A chef’s story
During my early twenties I developed skin problems, so much so, that in 1995 I frustratingly spent the whole of the summer indoors because my face couldn’t tolerate the sun. Pigmentation marks were appearing all over my face and I became so self-conscious of people staring at me – even my best buddies were saying “OMG! That looks awful” – so I miserably retreated indoors for the remainder of the summer.
For the next seven years, whenever the sun appeared I slathered myself in white greasy sunblock and donned a floppy hat – it sounds simple, but the reality was miserable, hard work and debilitating. I decided enough was enough and I went to see a dermatologist who simply prescribed harsh, synthetic drugs. At the time I had no idea what was right or wrong so naturally, and in desperation, I did as I was told. Within a few months of using them my face was becoming red, irritated and subsequently looking far worse than when I started. With my confidence at rock bottom, my gut instinct was to stop it all, so I continued to cover up and made a pact with myself… “No more chemicals!”
I resigned myself to a life lived in the shade, but I knew there had to be another way… it would just be some years before I discovered it.
Even though I loved my job as a chef I eventually left my catering career behind to start a family. I took a job in a small local boutique selling luxury ‘natural’ skincare, and within a month I was hooked. I became an ‘ingredient detective’ very quickly – checking what the products contained and investigating all of their ‘claims’. Before long I began using them for myself instead of the standard mid-range high-street products that I had been using for years.
The following summer I realised, to my amazement, that I had been outside in the sunshine regularly, yet the marks on my face were simply not appearing! Naturally I was both relieved and very excited. I instinctively knew then, that the chemical products I had previously been using had made my skin so sensitive, that they had been doing far more harm than good.
My pact to myself was reinforced once again… “Never again. No more chemicals for me!”
I started to look at what I was feeding my son, and how particular foods might be impacting his skin problems …this was the turning point! My passion for food came hurtling back into my life and it became my mission to help my son, by making very conscious choices regarding the foods he ate and the lotions and potions I purchased to help alleviate his symptoms. I began to study nutrition in enormous detail and I became very quickly aware that this was no doubt the key to everything.
What truly baffled me, was that even though I was choosing a ‘natural’ approach to my son’s creams, I noticed that the skincare companies ‘claims’ that they were ‘All Natural’ was far from the truth! They still contained those harsh chemicals that damage the skin – Why?!
That’s it I thought …do it yourself Lisa, after all, you are a chef. You create dishes from natural foods, surely you can do this with natural food extracts…
So I got to work with the lecithin and lots of lovely food based oils to see if it worked. Voila! It sure did and I haven’t looked back since!
I suddenly had my passion back to create. I realised that I could source the most amazing ingredients, that I personally wanted, and make them into a cream, serum, oil, cleanser and balm. Aside from making them for myself and for my family, I also gave them to my friends, who very quickly said “Lisa, you must make this into a business.” At that time, my natural response was, “You are joking! I have a two year old and another one on the way, I don’t have the time.” But I did have the passion and I could not leave the experimenting alone.
In the background I studied nutrition and I couldn’t leave that subject alone either! I began to gain momentum – everything I was doing was food orientated and taking me back to my roots. I did it all from home, in my own time, whilst bringing up my two children – I was happy!
Skincare with integrity
It was early 2008 that I finally launched my ‘Lisa Armitage’ skincare range, and it wasn’t long before I had a legion of loyal followers. Not only were my clients amazed that their skin problems were clearing up, but they began to follow me on my mission of healthy eating too. After all, you are what you eat… and even with the most amazing skincare products, what you eat comes first!
I became a bit of a health guru talking about my experiences and how I turned them around. My business continued to grow from strength to strength, and in 2010 I became involved with a large company who wanted to take on the ‘Lisa Armitage’ skincare brand. We had a listing to launch in one of the UK’s largest supermarkets in 2012, and I have to say I was very excited… who wouldn’t be. This was an opportunity I shouldn’t turn down! However, the products and my ethos would have been compromised. Luckily for me the company pulled out at the eleventh hour. Yes, at the time I was gutted, but within a short space of time I came to realise that this had happened for a reason. My products were far superior and worthy of an existence beyond sitting on the shelves of a supermarket.
In 2013 I began to reformulate… Why? I realised that at a time when many of us are increasingly conscious of detoxing our beauty cabinets, I wanted to be ahead of the game and formulate a range of products that not only transformed your skin, but were completely safe, completely natural …and 100% transparent. I wanted to gain the trust of customers that were seeking and turning towards a more natural alternative. Unfortunately health and beauty companies are not governed well enough and so called ‘natural’ brands are getting away with calling themselves ‘natural’, when it is so far away from the truth.
For me, achieving exactly what I wanted did not happen easily nor overnight. I have come up against what seemed to be endless barriers, but I knew that I would get there eventually – and I did! Driven by the mantra that ‘health is beauty’, I bring you my all-new transformative, superfood skincare collection.