Joining the dots between health and beauty
Nadine Artemis: Creator, Living Libations
BY PETER BOWES | WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 2022
Beauty, radiant health and the human body and have long been inexorably linked. But to what extent do modern-day, beauty-related practices, enhance our well-being, or even our longevity? Early in life, Nadine Artemis became fascinated by the intersecting worlds of beauty, essential oils and a desire to live a long healthy life. She specializes in aromachology, the study of odors and the way they influence human behavior. Based in Ontario, Canada the creator of the health and beauty shop, Living Libations, is also a prolific writer on topics ranging from organic beauty products to holistic dental care. In this LLAMA podcast interview Nadine discusses her philosophy; her relatively simple approach to personal care and her desire to educate people about what she calls renegade beauty. She also explains why she believes that “every health decision really is a beauty decision, and every beauty decision must be a health decision.”
Read a transcript
- This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie, the award-winning spa-clinic – and pioneering health and wellness destination – nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.
“Every health decision really is a beauty decision and every beauty decision must be a health decision.”Nadine Artemis
Topics covered in this interview include
- The difference between aromacology and aromatherapy?
- How Nadine’s fascination with aromas and perfumes developed
- Deciphering the components of cosmetics
- Sniffing the ancient world and making sense of it in the modern world
- Scientific studies of essential oils.
- The power of cinnamon.
- The importance of the skin, exposure to the sun and protection
- Exfoliating and and its impact on the skin microbiome
- Face washing with a cloth and water, only
- The ‘inextricable” link between health and beauty and longevity?
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Affiliation disclosure: This podcast receives a small commission when you use the code LLAMA for purchases at DoNotAge.org – it helps to cover production costs and ensures that our interviews remain free for all to listen.
This interview with Nadine Artemis was recorded on March 29, 2022 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.
Nadine Artemis: [00:00:00] I think of the skin is sort of the moist envelope of our soul. We kind of get used to it because it’s on the outside of us. It’s the largest organ, so it’s like the liver or any other organ. It’s that important to us and we got to care for it.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. My name is Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science aand stories behind human longevity.
SPONSOR MESSAGE: [00:00:30] This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie. The award-winning spa clinic and pioneering health and wellness destination nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:55] Now, let me ask you this. How keen is your sense of smell? How do you react to different aromas? Think of a smell that reminds you of your childhood, going to school, the first building you worked in, perhaps being in hospital, a walk on the beach. Aromas can be evocative, comforting, even healing. They can change our mood, affect our attention span, and activate our memories. Could they also impact our longevity? My guest today is Nadine Artemis. She is an aromacologist and something of an evangelist for clean health and beauty, utilizing essential oils with that powerful, evocative sense of smell that most of us were born with. Nadine, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Nadine Artemis: [00:01:43] Hi. Thanks so much for having me.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:45] Wonderful to talk to you. Your company is called Living Libations, and we’ll talk about that more in a moment. But maybe, first of all, we could just explain some of the the basics. And I talk about aromacology and your expertize. I think a lot of people have heard of aromatherapy. They’re a little bit different. Can you explain?
Nadine Artemis: [00:02:05] Yeah, well, it’s a subtle difference in a way. On one level, there’s aromatherapy, which has also kind of got a few meanings. In a way. There’s that literal aromatherapy where perhaps you’re seeing somebody that’s like a massage therapist and then you’re having the oils applied to the body, and there’s that kind of a therapy, or you might go in and have a mix made, that kind of a thing. And there’s also just like aromatherapy, as in you’ve bought a bottle of frankincense, you’re at home, you put it in your diffuser, and then that’s your own. Like not a very serious use of the word therapy, but that’s also what you’ll see. And even something like Glade, you know, says, Oh, Aromatherapy and our Glade Air Fresheners, which is obviously in my books, a different experience. But it is a smell. You know, not all smells are created equal in my mind. And then aromacology is more of the study of the application of scent. So it’s a bit of a broader term, but on one level it’s not like it’s a big occupation with like a set, you know, it hasn’t. A lot of people are aromacologists, but for me too, it was about, you know, I’m a botanical formulator for nearly 30 years. And so the aromacology to me is just explains more and brings in those components rather than just like the therapy of smell. But I think it’s it includes all of that. And yeah, I’ve been fascinated by scents for a long time. And I remember one of my first endeavors into the world. I was really back in grade nine. I was very obsessed with perfume and stuff at the time, and we had an opportunity to do some self-directed learning, which was rare for a science fair project. And I was at the library trying to figure out what am I going to do? And I found this book geared towards kids about cosmetics, and I found that super fascinating because I was always sort of mixing and concocting in my bathroom of just the things that were already, you know, I take or mixed my mom’s joy perfume with the skull and crossbones thing underneath the sink when I was like five. So I definitely had this inclination to mix and concoct.
Peter Bowes: [00:04:17] That sounds potentially a litlte dangerous.
Nadine Artemis: [00:04:19] I know it was. Yes. Now I look back, I’m like, Oh, that wasn’t too good on some of those things. But then for the for the Science Fair Project, there was a chapter in the book all about perfume and the history and the mystery. And really, because I didn’t know at that time, I think we know a lot more now. But like that, perfumes were distilled from flowers and leaves and trees because back then it was just sort of this array of synthetic commercial fragrances. And so I was fascinated by that. And actually even my great grandfather had there was a big history of perfume in Egypt, and that was some of the first places on the planet where they would distill. Also, the island of Cyprus was another area where there was really early perfume. And I was fascinated by the Egyptian thing because my grandfather, my great grandfather was actually the president of the London Egyptology Society at some point and had gone on archeological digs to Egypt with Howard Carter, where he would do the illustrations and stuff and he would do stuff of Blue Lotus, which is a very beautiful, aromatic plant and has a lot of specialness in Egyptian history. So I found that totally fascinating. And then the book said and this was very, you know, now that just a moment in time but very life changing was that you could find the modern equivalent and they’re called essential oils and you could find them at a health food store. So that was amazing. And my mom took me to the City – big city` of Toronto. And then we found I found and whiffed my first essential oils and I didn’t know at the time or have the vocabulary to really go, okay, that’s natural. What I’ve been smelling was synthetic in this sort of eighties scent scape of watermelon, bubblegum and, you know, all this sort of synthetic smell, smell-e-vision. And then I was smelling like lemongrass, blood orange, jasmine, and it was really resonating differently with me. And then I got what I needed and I recreated L’Air du Temps using natural essential oils.
Peter Bowes: [00:06:32] At what point did it evolve from just being a childhood fascination to a career? Because that’s quite a leap.
Nadine Artemis: [00:06:38] Yes, it is quite a leap. Yeah. So then I just sort of, you know, had my teen teen times and then I got to university and I was actually I was saying I was going to study, but I was actually kind of skipping school that day. And I was just learning about for the first time about I was watching a talk show on TV and Lisa Bennett was on and she was talking about food and the environment and it was early nineties and it was just like, okay, like that was first coming in. So in that sort of moment made me make my own food. And I was at university anyway, so I had to and I had a health food store that I would walk by every day called grains and beans and things.
Peter Bowes: [00:07:21] What were you studying at University?
Nadine Artemis: [00:07:22] I studied philosophy and then I got into women’s studies, which was great too, because then I started to understand more about just sort of the history of medical history and the history of our bodies, you know, which I just felt like tied in a lot, because that’s what I was really interested in. You know, with even eating, it would be like, Oh, like you can change things in your body, by the way you’re eating, which was a new thought back then. But then what that made me do, because I would go by the store every day and I bought every book in there and one of the books was on labels and it was really thick and it was really like understanding all the labels on your food at the supermarket and all the games and all that stuff. And it was fascinating. And then that made me look at what I thought were my green, you know, beauty products at the time. And I was like, oh my God. Like, just really sort of all these ingredients that maybe I’d read on the back of bottles as I was bathing or just all that stuff that I was used to going, Oh my God, this doesn’t need to be on our bodies either and is also full of I wouldn’t eat it. I wouldn’t want it on my skin. It’s petroleum. You know, there is no there is no cucumber. And the cucumber face toner, the fuzzy peach bath oil has never been in peach, never saw a peach. And so in that moment, I was kind of like I think I was excited because I was like, oh my God. I finally have a practical reason to mix and concoct. And now I know the realm of beautiful ingredients that I want to work with. So as I’m studying, which was great to honing in some writing skills, but I was making and blending and concocting and I was reading a lot of older books, even books from the 18th century, a lot of earlier books on essential oils. And then I was reading about ones that I couldn’t find. So I started writing to like that was this is all before the Internet, which is crazy to imagine. But I was like, okay, I’ve got to find distillers. So then I would write to consulates in different people in different countries and and get to know who are the distillers, what’s going on. And then I was getting in oils that I’d never inhaled, like Blue Lotus or like Angelica or Immortal. Like I had to. I just when I would read about it or read about recipes from ancient Egypt, I was like, I have to get a whiff of of why they’re putting that together or what will happen when that goes like I just had to sniff the ancient world as much as what I thought possible. And so I actually began. And then I would get in samples of something that, you know, just normal things like a lavender or tea tree. And then I could just smell that there was a whole other quality that wasn’t at the health food store. And that’s as I was going through university. I actually started importing raw materials and essential oils because I needed to get my own.
Peter Bowes: [00:10:21] And how did you go about essentially joining the dots to equate what you had learned so far and what your gut senses were telling you and the, let’s say, scientifically proven benefits for our health in terms of using these aromas and essential oils that you discovered, many of which you’d never even heard of. But as your knowledge grew, how did you equate that to, let’s say, real science?
Nadine Artemis: [00:10:48] Well, luckily, you know, scientists and stuff had been studying essential oils for a while and they have been around almost since the turn. Well, they’ve obviously had that history of being distilled in Egypt and stuff, but they also had a modern history and were being distilled and it was sort of that that time at the early 19th century where it’s like the pharmacology of plants and synthetic sort of split because then things could be made synthetically. But it was like where, you know, where somebody’s working in a lab where they were working with lavender and they burnt their hand and then they could put it in the lavender, and then it was healing and that kind of thing. So there was, there was some science already written. And then we also had studies like the University of Milan in the 1960s, studied bergamot, you know, to show that it does help with depression and anxiety, that kind of thing. And then we also have the lovely work of Tisserand who’s from the UK and I mean, you know, he’s still progressing the science of it. And one of the best books is the Essential Oil Safety Data Manual, which is just I mean, so these really essential oils, well, they seem really, you know, like beautiful and aromatherapy and kind of frivolous. There’s actually deep science behind them. And then as I progressed through my learning every year, there’s just more like I have a book called Holistic Dentistry, where we’re looking at the science of keeping our teeth in our mouths. And what’s awesome is, you know, I designed these dental serums back about 15 years ago to help with my own teeth. And all the ingredients that we’re working with really have been used for thousands of years in dental care, like cardamom, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, frankincense, neem. And now what’s so cool is we have that sort of that history of 1000 year use or more in our mouths for oral care. And now we’ve got modern science that is able to confirm on one level why they work so well, because now we know that things like clove, all the oils I’ve mentioned, clove, cinnamon, etc. are quorum sensing inhibitors, QSI for short. And what that means is that the essential oils, when we apply them to things like the mouth, they’re able to inhibit the pathogenic activity of the pathogen. So normally pathogens are kind of like plankton and they’re sort of free floating around in our body. But when the environment changes or the imbalance goes off or there’s more pathogens through quorum sensing, they’re able to kind of group gain traction, do gene expression, and then they can create little biofilms and plaque and all that. And what the essential oils do is that they are able to bust up that quorum sensing. So they’re corn sensing inhibitors. So I just I love I mean, to me, yeah, just to me, the essential oils really encapsulate that beauty and mystery of what we’re offered on the planet. And then you can just bring it home with the essential oils, you know, or like cinnamon has been studied to show that it can take care of like 99% of E Coli in a petri dish, for example.
Peter Bowes: [00:14:06] Which is quite an astonishing claim, isn’t it? If you just think of us, if it’s true.
Nadine Artemis: [00:14:11] Yeah. Yeah, it is. And I always give real references.
Peter Bowes: [00:14:14] But it’s extraordinary to hear that. Yeah.
Nadine Artemis: [00:14:16] And that we don’t have to always use a lot of the harsh chemicals that we have or currently, as many scientists have known and studying for like 20 years are antibiotic resistance. Just because we’ve just used too much, too many applications, you know, it’s in the feed supply. It’s we’re being over prescribed often, you know, it’s in milk, blah, blah, blah. So for example, in some European places and obviously it might be in other places of the world, but in things like feed for chickens instead of antibiotics, now they’re including rosemary or oregano to help with that because we don’t. Antibiotics are useful. But if we if we’ve got antibiotic resistance, then that they’re no longer useful. So it can help us.
Peter Bowes: [00:15:05] I want to ask you about our skin, the largest organ of our body. And of course, for much of the time you are applying essential oils to the skin. So it is crucially important how the skin responds. But maybe we could backtrack from that and explain why the skin in itself is so important to take care of.
Nadine Artemis: [00:15:25] Yes. Well, I think of the skin is sort of the moist envelope of our soul and we kind of get used to it because it’s on the outside of us. But it really is like our organ. It’s the largest organ, so it’s like the liver or any other organ. It’s that important to us. We’re just sort of more used to it and we go to care for it. And it’s also, you know, there’s an in and out to it. We have pores, so whatever we put on topically will go into the bloodstream and because our skin is transdermal, but then it gives us an opportunity to look at what we put on our skin as why not have it be an ally or boost your immune system or help your body rather than allowing it to be like kryptonite? You know, where we’re applying petroleum based things or chemicals that do find their way into the body and don’t have the same processes as when we put something in our mouth that can go through the digestive system, the liver, it can get processed. But whatever we’re putting right on our skin is absorbed by the bloodstream to varying degrees. And so why not put things on the body that are good for the skin, good for the skin’s microbiome, good for the immune system. And I feel like that’s where I find essential oils are wonderful because they’re like these active ingredients that can assist with our body and seeing the word essential oils. Just to clarify, I’m not totally sure who named them, but essential oils aren’t oily. They’re a liquid for sure, but they’re actually volatile and evaporative. So if you left the cap off a bottle of frankincense, eventually it would, you know, be floating away, so to speak, and so to apply to the body. There are times when you can put frankincense, one drop on that cut or that, you know, blemish or whatever, but generally speaking or, you know, drop under your nose to inhale while you’re doing yoga or something. But generally speaking, you know, you want to dilute the oils before you put them on the body and you’re only using like a two to a 5% rate of essential oils in something. Generally speaking.
Peter Bowes: [00:17:37] The skin to me is so fascinating because if you if you think about it during the average day compared with all of our other organs, what do you expose the skin to, apart from what we deliberately expose it to? And that is creams and potions, the environmental factors that we all experience every day, whether it’s walking down the street or or even at home, that there is so much that our skin is bombarded with that could potentially cause damage.
Nadine Artemis: [00:18:05] Yes, that is so true. Yeah. Because inside our house we can have indoor air pollution, that kind of thing.
Peter Bowes: [00:18:11] Right.
Nadine Artemis: [00:18:11] And then yes, exactly what we’re putting on our skin and then outside, you know, I feel like that’s sort of also part of my book, Renegade Beauty, where I talk about cosmetics, which is about sort of using the cosmos to be part of our sort of beauty attendants. And that’s where we want to understand our relationship with fresh air and sunshine and that kind of thing, because our skin does need the elements, but we don’t want to overexpose the skin. But now that we live very sheltered lives, we’ve got to remember to get outside, you know, because we are denying that. And literally we need sun, air, water and our gifts from the earth to have good skin. Like literally our skin is designed to be exposed to the sun. And we have thousands of vitamin D receptors all over our body that need sunbeams to make a whole bunch of other stuff happen in the body. So it’s got to be in that right dose, but we don’t want to block it completely.
Peter Bowes: [00:19:13] If there is a deficiency on epidemic proportions, it is of Vitamin D
Nadine Artemis: [00:19:18] So true. We really worldwide need to boost that. And so it’s great that we have vitamin D3 supplements, but we also need that communication with the sun because it creates a different kind of vitamin D. It’s a water soluble type of vitamin D that’s very essential for the blood. You know, it creates antimicrobial peptides and cathelicidins and all these inner things that are like jucifying us from the inside out. Even though there’s a concept that we think of the sun as just being like, you know, all the oils and all that stuff from us. Of course that can happen with overexposure, but we need to find that right amount. And I do, you know, on our website and stuff, we have articles and in my book on how to interact with the sun wisely so that you know you can benefit from it rather than getting burnt.
Peter Bowes: [00:20:10] And the other thing I want to delve into is the skin microbiome. We hear a lot about the gut microbiome and how important that is for our digestion and other aspects of our health. Perhaps people don’t think in terms of the skin in those terms?
Nadine Artemis: [00:20:25] Yes, that’s that’s so true. We do know about the gut microbiome, but inextricably linked to that is our skin’s microbiome, which is really one of our biggest microbiomes. I think the gut is more concentrated, but then the skin, of course, is the largest and different parts of the skin have different microbiome. So like the bottoms of our feet and the palms of our hands have very little activity, whereas like the armpits and the face have more. I mean, I think the armpit is probably one of the most concentrated areas. So again, do we want to mix a lot of commercial deodorants or aluminum with that? Because we’re then messing with that microbiome. But on a skin level, we are doing a lot that it’s not so good for the microbiome like over exfoliating which is just I think planetary we over exfoliate so we want to take care of that we don’t want to over exfoliate because it leaves the young cells underneath sort of come up too early on the surface of the face and it’s kind of like it leaves the face and the microbiome unprotected. It’s kind of like leaving your front door open if you take away that first layer of skin cells. And as as gross as it sounds, you want to let the bacteria be your beautician. So the actual microbes on our face need some old skin cells to eat. You know, they need that sebum. And so when we throw off that balance, that’s actually when or even if the gut microbiome is off. If you’ve got blackheads and acne, it’s about a microbiome imbalance rather than a skin type. Skin type is just hype that was created from like a beauty company, you know, in the sixties. And then it’s just become some way that we’re supposed to see our skin. That isn’t really the way that that biology is working. So really any imbalance in the skin eczema, psoriasis, dandruff dander, all that kind of stuff is actually a microbiome imbalance.
Peter Bowes: [00:22:31] So it’s a misconception that exfoliating is good for us? I wonder who’s to blame for that? Is it because there’s a lot of money in selling products?
Nadine Artemis: [00:22:39] Oh, for sure. Well, I think there’s a thing that, you know, it feels good and like in the sense that you’ve got that sort of softer, fresher skin up. But let’s get the skin fresh and soft with the and just let the cells cycle through on their own. We talk a lot about I talk a lot about washing with oil, which sounds maybe crazy and it’s good for men, women, kids, teens, everybody. And it’s really the ancient way that we used to take care of skin and quite cross culturally, whether it’s sort of the Greek or Roman baths or the Berber women, Egyptian like they were all using oil to cleanse the skin, you know, even for the whole body. And then even using tools like a strigil, which is kind of like, you know, if you think of like the back of a butter knife. So it’s very it’s not sharp, but it’s a tool, like a metal tool that you apply oil and then you would sort of scrape, but scrape sort of a harsh word, but it’s gently scraping all the oil off the body and cleansing it that way. And so really, anybody can really transform their face skin by letting go of the soap, which is just in balancing the microbiome. And then you just splash your face with water and you know, there’s different ways to do it. But take a cloth. And I love just like a terrycloth. That classic face cloth is all you need to exfoliate your skin. Like, just that’s that’s the that’s as harsh as it needs to get, so to speak. And it’s not harsh at all. But you just wet a spot of that cloth with a bit of water pump that oil on, which could be a hoba or even an olive oil. We make things called the best skins ever but I always like to give just the simplest way to do it at home and again with jojoba, olive oil, you will be far. If you use that for decades, you’ll be far better off than washing your face with any synthetic foaming cleanser with sodium sulfate or whatever anyway. And then you just rub that over your face with that cloth and then rinse again. And if you need to one more squirt of the oil, although like even like a lot of men find that that just washing with it and rinsing is just that enough moisture and it’s so simple and it, it’s just like, I mean, people with decades of skin imbalances start to see shifts within 24 hours, you know, in a week. I mean, it just it’s going to be different for everybody, but it’s it’s pretty awesome.
Peter Bowes: [00:25:03] And do you prefer hot or cold water? Does it make a difference?
Nadine Artemis: [00:25:06] I’d say whatever your preference is, like, I always, you know, it feels nice to have a warm cloth in the morning. But also what’s great is even alternating between hot and cold, bringing that blood flow to the area.
Peter Bowes: [00:25:18] And you made the point that the skin is designed to be exposed to sunlight.
Nadine Artemis: [00:25:23] Yes.
Peter Bowes: [00:25:23] But equally we all know the potential dangers of getting too much sun exposure to our skin and the dangers of of getting cancer. So what do you do about sun screening?
Nadine Artemis: [00:25:35] Yeah, that’s a great question. Yeah. So you want to, you know, also to engage wisely with the skin, with the sun. You want to start slowly but surely. And if you can start in the spring and you’re just building up, you know, whatever it is for you and your skin tone, because it’s going to be different if you are like Irish descent or African descent, that’s all that melanin situation. So it’s going to be individual for everybody. There is a de minder app that helps you. You can start it when you’re in the sun. It will tell you how much vitamin D you’re generating and you can also add in your supplement. So you can always keep a running track of your vitamin D because we it’s it’s a moving target, your vitamin D, right. It’s not going to like just if you can get it tested at the doctor, but it’s not going to remain that.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:21] And that’s app did you say?
Nadine Artemis: [00:26:22] Say? Yeah, it’s called D Minder and it’s awesome. So you just, you know, start, you know, start with either of, you know, what your vitamin D levels are. You can program that in or just assume you’re starting at nothing. And then just every time you’re taking a dose or you’re in the sun, you can track that, add that up, and you can really check that your vitamin D levels are up there because it is something important to maintain, as I think, you know, because so many systems in the body. Need that sufficient level to function. And we have over 3000 studies that show that we need to keep vitamin D levels sufficient to — it slashes breast cancer risk by 50%, for example, the leading cause of juvenile diabetes is a lack of vitamin D in pregnant women, for example. So I’m just showing you sort of a spectrum of like how and why we need that vitamin D. It’s also good for teeth and it helps if you’ve got sleep apnea, TMJ, bruxism, all of that could be signs of a vitamin D deficiency. So it’s very important. And so the thing with sunscreen. Besides the fact that most ingredients, you know, have a track record. If you looked at them, we could see birth defects, liver issues, endocrine issues. If you’re looking at all the ingredients and some ingredients like an oxybenzone has been banned in Europe but is allowed in other countries like the states. But it’s also been banned in areas with great reefs because they understand the situation that it’s negative. Okay so that oxybenzone isn’t carcinogenic until it’s exposed to sunlight, for example. So it’s a very strange ingredient to have in sunscreen. So if we just put that toxicity aside, the main issue is that sunscreen separates our reception of UVA and UVB rays. So we apply sunscreen. Now, we’re not going to get any UVB, which is the vitamin D producing ray. And now all we’re getting is UVA and UVA on its own is the sun damaging one when it’s on its own? So, for example, if you’re like a trucker and you’re always got sun route every day in the afternoon, your arms in that sun.
Peter Bowes: [00:28:43] Right.
Nadine Artemis: [00:28:44] But the windows there, that arm is going to be more freckly because the window is is blocking out the UVB and you’re just getting the UVA. So now we’re applying that all over our bodies. We’re not getting the the nutrients that we need. We’re just getting UVA, which over time is sun damaging. And we’re turning off our body’s own kind of alarm system of like, hey, you should be out of the sun right now.cSo it kind of cuts off that relation and the key communication. Why you should be in the sun. So that’s one of the main issues. And then when we look at the studies and I have more, I’ll have proper citations in my book. But what we see is also there was a Cochrane Review and they, from what I understand is they’ll look at a bunch of studies and then merge them and then kind of make a new thesis. So when they looked at sun studies about 14 different times and I’m just summarizing here is they found with sunscreen use more moles, more freckles and more disease in the skin. And then other studies, there’s one from the nineties, from The Lancet that shows that the more time spent outside, if you’re working outside recreational use or the closer you live to the equator, the less chance that you will get of developing melanoma. And that melanoma seems to come from overexposure to artificial light like fluorescent lighting, which and that study was done before we were all in front of our computer screens all day. So I think there’s a lot to explore there for sure. And I think it’s important to get the skin toned and able to receive some sunrays.
Peter Bowes: [00:30:24] I often talk about the benefits of moderation, and that can be moderation in exercise, it can be moderation in diet. And I think, as you’ve just beautifully explained, clearly moderation in exposure to sun and how that makes us feel.
Nadine Artemis: [00:30:36] Yes. And I think I mean, I think we all into I mean, generally, most you feel good in the sun. We feel good. And and that’s what always guided me as a teen and stuff, even though everybody was like, you know, wear this, apply this, don’t be in the sun too much. And I just was like, but it feels so good. So I think it’s been part of my mission to understand why and how that is. And one of my favorite researchers is is Dr. Bernard Ackerman. He – was, he has a book called Myth on Myth. It’s Sun and melanoma or something like that. It’s a hard book to find now because it’s like a big text book. And he’s the founding father of dermatopathology, which is sort of like sort of above dermatology. It’s the study of, or maybe more serious, it’s like the real diseases in the skin is studied there. And he was all about the sun because he saw that it actually is beneficial to the skin and our body on a deep level. And of course, you know, I’m in beauty, so I’m interested in exploring the sun and not having it create melasma and wrinkles, so to speak.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:45] Yeah, and it’s interesting you mentioned that you’re involved in beauty, because a lot of what you’ve been talking about, people would equate more with health than beauty. And those two terms are often used together and they are sometimes conflicting that what people do to themselves for the sake of beauty doesn’t necessarily mean health. And certainly in my world, speaking personally, the health side is way more important. And what I look like, well, it’s going to be what it is.
Nadine Artemis: [00:32:12] Well, I feel like they’re inextricably bound. And if you feel healthy, then you probably know it’s going to radiate out of you and your pores. So I always feel like, you know, every health decision really is a beauty decision and every beauty decision must be a health decision.
Peter Bowes: [00:32:29] Yeah, I think that’s a fascinating way to look at it. I raised the question in the introduction about aromas and how they affect us, affecting our attention span, affecting our memory, and then we meld into essential oils and raising that question of whether they can affect our or impact our longevity. Now, clearly, from what you’ve been saying, if we expose ourselves to situations, whether it’s exposure to chemicals or too much sunlight, we can potentially cause disease, we can cause illnesses. And that is certainly not beneficial in terms of our longevity. So it is becoming, to be very clear to me, the impact of what you’re talking about. And our I always talk about health span as opposed to lifespan. The number of years that we are healthy, vibrant and healthy and alive and enjoying life as opposed to the number of years that we’re just alive, but not not necessarily enjoying the best of life. So there’s a clear correlation between what you’re talking about and longevity.
Nadine Artemis: [00:33:24] Mm hmm. Yes. I feel like that is yeah. One of my life’s missions is to just, you know, for as long as I am alive is to just sort of figure this out as much as I can for all of us.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:36] What often fascinates me is people in your position, how much you mean you say you’re figuring it out? I think we’re all figuring it out. But to what extent do you think about your own longevity and your own healthspan? And perhaps I wonder if you have an image of yourself in a few decades time?
Nadine Artemis: [00:33:53] Well, yeah, I feel like I you know, my great grandmother lived till 102, which is great. And of course not. I mean, you know, the last ten years for all of those people, I feel like is often not that fun, right? Like it’s a lifespan, not a health span. So I feel like there is some great longevity. But in my head, like even as a small girl, I just remember going, Oh, for sure I. I’m going to like 120 or so. So I feel like what’s good even about that is like so, you know, maybe my 120 is like somebody else is 100. So when I see myself at 100, I don’t see myself well, you know, my dad owned, had some nursing homes as well. And so I think very early on I just saw like the whole nursing home situation in a very deep level. And I was just like, you know, they’re we’re not spending 10 to 20 years gazing in front of a TV on pharmaceuticals. And that, I think, had a big impact on me.
Peter Bowes: [00:34:52] Let’s talk a little bit about your company. Clearly, you’ve mentioned some of the products, but this is at the essentially the heart and soul of what you do, isn’t it?
Nadine Artemis: [00:35:01] Yeah, I think it is. And it’s sort of yeah. Luckily it’s also. Yeah. The heart and soul of even what brought, you know, created a career, so to speak, and created a life’s path. And it’s so fun because I feel like. Yeah. It’s just ever evolving, you know, I can I write a book or I make a new product and yeah, it’s just a beautiful confluence.
Peter Bowes: [00:35:22] How did you come up with the name Living Libations?
Nadine Artemis: [00:35:25] Well, I actually had a first business store called Osmosis, and that was really awesome. And then I met.
Peter Bowes: [00:35:30] You did yes.
Nadine Artemis: [00:35:30] Yes, I met Ron, my partner, my husband, and he really wanted to work together. And I was like a little hesitant, obviously, because, you know, we were just going out and I was like, this might kill the whole romance and stuff. But anyway, I said, Well, it can’t be that serious, which is hilarious now. But anyway, I just and it just came out, I was like, let’s just libations, living libations, which I’d even forgot what the word meant until the UPS guy came by and he was like, What does libations mean? I’m like, Oh yeah, let me fresh that up. And it’s so perfect because it’s an outpouring in honor of a deity. And I just feel like living libations is the outpouring of these beautiful liquids from the Earth in honor of our bodies, in honor of the Earth. So it just is so great. And I also feel like what we create, you know, I’m just the lifeless liquids from the drugstore that we’re supposed to apply in the name of health and beauty are just that they’re just lifeless liquids full of ingredients like petroleum that no cell is parched for or needs. And so we like to keep things living and alive.
Peter Bowes: [00:36:42] And I’m curious with the knowledge that you’ve gained over the years, how you live your life day to day in terms of your own personal care, if it’s not too much of a personal question, but clearly it’s what you live and breathe every day. And what I’m getting from you is that it’s a life of relative simplicity. It’s if you’re washing your face with a cloth and and water, it’s much easier than, let’s say a lot of people go through in terms of their morning routine. So maybe you could just give us a picture of how you live every.
Nadine Artemis: [00:37:13] Day, for sure. I think one thing that was really key for me was like 16 years ago, we got to move to where we live now, which is out on the country on an acreage and we’ve got a spring fed lake and I’m able to be with nature because that was always the missing component. And part of what I like to create at my original store and all of that was bringing the plants in and everything so we can care for our bodies, especially in urban places with nature and that kind of thing. So it helped me bring nature into my life before I could live in the country. But I mentioned that because I feel like that’s sort of the stage that gets set to. You know, be a part of my beauty routine because I see the land as part of my self care. So whether you know, and really my favorite my favorite day in self care would be, you know, rolling out to the dock in the morning. Engaging with the sun for as many hours as I possibly can or bringing my work down to the dock. I have a dock office and then jumping in the lake and just applying beautiful oils and basking in the sunshine, you know, brushing my teeth down there, too. And I mean, that would be that’s like my ideal self care, days. And luckily in the summer I can string many of them together. But other than that, it’s really quite simple. You know, as I’ve explained, that’s really how I care for my skin and brushing teeth and having good baths and eating well. But it’s really about and of course, all the beautiful products we create take care of that part for me. And then it’s about bringing in nature, you know, going for that walk in the winter. I’m like opening the sliding doors, you know, getting an air bath, getting sunshine, if I can, even though it can be cold or I’ll have a blanket wrapped around me, that’s where I feel like, yeah, in the winter it can kind of dampen my self care. But because I do need that that component, I feel.
Peter Bowes: [00:39:11] It’s a fascinating picture that you paint to me and it’s interesting that you marry, obviously, what you’re doing in terms of a very simple approach to your personal self-care. But you mention diet there as well. And I’m just curious what sort of dietary regime you follow?
Nadine Artemis: [00:39:26] Definitely. You know, in the past, since I’ve been 20, I’ve done it all. And I feel like the place where I think makes sense for, you know, everybody’s different. And we are in a day and age where there’s a lot of sensitivities. But I feel like if you just like, you know, a nice Mediterranean diet as the center center and then I feel like everybody kind of needs to do a version of an elimination diet, which, you know, you can look up line. It’s it’s, you know, and then you’ve got to cycle out things and then see how you feel because there’s so many things that can inhibit health right now, like Lectins, which is sort of an over group of gluten. Like if you can’t do gluten, it’s probably, you know, lectins might be in there too or oxalate. So even our friendly vegetables have issues for some, you know, or looking at dairy or maybe you can eat eggs but not milk or you know what I mean? So you really, you know, start sort of something less whole, like a nice Mediterranean and always keep keep everything real and whole, you know, like and wild if possible, always organic. If you’re eating protein, it’s got to be the cleanest. It’s so important. You know, we don’t want to eat from the shadows of factory farming, which where the animals don’t get sunlight and like K2. Speaking of D3, we always need K2 with our D3 for our bones. Any, you know, any dairy that’s made in factory farming isn’t going to have any K2 because it needs to be from the animals grazing the grass to get that real yellow yolk in the egg or that beautiful ghee, the yellow ghee from the cows that are eating grass in the spring. And that is so important to have quality in those areas.
Peter Bowes: [00:41:10] This has been a fascinating conversation, Nadine. What are your aspirations for the future? Is there something – that we all have aspirations for the future, but is there something you can pinpoint that you would really like to do with your life in the coming years?
Nadine Artemis: [00:41:23] Well, I would like more dock time and sunshine.
Peter Bowes: [00:41:27] More what time?
[00:41:28] More dock time, more time on the dock and swimming in the sunlight. Right. I am going to be writing a book. I have a beautiful chapter on sunlight, but it’s like a whole book will be written around that. And then also one thing I’m thinking about is, you know, living in our bodies at 100 and stuff. So I’m actually working on sort of a new area that we’ll design for our house that really brings in like really biology with, like with living, like with the actual house. So that’s going to be really fascinating.
Peter Bowes: [00:42:05] Where geographically, where would you like to build that?
Nadine Artemis: [00:42:07] Oh, right here. Which our home which is in Ontario, Canada.
Peter Bowes: [00:42:12] It. Sounds beautiful.
Nadine Artemis: [00:42:13] We live out in the country and we’ve got you know, we’re just in a forest with a spring fed lake. So we have our own lake that’s got no motorboats. And that I just yeah, that lake is just my life.
Peter Bowes: [00:42:27] Oh, yeah, it sounds so idyllic. Nadine I really enjoyed this conversation. There’s so much more, obviously, to discover about what you’ve been talking about. You’ve written several books. I will, of course, put the details of those books and your company into the show notes for this episode. And I really recommend people dig deep into what you’ve been saying, because I know that you are connected to the science, you believe in the science, which is all important to me, that there is science and that there’s research in this peer reviewed research.
Nadine Artemis: [00:42:56] Yes, we’ve got to back it up. We got.
Peter Bowes: [00:42:58] The kind of claims that you’re talking about.
Nadine Artemis: [00:42:59] Yeah, we’ve got to back up this nature stuff. Right.
Peter Bowes: [00:43:02] Totally agree. Really good to talk to you. Thank you so much.
Nadine Artemis: [00:43:04] Thank you so much.
Peter Bowes: [00:43:05] This has been a Healthspan Media production. If you’ve enjoyed it or if you have anything to say about this episode, you can review us at Apple Podcasts. You can contact me in social media @PeterBowes or via email Peter@LLAMApodcast.com We’ll be back with another episode very soon. Thank you so much for listening.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.