Think of it as a key part of the mystical wellness trend: crystals, Kundalini, and dust—moon dust. Amanda Chantal Bacon’s super-successful LA-based brand of milks, dusts, and juices has been covered by W Magazine, Vogue, and has also appeared all over Goop (yes, Gwyn loves the dusts).
In an unfortunate turn of internet shaming, Amanda was subjected to a brutal round of ridicule after Elle published her daily diet (The Hollywood Reporter also published a version). She was called “ten Gwyneth Paltrows in one” (sounds amazing, actually), and a “pretentious hippie.”
If you know anything about Charlotte’s Book, you know we’re against shaming of any kind, on any level. CB expert and advisory board member Dana James contributed to an excellent piece by Mind Body Green defending her and taking a stance against shaming.
With all the hype surrounding Amanda and her diet, we still hadn’t tried her newest products: her line of dusts was launched in 2011 as an addendum to her core line of milks, juices, and proteins, and they’re sold everywhere from Amazon, to Net-A-Porter, to Urban Outfitters.
When I first dug into the Moon Juice line, I was skeptical. While the wellness community has really embraced Moon Juice and Amanda, I am a research analyst by trade, and it was troublesome to me that Amanda is not a nutritionist or an herbalist—she doesn’t have any credentialed background in wellness prior to launching this line, other than working with various healthy chefs in California. That said, if some of the wellness experts listed in Charlotte’s Book that I truly respect love her products, then I might too. I’m an adamant believer in outside in and inside out beauty, so I knew my team had to give it a try.
Team Charlotte tried the dusts for a full week—here’s what happened.
Stephanie Fantauzzi, actress and Charlotte’s Book contributor / Spirit Dust
Spirit Dust is supposed to have a “divine energy formula” that “feeds the thriving physical body and unites the heart and spirit with sacred herbs.” It’s “alchemized with adaptogens known to promote awareness, creativity and joy for a peaceful mind and expanded existence.” The listed ingredients include: goji, reishi, longan, astragalus, salvia, and stevia.
I tried it with water first to taste the pure flavors, but I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe that’s because the powder didn’t mix very easily—it was clumpy, and the taste wasn’t as pleasant as I thought it would be.
I tried it with OJ next, and although there were clumps (smaller ones this time), it tasted amazing! The mix helped bring out the earthy tones to the powder with a sweet finish. I drank this every day for seven days.
As far as mood-boosting goes, I’m not sure whether the powder alone helped with my mental harmony and body balance, since I practice mindfulness already. I meditate, do some yoga and breathing/voice exercises (acting), plus work out and eat healthy. All these activities boost my mood and physical stamina, so I’m not sure I could say I felt a contrast, however small, but I did have a great disposition and very little resistance to my normal routine: that could have been the spirit dust?!
What did it taste like? Topanga Canyon in a cup! The dust might have made me happier, but it definitely made me miss my home in LA.
Robin Shobin, founder, CEO of Charlotte’s Book / Action Dust
I actually love Amanda’s milk products and juices—they’re outrageously good. Likely because of her culinary background, she takes great pride in making everything taste delicious, which I really appreciate. When I’m in LA I almost always visit! But back to the dusts.
I tried Action Dust. It’s marketed as “an ancient, elite formula to support your peak performance, stamina and longevity, while aiding in healthy recovery. Imbibe this athletic, adaptogenic potion to regulate the body’s vital energy, healthy metabolic function and maximize your ability to withstand stress and injury.” The ingredients: astragalus, ginseng, schisandra, eleuthro, rhodiola, stevia.
So—the only ingredients I recognize on the label of Action Dust are Ginseng, Rhodiola and Stevia. I can barely pronounce the other ones. I know Ginseng is good for me (Charlotte’s Book expert herbalist Daniela Turley discussed it in her herbal supplement guide). It helps the body cope with stress and increases immunity, energy, working memory and focus. It also significantly improves levels of glucose in the blood, and has been shown to reduce your chance of getting a cold due to its immune boosting effects. Daniela also discussed Rhodiola: it improves energy, stamina and focus and treats mild to moderate depression. Daniela suggests taking it only in the morning and at lunch. If taken any later, it may disrupt sleep.
Like Stephanie, I tried to take my daily dose in water. This tasted horrible, so instead I opted for my favorite almond milk—I’m obsessed with Califia Farms. I stir in the suggested teaspoon and heat up (I realized it tastes better warm).
I followed this routine for a week. I did feel a bit more energized, but I don’t know if it’s the new AKT training I am doing. Drinking my Action Dust each morning definitely made me want to go workout more, and I liked the fact that I could replace my coffee with this drink, and still feel like I was drinking coffee (even though it was just hot milk mixed with Amanda’s energizing concoction). The hot milk mixed with this action dust was a better way to start the day than my regular dark roast.
One problem: I don’t know the dosage of any of the ingredients, so I’m not sure how much of these things I’m getting. I’m also not a big fan of Stevia, which Amanda includes in all of these products, but I imagine that without it, the taste would be even less balanced. The bottom line? I would love to continue using Action Dust.
Rachel Miller, editor and Charlotte’s Book contributor / Beauty Dust
Ritual is such a huge part of the mystical wellness trend, which I actually love: every morning instead of my hot lemon water, I made hot Beauty Dust, and it was lovely. Mine smelled like church (incense!) not Topanga Canyon, but that also sounds great.
Like Steph & Robin, at first I tried it plain (ew). I hate that stevia-sweet cling, and one of the primary ingredients in mine, schisandra, has a black-licorice-like funk—add a little lemon and warm water, and it starts to approach something like delicious. Warm water also helps with any blending issues.
Pearl, goji, schisandra, rehmannia, and organic stevia were the basic ingredients in Beauty Dust: like most of the elements in Amanda’s dusts, they’re inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. Pearl is literally ground pearl, from oysters, and has been used in skincare for centuries. It contains amino acid, over 30 trace minerals, and a high concentration of calcium. Goji is famous for high levels of antioxidants, and schisandra is a detoxifying herb (I love schisandra tea with lemon). Rehmannia? No idea, but it’s also a traditional Chinese herb.
After I finished the little round jar (I went a little over the seven day limit!) I really missed the morning ritual, and when I asked my fiancé if I looked more beautiful, he said yes. Is that an impartial opinion? Not exactly, but I’ll take it.
Illustration by kathrynmiller.info
Building your inside-out beauty routine? These spring foods are great natural detoxers, and these foods are collagen-builders. Or read more from Charlotte’s Book contributors Robin Shobin, Rachel Miller, and Stephanie Fantauzzi.
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