At Beauty Bible, it’s always rather made sense to us that the phases of the moon could influence our beauty regimes. Frankly, anything which has the power to move tides on the seashore must surely have a pull on our bodies. (And if you’ve ever tossed and turned, struggling to sleep – only to discover next day that it was full moon – you probably agree.)
Certainly, several leading natural beauty companies – including Weleda and Dr. Hauschka, whose ranges you can find here on VH – also proclaim the importance of carefully choosing when to plant, grow, harvest and blend ingredients for the products they make. For centuries – millennia, probably – farmers planted their crops in tune with the moon’s phases, and its powers have been recognised in ‘biodynamic’ agriculture since the late 1800s, when someone put that name on it.
Staff at Dr. Hauschka, famously, work according to moon-based principles laid down by Austrian philosopher Dr. Rudolph Steiner, (famously picking their roses at dawn for maximum potency and scent, too). Dr. Mariano Speizia, homeopath and creator of the Inlgiht range, not only works according to moon phases but infuses his herb/oil blends by positioning the huge jars to absorb moonlight.
What’s the thinking? John Harris, who’s a horticulturalist at Cornwall’s Tresillian Estate, explains: ‘The moon’s gravitational pull affects the moisture of the soil. If you work with the four moon cycles, you never have to water, so the practice is conservationist as well as organic. We pick apples and potatoes at the full moon for maximum moisture, and then in the last quarter of the cycle, when the soil’s less saturated, it’s time for ploughing and cultivation.’ Just how does that translate to beauty, though…? As Harris explains, ‘People never used to trim hedges or have their hair cut until the last quarter of the cycle, when they knew re-growth would be both speedy and healthy.’
Aha! Hair, it’s thought, is particularly affected by the phases of the moon – and not just the hair on our heads. When the moon’s growing in the heavens (the ‘waxing’ phase), hair growth is also rapid and it’s thought to be the best time to get a haircut, with full moon the very best time of all. This is also the optimum time to enjoy treatments which rejuvenate and repair the skin, to apply hair masks, face masks, and nourish nails (which are also believed to grow faster when the moon’s waxing).
The ‘waning’ phase, meanwhile – just after full moon – is conversely thought to slow the pace of growth of hair, nails and skin. But it’s a good time for drawing out toxins (magnesium salts, anyone?), or for mud packs. If going to the hairdresser bores you, maybe schedule your haircut for the waning moon’s phase, as it will now grow more slowly.
Confused? Here’s a brief ‘lunar beauty’ checklist…
Dark of the moon Time to pluck, thread, wax and get rid of anything you don’t want (including dead skin, via exfoliation), because it’s said that they’ll be slower to return. Anything painful (such as waxing and brow-plucking) shouldn’t hurt as much, either.
A new moon is a good time for anti-cellulite and deep cleansing treatments.
A waxing moon is perfect for nourishing, relaxing and regenerating treatments, so slather on the rich oils and butters; anything which replenishes is the perfect choice. Cut hair now if you want it to regrow healthily.
Full moon is when the body’s said to be at its most highly absorbent; choose rich, soothing products. If you cut your hair now, it’s believed growth will be speediest, while filing or cutting nails will encourage strong and speedy regrowth. But don’t wax around full moon; our pain threshold is said to be at its lowest.
Waning moon Time for purifying, deep cleansing, exfoliating, detoxing. And book that colonic for a waning moon!
And if you think this is all a load of rubbish…? Marvel at the tide sweeping in and swooping out next time you’re sitting on a beach. Maybe keep a lunar diary, for a few months, and cross-check treatments with results. We think you’ll be surprised…
The Moon Phase app on our iPhones tells us exactly where we are in the lunar calendar at any one time; find it free on iTunes.