I’m lucky to not have super sensitive skin, but that doesn’t mean I’m not careful about what I put on it. I like to use natural ingredients whenever possible, so when Deborah Burnes, founder of Sumbody Skincare, couldn’t stop raving about tamanu oil, my interest was piqued. Just what was this mythical oil she claimed healed scarring like nobody’s business? And could it really help with acne, too? Get familiar with Burnes and the super ingredient that’s about to blow up in the beauty world below.
SheFinds: Tell us a little about yourself and why you started Sumbody.
Deborah Burnes: I originally started my career in front of the camera. This left me with a curiosity about what people were always doing with my hair and makeup. I went to cosmetology school never expecting actually practice any of what I’ve learned, but I fell madly and passionately in love with skin. I already had background in medicinal plants, herbal medicine and chemistry. When I started working with skin I couldn’t find the products I wanted to use. I would always get stuck and not be able to completely transform people skin. It was difficult getting the results I wanted. I realized early on that the chemicals in skincare were causing havoc to skin, but I couldn’t find any alternatives. I went to where I thought they would live at the time, my local health food store, and the products there were just as filled with chemicals of anywhere else. Hence Sumbody was born. Being able to make my own products and see the results on skin makes me not only a better formulator, it has given me profound rewards. Giving people healthy useful glowing skin is one of the best gifts!
SF: You’ve started formulating products with tamanu oil–what’s so special about this ingredient?
DB: The first product I formulated with tamanu oil was over 18 years ago. I was working with some chemist at the time developing new ingredients when we came across studies on the scar healing abilities of tamanu. The results were astonishing. I am immediately tried it on my clients who had old acne scarring and other scars. The results were so incredible, but I wanted to dig deeper into what else this oil could do. Not being used at that time it was very hard to get my hands on. However it’s been used in the South Pacific for centuries for all kinds of skin ailments. It’s a powerful skin regenerator, an antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. I believe it’s popularity hasn’t even begun to peak. It can be used for everything from acne, psoriasis, arthritis, diaper rash, wrinkles, the list goes on!
SF: Is Tamanu Oil beneficial to all skin types?
DB: It is perfect for all types of skin including highly sensitive. Most importantly make sure the quality of the oil is of high grade. It should be hand gathered, sun dried and cold pressed.
SF: If women are looking to improve the condition of their skin, what other ingredients should they look for in products?
DB: My rule of thumb is to stick with ingredients you can understand and pronounce. The only flaw with this is not all ingredients are beneficial for every part of your body. So when applying something from your neck up make sure you’re using non-pore clogging oils. And while I love Shea butter and coconut butter, they should never be in a high percent in your face cream.
As for the active components, I love ingredients the way nature provided. Look for ingredients such as vitamin and EFA rich oil like carrot, black cumin and prickly pear, herbs/botinacial/plants such as turmeric, licorice, green tea, mushrooms and seaweeds.
SF: What ingredients should women avoid if they’re looking to improve their skin?
DB: There are so many tricky ways we hide bad ingredients and skincare. The number one piece of advice I can give is to look for what’s not on the label. For example, if there’s an extract you need to know what that ingredient is extracted in. On my top 10 list chemicals to avoid I have propylene glycol. This is one of the most common carriers for extracts, but you will never see it in your ingredients.
I also suggest staying away from all essential oils and fragrances in skincare.
Whether or not someone is concerned with how natural their skincare is, when trying to improve your skin you will notice a major change by illuminating the chemicals in your daily routine.
Don’t miss this extra pretty spring dress on sale for under $30.