STRESS-SOOTHING BEAUTY FOR CANCER SEASON

Rolling in the deep end of cosmic emotion? Eunice Lucero helps us navigate the high tides, with adaptogen-infused beauty for Cancer Season …

Nope, it’s not your imagination: things are getting way, way deep. Not only are we smack-dab in the middle of Cancer season, i.e. the feelings HQ of the zodiac belt, this month’s lunations also herald the start of a series of eclipses along the Cancer-Capricorn axis—which means emotional and structural change is afoot, and in a massive way.

To ensure smooth sailing on the potentially torrential seas ahead however, we’ve enlisted the help of some adaptogen-infused beauty heroes. Officially defined as non-toxic plant extracts that help increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress, adaptogens are nature’s very own stress-busters put here to help us navigate these emotional rollercoasters with grace!

**We’ve listed our selections for each Cancer placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Cancer rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free.

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1// Sun in Cancer: Moon Juice Beauty ShroomTM Plumping Jelly Serum, $58 for 30ml. Getting all up in your feelings is literally on-brand for you sensitive crabs, and nowhere are you more at home and comfier than in the watery, sometimes tear-stained depths of emotional exchange. But you’d be damned to let all this release wreak havoc on your famously glowing, youthful skin though. This adaptogenic serum infused with reishi mushroom—a.k.a. the “mushroom of immortality,” plumps skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and locks in hydration, enhancing that supple, juicy, lit-from-within countenance that is your birthright.

Moon Juice “Beauty Shroom” Plumping Jelly Serum

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2//Moon in Cancer: 8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil, $88 for 50ml. Named for the eight phases of the moon and the eight faces of the goddess (and perhaps also the number of your ever-changing moods in, well, an hour), this multipurpose balm melts upon contact—and rescues you from a myriad of skin problems, all in one go. The secret: amla berry, which is at the heart of this uplifting grapefruit-scented oil, is a Vitamin C wunderkind (it’s the second-highest source of Vitamin C on the planet) that not only boosts collagen; it also fights free radicals and gives you that moonlit glow that can only be credited to a chic, intuitive knowledge of both self and self-care.

8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil

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3// Ascendant in Cancer: Linné Botanicals Refresh Face Mist, $36 for 120ml. In Wiccan practice, yarrow root corresponds to the sign of Cancer and is considered an herb for healing, power, and protection. One of the oldest medicinal herbs, it was used to help soothe you and aid digestion—albeit perfect for the Cancer Rising, who enter the world gut-first, and whose feelings show on their faces clear as day, for better or worse! As one of the top ingredients in this delightfully chill face mist, it helps reduce inflammation, balances circulation, and acts as an antiseptic agent for a calmed-down complexion, while promoting overall elasticity and oxygenation.

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4// Mercury in Cancer: Snow Fox Skin Care Day & Night Defense Cream, $55 for 50ml. Discussing the wide, colorful spectrum of human emotion with your fave people might be your version of the perfect day, but all that verbal energy can get exhausting—even for deft wordsmiths like you. A lightweight, day-to-night organic cream keeps up with your nimble, agile lifestyle, while Siberian ginseng, known to combat fatigue, reduce lethargy and increase resilience gives your skin that literal snap-back every time your day gets just a tad too stretched out. Bonus: It’s infused with peppermint oil extract, which not only has natural antiseptic and antimicrobial benefits, but also acts as a zingy pick-me-up.

Snow Fox Skin Care Day & Night Defense Cream

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5// Venus in Cancer: Pangea Organics Facial Mask – Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai Goji Berry, $50 for 4oz. Venus in Cancer placements have the science of cozy down pat; they’re masters of simple yet luxurious rituals, and find no shame in their self-care game. They’ve elevated nurturing to an art form, and know what they need to feel beautiful, inside and out. A facial mask chock-full of antioxidants like organic goji berries, which is touted as the Chinese “longevity fruit,” together with well-known anti-agers and skin detoxifiers and nourishers like matcha tea and seaweed, basically make this a reverse time machine for your face, and absolutely perfect for that Sunday night in.

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6// Mars in Cancer: Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist, $26. Passionate, hot-hearted Mars in Cancer folks can benefit from an aloe vera cool down, once in a blue moon. Not just made for that nasty après-sun tingle, aloe vera increases the diffusion of oxygen in the blood, which relieves stress, balances circulation and alleviates symptoms of cardiovascular disease. This aloe-infused mist, trendy amongst the fitness set as well as those undergoing hormonal changes like hot flashes, has ingredients purported to activate the body’s immune system and fight free radicals too. Bonus: it also has lavender to calm you down, because feelings!

Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist

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7// Jupiter in Cancer: Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel, $79 for 50ml. A refined approach to abundance is your trademark; you get what you give, which is great, since you’re generous to a fault. A product that’s virtually an organic spa-on-the-go (complete with a cotton pad–dispensed formula for TSA-friendly traveling), it has super ingredients like the adaptogenic licorice root, which is a potent anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-oxidant. Most notably, it boasts of a natural hydroquinone alternative, for those jubilant expectant mamas who still want to maintain a bright, even complexion, without the risks associated with facial bleaching while with bun in oven.

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8// Saturn in Cancer: Moon Juice Sex Dust, $38, and Luna Nectar Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum, $75. All the emotional intensity in the air might can have you coming to terms with some deep-seated anxieties concerning safety and security. Feeling like you’re on your lonesome ownsome in the midst of a crowded room can also come over you like a crashing wave. Don’t fret: A quality cocktail of adaptogens meant for a passion, energy, libido and antioxidant boost, courtesy of shilajit, shatavari, maca root and schisandra berry, helps awaken that inner sex-positive goddess and gets those juices flowing, creatively and otherwise. And because you’re always low-key #extra, add this to that overnighter: an all-natural lash-lengthening serum, named after the seductive, unpredictable ruler of the season, meant to give you all-out flutter appeal.

Luna Nectar Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum

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9// Uranus in Cancer: Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $80 for 35ml. Although in touch with your emotional center, you’re not one to succumb to unnecessary drama; in fact, you have a knack for alchemizing all you encounter into a philosophical lesson for the better, and are gifted in finding solutions beneficial for all parties. Targeted towards oily skin, this buzzworthy oil contains the super-detoxifier milk thistle, which as an adaptogen, pulls no punches in removing bullshit from our livers. On the face, this has the benefit of nourishing and smoothing skin, and together with a tempered-down salicylic acid (courtesy of cucumber seed oil) and licorice, you’re left with a brighter appearance, minimized scars with no greasy afterfeel—all in all offering a clean break, shall we say, which is just how you like it.

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil

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10// Neptune in Cancer: Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser & Masque, $42. Highly empathic and tied to family or to those who you’ve established a heart connection with, you cherish emotional discourse and “heal through feel”—so much so that having the wool pulled over your eyes can indeed manifest like a searing betrayal. A healthy habit of setting boundaries is crucial to your mental well-being. Picking up a cleanser packed with immunity-boosting mushrooms, like chaga, reishi and maitake, helps deflect those negative energies, which can insidiously begin skin deep. These fun fungi also reduce puffiness and detox from harmful and excess fluid, leaving you with nothing but the good stuff: skin health, bouncy moisture and a sexy, profound, newly optimistic radiance.

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11// Pluto in Cancer: Cocovit Charcoal Face Mask, $38. Feeling a bit more possessive than usual? ’Tis the season that those triggers get activated, especially when it involves your nearest and dearest … and woe to those that dare poach around your territory. Fiercely protective and caring towards family and loved ones, the challenge lies in developing a healthy sense of balance and learning to love and protect yourself first, so that confidence radiates outward at a steadier pace. A mask bursting with goodies like skin-shielding neem powder, anti-inflammatory (and liver-protective) turmeric and balancing and anti-aging ginseng, helps you see the benefits of evening out the highs and lows.

Cocovit Charcoal Face Mask

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12// Chiron in Cancer: Bioelements Crucial Moisture Emollient Crème Moisturizer, $36.50, 2.5oz. Cancer season can amplify any abandonment or intimacy issues lurking beneath the surface, as well as making you refuse to let people in and even affect a general defensiveness. Embrace those fears and insecurities without judgment, and be your own mother by giving yourself the nurturing you deserve before anyone else—you can’t draw from an empty well! A rich, emollient, indulgent, pro-grade cream is an everyday treat you so deserve. Best yet? The stress-fighting effects of its powerhouse ingredients, which include panax ginseng (stress reduction, relaxation), gotu kola (connection, wound healing) and dong quai (hormonal balance), even at skin level, are all completely on your side.

HERBAL BEAUTY: LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN

Calling all New York Numis! This coming Wednesday March 26, Victoria Keen will host green witch Robin Rose Bennett in a special Urban Wellness Workshop on herbs to lift your spirit and enhance your natural beauty. And why not let vanity be your gateway into the magical world of healing herbs?

Ahead of the event, we caught up with Robin for a crash course in herbal enhancements…

WHAT WAS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO WORKING WITH HERBS?
I was looking for answers to my own health challenges that no doctor or dentist could solve for me and thus my deepest, most frustrating and painful physical challenges led me to my path and purpose and greatest joy. I always think it’s worth pointing that out. It can help us to focus on the expansions that naturally follow contractions when we’re going through difficult times, and help us to trust life more. And in fact, this is the best beauty treatment there is!

WHICH ARE THE HARDEST WORKING HERBS IN NATURE’S BEAUTY CABINET?
Roses. Both the flowers and the berries are rich in skin-healing compounds that increase the circulation in our skin and also smooth out wrinkles. The same is true of elder blossoms. The bio-flavanoids in these flowers are beautifying as they nourish the skin, just as you nourish your body when you are hungry. I believe we should think of our skin as another mouth – and only put onto the skin things we would put in our mouths.

Oats are another favorite, both used externally as smoothing scrubs and internally to build the health and vitality of our skin, hair, nails and bones, not to mention our nervous systems through an abundant array of vital minerals and vitamins. Calmness shows up as glowing vitality, a natural beauty, and so your constitution, whether you run hot or cold, lethargic or have too much energy, will influence the herbs, both internal and external, that will be the best ones for you.

Roses: increase the circulation in our skin and smooth out wrinkles

WHY DO OUR EMOTIONAL AILMENTS WREAK SUCH HAVOC ON OUR SKIN?
Well, this is a great question that we’ll explore more deeply in the workshop, but one way I look at it is that our skin is the natural “boundary” between us and everything outside of us. When stressed, that boundary often feels violated which will show up on the skin through inflammation that occurs as rashes, pimples and the like.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER ROOT CAUSES OF MOST WOMEN’S SKIN PROBLEMS?
Challenges in the body’s other natural filtration systems are the root causes of most skin problems. When the kidneys, liver, or lungs are in need of more support to work optimally, our skin will often do its best to filter out what our body can’t use. So skin challenges are a call to investigate what other systems deeper inside the body and psyche are in need of more nourishment.

Of course, when you put the right substances into the body, you don’t need to be so worried about what to remove. Having said that, sometimes certain foods trigger skin reactions. Also, hormonal system nourishment, particularly through aiding the liver which performs over 500 known tasks for us on a regular basis, will often help clear up and beautify skin and hair.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN HERBAL BEAUTY REGIME?
Well, I’d like to quote musician-artist Joni Mitchell. When she was getting older and her mother was challenging her lifestyle choices, she replied; “Mom, happiness is the best face-lift!”

Joni Mitchell: Happy

So, it starts with attending to my happiness, which means getting enough physical movement and time outdoors with my feet on the earth, barefoot as often as possible, taking in the plants through my skin, and when that’s not possible, taking in the plants through putting my hands on the trunks of trees. Making time for myself and what feeds me is something I’m learning how to do more than ever before.

I also love oil baths with homemade oils such as pine needle oil, herbal infusion baths with oatstraw and facial masks with homemade herbal honeys infused with roses and violets (see recipe below).

A fresh clay masks is another one of my favorites. I harvest clay from a natural clay bed upstate once every couple of years and keep it covered in a jar with fresh water and it keeps wonderfully well. When you don’t have fresh, mixing dried green clay with water or aloe gel is a good second choice.

Finally, I use olive oil and coconut oil on both my hair and skin.

An herbal beauty regime is another form of nourishment. And nourishing ourselves translates to healing ourselves and healing ourselves translates to owning our gifts and our power, so that we then have vitality and energy to use in service of our Earth family, including all of nature, which, as we all know, is imperative.

The below recipe is from Robin Rose Bennett’s newest book, The Gift of Healing Herbs. With its aphrodisiac zing, she suggests it as the perfect “remedy” for spring fever!

ROSE VANILLA BEAN HONEY

Fresh rose blossoms or buds of any fragrant species – unsprayed
1 dried vanilla bean, as fresh as possible
1 jar wildflower, linden or clover honey

Cut off the ends of the vanilla bean, open it up lengthwise and scrape out the insides. Then cut the pod into small pieces and place every part of thr bean into a pint jar. Fill the rest of the jar with the fresh rose blossoms or buds. (If you are using dried roses use about 1 cup to fill the jar half full). Cover the herbs with honey and stir gently, poking here and there with a chopstick to make sure the honey saturates the herbs completely, and continue filling the jar to the top. Cap it, and wait six weeks or more before decanting. When you’re ready, decant the herbs by gently heating the honey until it pours like water, through a strainer into a fresh bottle.

Meet Robin Rose Bennett in person and get a lesson in creating your own herbal infusions for the skin and the spirit on Wednesday March 26 as part of Victoria Keen’s Urban Wellness Lecture Series. Tickets are $40 and available thought this link.