic.
If you’re into certificates, it’s not for you. It’s made with organic and wild harvested plants, but three ingredients aren’t organic.
It’s not cheap. 20 ml / 120€ (Europe) resp. 120$ (US).




Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

19 Responses

  1. Lara

    Nice read, thank you. May I just add that the youth dew contains a lot of citrus oils, so it is better for nighttime use as they can cause photosensitivity (brown spots etc) over time. Greenderm had a gread post on that recently.

  2. Heather in Arles

    I have to say that this was one kick butt post on your part. I really, really appreciate that you take the time to explain every item, the whys and hows. Thank you! I can’t afford this right now (even though I am sure it lasts and is a good investment) but I will keep it in mind for the future. And I remember seeing Tamanu oil in French Polynesia! Wish I had tried it but I was too mesmerized by the scent of Monoï. Still am…
    PS. I was disappointed with my borage oil. Now I know that I should have been eating it and not wearing it! 😉
    Bon weekend ma belle!

      1. Heather in Arles

        And thanks for being honest about it and letting us know Because we all have been doing the same without knowing! At least now you are giving us the chance to choose wisely. Seriously, good karma for you…
        And I love your story of Monoi–but actually I do think that is one place where you have had to be there to “get” it!

          1. Heather in Arles

            Ah that makes sense to me too. 🙂
            And I will take a look to see what I can concoct! You might have noticed that I shy away from buying things online. Not only do I prefer to support local businesses but sadly, there is a ring of thieved in the local post office and we have had too many packages stolen!! But this should be doable at my tiny health food store…

  3. Looks beautiful. I am amazed the orange doesn’t stain the skin! Interesting to read about borage and borage oil. I have SO MUCH borage in my garden. I need to make green sauce.

  4. What a great, detailed post! I love your knowledge of ingredients. I never bought the Youth Dew but have the mask and the Clean Dirt. May’s products are truly unique and are results-oriented. Few people will be disappointed – in spite of the hefty price tag. This is a luxury line in every sense of the word. Loved this!! Thanks 🙂

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