Rarely does a young beauty brand exude a caring spirit, while simultaneously transporting your senses to an ethereal world of luxury and well-being as much as LANIMA.
For many, a journey starts with a quest, and this was true for founder Debbi Symes, as she combined her love of healthy living, self-discovery, and travel to produce a luxuriously crafted beauty regimen.
This expanding collection of skincare products contain an array of local and internationally sourced ingredients such as Rose Clay, Red Moroccan Rhassoul Clay, Moringa Leaf, and Kukui Nut Oil. These phytonutrients are reported to help in the process of healing and protecting skin cells from damaging free radicals, while replenishing lipids and promoting outer beauty. Rosa Damascena, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine Absolute, and Vanilla equally intoxicates the senses and hydrates the skin for total well-being.
AGB: Hi Debbi, your skincare collection is a well-balanced regimen, that feels rich and purifying, can you tell us a bit of your background, and how it led you to develop LANIMA.
DS: Thank you so much! My line was conceived to feel special and ritual-worthy. Based on a healing platform, LANIMA is designed to bring balance to the body, mind and soul. Each bespoke formulation is rooted in ancient discovery and adaptogenic science. The idea coalesced during my difficult journey with fertility treatments, which wreaked havoc on my skin, and my spirit.
I wasn't used to taking so much as an Advil, let alone hormone injections, so when you factor that in with the numerous amounts of hormone-disrupting chemicals in products, and the environment, it all became overwhelming. I decided to tap into my background in holistic nutrition for alternatives, immersing myself in this quest for healing. Before I knew it, I was using my passion for traveling the globe to hunt down the purest botanicals I could find.
On one trip, I found myself meandering through a North African souk, and the next, I was learning about the sustainable way to harvest vanilla pods on a plantation in the Seychelles Islands. There's a lot of grit in between, but LANIMA culminated from this cultural and spiritual odyssey. A blend of well-being, beauty, and wanderlust gave me a canvas from which I could create my brand. I guess you could say LANIMA became my baby.
LANIMA celebrates the symbiosis of distant cultures, time-honored rituals, and ancient ingredients coveted for their deep healing and regenerative properties. But most importantly, it helps elevate the unsung heroes, especially the women, in the communities who honor this deep connection to their land as a source of health and sustainability. I returned richer from my interactions with all of them, and I truly believe this translates into our products. And the best part is that we are only just beginning.
AGB: Does the name LANIMA have a meaning?
DS: Absolutely! L'anima in Italian translates to "the soul." A nod to my heritage. Each element of LANIMA carries with it a piece of my heart and a story to be shared. To me the name evokes a sense of curiosity and adventure, and the promise of self-discovery. It also reflects the ingredients, capturing their soul-sustaining ethos, and sharing their precious secrets. LANIMA ultimately realigns self-care with earth's sacred bounty, forging connections to the cultures that protect it. In our opinion, it's not enough to seek out organic or high-quality ingredients, without considering the quality of life of those who grow them. It's "the soul" of what we do and who we are.
AGB: When was your first trip to Africa? Tell us about that decision.
DS: My first trip to Africa was in early 2017, and believe it or not, it was unplanned. I had been working for more than six months, remotely, with the Tujyebere Cooperative in Rwanda—a connection that was facilitated through a wonderful non-profit organization, Humanity Unified International. I commissioned a group of female artisans to handcraft mini bags for our SUSTAIN Discovery Set, which I'm completely in love with! I had hoped that one day I'd have an opportunity to visit Rwanda and meet these women in person, but between launching a new company and juggling my fertility journey, I barely had time to walk my dogs! Then we got crushing news. My husband and I found out our attempt at IVF was unsuccessful. I wasn't clear at that moment as to why, but I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to go to Rwanda. So 48 hrs later, I landed in Kigali. The trip galvanized my purpose and injected some much-needed perspective. It was a long and challenging 12 days, but above all, a celebration of perseverance, hope, and self-sustainment. I left knowing our work there was only just beginning.