The Reverie Woman: Dami Akinnaike

Dear Daydreamer,

I am so proud and excited to introduce the second chapter of our Reverie Woman series. I first connected with Dami, founder of AMI London, as I was about to launch Reverie in August 2020. 

I immediately fell in love with her ethos and brand values and had a huge amount of respect for the reasons why she decided to create her beautiful products. 

I'm truly delighted to be a stockist of Dami's products and to be able to share a brand with you which mirrors the values of Reverie in its exploration and promotion of natural, plant-based ingredients and their healing powers.

Dami and I are both so pleased to share our conversation with you about why she founded AMI London, her favourite ingredients and the little girl who started it all - her daughter.

With love,

Lucy x

The hero product: Whipped Shea & Cocoa Body Butter

Hi Dami! Thank you so much for joining us. Could you start by telling us a little more about Àmi London and why you started your beautiful brand?

Thank you so much for the opportunity Lucy! 

In late 2019, I realised that there wasn’t enough safe and effective skin care products out there that could be used on black women based on my personal experience. I was pregnant, was battling with severe pregnancy acne - this was something I had never experienced before and was told by my GP that there was nothing I could use that was safe enough to keep the acne at bay during my pregnancy. I was absolutely devastated! I gave birth to my daughter in October 2019 and did a lot of research on natural and organic ingredients. I was nursing so I was very careful about what I was using on my skin. Then in January 2020, I started making my own products. I had been left with the scars from my pregnancy acne and my daughter had also developed eczema.

Dami and her daughter, Sinai Wynter


It seems like you did a huge amount of research into natural ingredients and their benefits in the run up to launching Àmi London! Is there one ingredient which really stood out to you with amazing benefits that you simply had to include?

I spent sleepless, and I mean sleepless, nights researching, researching and researching. I then spent months testing, making sure the formulations worked but I knew I had to include Jojoba oil in most of my products. You’ll find that I use Jojoba oil in at least 85% of my products. The benefits are endless!!!


One of the things which we hear from our customers a lot is that information about natural ingredients is not widely available or easy to understand. Is this something you found during your research?

Yes, this is certainly something I found too. Even though a product like Shea butter has been used for centuries, has amazing healing benefits and hundreds of thousands of people can testify to this, there just hasn't been enough experiments to prove this, thus limiting the information out there on how excellent the product actually is.

AMI London, now available at Reverie the Boutique


Can you tell us a little more about your hero product, the whipped shea body butter, and some of the main ingredients and benefits of using it?

Our hero product I would have to say is our Whipped Shea and Cocoa Body Butter with organic coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil and almond oil. It is loved by the majority. Not only is it highly moisturising, it literally feels like mousse, smells edible and glides on beautifully. Let's just say “dry skin be gone!”


Since starting Àmi London, have your own personal ethics and values changed as your product range has developed?

Oh absolutely. I am so much more aware of what I put in and on my body. Our skin is the largest organ on our body and so it is very important to be aware of what we put in it as well as on it. For so long, my skin absorbed toxic ingredients but i’m just so glad that I educated myself and I am making the necessary changes but most importantly, that I am also helping others in the process.

Dami and her daughter, Sinai Wynter


It’s amazing that you were making the products purely for personal use before Àmi London launched. Can you tell us more about your early experience using products which were already available on the market on your newborn daughter and what drove you to make your own?

Sure! After giving birth to my daughter, I had decided to use only natural products on her as I just didn’t feel comfortable using anything other than that. So I began using a well known brand on the high street formulated for babies but within a couple of months, she developed Eczema.The product just wasn’t doing enough for her. I think a lot of people also don’t realise that as a black person, our skin is just so different. Although black skin has the highest sebum content of all ethnicities, it has the lowest ceramide level, and is thus the most susceptible to transepidermal water loss and xerosis of any ethnic group which equals drier skin.

My daughter was prescribed a cream with steroids by her GP but I just wasn’t comfortable using it on her so decided to start doing thorough research on natural and organic skincare products and eventually began whipping my own Shea butter in January 2020. I grew up using Palmers Cocoa Butter and even though the ingredients list is shocking, it was something that I felt kept my extremely dry skin at bay. Literally within a matter of weeks, her eczema was almost non-existent. I was astonished!


As someone who also battled with the "pregnancy mask", I was also prescribed a cream with steroids by my GP which only did more damage and caused severe hyperpigmentation on my face. I became fed up and was determined to find something that worked for me without any harsh chemicals. So I dug deeper into the natural and organic world and found an array of amazing, nourishing, safe and healing ingredients. The idea of AMI was born. 



 

I absolutely love using my Whipped Shea Butter and can’t get enough of the fragrance! How often would you recommend using the whipped body butters?

You can use it as often as you like. I alternate between the Whipped shea and cocoa body butter and the whipped shea butter with ylang ylang and bergamot. I am currently obsessed with our Organic Whipped Shea Body Butter with Calendula.


Who would you say your products are best suited to and do you have a favourite product?

We created a product for everyone, including babies - yes, babies can use our essential oil free body butters. My absolute favourite is our Whipped Shea and Cocoa Body Butter.


In a relatively short space of time, you’ve also launched home fragrance and facial oils alongside the core body butters! What does the future look like for Àmi London and what can we expect to see next?

You’ll have to come back and see but I’ll tell you one - I am currently looking into Organic reusable cotton pads - we are really into sustainability and we care for the planet!

Shop the Collection.

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