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Anna Mitsios of Edible Beauty

The naturopath and nutritionist on how beauty ingredients affect conception, the three herbs we should be consuming everyday and her tips for optimal gut health.

Remember that 2016 video when Gwyneth Paltrow dipped French fries into a tub of Goop face cream and ate it with Jimmy Fallon?

“You are what you eat” is a motto, rule, byword and even a catchphrase in the conscious beauty community. But in the case of Edible Beauty, this is no gimmick. Founded by Anna Mitsios, the brand sells non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free skincare — there’s even a dedicated range for babies — and tea blends which are pure (free from unnecessary chemicals), made with plant-based ingredients and, above all, safe for consumption.

Before you raise your doubts, rest assured that Edible Beauty is transparent about divulging every single ingredient used in its formulations, why each one is used in a product, and for what purpose. There’s vegetable glycerine, for instance, which “attracts water to the skin and supports cell regeneration”. Or sorbic acid, derived from mountain ash tree berries, and included to prevent skincare spoilage. If you’re familiar with online shopping — particularly beauty shopping — you’d know that this level of detail and education is rare. Simply, it’s an extension of the brand’s ‘Golden Beauty Principles’ and ‘Philosophy’.

Anna herself is passionate about sharing her personal experiences, from dealing with Type 1 diabetes to coping with stress (according to Anna, it’s one of the biggest challenges that building a business has brought); and even specialising in dealing with children’s health, nutrition and overall wellbeing.

Clearly, she’s an all-rounder. And with her knowledge, expertise and vow to only create consciously made products for skin and self, we trust that her creations are just as versatile.


Edible Beauty Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty’s No.1 Belle Frais Facial Cleansing Milk is a coconut milk face wash that won ‘Best Cleanser’ at the Indie Beauty Expo 2016

“Given the fact that what we put on our skin bypasses our digestive and detoxification systems, what we are putting on our skin becomes just as important as what we are eating.”

The name of your company says it all: your concoctions are safe enough to eat. Why was this an important philosophy to uphold?

Edible Beauty was created three years ago while I was working at a natural fertility clinic. I was recommending that my clients use natural and edible ingredients on their skin, yet was surprised to find that there were no options available.

Being edible is our gold standard of safety, as the skin — the largest organ of the body — absorbs close to 60 per cent of the products we place on it. Given that we absorb such a large percentage of what we put on our skin, and the fact that what we put on our skin bypasses our digestive and detoxification systems, what we are putting on our skin becomes just as important as what we are eating.

Studies have even revealed that more than 280 toxins linked to personal care products have been found in the umbilical cords of babies. This makes what we are putting on our skin even more important in pregnancy and when we are planning conception.

The endocrine disrupting effects of ingredients found in our personal care products are of great concern. Xenoestrogens are normally found in the form of parabens and preservatives in skincare products. They lock onto our oestrogen receptor sites and mimic the way that oestrogen works, thereby contributing to an excess in oestrogen in the body, which can interfere with our efforts to conceive.

Perfluorinated chemicals (also known as PFCs) are another subcategory of toxins found in skincare which can also impact fertility detrimentally. They have been shown in research to contribute to a range of fertility issues in both men and women. One study conducted by UCLA researcher Chunyuan Fei, and published online in Human Reproduction, states that women with higher-than-normal levels of PFCs have exhibited a 60-154 per cent higher risk of infertility than those who do not. PFCs have been also shown to affect the fertility of males by decreasing the overall health and motility of their sperm.

Edible Beauty products are not only free of the usual nasties — sulphates, parabens, phthalates and more — they are also free of benzyl alcohol, fragrances, propylene glycol, all preservatives, colours, synthetics and any ingredient that you would not recognise or find in your food. Every ingredient in our products is pure and botanical, and good enough to eat.

How do you ensure the quality and purity of each ingredient sourced for Edible Beauty?

We undertake extensive due diligence on every ingredient we use in our products. For instance, our wildcrafted ingredients are sourced from Australian suppliers that support the growth of indigenous communities. We ensure that all ingredients used are sustainably sourced and that there are no hidden preservatives or nasties found within ingredients — which can often occur.

What is your favourite Edible Beauty skincare product and tea, and how do you use and drink them respectively?

One of my favourite products in the range in our newly released & Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse. This is a sleep mask and provides a very effective way to make your skincare work overnight. This mask is designed to enhance the skin’s detoxification process and improve hydration while you sleep. It is as easy as applying a thick layer of the mousse and waking to fresh, rejuvenated skin the next morning!

Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse

This product is a must-have product to prevent morning face puffiness or dull skin after an indulgent night out eating and drinking. It is also works to correct an oily T-zone or hormonal acne break outs.

Australian pink clay and zeolite are the key ingredients in this product which work to gently purify the skin and draw impurities. It also has Aloe vera gel, which is ultra-nourishing and hydrating. Then there’s avocado oil, which has been shown to reduce an oily T-zone by over 70 per cent in three weeks. The Australian native snow flower seed oil is another anti-inflammatory ingredient that nourishes and brightens.

My favourite tea is our No.3 Sleeping Beauty Calming Tea. It is a ritual for me to sip on this after dinner to unwind. The passionflower and skullcap herbs are wonderful for promoting relaxing neurotransmitters, and work wonders to settle a busy mind!

What does inner and outer beauty mean to you?

My mission is teaching people to “turn beauty inside out”. This reflects my holistic approach to beauty and skincare, and my belief that we truly do need an “inside” and “outside” approach to clear and youthful skin. What we often do not realise is that what we put both on and in our bodies affect our vitality.

The Edible Beauty Tea range reflects herbal formulas which I provide to my clients within my naturopathic practice for common conditions which detract from our beauty and clear skin. They are filled with antioxidant rich herbs and botanicals to address health and beauty from the inside.

Gut health is intrinsically linked to skin health. What are some daily natural remedies someone can adopt for optimum gut health?

The skin is definitely an X-ray for what is going on in the body. I recommend that people maintain a healthy gut by eating fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut, which are naturally rich in probiotics to support healthy gut flora. I also recommend that we take in the right fibre. One of my favourites is flaxseed (also known as linseed) meal. Having two tablespoons a day of this ensures that we are sweeping the bowels of toxins and excess hormones which play havoc with our gut and skin!

Edible Beauty Teas

Regular consumption of tea has shown to reduce the risk of dementia by 50 per cent.
Edible Beauty currently offers 10 flavours

What are three herbs we should all incorporate into our diets, and how?

One of my favourite herbs is Withania, or ashwagandha. Withania is an incredible herb for supporting our adrenal glands and assisting us in adapting to daily stress. I have included this in our No.8 Energise Me Tea blend, which makes it so easy to have on a daily basis.

I also love turmeric as a general anti-inflammatory, liver tonic and gut health booster. Studies are showing that it has an incredible ability to block the production of tumour necrosis factor and other pro-inflammatory biomarkers which are implicated in tumour regression. I recommend that people use tumeric in their general cooking, and even add it to their smoothies; but always adding a fat like coconut oil or olive oil to the powder to ensure that it is transported through the gut wall.

I also love aromatic herbs which are found in chai blends. These herbs are so powerful both in their antioxidant content, but also in their ability to enhance digestion and balance sugar cravings. Cinnamon can be added to your smoothies, breakfast cereal and is found in our No.5 White Chai Digestif Tea blend.

Tell us about three of your favourite skincare ingredients.

One is the beautiful Australian wildcrafted snow flower extract. This is a potent anti-inflammatory and provides incredible brightening action when used in our skincare products. Studies have shown that it has 50 times the antioxidant action of vitamin E, and 100 times that of vitamin C, which also makes it a natural anti-ageing ingredient.

Swertia Chirata is another favourite of mine. It is an Ayurvedic botanical which has an incredible ability to refine fine lines in as little as seven days. We use this ingredient in our Express: Bloom of Youth Infusion masks, and we love the results we are receiving from it.

“The skin is an X-ray for what is going on in the body. I recommend that people maintain a healthy gut by eating fermented foods which are naturally rich in probiotics to support healthy gut flora, and taking in the right fibre.”

I also love camellia seed oil and it features in many of our products. This is actually the oil extract from the tea plant and has been traditionally used as an anti-ageing ingredient. Just like tea, it has high levels of antioxidants, which makes it wonderful in preventing free radical damage and promoting firm and elastic skin.

You’ve said that taking care of your health and growing your business has been the biggest challenge. How do you deal with daily anxiety, and stress as a whole?

Exercise, tea and spending time in nature are in my toolkit for dealing with daily anxiety and stress. I ensure that I spend time in nature on a daily basis. It provides me with the opportunity to clear my mind, become grounded and put daily stressors into perspective. I am lucky to live across from the water so I take advantage of this.

The habit of making tea and sipping on it is also a daily nurturing ritual. Chai is one of my favourites as I feel like it’s a wonderful calming tea and digestive aid. I am also a huge believer in a predominantly plant-based diet so I love nourishing my body with greens.

What is your latest conscious beauty discovery?

One of my newest conscious makeup finds has been TMF Cosmetics. I have struggled to find natural makeup that provides good coverage and doesn’t make my skin break out. I discovered TMF Cosmetics a few months ago and was blown away by their liquid makeup formulation. What is even more exciting is that it’s vegan, Australian, green and clean!

What does conscious living mean to you?

Conscious living means living with an awareness of our earth, wildlife and fellow humans, and the implications of our actions on them. It means living with a level of compassion and being caring, both of which are expressed by treating other people and our earth with loving kindness and graciously giving of ourselves and our resources. This is the most important principle which underpins my decisions and actions in life.

“Conscious living means living with an awareness of our earth, wildlife and fellow humans, and the implications of our actions on them.”

The No.4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion is a lightweight moisturiser that features numerous wildcrafted Australian extracts like Davidson’s plum and lemon aspen

Images courtesy of Edible Beauty