We love sharing the stories behind the brands we stock with you so you can connect with our brands and learn as much as possible about the products before you buy them.
Recently we sat down with Marishka Dunlop who founded life armour nutrition when she spotted a gap in the market and harnessed the powder of adaptogens by creating herbal tinctures and supplements to help us all live a more balanced life. We ask her to give us the lowdown on her brand and her products...
How did you get started in the beauty and wellbeing industry?
I spent 20 years working in skincare and healthcare across several large FMCG companies. I worked in both local and global marketing roles, starting my career at Johnson and Johnson, then moving to The Body Shop and L’Oreal to work in Global Product Development and Marketing where I worked across both skincare and haircare brands launching award winning innovation. I then moved to GSK where I led skin health innovation.
Why did you start life armour nutrition?
As you get older you realise the importance of nourishing from within as well as what you put onto your skin. I found the market place so confusing, from being unable to pronounce the ingredients on the pack, let alone knowing what they did for me. The more I researched I quickly discovered that quality was not always a given, which surprised me. I didn’t understand why some capsules were half empty or had fillers and bulking agents in them. It simply didn’t make sense to me and I thought, I can do better than this. life armour® represents a collaboration between real women, expert scientists and ethical manufacturers. It is the result of our sheer determination that your bodies are given exactly what they need and nothing more.
100% natural nutrition, vegan friendly, eco-conscious packaging and all ingredients at active levels so you can FEEL the difference.
We launched the brand less than a year ago with 4 products to address the core areas that stress affects Stress| Anxiety| Sleep| Energy| Brain Health
What is the meaning behind your brand name?Given the increasing demands in our lives and particularly for women who juggle both the visible and invisible load. I wanted to give us the armour of great nourishment from within so we can embrace every day and help protect against daily stressors.
What is life armour's ethos?
We are honest and transparent ensuring you know exactly what goes in to our products and what you get out of them. We only ever use ingredients at active and effective levels so you can feel the difference.
Describe life armour nutrition in 3 words.
What is your most popular product and why?
The Super me capsules. They include ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce stress & anxiety and given 74% of the UK population have felt so stressed and overwhelmed in the past yer they have felt unable to cope, its no wonder people are searching for effective solutions.
Your products contain adaptogens, what are they and why do they help our wellbeing?
Adaptogens work to support both our mind and body by bringing it back to its natural balance. They have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and are readily found in nature-think roots, mushrooms and herbs.
Adaptogens regulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, helping to bring the body back in to homeostasis, that’s balance to you and me! These clever ingredients are able to detect the type of stress your body is experiencing, mental, emotional, or physical and adapt their function accordingly. Think of them like a thermostat, reacting to what the body needs, when it needs it.
We’re not sure why the Western World has taken so long to catch on, but am pleased we have! All our life armour products contain active and effective levels of adaptogens so you can feel the difference.
How do you source your ingredients?
Coming from an innovation and marketing background I spend a lot of time researching ingredients and their effectiveness. I also partner with leading experts in the wellness field to ensure formulations will be effective and am fortunate enough to work with a wonderful UK based supplier who is well established and has a fantastic reputation with both registered healthcare practitioners and brands a like.
How are your products made?
I was surprised how many tinctures/drops contain a very high percentage of alcohol. Its often the first ingredient on the list at 40-50%. All our tinctures are alcohol free as we burn off all the alcohol from the ingredients in the formulation process, which means you are left with a more concentrated formula which is more active and you are more likely to feel with difference.
What’s the best time of day to take the capsules/tinctures?
This depends on your needs.
- For super me capsules we recommend to take in the morning to build up resilience to daily stressors
- For energise, some people take these in the morning, whilst others take after lunch to avoid that post lunch lull
- Drops of balance (tincture) can be taken any time of the day and is a handy on-the-go companion which provides on-the-spot relief from feelings of anxiety and stress. You can put drops directly under your tongue or dilute in some water and use as often as required during the day
- Drops of slumber should be taken around 20 minutes before bed time. You can put drops directly under your tongue or dilute in some water
What tips do you have for using your products?
- If you experience moments of stress during the day, drops of balance is a desk side or hand bag essential
- Suffer from jet lag or sleepless nights? Drops of slumber is a handy 30ml bottle so easily take on as hand luggage and bedside table essential
- Be consistent - you will feel the difference if you remember to take your supplements every day. We have designed our packaging to be on display with your skincare, in the kitchen or bathroom or even on your desk. By creating the habit of taking them daily we are certain you will feel the difference
What are your top tips for handling stress?For me personally the following really helps:
- Stop and take some deep breaths. Practicing deep breathing exercises can help you quickly combat feelings of stress and anxiety; simply focus your awareness on your breath. When your body is in ‘flight or fight mode’ feelings of stress are increased. This is due to the release of stress hormones, causing shortness of breath and an increase in heart rate.
- Exercise. I recently took up running, to help process the grief of losing a close friend. I have never been a runner, but the clarity of mind I get from running (often with no music, just the river to look at) has made a real difference to me. In fact I am now training for 4 x 10k runs in my friends memory.
- Supplement for stress. I use super me and energise daily and drops of balance when stressful moments arise, which they often do! I can honestly say that I have really noticed a difference and have been blown away by the incredible reviews from others who use them.
What does your own beauty/wellness routine look like?
Having been in skincare for many years, it won’t surprise you that I am very in to my skincare products! In the morning I cleanse use a serum, eye cream, day cream with SPF and finish with a BB cream. In the evening after cleansing I use a serum and sometimes a treatment product also.
I take super me and energise supplements every morning with my breakfast. I have 2 children so have NO issues when my head hits the pillow in the evening! Drops of balance is in my handbag and on my desk too.
How are you tackling sustainability?
We could have packaged our capsules in amber glass jars like many others. But we searched for more eco-conscious options. Our cardboard cartons and their metal lid and base are 100% recyclable. We also offer pouch refills of our capsules which can be recycled under code 7 (same as crisp packets). We minimise use of plastic -the only plastic you will find it on the neck of our glass tincture bottles. We continually seek to improve our packaging.
What have been your biggest successes so far?
Being featured in Vogue 3 months after launch. We were on the same page as Drunk Elephant in the central part of the Beauty & Wellness section and then being featured in Grazia with a wonderful piece of coverage on our drops of balance - All of this for a brand that was only 5 months old at the time feels incredibly exciting!!
And your biggest learning so far?
How are you standing out from the crowd?
- 100% natural, active and effective supplements.
- Ingredients in at active levels so you can FEEL the difference
- Beautifully designed eco-conscious packs that you will be proud to have on display with refills to minimise packaging waste and carbon footprint
- Speaking in a language that’s easy to understand-after all looking after yourself shouldn’t be difficult.
- Providing guidance on which supplements are right for you via our supplement selector
What’s next for life armour nutrition?
We have SO many plans and a pipeline of products already formulated and waiting to launch. It’s amazing how engaged our community is and what they have been asking for already. For now we are focussed on building our core offering and are very excited about where the future will take us!
Thanks to Marishka for some incredible insight into her supplements, tinctures and the story of life armour nutrition so far. Share your comments and questions below or scroll on to discover life armour's range
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