Created by a skincare therapist who brings serious training in physiology, aromatherapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine to the clinic table, the products in de Mamiel’s lineup have not been designed in the usual way — and their results are so much better for it.
de Mamiel’s seasonal facial oils are a great example of creator Annee de Mamiel’s unique approach to treating the skin; read on to learn how she thought about the creation of the Summer Facial Oil, one of her personal favorites, in her interview with Dara.
Dara Kennedy: You’ve mentioned before, “Summer is about blooming, flourishing, full yang. The heart’s joy. Freedom, fun.” Tell us more about what’s happening in the body at this time that you aim to address with the Summer Oil.
ANNEE DE MAMIEL: Summer Oil is first and foremost about delivering nutrition to the skin — but, for me, there are so many factors to consider that impact the skin’s condition in this season.
In the formulation, I truly am mindful that the Summer is about our heart energy and delivering joy. Joy is the emotion of the heart, and the spirit of the heart is to share it.
Another thing to consider is that the Summer element is fire, which shows up in the skin and our complexion.
And as we’re looking at all of those components, it’s also an interesting season in that — from a Chinese Medicine perspective — it has four organs involved, while the others only have two.
Another particularly interesting thing about Summer in TCM is that there are two summers: early summer and late summer. Which is fascinating and also makes sense, because at the beginning of summer, fruit is still green and things are starting to blossom. But at the end of summer, everything is ripe and ready for harvest.
Dara: That is fascinating. Tell us more about this and how the Summer Oil addresses both of the summers.
ANNEE: TCM works with five elements, late summer’s being the Earth element. I call late summer “the lost season”; in the Western world, we don’t understand it, or we don't think about it. But as it’s about the ripening of the fruit up until the picking of the harvest, that focus on self-nurturing, it becomes quite vital.
So, the Summer Oil steps across both seasons a little bit. To do so, it addresses four organs:
- The heart
- The small intestine
- The pericardium, or the heart protector: when I’m working in clinic, I often don’t work directly with the heart because sometimes it’s just too strong — it can be too much for people. So instead I work to ease the pericardium to help things move, flow, and open, its gentle.
- Then there’s the fourth, san jiao: I look at this as the lymphatic system. It’s not everybody’s perspective, but it’s a perspective and it’s the one I work with.
It makes sense when you look at the body from the Western medicine perspective, too. For example, we tend to have an increase in swelling and puffiness because there are more water-retaining hormones in the blood. (In winter, on the other hand, we see more inflammatory issues.)
Our hormones change with the seasons, which we tend not to be aware of from a Western perspective. In the summer, we often have lower blood pressure and trouble falling asleep: this is one of the reasons why I first developed Settle.
And we’re more tired, but we’re also more wired when we’re out of balance: there’s that craving for joy and pleasure and excitement – our heart’s joy!
Summer is quite a complex one – there so many intricacies relating to the natural cycles and rhythms within us. But when we aren’t in sync with them, it tends to throw the system. In mono-climates, you’ll feel these intricacies on a smaller level, but they’re still there.
Dara: What elements in the Summer Oil formula address these needs?
ANNEE: There are some interesting oils in there to help maintain and repair the skin barrier and hold in hydration, like red raspberry, which is rich in plant sterols. There’s also echium, which is really rich in stearidonic acid and can help with redness.
I’ve also included rosewood, which is really beautiful oil to help with the fluctuation of oiliness that we often see in the summer. Sometimes skin is oilier, but sometimes it can be dry or dehydrated due to a lack of water; I see more extremes in clinic during the summer.
And the scent blend has some really yin, rich oils like ylang ylang, rose, and jasmine: heart-nourishing oils. For me, those oils appear so regularly because it’s about cooling and nourishing our heart, and in so doing being able to come out of that high stress world we live in. This is especially needed in the summer, that settling the spirit of the heart to help with sleep.
Dara: How do you use the Summer Oil in clinic?
ANNEE: In the summer, this is where I’ll use the heart meridian. As I said before, I’d normally needle and work more with the pericardium.
When I work on the chest, there are some really lovely heart and kidney points. Kidney 25 is what we call the “spirit’s storehouse.” It’s deep in your chest, the fifth intercostal space — such a beautiful point, about balancing out fire and water elements. I use it a lot just to bring down the fire, allowing the calmness and stillness to come through. Heart 7 is another one I frequently use as well, just near the wrist.
And the facial massage that I tend to use with the Summer Oil is really deep and releasing, so we’re not holding on to things. It’s a lot more lymphatic-based.
Dara: What do you love most about the Summer Oil?
ANNEE: I love the scent: for me, it’s only millimeters behind the Autumn Oil as my favorite. Autumn and Summer are my two favorite oils, by far.
I love the openness when I smell this Summer Oil – it makes me feel like I’m in the French countryside at dusk, when you can still sort of smell the heat off the land. It’s not heavy jasmine, but you experience hints of it.
In terms of its richness, this was the trickiest part, balancing the sterols and ceramides and fatty acids in the blend. The formula had to cover such extremes between the beginning and the end of summer, and people often think during the summer, “OMG, I don’t want an oil on my face!” Complicating it is the fact that there tends to be more SPF on your face, too.
But at night, when you take off your SPF and everything else, your skin is screaming for that level of nourishment. And through using red raspberry and rosehip – drier oils with less fat —it’s light enough to really nourish the skin without it being heavy. There’s also tamanu, which comes from Fiji: that’s what’s used on skin there to heal it from the day in the sun. It’s just enough.
I could use the Summer Oil all year round: if I had to use one all year, it would be this.
Dara: How do you suggest using it at home?
ANNEE: With this oil more than any other, the breathwork is really important. Especially now, it feels quite bonkers in the world, as though someone’s taken five minutes out of every hour and it’s just evaporated.
The Summer Oil is about nourishing the heart, where there’s anxiety and insomnia and stress levels. This oil is so particularly good at helping just calm all of that. Its emotional effect and level of nourishment always seems to feel so right.
You can learn more about the Summer Oil and pick up a bottle of this limited-edition formula here.
Want to learn more about de Mamiel?
Check out our Brand Spotlight here.
Learn more about de Mamiel’s Dewy Facial Mist, the perfect partner to the Spring Oil, in this interview with Annee.
To hear from Annee about how she treats stress in clinic — and tips she often gives clients to limit the effects of stress at home — in her interview with Dara here.
Check out this interview with Annee to learn why her Altitude Bath Soak and best-selling Altitude Oil are so addictive.
Find out how our esthetician, Sarah, uses the Restorative Cleansing Balm for facial massage here.
And, to hear from Annee about how she treats stress in clinic — and tips she often gives clients to limit the effects of stress at home — in her interview with Dara here.