Unfiltered Shelfie: Lindsey Lekhraj Owes Her Glow to Kundalini and Algae (Seriously)
After meeting Lindsey Lekhraj of Wellevation Co in person, I had to get to the bottom of her skincare routine. Was her impossibly luminous skin the product of the perfect face oil or a gua sha tool, and could she please link me to whatever she uses? Well, it turns out that you can’t come by skin like hers through jelly serums and jade rollers alone: Lindsey says she owes her glow to Kundalini yoga and a daily intake of algae. Seriously.
That’s not just talk, either. Lindsey documents her daily skincare and soul-care routine through Instagram, and I’ve taken to binge-watching her Stories like the latest Netflix show. Her modern-day guru lifestyle is mesmerizing (and surprisingly relatable): she’s a Kundalini teacher who leads meditations via Instagram Live, a wellness advocate who divulges her go-to Dirty Chai recipe in the Highlights, a former esthetician who favors natural skincare over fancy treatments. (See for yourself here.)
Read on to find out how Lindsey has transformed skincare into a self-care ritual, the exfoliating toner she swears by, and the $12 Etsy find that she hoards like it’s going out of style. Warning: this woman is thorough. Enjoy.
My skincare obsession runs deep! I went into Esthetician school 13 years ago to pursue my passion as soon as I finished college (only because my parents forbid me to do it any sooner) and quickly became obsessed with ingredients in everything, treatments, and gadgets galore! My teacher was an unforgettably colorful lady who exposed us to a broad mix of cutting-edge technology like MicroCurrent to ancient Ayurvedic and holistic techniques like dry brushing and body wraps. We even learned how to do ear candling and lymphatic drainage massage!
Though my days in the treatment room are long gone, my love for all things skin- and body-care remain. I swear, I think if I did an ideal routine morning and evening for all of my self-care beauty rituals, they would run together and take up an entire day!
While I’ve also had nearly every (temporary) cosmetic procedure on the market, there are very few professional treatments that I splurge on these days as I’ve found that with consistency, great results can be achieved at home.
Over the years, I’ve found very few products that I’ve been loyal to for long… it’s so much fun experimenting with new brands and options! While my skin is usually clear, it’s pretty oily and fair, so my main concerns are always orange-peel texture and spotting from the sun or old blemishes. For me, it’s all about exfoliation and circulation!
My Kundalini yoga practice is definitely my first and biggest beauty tip. I swear by doing a full 3 minutes of Cat-Cow and/or 3 minutes of Breath of Fire every day to stimulate the lymphatic system, remove stress, and bring fresh oxygen and blood to the head. It will invigorate your entire day!
When I return from class or finish my home practice, I like to cleanse with something exfoliating to remove the sunscreen I wear to class and any sweat and oil that I’ve worked up. I just switched to the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, and it’s really refreshing! I’ll either use this with a Clarisonic or I’ll use this powder cleanser I love from Fat and the Moon. It’s called “Light as a Featha” and uses dried honey powder, coconut, and rhassoul clay— that’s it! It comes in a shaker, and you just mix a little of the powder with some water in your hand. It leaves the skin incredibly soft.
My next step is the Fig + Yarrow Orange Blossom Lavender Complexion Water, which I found at Target. I’m so obsessed with this! It’s super light yet hydrating, but really I am hooked on the intoxicating fragrance! I spray it heavily all over before any serums.
For serums, I have to stick with really lightweight formulas, typically leaning towards something aloe-based like Living Libations Rose Cellular Renewal and Frankincense Firming Fluid. I would bathe in this stuff if I could. It seriously makes your skin feel like rose petals. It’s been my go-to for a record year or so… but I have recently swapped it out for the new Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum from Moon Juice! It has the same light weight that I love and has given me some pretty shockingly good results. My skin looks noticeably younger all over, but especially under my eyes. I top it with a couple of swipes of Open Sky Eye Serum from Living Libations, which has blue tansy for inflammation and peppermint oil to really improve circulation and wake your eyes right up! These couple of things are all I like to do in the morning, as my skin doesn’t like too many layers underneath any makeup. I usually add some version of a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream with SPF on top of the serums for a bit of multi-tasking coverage, but I’m literally always on the hunt for my Holy Grail in this category.
In the evening, the first step in my routine is something I look forward to all day. I am obsessed with the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm from Elemis. It smells absolutely heavenly. I just take a small fingertip swipe and massage it all over my face, and steam a towel in the sink while it dissolves the day away. I then place the steamy towel over my face and take a few delicious deep breaths. Ahhh… so good! I searched far and wide for a cleansing balm and had actually given up, until this one came to me in the mail one day from Influenster! Holy Grail for sure. I don’t normally need to do a second cleanse after this step… it is crazy effective, and leaves my pores clear without any greasy residue.
Several days a week I like to do an exfoliating treatment, which I do bounce around as far as brands, but it’s always a good chemical mini-peel of some sort. This step is crucial for keeping pores as refined as possible and also combating pigmentation or blemish spots.
I also use an exfoliating toner every night. I swear by Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid, which uses salicylic acid that’s particularly great for keeping oily skin clear. This one makes my skin look noticeably taught. With oilier skin types, we can be a bit more aggressive with exfoliation, and in fact, need to be to get results. For someone more on the sensitive side, these may be your twice-a-week treatments instead of daily.
I then follow with an exfoliating oil from Deciem: The Ordinary (Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane), and a few days a week I add in a bit of their 100% L-Ascorbid Acid Powder. This company is super cool because they offer a ton of single- or few-ingredient serums that can be mixed and matched to customize for your individual needs…. And they’re cheap! Most everything is under 20 bucks, and I’ve tried a ton that work well. These two are definitely on the more aggressive end of the spectrum, but they haven’t caused me any irritation. The serum combines an effective strength retinoid with a buffering Squalane, so it’s a great mix that really makes me glow. The powder booster is amazing— pure Vitamin C basically— which is typically really tricky since it is known to oxidize really quickly in liquid or cream form and lose it’s potency well before you finish a product. This one keeps it’s magic intact in the form of a powder that you can mix into any type of moisturizer at your own pace. And beware, it only takes a TINY bit!
The last product is an Under Eye Serum that I discovered on Etsy by this incredible herbalist/forager in Oregon. Her shop has so many cool tinctures and offerings and literally sells out in minutes every month. I’m hoarding this eye serum like it’s going out of style… it contains a mixture of coffee bean for stimulation and soothing, replenishing essential oils. I’m obsessed with this little $12 rollerball!
I finish off my evening routine with a facial massage using my Clarisonic SmartProfile Uplift device. It’s basically a vibrator for your face… and it is GENIUS. It brings circulation to the surface and below, helping to flush excess lymphatic puffiness and firm the skin. I was skeptical at first as it was a bit of a splurge, but I swear, I’ll use it for the rest of my days. It feels incredible; even if there were no cosmetic benefits, it is great at releasing tension from the jaw, forehead, all the little places we don’t know we are holding stress. Even without the device, I highly recommend any type of facial massage to flush toxins, remove puffiness and sculpt the face, and improve absorption of products. Gua Shua tools or jade rollers are fantastic, cost-efficient tools, or even just using your own hands will work!
Finally, I have to mention that the biggest skincare hack that I have is actually a clean diet. Eating or supplementing tons of greens and algae works wonders for the skin because they cleanse the body internally and provide “that glow” that everyone wants. Avoiding dairy, refined sugar, and alcohol are my personal rules to fight inflammation that can show up in the way of breakouts, unflattering skin tone, enlarged pores, and poor elasticity. Our skin is our largest organ and works to detoxify whatever we put in it… so by cleaning up your diet, your skin doesn’t have to work as hard! No matter what you put on the outside, what’s happening internally will always show. Loving your skin is just one pretty piece of the overall wellness pie! When we start focusing on removing stress and toxins from our bodies, inside and out, we start to embody the type of radiance that is more than just skin deep.