A few months ago, I was dealing with a horrible skin issue (on my FACE) that I talk about here. Around that time, I read an article that my go-to health guru, Chris Kresser, wrote. It was about the effectiveness of his favorite all natural, organic skin care line – Annmarie Skin Care.
I was intrigued because his advice and recommendations have been invaluable over the years – always spot on. I looked into the skin care line and was so taken back by the purity, quality, care, and ingredient makeup of every product (I am obnoxious when it comes to how much I research supplements, ingredients, and skincare. More about that in a minute).
And because I’m a sucker for all things beauty, skin, wellness and health, I had to try these products right away.
Just before I was about to place an order, my mail came and believe it or not, a reader of mine (thanks Amanda!), who had read about my skin issue, sent me a few products from Annemarie Skin Care that had helped her. I tried the products and.was.hooked.
Change is good. I think it’s healthy to change it up.
I love to change up my skincare products, but there are a few non-negotiables in my rotation that are permanent (I talk about and gave them away them here).
Annmarie Skin Care is one of them.
I called my Mom to tell her how amazing these products are and had no idea that she had already been using Annmarie Skin Care all throughout her cancer treatment per her immune therapist and oncologist’s recommendations. My Mom’s cancer is estrogen-receptor positive, meaning that the cancer grows in response to estrogen. Because of this, she is on medication that blocks all estrogen, which has devastating effects. As women, estrogen is what gives us glowing skin, hair, strong nails, mood balance and cognitive support, endocrine function, strong bones, etc. – too much or too little of it and we are off balance.
Being on a medication that totally blocks estrogen is really difficult, especially for the skin. I have to say, no one can believe that my Mom is on this medication, let alone going through cancer. Her skin is glowing. And the best part? Annmarie products are so pure and natural, we don’t have to worry about any chemicals having adverse effects or interacting with her medications, treatments, and healing. Here is my beautiful Mom a few months ago…I got in touch Annmarie Skin Care right away and met Jasmine and Abby, which ended up being the greatest gift of all. We became fast friends and they were so taken back by mine and my Mom’s experiences, they got in on my holiday giveaway. After the new year, we started to discuss how we could collaborate to offer something special for PMS readers.
The customer service at Annmarie is beyond – you are treated like family and they just get it. Annemarie Skin Care is all about kindness – kindness to yourself, your skin, your emotional body and each other.
I wanted to interview Abby before announcing what we came up with for you guys. Just so you can get a better idea of the heart behind these lovely people and their products – products that live up to the quality of the ingredients they are comprised of.
Abby is a Licensed Esthetician, as well as the Wholesale Account Manager for Annmarie Skin Care. At Annmarie, she nurtures all wholesale accounts with independent contractors and spas, integrative health and wellness centers, fitness and yoga studios, boutiques, natural markets and online retailers. Additionally, she handles all product training for staff members and offers ongoing education for customers. Her life’s purpose is to educate and inspire people to feel beautiful through self-care rituals.
How was Annemarie Skin Care Started and what’s it all about? What inspired the creation?
In 2008, Annmarie and Kevin Gianni, the founders of Annmarie Skin Care, set off on a 2 ½ year journey in their vegetable oil-powered RV. They traveled across North and South America to track down the best natural-care products to share with viewers of their YouTube video cast, The Renegade Health Show. While Annmarie and Kevin were posting interviews with experts in the wellness industry, their viewers started asking a common question: “Annmarie, what products do you use for your skin?” After analyzing the ingredient labels of the brands they used and doing further research on the skin care industry, they realized that what they were using did not align with their own standards. So, they set out to find a truly natural, non-toxic line that they could safely recommend. One day, Annmarie received a facial at a spa in Patagonia, Arizona, where she was introduced to a line that she immediately fell in love with. From the aromas, to the impeccably clean ingredient lists and even how the products carried this alive, palpable energetic vibration — here was the line that they could believe in and represent to their viewers. Annmarie and Kevin learned from Bunnie, the formulator of the line, that the products would remain mostly in spas and not expand beyond that. However, Bunnie agreed to help them develop a natural skin care line for the wider public, in which she agreed. In 2010, Annmarie Skin Care was born!
Why organic skin care? Is there really a difference? What are the main benefits of adopting an organic skincare regimen?
Organic skin care is superior to conventional skin care, because when you harness ingredients from nature like herbs, seeds, high-quality oils, clays and essential oils, your skin is receiving all of the essential nutrients to support its health. These ingredients have an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins,minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. Conventional skin care has not only synthetic and potentially toxic chemicals, but also unnecessary fillers or cheap ingredients (like mineral oil and petroleum by-products) that serve little to no nutritional purpose for the skin.
Why should we care about the ingredients in our skincare products?
Unfortunately, corporations that own conventional skin care lines (think department or convenient store brands), do not make our health and well-being a priority when formulating “skin care” products. Why else would there be harmful and synthetic chemicals lurking in our moisturizers, perfumes, cosmetics, shampoos, body care and so on? Conventional products are cheap to make and are easily mass-produced. While there are many ingredients you should avoid in your skin care products, a good place to start researching is the “Dirty Dozen”. Here you will find a list of chemicals that can cause hormone disruption, skin allergies, organ and reproductive toxicity, and an array of other health issues. For example, “fragrance,” which you’ll see listed on the majority of conventional skin care labels, can contain thousands of combinations of synthetic chemicals that are not disclosed and have not been tested for safety. Crazy, right!? Our skin is our largest organ and we should nourish it daily with healthy skin care, not substances that can cause imbalance in our bodies.
What’s your top skincare hack/secret?
I love storing our Anti-Aging Eye Cream in the refrigerator so that when applying it as my final step, it feels cool and helps to ease the look of temporary puffiness, while also invigorating the look around my eyes. Think cucumber slices in a bottle! And yes, our eye cream does contain cucumber distillate.
I LOVE keeping my skincare products in the fridge along with my facial massaging tools. It makes such a difference.
What’s the one skincare myth that needs to be debunked?
Oil clogs pores! While using the wrong†oil for your skin can potentially clog pores, using the correct oil suitable for your unique skin type is actually one of the best moisturizers that you can use to help balance your skin. If you have oily skin, using an oil-free moisturizer will only cause your skin to produce more oil. Oil dissolves oil, while also helping to balance your skin’s natural oils. Oil is more readily absorbed by the skin because it contains no waxes or fillers (commonly found in cream moisturizers), which can actually clog your pores because they sit on the surface of the skin. If you have dry skin, opt for richer oils like jojoba or coconut oil and if you have normal, combination, oily or sensitive skin, use lighter textured oils like grapeseed, rosehip or tamanu.
What is your favorite Annmarie Skin Care product?
This changes almost weekly (typical Gemini!). I absolutely love our newest product, the Phytonutrient Cleanser . It’s so luscious and dreamy, it makes me crave to wash my face every morning and evening! I also love our Rosemary Toning Mist, one of our more invigorating, wake-me up products perfect for those with oily skin like mine.
What is the best way to remove makeup?
Depending on how much makeup that you wear and the type that you use, washing your face with a gentle cleanser should adequately remove foundation and other facial makeup. The best way to remove stubborn eye makeup is with a pure carrier oil like coconut, olive, jojoba or grapeseed oil. I put several drops of oil on a tissue or cotton pad and gently swipe across my eyes closed to remove.
I have tried every kind of exfoliator imaginable and they have all either been too abrasive, not strong enough, irritated my skin, activated dermatitis/eczema or made me break out. I feel like my skin is the kind of skin that does much better with peels than it does with scrubs/exfoliants if that makes sense? HOWEVER, your Kaolin Micro Exfoliant has been the negation to all of that. I’m amazed at how gentle yet effective it is. What’s the secret?
Our Kaolin Micro Exfoliant offers a rich exfoliating experience, without aggravating the skin. This formula is truly unique as it contains hydrating aloe vera and our gentle surfactant that deeply cleanses skin without stripping your natural oils. It also features detoxifying green kaolin clay, silica-rich diatomaceous earth crystals, antioxidant-rich green tea extract and a blend of invigorating essential oils. Once applied, it softens and rejuvenates the skin because of its high mineral content. Exfoliation days are my favorite, which I do anywhere from 2-3x a week (I have oily skin), because I feel all of the other Annmarie products applied after absorb optimally and infuse my skin with active plant properties!
Outside of skincare, what other lifestyle elements help with problematic skin?
There are many lifestyle factors that can contribute to healthier skin. This includes meditation to help with stress, balancing hormones with healing herbs, eating vibrant foods with quality nutrition, staying hydrated, exercising and of course, treating yourself with kindness.
I could not agree with this more. Chris Kresser sent out an email a few months ago and it was such an “aha!” moment because I felt like he was describing me. Here it is below:
I had a patient, we’ll call him Mark, who came to me looking for help managing Crohn’s disease. Before our initial appointment, Mark uploaded 10 pages of spreadsheets tracking exactly what he ate, along with his symptoms, bowel movements, glucose levels, and other data. His diet survey, which is typically about one to one-and-a-half pages for most patients, was seven pages long. During our appointment, he told me he was on an autoimmune protocol, with modifications for low FODMAP, low histamine, and low oxalate. Some of my patients are very sick and need this level of attention to their diet. But that’s usually not the whole story. Here’s what I’ve noticed after more than a decade of working with patients, and throughout my own experience dealing with chronic illness: The areas that we most need to focus on to improve our health are often the ones that we’re most likely to ignore. In Mark’s case, that area was stress management. He was an absolute expert when it came to diet – he knew as much or more than 99.9 percent of nutritionists I’ve come across – but he paid almost no attention to managing his stress. He worked in a stressful job, then spent most of his time off in front of a computer, researching new diets and nutrition hacks. I explained to Mark that stress is a notorious trigger for autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, and that if it isn’t addressed, it can sabotage even a perfect diet. I think he knew this intuitively, but as a highly analytical person with a busy mind, it was a lot easier for him to spend time researching and tweaking his diet than it was for him to begin a meditation practice, rest, do yoga, take walks in nature, or do any number of other activities that would help shift him out of the “fight or flight” response. Fortunately, after some coaching and guidance, Mark was able to begin some of these practices and start focusing more on managing his stress. And, not surprisingly (to me, at least), these had a bigger impact overall than his diet changes. In fact, he was even able to relax some of the restrictions and add foods back into his diet. What is that area that you tend to ignore? For me, it’s having fun. I’m pretty good about diet, sleep, stress, and physical activity. But when I get busy, fun is often the first thing to go. That may not seem like a big deal, but study after study has shown how important fun and pleasure are to our health. So this year I’m making an effort to have more fun.
This hit me. HARD. I feel like I’ve educated myself so much on supplements, nutrition, hacks, and regimens but my stress levels were preventing the actualization of all that amassed knowledge. It doesn’t matter how rare the flower seeds that you have are – if the soil is poor, the seeds won’t stand a chance at doing what they do best: evolving and growing. What I love about Annmarie Skin Care is that I feel like it “picks up” and zeros in on what we often ignore as far as skin care goes. It’s like being at the spa for a few minutes everyday. Instead of symptom control, it gets to the root cause. These products curate an experience that aids in stress relief – both emotionally and for the skin. It’s about taking a few minutes everyday to focus on the one thing we are the most prone to ignore – OURSELVES.
If you are new to Annmarie Skin Care, where’s the best place to start?
We have created 3 sample kits which can be found here for PMS readers, Restore for Dry & Mature Skin, Balance for Normal & Combination Skin and Purify for Oily Skin. If you want to dive right in and trial for two weeks, I’d recommend going with our travel kits, which are also Restore, Balance and Purify, located here on our site.
From a business stnd point – How did you launch and come to create such a successful business that treats its employees like family and reflects that love in the quality of its products?
Kevin asked Rachel (our COO) to join him and Annmarie in building their business in 2012. This was shortly after they met while all working on a campaign in California to label GMOs. Rachel’s experience in volunteer and community organizing has inspired her to want to recreate this passionate atmosphere, where individuals feel empowered in what they are doing. When thinking about building the team, she is looking for individuals who want more than just a typical 9 to 5 job – ones who want to make an impact and who are excited to collaborate on a deeper level. A little blurb from Rachel: “We are working hard at creating a culture that challenges the status quo work environment. I truly believe our team members feel excited to come to work – feeling loved, respected, and valued. This only inspires them to give love to our extended family and friends, our customers. When we take the time to love ourselves and each other, it is only natural for this to flow out into all aspects of our business and our
If you could define Annemarie Skin Care in 3 words, what would they be?
Honest, Wild, Beautiful!
As a Valentine’s Day gift to you guys, Annmarie Skin Care has created 3 sample kits for you to try out.
And the best part…
It’s only $10 and shipping is FREE (!!) – worldwide.
You will also get a $10 coupon for your next purchase with the sample kit, so if you like the products, the sample kit is free.
Annemarie Skin Care and I are giving away:
– a travel kit
– ANY one of their full size products of YOUR choice
♡ comment on this Instagram post which travel kit you would like (normal/combo skin, oily skin, anti aging/dry skin or the body essentials) and also comment which full size product you would like to win from their website here.
The winner will be DM’d and I will reply to their comment on Valentine’s Day, 2/14/18 at 12pm PST.
Anyone, anywhere is eligible to enter.
Good luck! x Natasha