Inside Our Brands

de Mamiel Spring Oil: behind the formula

An interview with creator Annee de Mamiel

 

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 Spring Oil, one of her most popular blends, in her interview with Dara.

de Mamiel Spring Oil

Dara Kennedy: You’ve told us this before — “Spring is about flow, and the liver and gallbladder. We have a lot of stopping and starting during this season, which gives us some challenge — then there’s a sense of emerging, of the unstoppability of life.”
Tell us more about what you aim to address with the Spring Oil.

ANNEE DE MAMIEL: Spring is associated in TCM with the liver and gallbladder. It takes us from winter, which is a time of stillness and gathering of potential — a time of being — to a time of doing, when the earth is reawakening in an expression where everything is at its strongest. In the spring, we see a concentration of energy and growth.

It’s a tender time as well; imagine the new buds coming out and emerging. Or a young, green sapling that’s moving in the spring wind. It’s a time when we have to move and bend and be flexible, too.

And it’s also about releasing and expressing this energy: if we’re not moving forward, there’s a sense of frustration, a sense that we’re being stopped. We become passive, frustrated, angry — there’s a lot of stopping and starting as we move out of hibernation. We’re finding ways to lift that heavy, stagnant energy from winter so that we can move out of those sluggish ways.

Emotionally, spring is the time of all that is creative: expanding, being free, roaming, and tapping into that warrior inside of us.

 

Dara: Tell us more about the role that the liver and gallbladder play in all of this.

ANNEE: Each season has a pair of organs — one yin and one yang. In the spring, we have the liver as the yin, representing the flow of energy; the gallbladder, the yang, enables the flow of energy to happen and gives us the courage to make decisions. This time of year is all about purpose and vision.

And if you think about the function of each one of these organs that we’re familiar with, it makes sense: the liver is the organ that helps us break down and digest, while the gallbladder produces the bile that’s required to help the liver break things down.

 

Dara: I think that will help us understand the way you’ve crafted this formula more deeply! Tell us more about that.

ANNEE: The Spring Oil is very much driven by the mechanics of movement and the liver energy, in that the aromatic energy of spring is green and minty and herbaceous and a little bit fruity. The oil brings those elements in so that it encourages movement in the liver, from a TCM perspective, and resonates deeply within to shift that stagnation.

The Spring oil is more herbal than the Autumn and Winter oils: it helps support the skin with the shift in seasons and enables that flow.

Most of these oils in the Spring blend are very powerful, so you use very little of them. They act on another level; I enjoy blending them and bringing that about. They’re also very sensitive to the forces of nature, so the blend can be very different every time; you need to play with it and see how it evolves.

 

Dara: 2024 brings us a Spring Oil that’s different from the one in years past. Why did you adjust the Spring Oil this year in particular?

ANNEE: I’d been thinking about adjusting it for a while. Over time, as new ingredients become available, I get to play with the formulas and see how those adjustments work with the skin; I felt this one would really benefit from additional antioxidants and brightening characteristics, and I wanted to elevate the scent. It’s quite herbal, and I wanted to capture the brightness of spring a bit more. I thought, “This one’s really ready to shake up.”

And from a TCM perspective, this is the year of the Green Wooden Dragon, a symbol that’s considered the most powerful in Chinese astrology. It represents energy, strength, and power, with the ability to adapt to a wide variety of conditions. This year is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes, and challenges, but with additional strength to overcome those difficulties. I really felt that this oil needed to reflect that — it seems that we’re on the brink of change, in a good way; we’ve all had tough years, and it’s time.

This new oil really brightens the complexion as well as the mind, with its scent: it wakes up dull, winter-weary skin. At the end of winter, we tend to be thinking, “Oh, enough!” And this oil makes you think, “Ooh!” It brightens everything.

 

Dara: What are some of the changes you made to the formula?

ANNEE: I added cloudberry seed oil to the base, which I love because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s brightening, hydrating, and calming at the same time, and because it’s grown in the arctic, it has the ability to survive extreme temperatures. Moving into spring, you’re often still going from central heating in the morning and evening to cold and wind outside, so cloudberry can help support the skin barrier. It’s quite lightweight and works well with evening primrose, which helps during this “stop and start” time of year when skin can start to get a little oilier, and pear oil, which is really nice for its brightening effects.

I added more milk thistle to the blend, which is rich in silymarin; there’s lots of talk over here in England about liver and liver energy, which is what spring is all about.

And the scent is really different. There’s double-distilled vetiver, which is smoother and mellower than most other vetivers: it has a sweet wood quality with a green note that’s simply beautiful. Spikenard is another highlight in the scent, which I also use in Anchor; it’s a root oil that can improve outlook and mood, easing stress and tension and calming the mind. And there are lovely flowers in there, too — rose, jasmine, and neroli — to bring a sense of femininity to the bright, herbal nature of the blend.

 

Dara: Do you use the Spring oil differently in clinic?

ANNEE: This time of year, I still tend towards the more oil-based products, but I use more energizing movements with the Spring Oil, moving a little more deeply and more quickly than I would in the winter.

It helps that the base oils are lighter than those in the Winter Oil, but still heavy enough to be nourishing: it has prickly pear, meadowfoam, and some marshmallow, which helps with sensitive skin. This is the time of year when skin tends to get oily and a little bit sensitive. Milk thistle also helps with that, along with kahai, which is a really lovely oil with lots of pro-vitamin A. There’s a lovely richness to the blend so that it’s enough for skin’s needs, especially in these early months.

 

Dara: How do you suggest using it at home?

ANNEE: It’s really lovely to do a morning brightening massage with the Spring Oil. In the winter, you might use your oil morning and night, while in the summer, you might just use it in the evening; with this one, you can do a two-minute brightening face massage in the morning, when skin still tends to need an oil. Stretch your neck first, then work quickly and deeply with it to invigorate the skin. (Note from Dara: You can find some instructions here — Annee filmed a video for us!)

My routine right now is to start with the Cleansing Balm in the morning. Then I mix the Multi-Active Hydramist with the Skin Recovery Concentrate and press that into the skin. I follow it with either First Fix or Fatigue Fix, depending on how I’ve slept, then the Spring Oil and Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar.

In the evening, I use the Cleansing Balm again. Then I layer First Fix, then Gravity Fix, followed by the Spring Oil and the Skin Recovery blend on top.

 

Dara: What do you love most about the Spring Oil?

ANNEE: I love what it does to your skin; I love that radiance and brightness. The Spring Oil, like the Autumn Oil, is one of the oils that people just live for. We all want a sense of new life and regeneration.

And the scent: it has an herbal tone, but when you smell it, it’s like, “Wow! This is a real brightness.” In TCM, spring is about the unstoppability of life, new beginnings, and change, and the scent brings that all to life. This is such a time to find out what it is that makes us happy and makes us tick – what we want to strive towards as we access that visionary warrior energy.

*** 

You can learn more about the Spring 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 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.

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.

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