Annee de Mamiel's seven secrets of wellbeing
For the latest in our occasional series looking at how beauty industry figures stay balanced and healthy, we turn to Annee de Mamiel – creator of a signature collection of aromatherapy-based products which seek to help skin, body and overall wellness in this crazy-busy world. Annee is an acupuncturist and holistic practitioner with a waitlist as long as your arm, based between France and London. Her newest Annee de Mamiel Atomosphériques range even takes on board the challenges our bodies face via technology, and the electrical fields from our gadgets. But we know you'll be interested in what 'works' for Annee – and there's some real wisdom here. So here goes...
1. Start the day as you mean to go on. When I get up I will make a glass of warm water and lemon, as it kickstarts your liver and the detoxification process. I then sit down and write my journal or morning pages so it clears my head and enables me to sit at ease and do my meditation before beginning the day. It really helps me feel centred and grounded for the day ahead and things just flow more fluently.
2. Breathing and fresh air are really important to me. Deep breathing really helps to centre and ground me. It brings a calmness, slowing down the central nervous system, releasing tension and delivering an increase in oxygen to cells. When I am stressed I need to be conscious of how I am breathing, as we often tend to take short shallow breaths, which only adds to the tension in the body. I pause and Inhale right into my stomach and, just for a few moments, be conscious of how I am breathing, I also keep some essential oils close to hand to help me breathe more deeply.
3. I like to inhale essential oils. Essential oils can make a huge difference as the constituents can create internal change. Altitude oil is a particular favourite of mine, it helps to encourage deeper breathing and it’s incredibly powerful and calming. I keep it in my handbag, on my desk and one in my coat pocket for tube/travel! Pop a few drops onto your hands and rub them together, then cup the hands over the nose, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
4. I embrace mindfulness and simplicity on a daily basis. This is how I achieve balance – beginning with being aware of my breath, and where I am holding tension in my body – is my jaw clenched are my shoulders near my ears...?
5. I try to spend time on the water. Exercise is one of life’s essentials – whether it is walking rather than jumping into the car – the fresh air and time away from other people, can be a wonderful boost, taking a walk in bare feet grounds and centres us connecting us back to what grounds us. I think that is why I love being on the water, it’s the combination of the exercise, breathing fresh air and concentrating on the one thing I am doing combined with me feeling most at home on the water means every chance I get I jump at going sailing, surfing or paddle boarding.
6. Meditation, acupuncture and my skincare ritual are important for helping me deal with stress. It's vital to find a way to deal with stress: our lives, and environments are filled things that can illicit the stress response in our bodies. It is not just emotional impact anymore; chronic stress brings about changes in our immune system and inflammation, ageing us more rapidly. In order to know how we respond we need to look at how we deal with things - it’s just about finding what works best for you.
I find that making small changes can make a big difference - I meditate for about 10 minutes each morning, and use my skincare routine to practice mindfulness. Acupuncture and essential oils help the body to process things and just get energy and my mind flowing again and I really notice when I haven’t had a treatment for a while.
I believe rituals are as important as what you are putting on your skin. They give back to you, it is your chance to take a few minutes for yourself and be truly nurtured in a way that fights against those daily ageing aggressors – internal stress, pollution, central heating, not enough sleep, diet. Everything that goes on in our lives impacts our skin. While good ingredients are essential so is how you apply them, I think facial massage is essential, it makes an incredible difference, it feeds your skin delivering essential nutrients, blood and oxygen to the cells by increasing the circulation. Finishing the evening with inhalations and a facial oil allows the skin to repair the damage we have caused during the day. Set yourself up for this by having a calming ritual in the evening. Stop, pause and breathe – to release the day’s tension and allowing the essential oils to do the emotional work of calming you.
de Mamiel is about more than just skincare, though. It is about our life’s energy and creating fluidity and calm. My products have been created using the ancient principles of Chinese medicine along with modern scientific research into how ingredients interact with our bodies. Each product has come from the treatment room and been refined over many years to bring about the best possible results. Everything is hand-blended, mindfully and with intention over time in small batches. I have sourced the purest natural ingredients which go beyond organic and have been carefully sourced for their unique potency and precision in formulation. Each product is formulated to work on an emotional level as well as physical and cellular level to make a real difference to our mind and skin. Our process is unique, all the batches are blessed and meditated over to ensure you get a beautiful product, full of vitality and the skin nourishing properties of plants.
7. I eat in accordance with the seasons. Eating a seasonal wholefood diet is also essential so the body has the nutrients it needs to function and rebalance, as stress depletes certain minerals. I like to choose food that is in season, that hasn't travelled, has the highest nutrient content, this will have a strong positive effect on your ability to ward off symptoms of ill health, which all show on our skin. In Chinese medicine tradition things like how we eat, what we are doing when we are eating make a huge impact of the what we absorb so slowing it all down will make a difference.