Holistic Beauty with Annee de Mamiel
If you’re reading this, chances are you think about your health holistically, considering all of the many factors that contribute to wellbeing. You know that health is more than the absence of disease, and that diet, environment and even stress play a critical role. But even for the conscientious, educated and health-curious subset of our population, the term ‘holistic’ may have lost some of it’s gravitas recently. It’s so overused in even casual banter it has practically become a cliché. What does it mean to be a holistic natural beauty brand? Annee de Mamiel is the perfect person to provide us with a working definition.
My first introduction to Annee and her husband Chris was a deep dive into their eponymous line, de Mamiel. Much more than product training, I received a thorough education about Annee’s unique process for developing products that treat on a physical, chemical and emotional level; a truly holistic approach. Her entire process is guided by one question: how can she help her clients live with stress, with ease?
Annee’s background is as holistic as her skincare line. She studied pre-med, anatomy and physiology to start, and then complimented her conventional studies with an education in Oriental medicine, becoming a licensed acupuncturist. Finally, she is a esthetician and aromatherapist and has her own private clinic where each product is tested extensively on her acupuncture patients for years before it is released. In our conversation, Annee makes one thing very clear: she relies heavily on science and studies each ingredient, its source and its chemical makeup, to ensure her formulas are as vital and potent as possible. That is no easy feat given her intricate ingredient lists in both her Atmospheriques collection that combats environmental stress and her Botaniques collection that combats everyday emotional stress. Annee also incorporates specific music, mantras and meditation in her development process to harness the science behind intention to further augment the vitality and potency of each product.
Over the past months I have come to fully appreciate the depth of the de Mamiel skincare collection. Most recently, I have become enchanted with the Sleep collection, a 5-product range designed to support the 4 stages of sleep. Because, we all know how critical sleep is to our holistic health and wellbeing.
Join me as we get a closer look at de Mamiel through the eyes of the Founder, Annee de Mamiel.
What inspired you to create de Mamiel?
I was inspired by my patients and my desire to find products that address the root cause of their problems and that worked on a physical, cellular and emotional level.
As an Acupuncturist and an Aromatherapist, how do both of these disciplines influence your products and your philosophy of skin care and beauty?
In addition to an acupuncturist and aromatherapist, I also have a degree in Anatomy and Physiology and it is the combination of these 3 elements that makes de Mamiel skincare and wellness products unique. I look at each product in layers; beginning with the biochemistry, followed by what is driving the vital energy through Chinese Medicine and then how it makes you feel with aromatherapy.
When it’s time to create/develop a new product, how do you begin?
It all begins in my practice with my patients. Each product I have created has been developed in response to a need I have seen in my clinic.
How often do you make a new product? How long does that process take? Do you begin with an ingredient or an objective?
I am always developing something new and am immersed in the many different stages of development and testing. I always begin with the objective of solving a need for my patients. The process is ongoing, from an initial idea to a product that I put through testing in the clinic. The process can take years until I am happy that the product is ready for release, and even then, I am continually reviewing each product looking to see how I can improve it. In fact, a couple of the existing products in our range are about to get a bit of an upgrade as I have discovered new ingredients.
Do you have a mantra?
How do I make it better and how does it support the whole?
Do you have a favorite ingredient?
Yes, it’s Cape Chamomile. I love its effect, rich color and specifically its ability to impact the parasympathetic nervous system and slow us down.
Can you share some of the details on how you source your ingredients sustainably?
When we source ingredients, we try to get as close to the farmer as we can, so we know where the crop is grown, how it is grown. Given that we are so small, we can’t do this with everything yet, but for example I have just come back from Cape Town where we are working with a farmer to plant a specific crop for us. This means we will know exactly where and how the crop has been grown, harvested and distilled. We also look at processes such as bio fermentation which allows us to have a bio available ingredient without detriment to the earth’s resources.
What’s your workspace like and can you tell us little bit about your team?
We are based on a small organic working farm surrounded by nature. My production lab is an old converted cowshed where we make all the products by hand. My team is my anchor, it is a small and amazing group who take care of the bottling, packing and shipping and most importantly looking after our customers. This allows me to focus on making products and developing new things as well as being in the treatment room.
What’s next for de Mamiel?
I do have some new things in the works, but I have given up telling people when they are coming as they always take me longer than I would like to get them finished!
How do you relax?
Water – on it or in it, or even just near it.