An experienced certified herbalist-aromatherapist who spent the past twenty years studying and healing with natural remedies and holistic counseling, Kate-Alexandra Levine created her eco-conscious Gitanne skincare line to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. The French-born entrepreneur now lives and works in Sonoma, California, where nature’s beauty and bounty serve as her muses. We spoke with Levine about her background and inspiration:
How did you find your way from Paris to Sonoma? What led to your permanent move to Northern California?
I spent my early childhood years in Paris, before moving to New York City in the late 1980’s as a teenager with my mother who worked in the fashion industry. I then began studying comparative religion, botany, phytotherapy, and ecology at the University of Vermont. This is where I first discovered sustainability and organic farming. I loved that lifestyle and spent several years living on organic farms.
In the late 1990’s, I began an around the world trip. I ended up in Hawai?i and then Northern California. My mother had always encouraged me to explore California as she viewed it as fitting my lifestyle and values. I felt at home in California and chose to raise my children here because of the beautiful environment and progressive community. I have fallen in love with the diverse wilderness, the focus on sustainability, and the intentional lifestyles featured in Sonoma County. Interestingly, there is a large population of fellow French people in the Bay Area, so it’s like a little piece of home away from home.
When did you build your skincare company, and what was your motivation?
I have been formulating skincare since my early 20’s when I was at the University of Vermont and also studying under the renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It is a lifelong passion of mine. When I began, I was making plant medicines, tinctures, ointments, crèmes, and massage oils to take care of the health of my daughters and loved ones. As a botanist, I value the purity and potency of plants and find them the best medicine for taking care of our bodies in balance with nature. These are core values taught to me by my grandmother, Britt Marie Kate, who was a herbalist and botanist. I would spend weekends with her in her garden in Normandy collecting herbs, mushrooms, and flowers to make medicine. Her innately eco-conscious lifestyle and love of « les sciences de la nature » have inspired my own pursuit of creating luxury botanical skincare. I began developing Gitanne Skincare three years ago as a way of embracing my French upbringing and sustainable Californian living.
Tell us about some of your more popular products. What is the promise of each and what kind of outcomes can a user expect?
Our mantra is « l’art de la beaute éternelle » which means the art of eternal beauty. Our goal is to unveil your inner radiance and help you feel confident in your own skin, because with great skin comes empowerment. We invite our clients to age gracefully and embrace themselves. We offer pure botanical skincare formulated in fresh-to-order micro-batches that are always natural & organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harmful toxins and chemicals. All of Gitanne Skincare is formulated with the most sensitive skin types at heart so it can be effective for anyone! Our focus is on botanical ingredients that are youth-enhancing, nourishing, hydrating, cell-renewing, and healing to create a luminous radiance.
Some of our best-selling items are our Aquamarine Deep Hydration Serum, Clarté Coco Milk Cleanser, Jade Balancing Toner, and Éternelle Serum.
Aquamarine Deep Hydration Serum is my most recent creation. I like to call it Nature’s Botox because it is highly moisturizing, hydrating and plumping with hyaluronic acid, stem factors from blueberries, peptides, nourishing cold-pressed oils, and vitamin K.
Clarté Coco Milk Cleanser is a gentle cleanser infused with probiotics to restore the PH and bacterial balance of the skin. It is rejuvenating and replenishing while delivering a radiant glow.
Jade Balancing Toner was named after my daughter Jade and is designed to brighten and even skin tone, while purifying and balancing the complexion. It is a delicate and refreshing mélange of coconut water, hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract, chlorophyll, sea minerals & eau de tuberose for all day hydration.
Finally, Éternelle Serum (pictured above) is a must for anyone needing deep hydration, cell renewal, and protection against visible signs of aging. It is a high performance botanical elixir, infused with a potent blend of active plant essences, bio active seed oils and flower oils to repair, regenerate and replenish skin cells, and unveiling your soft, dewy and supple complexion and vibrant naturally healthy glow.
Your products are made with botanical ingredients. Are such ingredients as effective as those that are manmade?
The things we consume within our bodies, minds, and yes, our skin too all affect our health and wellbeing. As a herbalist, I focus on whole pure ingredients that foster a healthy relationship with the natural world and keep our bodies balanced. Organic food, sustainable living, focusing on minimal waste and recycling, and clean botanical skincare are the ways we embody this lifestyle. At Gitanne, we offer an elevated beauty routine formulated from pure botanicals that makes you feel luxurious, elegant and empowered.
Many people become accustomed to a particular skincare regime and are loyal to particular brands. What is your pitch in persuading people to give Gitanne a try?
At Gitanne Skincare we combine the effortless French sophistication with California’s eco-conscious values. Our products are handcrafted locally in fresh micro-batches with pure botanical ingredients that are organic, natural, and fair-trade, free from toxins and harsh chemicals. We are always vegan and cruelty-free. Bottled in artisanal Italian glass, Gitanne Skincare is luxury French skincare for the eco-conscious woman.
Where can consumers find Gitanne Skincare?
You can explore our story and shop our full line on our website, www.gitanneskincare.com. You can also follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest at @gitanneskincare for updates, markets, sales, and other events. Joining our mailing list through our website will also update you on all things Gitanne Skincare from the best ways to use your items to upcoming events.
Photos courtesy of Gitanne Skincare