The Naturodetox Podcast Episode 9: Living Libations Founder Nadine Artemis on How the Beauty Industry Affects Your Health

The following is a transcript from the NaturoDetox Podcast #9.


Welcome to the NaturoDetox Show with your host, Megan Kennedy Brind, a show about hope and achieving optimal health in a toxic world. The food we eat, the products we use, the air we breathe, the people we interact with, and even the very thoughts we think. It's all here, and it all affects us. This podcast was designed to help you navigate how you can not only survive, but thrive in today's world. You're the author to your story. So listen in and allow us to help you become the best version of you. Through discussions with a variety of wellness experts, you can gain access into this world that is yet to be fully unraveled, but is quite possibly the very key to vitality, longevity, and joy.

Megan Kennedy : Hi, it's your host, Megan, and thank you for joining us on another episode of the NaturoDetox Show. Today, I have a lovely guest here, Nadine Artemis, author of Renegade Beauty and holistic dental care, a frequent commenter on healthy and beauty media outlets, and founder of Living Libations, whose products have received rave reviews in the New York Times, the National Post, Vogue, and the Hollywood Reporter. Described by Alanis Morissette as a true sense visionary, Nadine has formulated a stunning collection of rare and special botanical compounds. Her healing creations encourages effortlessness and inspires people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness. Welcome Nadine, it's a pleasure to have you here today.

Nadine Artemis:Thank you so much. I'm so honored to be here.

Megan Kennedy: I often ask people this question because I sort of love the story behind the story, I guess, and where this conception of your vision came from. And for people who don't know anything about Living Libations and this whole real world of health and beauty you've created, I'm curious to what your vision was when you began this company. And I know too, that your story is a little longer in the sense that you came into this field sort of before clean living was so trendy and was so valued and so understood. Can you sort of give us just a quick synopsis of sort of how it all started, and where your vision came from to create what we see today in Living Libations?

Nadine Artemis: Yeah, sure. I mean, it all kind of came out of my teenage hood, and childhood, I really adored nature and mixing and putting on mud packs, or even just staring at a blade of grass for a while. So there was a really nice foundation that combined with teenage hood and just being the youngest in the family, I'd get all the lotions and potions handed down. And my bathroom was crazy filled with bottles, and I collected perfumes, and I would mix them together, and melt eye shadow, and lip balm and combine them. So I was just doing all this, and I love that.

        And then I also did a science fair project on, I decided to do one on recreating a perfume. And I discovered this book at the library that talked about the history of perfume. And then I saw how it was originally all connected to nature, and I was thrilled by that. And that led the books suggested to use these things called essential oils, and they could probably be found in a health food store. So we set off for the big city for Toronto, and that's where I first inhaled Jasmine and Ylang, and these gorgeous aromas, which were speaking to me in such a different way than my bottles of perfumes. Yet at that stage, I didn't quite understand the difference between natural and synthetic, and my cabinet was still filled with all those sort of saccharin scents of that time.

              But that was at first foray, and then the body shop was around and that seemed like this green mecca. But then when I got to university, I really started to understand food and where it came from, and the supermarket. And I started going to farmer's markets, because I realized that there wasn't a lot going on in the supermarket, and I really understood how to read labels, what were secondary ingredients, and all that. And that quickly, it was in a month period where I just radically shifted how I was eating for the rest of my life going forward. I never ate or processed food again, and always strove to eat wild organic food. And then I really understood that there was the same BS going on with the labels of the skincare products, and that there was no cucumber in the cucumber face toner, and that all of this was really some petroleum promised land. And really understand that I didn't want to put that stuff on, in, or around my body. And from there, I really started in earnest to create all my own body care stuff so I could replace it all.

        And then I started making it for friends and family, and I was obsessed with the history and learning more, and finding beautiful plants and raw materials that I was reading about in these more ancient books and needing to smell and inhale Angelica, or Neroli, or Immortelle, or lemon verbena. All these beautiful things that I was reading about. So then I had to kind of scour the earth and find the raw materials and the distillers. And then I was getting in a quality that I had not known before, even in simple oils, like lavender or tea tree. You getting a tea tree right from a bush distillation, right direct from Australia, and just smelling how tea tree could even be beautiful if it was pure. And so, then I had to just totally take charge of my own supply chain, and bring in all my own things. And then six months after I graduated from university, I opened up North America's first full concept aromatherapy store. And that was amazing. And so, I had all my formulas for sale there and we had a beautiful blending bar where we would custom make perfumes or sell essential oils by the drop, and fun people like Alanis would come in, or different people like that. So it was a really a fun time.

Megan Kennedy : Wow. So it's really stemmed from childhood. It seems like it was a deep intuition that really pulled you in that direction, which is beautiful. I have your book here, which I absolutely, it's just magic. It sits on my bedside table and I just love it because it's not just about health and beauty products, it goes deeper. And we'll talk a little bit about that as our chat goes on, but one of the first few sentences in your book, Renegade Beauty, you state that the current culture of beauty is industrialized. Can you expand on what you mean by this, for those that are into the beauty field at this moment, as many women are?

Nadine Artemis: Yeah. I mean, in so many ways, right, it's externalized, it's industrialized, it's chemicalized and on one level, I mean, we are putting on our bodies, in the name of glamor and beauty, and all those fun things. We're literally just putting on the leftovers from the military industrial complex, whether that's in our Yoni's or as like face cream. So it's kind of insane, the level of marketing that has somehow swooned us all into applying these sort of leftover cheap chemicals is kind of crazy.

Megan Kennedy: Yeah. And I think too, people don't realize that skin is the largest organ we have. And it's funny how people are very careful about what they put in their mouths these days, and I think what's lagging is what they're putting on their skin and on their bodies. So I'm just so excited about that this-

Nadine Artemis: And actually, yeah. What we don't somehow know, we think that putting something through our mouths would be actually more dangerous, but drinking a cup of water from like a chlorine shower, you know what I mean? Just sort of normal tap water. The chlorine actually goes more into your body from just showering rather than drinking that water.

Megan Kennedy: Right.

Nadine Artemis: And so what we don't realize is that from the saliva to the alimentary canal, to our digestive enzymes, and acids to the liver and the kidneys, all of that is helping to process toxins. But when we apply something to our skin, it goes right in, into the bloodstream and there's not a layer of filters. So it's actually more dangerous to apply that Lubriderm than it is to swallow it.

Megan Kennedy: Wow. That's fascinating. I love that you added that, because I think it's just so imperative that people can see that distinction. And I really do, I find, in particular with my own business, I find beauty products and skin products, they really are becoming sort of first-line for women. I do find the need. I do find the desire for people to want to know more about the products that they're using. So I think we're shifting in that direction. I just think it's going to take time. So it is good news that people are starting to begin to see that process.

       What really attracts me personally to your products versus so many, because I mean, the market is filled with beauty products, good, bad, natural, not natural and beyond, but it's sort of the wisdom and the magic and the intuition that I sense behind each and every one of your products, and this sort of sacred approach and the creation of products, in your opinion, does that play a role in the effectiveness of that product?

Nadine Artemis: Yeah, I think so in a way, because really, I think everything is existing on a level of vibration. So, our beauty creations will appeal to somebody that's not thinking about those things at all. And yet to the people that are tuning into those other frequencies, it will be so extra nourishing for them, because they'll pick up on that right away. I mean, I've met a lot of amazing people just because they smelled a whiff from one of our Libations bottles and we're compelled to come in further, and meet us and that kind of thing.

       Yeah. So also we generally, we need some kind of product to maintain a level of hygiene, and so even if we get beyond the duality of like toxic or nontoxic, you know what I mean, even that, but what we maybe have yet to imagine is that what we are using in the name of beauty, beyond like, yeah, so let's get rid of the toxins. Let's even go past it being neutral and let's get into like it can be a partner with you in benefiting and boosting your innate immune system. I mean, why not have whatever you're applying to the body assist the liver, assist immunity, assist cellular regeneration rather than knocking it down.

Megan Kennedy: Right. Just being non-toxic versus toxic. I love that. So just adding those extra components that are supporting the natural state of the body, right?

Nadine Artemis: Yeah, because just a natural product, sure, that's great. Maybe that got you off of some whatever drug store, sodium lauryl sulfate, saying great, but you don't even have to settle for that, because then if you step it up, I mean, then you're working with things that are helping to, not create cytokine reactions, not create inflammation. Actually benefit the liver, benefit the oral microbiome, not just give you a fake, fresh, minty mouth feeling, but actually be working with agreeance that are benefiting the mouth's microbiome and assisting with the cleaning up of the pathogens. So we got to brush our teeth any way, we're probably going to have to apply a moisturizer anyway, so let's just rock it to the next level and make even those gestures of caring for ourselves really worth the time and energy.

Megan Kennedy: I love that. Yeah. Going even that one step further, and I think that's what really is, I think people are getting that, people who are using your products, there's obviously a reason that is becoming so global. I think people are sensing that. So that's fantastic. And I love that, because I always sort of do think of it as like, whether this is a toxic product or a non-toxic product, but adding that essential element of what more can it do for you. I love that. So you've stated before that when we think of beauty and self-care, we need to look beyond the bottles at the cosmetic counter and bring in the confluence of the cosmos. Tell us about that.

Nadine Artemis: Yeah. So really obviously, beauty is not applied, and beauty isn't really something that comes from a bottle. That's just all the maintenance stuff. Where we really need to replenish and resource our bodies and fuel us is engaging with the element. That's what's keeping everything alive. Sunshine, water, air, and earth, in its simplest form. Those are the elements. And so, that's what we need to have a relationship with, to really feel that reverification that brings out that inner glow, because we're connecting to something that's beyond us. We're connecting to what is the creation of all things. And I think that's missing from the beauty dialogue a bit, and I like to think of the elements as our cosmo-etics.

Megan Kennedy:That's beautiful. I love that. Yeah, because I think we are, I think even now we're recording during the pandemic, and there is no better time than right now to really find that connection back to earth, and back to the planet and to the cosmos, and to whatever you want to call it. But to realize that there is something much larger than just us. So that the foods we're eating and the products we're using, we can find that same connection.

Nadine Artemis: And that really, the sunshine is there to really revive us and boost our immune system and keep our skin healthy. And it's like a blood cleaner in and of itself. It helps to create a beautiful cholesterol sulfate that we need. It helps to create anti-microbial peptides and [inaudible 00:15:08], it's a peptide. It creates LL-37, which is a [collapses 00:15:13]. I can't even say it right now. C-A-T-H-L-I-C-I-D-E-N, which are so beneficial for the immune system. And they suppress cytokine storms, and they suppress the release of C-reactive proteins. So just the sunshine alone is there, and maybe right now there's more time to enjoy it.

Megan Kennedy: Absolutely. And Living Libations sort of distribution center and offices are in such a beautiful location. And for those that don't know, the Halliburton area, we're just so lucky to have you here. But I think that plays a really big role in not only the products themselves, but the exposure that the people who are putting products together, and who are part of your whole Living Libations family. I think there's something to be said about that, that you're not in a factory downtown with loss of connection to the earth. And Nadine was telling me actually that walking to work through the forest, and that's got to play a role in all of this.

Nadine Artemis:Yeah. I mean, we're just so happy that it can be on our land with the forest around, with fresh Springs, and then we have just such a beautiful building that we've designed, and it's won environmental awards. And for example, I mean, no outside shoes are allowed in the building. So we really care for each step of the way.

Megan Kennedy: That's amazing. And so another piece, we were actually just talking about this before the recording as well. I wanted to, because this is a book that you've actually written a book on oral healthcare, or sorry, oral care for the mouth and for digestive system and beyond. And actually my mom is using your oral dental kit and absolutely loving it.

Nadine Artemis: Oh, great.

Megan Kennedy:I know you're an advocate of this and biological dentistry, and that whole field. And I wondered if you can share a little bit about how essential it is the state of your mouth to your overall health and what recommendations you could make to listeners who maybe want to make a shift in this direction. Because I think that's like something we do at least twice a day. It's a routine, it's a habit, and I think it can make a really big impact on someone's overall health. I've been also learning about oral care in terms of its relation to systemic inflammation, and the effect that it has on the overall health of someone. And so, I know you're passionate about this, what can you suggest to our listeners? A product that you have, or something that they can do to just shift their conventional dentistry life or habits to be more reflective of health.

Nadine Artemis: So much can be done. And I mean, yeah, we're all pretty much bored of brushing her teeth by now. If you know you've been doing it for a while and we need to freshen up that area. We have, just so people know, if they want to dive deeper, we have a lot of dental resources, and we also just do free consults. So if you've got an issue, or a skincare issue, just email us and we just set up a consult and our team's really educated. I've, I've educated them all. And then if there's any questions that they don't know, I'm right there and we're always working on things together. So our care teams are really guided by the wisdom that we have. And so, I just want to let people know that because when you start talking about teeth, a lot of people are like, oh no, this or that, or receding gums, and all that.

         We also have the eight steps on our website, and a number of free dental articles. There's a really hardy chapter in Renegade Beauty on oral care health. And there is of course the book Holistic Dental Care. So there's a lot of resources, but yeah, 80% of all disease in the body is beginning to be linked, or many doctors in many different fields and dentists are starting to realize that 80% of all disease is really starting in the mouth. So it's a very key area to take care of. And we all know the importance of gut health. And of course that is a better gut microbiome. And of course the gut microbiome is inextricably bound to the mouth microbiome as they share the same alimentary canal and all those systems. So whatever's going in the mouth is also a reflection of the health of our bodies.

       And one of the best things that people can do is to just stop using their current commercial products, because the chemicals in there, whether it's the alcohol in the mouthwash, the sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste, or the triclosan in the toothpaste and all the other chemicals, a lot of that is causing bleeding, receding gums. It's throwing the friendly bacteria off balance, and allowing pathogens to thrive. It's not really conquering biofilms. And if your mouth is bleeding, then all those chemicals are going right into the bloodstream right away. So that's one of the best things you can do is just stop all that. And then just turn to sea salt or baking soda, or a combo of both of them. And if you just did that for the rest of your life, your mouth would be in such better shape than using anything from the drug store.

            Baking soda is alkalinizing, which is very good for the saliva. It's very gentle, the abrasive rating, somehow there's a myth out there that it's abrasive, and there's a rating system for oral abrasive products. And it is so low. It's lower than a Tom's of Maine sensitive toothpaste for example. It's lower than all normal toothpaste. So it's totally gentle. It can be used every day. It gently whitens, it alkalinizes, it polishes, it cleans and it neutralizes things. So it's great. And it's just like such a huge difference for people when they do that. And I really love to suggest things that is easy to find. And you can't beat that price either for oral care.

Megan Kennedy: No

Nadine Artemis: We do make a lot of really potent dental serums, and things for oil pulling and swishing, but literally you can just do that and your mouth will improve a lot and you can follow those, the eight steps with just baking soda too, if that's all you've got on hand.

Megan Kennedy: That's helpful, because everyone's got that at home. So actually I wrote a little note while you were talking about oil pulling, because I was going to ask you, so many people ask me about using coconut oil or if oil pulling is effective, and I'm going to ask you, because you're here and you probably have the answer to that.

Nadine Artemis: Yes, it is effective. And again, there's an article about it on our website as well. Just going through a bit of the history, but it is very good for drawing out toxins and whitening the teeth and reviving the gums. So you can just use coconut oil, or olive oil, or sesame oil, or even MCT oil, which is the medium chain triglycerides of coconut oil. And I have recipes in my book for even making things like tooth buttercups, which you can pre-make. And then you have these little cubes that you can pop in to your mouth for oil pulling.

Megan Kennedy: Oh wow.

Nadine Artemis: You can have charcoal to that, probiotics to that, essential oils, like one drop of peppermint, that kind of thing. Yeah, so our swishing serums have like a whole bunch of stuff in them, including like CoQ10 and vitamin-D, but you can also really just use coconut oil, and you do it for about 10, 15 minutes a day. Try to go for a month, and do a before and after picture. And you will be amazed at the difference, and the whiteness, and the glow that will be created.

Megan Kennedy: Okay, and then you also offer kits. Dental kits, if people wanted say a starter kit that they could just have everything that you would suggest, and they can just get started with that if that's easier for people as well.

Nadine Artemis: Absolutely, and that would be for the eight steps, and we even have little dental mirrors in there, and tongue scrapers, and all that stuff.

Megan Kennedy: Okay. That's great. I know it seems to some people silly to talk about oral care so much, but as Nadine just mentioned, it is just that. It really is, it's the pinnacle of so many health issues, and it's fascinating that this was so neglected for so long, and people are catching on. I'm just so excited it, because it's something we can do something about.

Nadine Artemis:           Yes. Yeah. Wherever your mouth is at today, it totally can improve.Gum pockets that around a seven, eight, nine, they can come back down to a two or a three. Everything can be improved, even cavities can cease and can re-solidify.

Meghan Kennedy: That's encouraging. Okay. Well thank you for sharing that. I know you have so many products through Living Libations, but are you able to give us maybe your top two or three that you just feel you couldn't live without, or you're so proud of, or you would just encourage people to start with, if they were a new customer at Living Libations? Does anything stand right out to you?

Nadine Artemis:           Well, I think I love our Poetic Pits, because they're really quite unique and they are so effective. So that's our form of deodorant, or we call them underarm charm. And now it's very different. It's not like a deodorant stick, but it's actually working with pure essential oils in sandalwood. So it's like essential oils in essential oils. There's nothing diluting or filling it, and you just need one stroke, and it really harmonizes with your own pheromones. And if you sweat, you just end up smelling better. We have people like pied pipers coming out of their hot yoga classes and people are like, oh my God, you smell so good. Whether it's men or women, or people that have tried natural deodorants, and just don't find one that works. They usually find that all changes once they get to the Poetic Pits. So I think those are amazing. And there's so many different flavors. My favorite is the Neroli, that's quite exquisite and it's with Hawaiian sandalwood.

      And then I think, really a foundational product of ours is the best skin ever. And we have a variety of them. We have like sandalwood best skin ever, seabuckthorn best skin ever, frankincense best skin ever, Rose best skin ever, and a few more. Those are the four classics, and that's kind of the one bottle to do it all. You can moisturizer after bath or shower. It's for a massage. It can be a beard oil. You can use it for shaving. You can use it for hair, cuticles, but the main thing that's so important about it is that people use it to cleanse and wash their faces, because we don't want to be using soap or sodium lauryl sulfate surfactants to clean our skin, because that throws off the whole facial microbiome. And then we find, we get into vicious cycles and we don't know why beyond the toxicity of different chemicals. Sort of what we're knowing now with studying the microbiome is that surfactants remain lodged in the stratum corneum, the first top layer of the skin, microscopic surfactants stay there, even after rinsing the face. And they stay there and stay there and build up. And then that throws off sebum production, the lipid barrier, and that could lead to dry patches, acne, melasma, a variety of different things. Or where you're just getting dried out, and then you're kind of needing to rehydrate, but it's never quite feeling lubricated enough.

         So skin really turns around once you're working with those pure oils to wash and cleanse. And I know, for some people, if they have acne or cystic acne, it can be quite a strange concept, but we really have effective, and really skin turns around just so much with that.

Megan Kennedy:Okay. That sounds beautiful.

Nadine Artemis: Just switching to oil to cleanse. Yeah.

Megan Kennedy: And that you can use it in so many diverse ways, it's really neat too, because I think sometimes people want the best bang for their buck, right? So it sounds like you can get it with that one. Thank you for sharing that. So obviously for people who are keen on changing beauty routines and beauty products, I mean, there are more and more companies coming out, but I guess the first step then is for people to really just remove the conventional products that they have. And then you also offer makeup products as well. And is there a kit, or a starter kit, or one or two products that you would highly recommend for people who would like a cleaner version of their actual makeup, not just the creams and the toothpaste, but something for actual beauty product that's your favorite?

Nadine Artemis: Well, we have like the beginnings of makeup in a sense. Like if people are used to the whole kit and caboodle, we are working on a mascara and an eyeliner. And I don't know if we'll go much further than that, because some people look for foundation, but where we are working with is we're getting really skin up to speed and women are going, oh my God, I don't have to wear foundation, or I can leave the house now about being fully made up. So we're wanting to always reveal the skin and highlight it. But what we do have, a variety of lip shimmers and balms. Or not lip shimmers, so shimmers. You can use them as a highlighter, or for brows, or even eye shadow, or bone, or lips, or even your shoulders, that kind of thing. So these beautiful shimmers.

      And then we have very special, we have a ruby juice and we have the world's first ozonated lip balm. So using Tesla technology and all our beautiful organic oils, we actually have this beautiful ruby juice lip gloss, and the red is totally natural from roots.

Megan Kennedy: Wow.

Nadine Artemis: And we also have a chocolate, what do we call it? Chocolate Ruby? And that is so gorgeous. So it's like our beautiful red root with chocolate and you can get such a gorgeous cheek color with that and lip color. So we have a beautiful palette of colors and really just need to eventually get that eyeliner and mascara, and I'll feel pretty complete.

Megan Kennedy: That's amazing. I love how you're one step ahead of me. You're like I don't need foundation. We're going to clean you so well that you don't need it. So that's fantastic.That just goes to show how confident you are in your skin products, which is amazing. So before we wrap up, because I know we could talk forever about the products and where you're coming from, and who your influencers are, but I need to know who really keeps you motivated, who was either the original influencer, or who is someone that just continues to make you want to do more, do better for people, because I always like asking, it's fascinating for me to see sort of who sparks you.

Nadine Artemis: Oh, that's a beautiful question. And I don't see any of this coming out of anything outside of myself. It's always coming from within and listening to those unseen alchemists that whisper in my ear. Other than that, I mean, I find a lot of inspiration in nature, or poets and writers, like Rumi or Thoreau, or Mary Oliver. They're always inspirational.

Megan Kennedy: And still, it's always coming from within.

Nadine Artemis: Always. It's the only place where this can come from. It's got to come from the cosmos, just filtering through me.

Megan Kennedy: It's obviously worked. And I think too, when you find your passion and you find sort of in quote what you were put on this earth for, I mean, it feels effortless in a way, it just feels like there's no other choice. This is what you're doing, and this is what you're made to do. And it certainly feels like that's a match for you.

Nadine Artemis: Exactly

Megan Kennedy:The last thing I'm going to ask you before we wrap up is, is there a message that you could give to our listeners to really encourage them to live more purposefully, more connected, more in tune with their bodies with the earth. It seems like that is such a huge foundation of where you come from and where the company Living Libations came from, and I feel just like you've mastered the art of just being, can you provide us with a little bit of insight into how we can start to connect a little more too?

Nadine Artemis: I do have some words of wisdom in that area, in the book or throughout the book, but really I think just tuning into that river of thoughts that we all have going all day, knowing what the content of that river of thoughts are as much as possible, and allowing yourself to receive thoughts a little bit more than thinking thoughts. That definitely tunes you into your inner compass a little bit more. And from there, you can go anywhere. So just tuning in more to those inner voices through meditation or being reflective and that kind of thing. And then I'd also say, especially during this time, get sunshine, connect to that, feel it, bring it in, watch the sunrise, watch the sunset, get some sun during the day, and it's good.

Megan Kennedy: That's beautiful. Well, as I said, I could probably talk to you all day, and Nadine and I chatted a little bit last week before we did the recording today, and we thought it might be five or 10 minutes. And I think we were over an hour in because there's just this connection that's there, and you're inspiring. And I'm so appreciative of your time today, I really am.

Nadine Artemis: Thank you so much. It was my pleasure.

You can visit to learn more about the vast amount of products that Nadine and her team of health and beauty pioneers offer. It is truly a pleasure to borrow some of your time today, Nadine, to delve into the magic and wisdom behind the creation of your company and philosophy of healthy living that is just so inspiring. I will post a link to Living Libations on the podcast description today. Thank you, as always to our listeners for being here and putting your health first. If you enjoyed this episode as much as I did, please share with your friends and family, and don't forget to subscribe to our show as we have so many incredible chats yet to come.