In keeping with the beauty industry’s ongoing campaign to inspire new trends, one of the latest is skin cycling. Is there anything to it? The answer is in the ancient wisdom of the moon and its influence on our biological cycles. 

The moon is about gravitational pull. Skincare is about fighting gravity. Thus, it makes sense to align your skincare choices to its phases.

New Moon: planting new seeds

During this moon of new beginnings (which is the opposite of the Full Moon), we absorb water very efficiently. It’s the time to use more hydration-focused products like mists, which bring a sense of renewal. Look for ingredients like rose water, snow mushrooms, aloe and hyaluronic acid. A gentle gel serum with botanicals like gota kola, beta glucan and allantoin in a bath of cucumber water would be perfect.

Crescent Moon: nurturing the garden

It’s time to give your skin a bit of mothering, encouragement and protection. Use enriching and soothing products that guard against trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). Deeply colored oils that are high in antioxidants and vitamins like buriti oil or buah merah will help prep the skin for the heavy hitters that come with the waxing phases of the moon.

First Quarter Moon: tending the garden

Here you will strengthen and build upon the foundation you’ve laid. Think of it as mulching. Incorporate an extra layer of a conditioning balm made with butters like murumuru and ucuuba. It’s a good time to use a serum with peptides – and to think about how smart people were before we had calendars and clocks.  

Gibbous Moon: intensifying care

A gardener would now be attentive to the buds, and you might take this time to look in the magnifying mirror and identify your problem areas. This phase is about anticipation and getting to refinement. Get out the products with retinol, resveratrol and vitamin C. Look for bakuchiol, which is like a botanical retinal. Don’t overdo, but a few days of powerhouse ingredients will make for a good harvest.

Full Moon: the harvest

The moon’s pull is at its peak, and again, our bodies are most efficient at absorbing water. Kick back with a deeply hydrating masque and enjoy the light in the darkness. Look for calendula, cucumber, hydrosols and antioxidants like green tea. Spray the mists. Drink the water. Enjoy a sound bath.

Disseminating Moon: reflect and refine

In the days following the Full Moon, your job as skin tender is to maintain the health of your skin and learn what works and what doesn’t. This is the time to step back and return to the basics: cleanse, mist, serum, cream and balm. Let your skin breathe and show you what adjustments you need to make. 

Third Quarter Moon: pruning time

It’s time to exfoliate. Slough away dead skin cells with a mild scrub or a product containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or the gentler bacillus ferment. Get rid of the old to make way for the new. Don’t over exfoliate though, and stick to gentle ingredients like oatmeal, rice bran powder and bamboo powder. Avoid ground walnuts and anything that is too tough. 

Balsamic Moon: weed pulling

We’ve gone through the phases and are now proceeding the next New Moon. Finally, it’s time to weed. Clay masques made with bentonite clay, kaolin clay and French green clay are terrific. Charcoal is a magnet ingredient that de-clogs pores and draws out impurities and toxins. Tea tree oil helps fight bacteria, a bit of glycolic acid can remove dead cells and eucalyptus can soothe. Remove the unnecessary and get ready for another round of lunar-tuned skincare.

Here’s to glowing, from the moon and back!

Brook Dougherty of Indio is the founder of JustUs Skincare and can be reached at (310) 266.7171 or [email protected]. Donna Flood is an astrology and spiritual counselor with Unwrap Your Soul and can be reached at (310) 720.9065. For more information, visit or

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