(Originally posted here)
I've been putting natural and organic skin care lines to the test over the last three years and while I try to give each at least a couple weeks (3-4 if possible) before officially coming to any conclusions, I can usually tell right away whether a line is something special or not. There are times when I can't wait to get finished with a trial period and move on to the next, but then there are those times when I don't want to stop using a product/line because it's just that amazing. Enter new brand Annmarie Gianni Skin Care.
This line hit my radar two months ago and I was pleasantly surprised after one, yes one, use. Smells good? Check. Feels good? Check. Makes my skin feel and look good? Check. And the ingredients are made of only high quality natural, organic and wild-crafted contents. Bottom line: when ultra high quality ingredients are used you'll see and feel a noticeable difference, usually quite quickly. I strongly urge you to check out their fabulous ingredient lists. Annmarie's credentials include an extensive background in health, nutrition, fitness and she's Co-Host/Founder of RenegradeHealth.com, along with her husband, Kevin Gianni.
I received the Anti-Aging Mini Kit to try and it will last you about 2-3 weeks. The facial oils will last the longest. The results and experience caught me off guard and blew me away. Though not yet widely known to the masses since the line is relatively new, take my word for it – this line rivals the top competitors in the natural beauty scene and you are sure to hear more about it in the future.
Besides what's on the label there's something else that is immensely important to me: trust. As a conscious consumer, it's so important to me to be able to trust the products I'm using, trust who's making them and who's behind them. I trust Annmarie Gianni. Her background speaks for itself and she puts importance first on internal beauty and health. After reading my product reviews below, be sure to check out my exclusive interview with her because she gave some really great answers!
Annmarie Gianni Skin Care Review:
Has a delightful citrus aroma, thin consistency and doesn't foam. I looked forward to using this cleanser morning and night. Soft, gentle and hydrating are the name of the game with this. My skin seemed to crave it.
Ayurvedic Facial Scrub
Exfoliating shouldn't be done daily but should definitely be done at least a couple times a week. This scrub consists entirely of crushed herbs and it smells like it should be in your spice rack, in fact you could totally cook with it if you wanted to. I mixed this with the cleanser 2-3 times a week and the result was skin as soft as a baby's bottom.
Note: Lip scrubs seem to be popular these days in order to exfoliate chapped and flaky lips. Mix a dollop of mask and a small shake of scrub and gently rub into lips. Your lips will feel amazing and in case you ingest a little in the process, there's nothing to worry about because this is a totally edible product.
Neroli Toning Mist
Entirely refreshing this is a great follow-up to the cleanser and prep for moisture. Neroli is great for skin and calming for the mind.
Though many serums are actually facial oils, this isn't one of those. This smells like applesauce and it's a very thin milky liquid that is a great, skin-smoothing treatment that provides a matte finish which is perfect to use before applying makeup.
Anti-Aging Facial Oil
Hands-down the superstar product of the line! If you can just afford one thing, splurge on this (or one of the other serums if this isn't suited for your skin type) or at least put it on your Christmas wish list. This is for dry, aging skin types and is one of the best facial oils I've ever used – no exaggeration. This makes my skin feel uh-mazing and the ingredient deck is nothing short of phenomenal. It has a warm and soothing scent, slightly woodsy and a bit herbal. This ranks up in my top 5 favorite serums of all time. And here's the thing – I know the price might make you wince at first, but I only use 2-3 drops for my entire face & neck. This bottle will last you at least 6 months. Divide that up and you've got a killer serum on your hands for just over eight bucks a month. It's worth every penny.
Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin
All of the facial oils are where it's at for me. The whole line is fabulous but the facial oils, oh my! After my Anti-Aging Oil ran out I began to use this and I like it a lot too, not quite as hydrating, obviously – but my skin still responded very well to it. Another fabulous product!
Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin
Coconut Honey Facial Mask
Not only does this make your skin feel wonderfully smooth, it's totally edible and you know what? I ate it. Yep. I slathered it on my freshly toasted Ezekial Sprouted Grain bread and it was pretty delicious. Melts like butter. That's how natural it is people. You can eat it. And your skin will love you for feeding it healthy food.
Coconut Body & Face Oil
A great body oil with a mild lavender aroma that I like to use after my nighttime shower. I don't use lotion when I'm using this. You know that scaly, flaky skin you get on your legs in the winter? I'm already getting it but this oil took it right away. I apply this at night and in the morning my legs are still super smooth – no flakes whatsoever. I use this all over – just haven't tried on my face yet.
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Fig+Sage Interviews Founder Annmarie Gianni:
F+S: What is your background with regards to health & beauty?
AG: I started in health and fitness then branched out from there. I was trained as a massage therapist, athletic trainer and have ran a successful personal training business in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
As I was working with one on one clients teaching them about good nutrition I was practicing it myself. The more clean my diet became, the more I was concerned with what I was putting on my body as well. I was reaching for the most nutrient rich foods so why not reach for the most nutritious skin care products. Your skin is in fact your largest organ and can absorb up to 60% of what is put on it.
Currently my husband Kevin and I are living in an RV and traveling the United States exploring and spreading the word of natural health and good skin care through our online blog.
F+S: Why did you feel as though the natural beauty market needed yet another brand?
AG: This really isn’t another brand. It’s a new category. When I was looking for a line that had no chemical ingredients and that worked for my skin I couldn’t find anything that fit both requirements. Most natural and organic products had chemicals in them and most of the natural products didn’t work.
So I decided to create a new brand that redefined what natural, organic, wildcrafted and effective really meant.
F+S: What percentage of your ingredients are organic?
AG: Close to 90%. Some ingredients are from local farmers that do not have the organic certification, but practice organic ways. The remainder are wild-crafted. What wild-crafted means is that the plant is picked in its natural environment, not from a farm. Examples of these wildcrafted ingredients are our nettles, horsetail and alpine bark which are harvested in the high mountains of Colorado.
F+S: For the “organic” ingredients listed on the label, are they certified organic and if so, by which certifying agency?
AG: They are certified organic; you cannot list ingredients as organic if it is not certified. There are a lot of products on the market that claim to be organic on the front label, but may only have 1-2% organic ingredients listed. When it comes to skin care you need to go beyond even reading the labels. You have to find a company that you trust. Many companies add certain ingredients to their products as preservatives and are not required to add them to the labels at all.
This is downright deceptive and we do not participate in this type of green washing.
As for the second part of the question most of our ingredients are certified through Oregon Tilth which is fully accredited with the USDA National Organic Program.
F+S: Where are the products made and do you outsource or are they made by hand in house?
AG: The products are made by a team of ours in the pristine mountains of Colorado. They are all made by hand in small batches. We do not like to keep any product in stock on the shelf for long so when a customer gets their order they know that it is fresh. Once the product is made they are then sent to our warehouse in California for bottling, labeling and shipping.
F+S: Is your packaging eco-friendly?
AG: Concern for the environment is huge for us. That is one of the reason why we do not use any chemicals or synthetic ingredients. Our ground water is so polluted with skin care run off, so any way I can help reduce that am happy. Our labels are bio-degradable, any promotional material is printed on recycled paper.
Also we package the line in glass bottles. These bottles are not only re-usable they also act as a way to preserve the products. We’ve focused on a specific form of violet glass called Miron Violet-Glass. While most traditional colors of glass used in packaging allow visible light to pass through, Miron Glass does not. Protecting your product from light gives added benefits such as less oxidation from light damage, longer shelf life and more potent blend of ingredients.
F+S: What is your favorite product?
AG: That is so hard to say… how about what is my favorite product in the summer and in the winter? In the summer, I love the Neroli Toning Mist, it is so cooling and refreshing. I don't just use it on my face, I use it all over as a body spray. The scent is so fresh and it is wonderful in a stressful moment because the aromatherapy of it is grounding and calming.
In the winter, I am loving the Coconut Honey Mask. Where I am living in New Jersey at the moment ,the heat in the house has been drying out my skin. This mask is extremely hydrating and has some amazing healing properties to it as well. Honey is great and has B and E vitamins.
F+S: Do you have any tips on improving skin through nutrition?
AG: We could do a whole course on this! Teaching nutrition is a big part of my background!
Tip #1 – Hydration: In today's society many people are chronically dehydrated. And when your body is dehydrated it will affect the skin in many ways.
How do you stay hydrated?
Drink plenty of clean water. The amount you need is varies because of weather, your body’s mineral levels and more. A quick guide line is to take your body weight and divide that number in half. That number is the amount of ounces of water you need to drink daily. For example if you weigh 100 lbs, then you would need to drink 50 oz of water a day.
Eat a high raw diet, which consists of lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Smoothies and freshly made juices. These watery rich foods will help keep your cells from drying up.
Also getting your essential fatty acids (EFAs) – your good fats – are very important. Oils like olive and coconut oil are great, as are foods like avocados, and various nuts and seeds. Having a good balance of EFA will also help keep your skin hydrated and help keep your skin feeling tight and firm.
Tip #2 – Help Support Your Digestion: What is happening on your skin can be directly related to what is happening inside your digestive tract.
How do you help your digestion?
– Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet
– Take a digestive enzyme and or HCL supplement (please consult your health care practitioner on amounts)
– Incorporate fermented foods to help re-populate your gut flora.
– See a colon-hydrotherapist – a colonic or series of them can be very beneficial.
Tip #3 What to Do to Help Control Your Oily Skin: Most people reach for an external product to fix their oily skin and clogged pores. Unfortunately, this is more a reflection of what’s going on internally. Oily skin is generally associated with allergies, digestion or hormones.
Are you eating any of these?
1. Cow's dairy.
2. Wheat / Gluten.
4. Seeds / Sesame.
Just the elimination of these foods for two weeks (completely) from your diet can literally cause health miracles. It doesn't mean that these foods are necessarily or patently bad… it just means your body doesn't work well with them at this moment. (Unless you have a serious nut allergy, then you need to be incredibly cautious.)
But, your oily skin or clogged pores could easily go away with just the removal of one or all of these foods.
For digestion (see above)
For regulating your hormones:
Try a two week elimination diet, taking these items out of your daily menu.
1. Flax seed / oil.
3. Non-organic cow dairy.
4. Non-organic animal products.
5. Plastic bottles / BPA
F+S: Do you plan on launching more products in the future?
AG: Yes! We have a few in the pipeline right now – in particular – a body wash, and sunscreen. And I know more will come as well… maybe even a men’s line.
F+S: Where can your products be purchased?
All Annmarie Skin Care products can be found here: https://www.annmariegianni.com