The Astrology of Beauty: Is Mercury Retrograde the Ideal Time for a Chemical Peel? 

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By: Jessica Ourisman
The Astrology of Beauty: Is Mercury Retrograde the Ideal Time for a Chemical Peel? 

Guess what? Mercury will be retrograde until February 3… and then again from May 10 – June 3, 2022. Thankfully, we have already established that the scapegoated transit known for sabotaging even our best-made plans might just be misunderstood. But while its outward delays, errors, and miscommunications are inconvenient and frustrating, Mercury retrograde also serves an introspective purpose on the inward, psychological level. “Think ‘re-‘ prefixes,” says Auric Aesthetician and Human Design Reader Mikaela MacLean. “rē-fresh, rē-new, rē-juvenate. Mercury retrograde is nature’s way of scheduling rē-set points for us to rē•evaluate our lives and routines.”

This time, we’re taking astrology‘s cosmic insights and applying them to the world of beauty. MacLean is the perfect expert to consult on this matter, which falls at the exact intersection of her two passions: skincare and soul work. With a background as an esthetician at dermatology and plastic surgery practices, she is also a Human Design reader whose sessions encompass healing modalities from crystal recommendations to scent therapy.

And so, we asked her — is it even advisable to undergo beauty treatments during Mercury retrograde? If so… which ones? “Mercury retrograde can function as a beautiful time of renewal for the mind, body, spirit — and skin,” she assures us. Keep reading to learn more about the astrology of beauty, including what treatments to do — and what not to do — during Mercury retrograde.

Mercury Rx: What Not To Do

MacLean points out that when planets go retrograde, appearing to move backward in the sky, they simply are not functioning as usual. Thus whatever domain they are said to govern can experience errors and malfunctions. Take Venus, for instance, which rules beauty of the self and others. “The ‘no beauty procedures’ rule is usually associated with Venus retrograde, which we are also experiencing right now through January 29,” MacLean points out, noting that it occurs roughly every 18 months. “I see this as a reason to go more inward, paying more attention to inner beauty and self-care versus a drastic overhaul to outer appearance.”

On the other hand, Mercury retrograde occurs three to four times annually, for roughly three weeks at a time. Mercury rules over such things as the mind, thoughts, communication, and even technology, which MacLean confirms that you might want to steer clear of beauty treatments that rely on technological devices — like laser treatments, for instance. “I’ve even seen my electronic chart notes not being accessible during Mercury retrograde back in my plastic surgery days,” she says. 

Mercury Rx: What Treatments to Do

rē•flect On Your Relationship to Beauty

However, MacLean points out that it is an ideal time to reflect on the way you think about beauty — tending to how your inner self is defining and relating to the concept. Are you basing your standard of beauty on an unattainable or outwardly-defined ideal? Are you comparing yourself to others? “Review your thought patterns and emotional state, and journal about it,” Maclean says. “Do you deal with negative, repetitive thoughts about your appearance? If so, what can you do to repattern your brain?” She personally recommends Yoga Nidra and guided meditations for helping to shift thought patterns in a positive, pro-health direction. 

rē•assess and rē•stock

She also notes that it is a great time to sift through your beauty stash, recycling the “empties” and giving away or donating your unused products. “Review what isn’t working for you on a skincare level, and reassess what isn’t producing results. Maybe you’ve used the same product for ten years, but there is better technology to replace it with now,” she points out. Conversely, it is also a great time to restock your holy grail products or to restart those glow-inducing habits that you once enjoyed, but that fell to the wayside. “Mercury retrograde is considered a time for slowing down, which is perfect for rebuilding your relationship to yourself through self-care practices.”


When it comes to treatments themselves, the phase can be a great time to resurface the skin with exfoliation, helping the body to shed the old, dead skin cells. As you release the ways of thinking and products that no longer suit you, why not also exfoliate away extraneous skin cells that can lead to clogged pores and dullness? “Chemical peels resurface the upper layers of the skin to reveal fresh, new cells underneath,” MacLean says. “They essentially speed up the desquamation or shedding process that naturally slows over time in order to restore the skin’s glow.” Plus, as she points out, removing dead skin cells can help your products work more efficiently.

Depending on your skin’s needs, a peel’s strength can be chosen for luminousness or even to help with unwanted pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture. If you want to try an at-home peel with no downtime, the Olga Lorencin Red Carpet Facial In A Box was created by our founder’s facialist — celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin, fondly dubbed the Acid Queen. The first step is a hydrating lactic- and mandelic acid peel, which is followed by a tingling neutralizer and finished with a probiotic mask. If, however, you go for an in-office peel that requires downtime, staying in won’t be as much of a drag since the phase isn’t ideal for meeting anyone new.

Syncing Skincare to the Cosmos

The idea might sound far-fetched at first, but it’s not as unusual as you might expect. Many believe that trimming (or “dusting”) their hair on the Full Moon helps them to connect with their Moon rituals and to grow long, healthy locks. This is also a holistic process of linking the outer with the inner while simultaneously aligning the micro (i.e., Self) with the macro (i.e., the Universe). As the Hermetic principle states, “As above, so below; as within, so without; as the universe, so the soul.” 

Retrogrades can serve as helpful reminders to take inner inventory of what’s working what’s not and to move forward more mindfully. “Anytime we remove things that are no longer in our highest good, we are elevating our vibration; we’re making it clear to the Universe that we will no longer accept things at that level because our worth is higher,” MacLean shares. “Then, look at what you can replace these things with: new patterns, habits, and routines that really do serve the ‘you’ you are becoming.” The innovative and holistic way of looking at this phenomenon is an important way of ensuring that beauty is not viewed as skin-deep; but rather something that is cultivated and emanates from within.

Image: @versed


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