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As humans, we’ve always been a little obsessed with the moon. For starters, it’s the brightest object in the night’s sky and Earth’s closest celestial object. We know it impacts us in so many ways beyond just tides, which is why there's growing interest in the resources of the moon and the ways it can help us (scientists even want to send sperm to the moon). There’s also a growing interest in something called lunar self-care.
“Lunar self-care is when we harness the energy of the moon, the moon signs, and its phases, and we use that energy on Earth as human beings,” Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of Saturn Return Survival Guide: Navigating This Cosmic Rite of Passage, says. Though lunar self-care can be done without any products at all, it should come as no surprise that a slew of new creams, fragrances, and whole subscription boxes are trying to tap into this lunar fascination.
The interest in lunar self-care is an evolution of the astrology fascination that we’ve been seeing for a few years, Melissa Hago, VP and creative director of beauty and wellness at Fashion Snoops, says. “What started with horoscopes and tarot cards has morphed into a deeper dive into spirituality, our emotions, and how to take care of not only our minds and bodies, but our souls as well.”
Hago’s team found that due to the pandemic, consumers have begun researching things like crystals, energy healing, and more in an attempt to seek clarity and stability, and moon cycles are a part of this movement. “I think more and more consumers have aligned with the power of the moon and really resonate with how each cycle allows one to create new intentions and new beginnings,” she says. “With this, the new moon is a time for self-reflection and goal setting—it’s an insightful ritual—helping us to start fresh and achieve goals on a monthly basis.”
The Ancient Roots of Lunar Self-Care
Paying attention to how you feel as the moon changes is, of course, nothing new. “Indigenous people have been following moon cycles since ancient times,” says Hago. “Whether it was for harvesting, hunting, or gathering, the moon dictated the life cycles of ancient societies. It was responsible for regulating plant growth, weather, tides, and human/animal behavior.”
Yaqui Rodriguez, an energy healer based out of Queens, New York, believes that all cultures at one point stem from the same animistic practices, which is really being aligned with Earth (even European ancestors were very connected to the elements and the moon.) “A lot of us are reconnecting back to our roots, and a lot of those roots, due to colonization, are not a hundred percent,” Rodriguez says. “There’s a resurgence of reconnecting back to those old ways, because people are realizing the power that there is in that and how, if we work together with these energies, we're able to have more stability in our lives.”
Your Lunar Skin Care Guide
According to Stardust, there are eight major phases of the moon, with four primary ones including the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and third quarter (last quarter). When we talk about the new moon, which is the beginning of the lunar cycle, it's a fresh start and a time to set new intentions. For lunar self-care, it's a time when we should try out a new beauty or skin care regimen. Think of it as a cosmic rebirth or new beginning—a time when anything can be accomplished and also a good time to switch things up. Rodriguez uses an app called Dara, which tells her the phase of the moon and also lends cycle-specific beauty tips.
“During the first-quarter moon, we’re trying to make sure what we started in the first moon is coming to fruition, so it would be a good time to give energy to your skin,” Stardust says. Try an oxygenating facial or glow-boosting peel. Then, during the full moon, she recommends restoring and relaxing; it’s not a time to start something new. Instead, try taking a nighttime salt bath or do at-home facial steaming. Then, during the last quarter, purify and cleanse the skin, because you’re coming out of the full moon and trying to see what needs to be added to complete the lunar cycle. A clay mask is a great choice for the last quarter.
Hago says that following moon cycles can be a great way to pay more attention to your personal moods and habits, while ultimately strengthening your self-knowledge and personal awareness. “In addition, moon cycles are inherently tied to menstrual cycles, with the moon itself historically seen as a feminine symbol, so it can be a helpful timeline for women looking to track their periods.”
Following moon cycles closely is useful, because it also operates on a 28-day cycle. “The full moon, for example, represents a time for great potential and sexual energy, just like ovulation within the menstrual cycle,” Hago says. To alleviate PMS symptoms, some women turn to a lunar infusion tea blend that usually includes ingredients like jasmine, rosemary, and ginger. Bonus points if you leave the tea out overnight to bask in the moonlight and enjoy it chilled the next morning.
You could also try something called moon water (it’s not, in fact, water from the surface of the moon). “Moon water is used in rituals for healing, beauty, and manifestation,” says Bri Luna, professional witch and owner of @TheHoodwitch. Moon water is made by putting water in a jar and letting it sit overnight, while the moon gazes into the bowl. “State your intention into it, program your water with a clear quartz crystal.” Full moon water, Luna says, is “lovely to have on your altar, is great for cleansing your skin in beauty rituals, and enhances your overall energy.”
Don’t feel like charging your own water in moonlight? A new monthly subscription box company called Lunarly promotes “self-care and plant-care with specially curated houseplants and ritual items for each new moon." There's also Pacifica’s Moon Moods aromatherapy-inspired fragrances, Graydon Skincare’s Fullmoon Serum, and self-care brand Moon Bath. Makeup brand Lunar Beauty's entire aesthetic is inspired by all things moon.
“Also celebrating the transitional, intention-setting power of the new moon is herbal tonic brand Woodspell Apothecary,” Hago says. “Their shop opens only once per moon cycle, for one week only, so its creator can focus on creating the most potent herbal remedies, and its customers can focus on lunar-timed self-care and mindfulness.” Beyond this, beauty products are taking notice: Pink Moon’s Full Moon Ritual Bath Soak contains healing ingredients like moonstone, lavender, salt, and bergamot, which Hago says gets rid of anxiety and ushers in gratitude.
“Brands like Moon Bath are inspiring consumers to live in alignment with the lunar cycles and the rhythms of nature in order to connect more deeply with yourself,” Hago adds. “They also have the support of moon mystics, who can help guide consumers on lunar rituals, self-care, and social emotional learning.”
Tapping into the moon’s power is about as natural—and deeply human—a ritual there is. “We’re made of 60 percent water," Stardust says, "so our cosmic DNA is that we’re always going to be drawn towards harnessing lunar energy."
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