Debbi Burnes, The Total Package
It seems that behind every hot natural beauty brand is a strong woman. And a chemist. And an industry insider, a marketing guru, an influencer and of course, a mother. It takes a village, as they say. Unless you’re CEO and co-founder of Sumbody, in which case you’re all of these things in one complete package. Meet Debbi Burnes, the pioneering natural beauty expert who has been “at the forefront of the natural beauty product revolution” for at least two decades.
Long before chocolate, mushrooms and charcoal were known beauty foods, Debbi was sharing her make-it-at-home formulating secrets in her book Natural Beauty Skin Care: 110 Organic Formulas for a Radiant You! Also the author of the whistle-blowing book Look Great, Live Green, Debbi was an early advocate for toxin-free personal care, warning millions of readers about the chemicals lurking in our beauty products.
Concerned about the rapid proliferation of chemical-laden products and convinced that nature is the ultimate innovator, Debbi married her knowledge of chemistry, biology and cosmetology with extensive studies in medicinal herbs, nutrition and environmental sustainability to launch Sumbody, an extensive range of skincare, body care and color cosmetics formulated with pure, potent and all-around wholesum natural and organic ingredients.
Regularly highlighted on TV (The Tyra Banks Show, Access Hollywood and NBC’s Wine Country Living) and in magazines (including In Style, Lucky, Organic Style, W, Shop Etc. and O, The Oprah Magazine), Sumbody’s good-for-the-whole-family formulations have become a household name, and a favorite among celebrities.
Long before natural, small batch Indy brands were popular, Debbi founded Sumbody. She began her journey by working with – and falling deeply in love with – skin. This led her to make better products that work, and taught her what skin really needs.
Debbi has long known that if you don’t understand something, you can’t change it. That’s why she finds that her best teacher is skin. She has spent years watching it react, respond, rebound and heal. She has seen the effects of maintaining a healthy constitution and properly feeding skin. She’s watched skin mend and heal itself, returning to its healthy glow, luster and youthfulness.
Many other voices in the cosmetics industry have adopted these values and beliefs over the decades, but Deborah’s is an original voice of truly natural skincare. Her passion for and love of skin is completely contagious. Her love affair with skin is the real deal.
Your Right to Know
Consumers have the right to know what they’re putting on their skin, and how it affects their health, their skin’s health and the health of the planet. In her first book, Look Great, Live Green, Deborah listed the top ten ingredients to avoid. A decade later, that list is still relevant. It serves as a starting point for your journey to becoming an informed consumer making smart decisions for healthy living. (Link to the current edited blog post about the 10 ingredients}
85/15% Life Style
In Look Great, Live Green, Debbi coined the phrase, “85/15% Life Style”. She may be a skincare expert, but she knows that life is just too short to deny yourself your version of “Vitamin J” – her code word for junk.
The 85/15% Life Style is all about balance. Maybe chocolate, pizza or French fries are your “J” – so enjoy them! Or maybe your “J” is highlights. Give yourself permission to choose your own poison in moderation – just don’t let others choose it for you. 85% of the time, try to observe a “clean” lifestyle, and the other 15% of the time indulge in your Vitamin J.
The Skin-Loving Lifestyle
Debbi believes that you should never mask, hide, remove or destroy skin for temporary benefits. She has learned through her experiences that creating a skin-loving lifestyle filled with exercise, stress-busters, love, laughter and chemical-free products enables your skin to mend and protect itself. She teaches relaxation techniques and has extended her line to include products to support the sumlife lifestyle. She even cooks beauty foods for her clients, and openly shares nutritional skin wisdom on her blogs.
“Detox” has become the word of the day in the industry, but long before others started promoting their products, Debbi had already developed her Detox line. She understood that ridding your body and skin of harmful chemicals not only makes you healthier, but younger in appearance AND spirit.
Chemicals, natural oils in your skin, dirt and pollen in the air create plugs and clog your pores, which wreaks havoc on your skin. When your pores are congested, your skin cannot breathe and function properly. Furthermore, oils trapped by clogged pores go rancid and break down your collagen, which starts and accelerates the aging process.
Detoxing was Debbi’s logical solution based on her observation of what happens when pores are not clean, and her knowledge that everyone has congested pores. She is a strong supporter of detoxing both internally and externally, in a gentle, effective and healthy way. She would never suggest starving and drinking only fluids – you can’t starve skin to detox it! Instead, she encourages you to nurture, support, protect and heal your skin.
Debbi is a true industry leader. She doesn’t follow trends – she starts revolutions!