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My lightbulb moment: Skincare guru Annee de Mamiel

My lightbulb moment: Skincare guru Annee de Mamiel reveals the inspiration behind her business

  • Annee de Mamiel, 49, who lives in Harpenden, founded de Mamiel, in 2010 
  • Inspiration came from creating treatments to reduce impact of daily life on skin
  • She now focuses on product development at her laboratory on an organic farm  

Holistic facialist Annee de Mamiel, 49, founded her award-winning natural skincare range, de Mamiel, in 2010. She lives with husband Chris, who works in the business, in Harpenden, Herts.

I’ve always been interested in wellness. I studied anatomy and physiology, then worked in the pharmaceuticals industry, before gravitating towards finance. But in July 1998, I was diagnosed with cancer and, in April 2001, given six months to live.

I found Chinese medicine and acupuncture eased the nausea and exhaustion. Back then there were few organic, plant-based products to soothe my skin, so I made oils to help with the chemotherapy and radiation burns. I also found a doctor who believed in what I was trying to do. I knew I needed to change my life to survive.

Annee de Mamiel, 49, (pictured) who lives in Harpenden, reveals the inspiration behind her skincare company

I was determined to stay strong, so in 1996 I signed up to be part of a team embarking on a ten-month round-the-world yacht race. I’d never sailed before, but it gave me a goal. I was on the yacht the day it sailed — my cancer in remission — but had to get off in Argentina for treatment. I got back on in Wellington, New Zealand, to finish the race. I continued to have cancer treatment for many years.

The trip was life-changing in another way. I met my husband, who was on another boat, and we fell in love.

Later I took a degree in traditional Chinese medicine and a diploma in aromatherapy. I joined a clinic in Chelsea, London, in 2008 and began to create treatments to reduce the harsh impact of everyday life on the face.

Soothing: Restorative Cleansing Balm, £62, demamiel. com

I would test my teas and oils on my clients. Demand grew and my husband convinced me to sell them online in December 2013. Three weeks later, fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter asked to stock us.

Today I have a laboratory on an organic farm close to my home, where I focus on product development. I map out the physical, cellular and emotional components of the problem I’m trying to overcome, and then overlay the physiology and biochemical elements.

After 12 years of research into brain chemistry and how the stress hormone cortisol affects the body, I’ve launched the First Fix Stress Response Serum.

In independent trials, testers reported a 93 per cent increase in feelings of pleasure when they applied it (the researchers measured the brain activity that spiked when testers used it), as well as more radiant skin. 

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