Geri Giagnorio has many superpowers. She began her career as a skin expert and makeup artist for high-profile clients in Los Angeles, but she noticed a glaring — and admittedly scary — void in products that she felt good about recommending to her clients. So, ignoring the choir of people in her industry telling her she couldn’t (or coaxing her to cut corners), Geri created an entire product line herself. In keeping with this professional shift to methodically reexamine and simplify, Geri and her husband moved to Franklin, Tennessee, four years ago. There, she’s been able to reach a whole new client base. She’s also thrilled to see rolling green farmland minutes from her studio-and-residence-in-one. Her focus on lifestyle and diet is rare in the skin world, and we invite you to explore Geri’s journey from crazy California to rural Tennessee, and how she’s helping people heal much more than just their skin. Welcome our glowing new FACE of the South, holistic skincare expert Geri Giagnorio of Geri G. Beauty.
How did you end up in a career in skincare?
Two key things really drove me. The first was my own skin health journey. I had bad cystic acne when I was younger. Through my journey to solve that, I learned so much about the impact the food I was eating had on my skin. I also found there weren’t any products on the market that were truly healthy for my skin, and I began my search to figure out how to solve that hole in the market. As I learned more, it really solidified the need for better skincare that accounts for both internal and external nutrients.
The second was my experience as a makeup artist. I had always wanted to be a makeup artist. When I finally fulfilled that dream, I found that the products I had access to weren’t healthy for my clients’ skin. I began to play around with ways to protect and heal the skin in a way that would allow for heavy makeup application when needed, without damaging the skin.
You believe in helping people heal from the inside out. This comprehensive approach to skin is rare and super important to you. Tell us a little about this philosophy.
When you really take a look at the majority of the products out there today, you’ll see that most of them are focused on covering up people’s imperfections. I fundamentally disagree with that approach. I believe it’s so important for people to be and feel their best selves naturally. I want people to look at their clean faces in the mirror and see the natural beauty they were born with. Sure, we can enhance and protect your skin, but I never want people to have to apply a “covering mask” of products to feel comfortable walking out the door. That means truly healing your skin.
There is no magic bullet for that. This approach means looking at what you’re feeding your body internally, and how you’re taking care of your body through your lifestyle, in conjunction with the products you put on your skin topically. Those three components make up what I call the “skin triangle.” All three have to work together for optimal results. Most people want to bypass the needed steps and look for the magic bullet. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t exist.
You’ve developed and manufactured an entire line of products from the ground up that support this philosophy. Can you tell us about that process and any obstacles you hit during that process?
As with anything in life that’s worthwhile, it’s been a long process of research, education, trial and error, and not settling or giving up. When you try to do something completely different, or that goes against the grain of industry norms, you always encounter resistance. I was told along the way that it couldn’t be done — that getting a product unique enough to warrant a patent was impossible, that I didn’t need to use the costly quality ingredients I wanted, that worrying about things like contamination and eco-conscious packaging wasn’t necessary … I could go on and on. But it’s taken me 20 years to learn everything I now know in my quest for healthier products, and I simply refuse to compromise. It would’ve been a much easier process if I had, but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.
So I focused first on my ingredients and compounds. I found chemists and formulators who were willing to look at things differently. We created my MacroMarine 5® compound that’s used in all of our products. It’s comprised of sea and botanical extracts that feed and nourish the skin all day long and replicate what the skin is naturally using. The entire line is about healing your skin with minimal time and effort. You don’t need to waste money on 100 products. I felt the drive to create products that did more for you and saved you that money and time — so each product in the line can be used as-is or mixed to create multiple product outputs. It’s something that gets me really excited.
What excites you most about your job and gets you up every morning?
The idea of helping people who aren’t feeling great about how they look or feel — to help them find the right combination of nutrients, products and treatments that will give them the results they’ve been craving — that is honestly what gets me most excited. That, and the drive to educate people. I get so frustrated when I read, hear and see all the misinformation that’s given to consumers today. It honestly burns me up when I see honest consumers following advice they believe will help them, but that goes against science and, therefore, will never deliver the results they want.
Listen, every single body is unique and has its own composition and rhythm of what will work best; however, there are fundamentals that work for everyone. But you have to be educated. For example, if you’re not a bodybuilder, you don’t need the amount of protein and calories that most people are told to consume. People are hearing far too much about those types of things (because it’s an easy sell for athletic companies) rather than paying attention to the nutrients your liver needs to perform the necessary functions that your health depends on … or the amount of time your body needs to reset daily. All that to say: education gets me really revved up.
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What’s the one thing that you wish everyone knew about skincare? And a common misconception you hear a lot?
One of the biggest misconceptions about products is that anything that lists “natural” or “organic” ingredients is good for the skin. The key is in how they’re blended together, and in the percentage of each ingredient. For example, vitamin C, if included with too much potency, can dehydrate the skin and have the reverse of the desired effect.
One thing I wish everyone knew about their skin is that over-exfoliating agitates and ages the skin prematurely. It’s one of the first things everyone goes to with any skin symptom, but it often causes more damage.
Do you have any insider tips on what to certainly avoid and what to include in our everyday routine?
The obvious answer is to avoid dairy, flour and sugar. But people get really off track because they don’t understand that they should be treating symptoms. Your body has the ability to produce all the nutrients it needs. The problem is that we’re not feeding and taking care of our bodies in a way that allows them to perform the way they should naturally.
We often try to manipulate our bodies into behaving a certain way. For example, everyone is currently focused on the Keto diet. But when you throw your body into ketosis, you’re actually tricking your body into not functioning the way it is designed to function. The result is damaging to your liver, produces high cholesterol and causes toxicity that results in terrible skin symptoms. You will always be best served to encourage the body’s natural processes.
Besides friends, family and faith, what are three things you can’t live without?
The mission of my work, my sauna blanket and my daily greens that I take every day
Thank you for chatting with us, Geri. To explore all of Geri’s incredible products and services, head to GeriGBeauty.com.
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