A few months ago, we reached out to you, our Muri Muse community, to learn more about the impact our Full Flower Ritual has had on your skin health. We've been overwhelmed both by the real-world transformations we've seen, and the perspectives on self-care that you all shared with us.
Over the next few weeks we'll share a few of our favorite Before & After moments and introduce you to some of the incredible muses in our community.
First up: Muri Muse Mandy Coon.
A jill-of-all-trades who channeled her creativity into her roles as a DJ, designer, market, editor and now mother, Mandy radiates a calm and quiet confidence as she shares stories of bouncing between the city and upstate New York before more recently finding home in California.
In her 40's, Mandy suffered a frustrating bout with perioral dermatits (benign erupts of inflammation that occur most commonly around the mouth and nose). Keep reading for her story of healing and the products that helped her skin get back to healthy again.
Muri Lelu: For those who aren’t yet familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself and your creative practices?
Mandy: I am a designer, mother, and professional enthusiast (that’s how I describe being a market editor). I’ve lived many lives and worn many hats over the years, and these are the hats I’m fortunate to wear today.
Muri Lelu: Please share your recent skincare journey with us. Describe the issue you were experiencing, what it looked like, what it felt like on your skin (I.e. did you experience pain, itchiness or irritation), and what it made you feel like?
Mandy: I have sensitive skin that has become drier over time and since moving West. I’ve learned less is more except for 2 things- moisture and sun protection. After I moved here, I thought I was beginning to age rapidly, but after getting into K-Beauty, I realized my skin was actually dehydrated (thanks Gothamista!) due to my new drought-prone surroundings.
Another big change in my skin that I wish I had heard more women my age talk about is hormonal acne in your late 30’s/40’s. As your body goes through hormonal changes, so can your skin... makes sense, right? I never had serious acne as a teen, so all of a sudden having cystic acne in my 40’s was shocking and confusing.
I also suspect that my perioral dermatitis was due to hormone changes as well... it takes forever to completely eradicate PD... When you think it might be gone, it pops up in another spot, like a very itchy game of Whack-A-Mole.
I’m the most comfortable I’ve ever been in my 40’s, but I would advise to expect the unexpected when it comes to your skin.
Muri Lelu: How did you begin addressing the issue? Did you see a dermatologist or esthetician to help guide you on your healing journey?
Mandy: I tried a few topicals from my doctor when I got desperate enough, but they would seem like they were helping for a few days and then it would flare with a VENGEANCE, proving that wasn’t the route for me. I didn’t want to try oral prescriptives, which consists of weeks to months on oral antibiotics. I feel like destroying my gut is more harmful than an annoying rash on my face.
Muri Lelu: While in the healing process, what was your routine?
Mandy: My skincare after I figured out I had PD was completely stripped [back to] Osmia Organics cleanser (either the Clay soap or the mud cleanser), their face cream, and always always sunscreen. Osmia is a doctor founded line that is geared towards addressing sensitive skin and issues like excema (of which I also have) and dermatitis.
After about a month, I felt like I needed a little more soothing, so I experimented with products like Muri Lelu's Bloomrise Sativa Serum and May Lindstrom'sThe Blue Cocoon, which both worked wonders.
Muri Lelu: How did Muri Lelu change your skin? When in the process did you start using it, and what results did you see? How long did that take?
Mandy: With Bloomrise Sativa Serum alone, I saw a huge difference in inflammation and redness — and as a bonus, I noticed my skin looked bright and some sun discoloration faded.
After a little more time, I felt comfortable enough to add in Muri Lelu's Mauvaise Herbs Indica Oil. I knew it was a risk, because they say oils are a general no-no for PD, but to my surprise and delight, it calmed tremendously and did not trigger a new flare.
So that became my routine for the next 8 months. No actives [just] Osmia cleanser, Bloomrise Sativa Serum, Osmia cream and/or Mauvaise Herbs Indica Oil, May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon on super irritated spots, and lastly Saint Jane Sun Ritual Sunscreen or Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun SPF (I’m a sunscreen aficionado, and these are two of my all time favorites!).
Muri Lelu: What's your current maintenance routine to preserve your skin health at the moment?
Mandy: Now that my PD has alleviated, I’ve slightly added to my routine [with] Violette FR Boum Boum Milk, which is great for inflammation and hydration, Monastery Made Attar, a beautiful balm, and Saint Jane Overnight Repair with Retinol (once a week).
I found that after stripping back and doing the minimum [with] just extremely soothing, nourishing products, my skin looked bright and healthy. So I’m not in a hurry to add any actives... In my case, less is more!
Muri Lelu: You're living in California now, after spending several years in NY. Has shifting from one coast to another changed the way you think about style, beauty and self care? Have you introduced any new approaches?
Mandy: Things are definitely more laid back here. No one is in a hurry, and people tend to appreciate being intentional and genuine. It took a long time, motherhood, and a pandemic to unlearn the mindset that I need to constantly be “busy” and that my work is my worth.
As for general lessons learned: slowing down and taking time for myself are both ok. I should always try to give myself grace and patience. Work is not life, and it’s important to be present and enjoy life when I can. I think I’ve become a better, more intentional and present parent and person since learning these things.