"Anyone else feel like they’ve been hit by a truck?" my friend’s message read. "Yep, I think it’s the full moon," another chimed in. It’s 2018, and when my group of female friends on WhatsApp aren’t dissecting the aftermath of Love Island or trying to organise a date for dinner in October, chatting about the moon has become commonplace. It's hardly surprising when you consider the renewed interest in spirituality and how the mystical is now mainstream for many millennial women.
"Astrology is becoming more popular, and as one of the celestial bodies that's actually visible to us, studying the cycles of the moon is an easy way to connect to this ancient science," Ruby Warrington, founder of The Moon Club and author of Material Girl, Mystical World, explains. "On a more mystical level, the moon represents our feminine, ‘yin’ emotional side, and the surge in interest around lunar practices reflects more awareness being brought to this part of ourselves and our societies," she added.
Much like the crystal-infused skincare and zodiac-inspired makeup that came before, lunar-inspired beauty is now on the rise. On Instagram, women are documenting their moon-motivated self-care rituals and a flurry of new launches have cited lunar inspirations. Paolo Lai, a reflexologist who works out of Neville Hair & Beauty in Belgravia, has seen his Moon Mist Aura Spray fly off the virtual shelves (Victoria Beckham is a fan) since its launch earlier this year, and The Organic Pharmacy has recently added the Lunar Cleanse, a "total body and mind renewal" inspired by the moon, to their treatment list.
While the cynical might dismiss this as another woo-woo trend, the science behind the influence of the moon is more convincing. As Merilyn Keskula, founder of Mylky Moon Lab, explained, when you think about the moon’s control of the tides, it makes sense it can impact our bodies too. "The gravitational force of the moon pulls the water in the oceans upwards, creating high tides in the areas of Earth facing the moon, and low tides elsewhere," she said. "Adult humans have around 70% of fluid in our bodies so the moon also causes shifts within our physical body."
Throughout history farmers have used lunar cycles as a guide for growing crops, and today the moon still plays a big part in the practices of biodynamic agriculture. For instance, natural beauty brands such as Weleda and Dr. Hauschka use ingredients sourced from farmers that operate in this way. "By 'plugging into' these naturally occurring planetary rhythms, the biodynamic farmer or gardener can enhance seed germination, plant growth and harvest quality," Claire Hattersley, garden manager at Weleda, explained. "At Weleda we use The Maria Thun Biodynamic Calendar to plan our gardening work in order to grow and harvest the best possible quality plants that we can. So, for our calendula crop (found in Weleda's Calendula Face Cream, £9.95, and Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash, £7.95), we aim to sow the seeds on a flower day before full moon, plant on a flower day in descending moon and harvest on a flower day in ascending moon," she adds.
Brands like Jurlique and Kjaer Weis also grow their ingredients biodynamically, in keeping with the rhythm of the atmosphere and cosmos, something which Rebecca Nicholls, global education director for Jurlique International, expands on. "As well as allowing us to grow skincare ingredients that are naturally potent and pure, biodynamic farming helps make the soil on our farm healthier and more fertile year after year," she said. "This means you can keep enjoying the purest skincare on Earth. It involves working in harmony with nature – not only the changing seasons, but also lunar and astrological influences – to create the very best conditions for healthy, pure and potent plants."
Simultaneously, as the lines between beauty and wellness become more blurred, the importance of cyclical patterns within skincare are starting to be acknowledged. We have already seen beauty brands attempting to work with our menstrual cycles and circadian rhythms, but maximising chronobiological ones, such as the lunar cycle, is the next step. While the science around the influence of the moon on our skin is still not understood, it’s intriguing when you contemplate that the menstrual, skin renewal and lunar cycles are all 28 days.
On a more mystical level, aligning your routine with the moon provides a new way to approach beauty. As Tamara Driessen, Wolf Sister and soon-to-be author of The Crystal Code told Refinery29 UK, the four stages of the lunar cycle all serve different purposes – you can identify these using an app like Moon. "The new moon represents beginnings and is the ideal time to introduce something new to a daily routine, either a product or ritual. The waxing moon is believed to be a time when we can absorb nutrients most easily and therefore calls for a deep conditioning hair treatment or a hydrating face mask whereas the waning moon is all about detoxing so prioritise salt scrub exfoliation or body brushing."
It’s the full moon, though, that’s arguably the most powerful time in the cycle. "The full moon can be a disruptive period," said Driessen, "so I love to create ritual baths filled with essential oils, salts, crystals and flower petals to help me relax and induce a deep slumber. I always book massages during this time to help feel grounded and balanced and if I don’t see a therapist I’ll use my jade roller at home to do some calming facial massage."
Whether you’re sold or a total sceptic, it seems the moon’s power is becoming influential in beauty. "The moon helps us feel more aligned with something bigger than us, which is deeply affirming," Driessen notes. "It doesn't have to be dogmatic or religious and it's a captivating gateway to more spiritual exploration and personal development."