Behind the scenes

Posted by Céline Founder & Chief Alchemist at Anato ⚘ on


Behind the curtains of our studio ... 5 years of product development

Early into starting Anato, I sought to create an exquisite moisturizer designed to target wrinkles and slow cutaneous aging. One that is artisanally prepared & science backed, pleasant to the touch with aromatherapeutic qualities.  


As many of you know from our newsletters & blog, I have been studying holistic dermatology for a number of years now. Thanks to university affiliation and publishing of a paper on agroforestry restoration, I have access to scientific databases which has allowed me to comb through innumerable journal papers reviewing the use of ancestrally used ingredients for modern cosmeceuticals.

As such, I began my preliminary research by reading up on ancient plant extraction methods and pharmaceutical preparations of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, Galenus...

When diving into the history of beauty product formulating, one must of course mention Cleopatra and her affinity for precious ingredients used to make skincare, makeup and perfume. As a kid, I was fascinated by Cleopatra, the 'queen of beauty'. I recall walking the halls of the British Museum in London and observing ancient Egyptian artifacts like 'kohl jars' used to store their notorious eye liner. 

For our latest formula, we cross-referenced which tree crops and perennial plants have been time-tested over thousands of years and have also been researched in cutting-edge scientific journals.

We studied the biochemistry that assesses which plants and their constituents are responsible for their ability to scavenge free radicals, to protect the skin matrix through the inhibition of enzymatic degradation, to promote collagen synthesis... all actions that one would want in a moisturizer for maturing skin. More info on clinical proof will be available on our new website.  


The goal for this beauty balm was to create something creamy yet light to the touch without the use of 'aqua' as the primary ingredient since I am a proponent of 'waterless' not watered-down.

Texture and consistency were the most challenging to perfect ( was the packaging has taken us 22 months to develop...).

Over the years we've put our product to the test — exposing it to extreme heat and extreme cold. I wanted our moisturizer to not melt in the summer and be creamy enough for application in the mountains in winter. 

Since a pea sized amount goes a long way, this beauty balm has been rigorously shelf-tested to maintain texture & potency longer than other natural skincare.


And last but not least, this product does not contain essential oils, so it is suitable for pregnant women and the most sensitive skin types. But, it still has a subtle aroma. I'll dive more into the decision not to use essential oils for this product in an upcoming podcast on 'Wellness Considerations'.

I've always been considered by my family as a 'super smeller', but I was eager to garner some education from a professional 'nose' as there is an art and a science to creating an aromatic bouquet... Since I'm half French, I was fortunate to take a course in Grasse, France — considered as the 'capital of perfumery' and home to the finest of noses!

Our latest product has delicate notes that transport you into a Forest to Face® experience. The goal with this moisturizer was to feature some comforting sweet notes while remaining woody, elegant and unisex. 


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