People We Love: Graydon Interviews Carmelinda DiManno


"Movement creates a change in brain chemistry which is fundamental in being a healthy person."

Welcome to our new People We Love series where we sit down with incredible women and men in the health and fitness industry to give you tips on how to live your best life. This week we had the chance to sit down with Carmelinda DiManno, yoga instructor and DJ, to discuss her career and how she stays healthy despite her busy schedule.

Graydon: As someone who's juggling multiple hats, yoga instructor, DJ and chef what don't you do? 

Carmelinda: [laughs] Well these are some of the things I absolutely love and am passionate about. I don't currently work as a chef but I studied chef training. Much like you, I feel like we share a lot of the same educational experiences and interests it seems like. 

G: It definitely does. So you spend your days eating well and it certainly looks like you live a very nutritious lifestyle. You are the picture of health! Do you think your yoga and your music also feeds you to be who you are? 

C: I would say absolutely yes. There have been times in my life where things have popped up frequently where I feel like we are being pulled away from our 'centered self'. Those activities, yoga and DJing, are two things that definitely bring me back if I'm in a funky state of mind. Once I'm in the activity of DJing, I definitely feel more alive and centered, it acts almost like a prayer meditation for me.

G: Do you have a particular type of music you resonate with? 

C: Probably deep-house. Within deep house there's all different types of beats and tempos. I'm particularly drawn to music with female vocals which I find emotionally moving. I notice that sometimes without knowing that people respond really well to that on the dance floor. 

G: How does yoga connect to your music? Are they two separate things in your life? 

C: The reason why I got into DJing is because I started making my own musical recordings for my yoga classes. I wanted to create my own music rather than use someone else's music. And because of my relationships at certain nightclubs, I was invited to play publicly. I see [yoga and DJing] as being quite similar to each other. In both roles I feel like I'm in tuned to what's happening and people's moods. I ask myself, do I need to raise people's energy or bring it down? Is it time to slow down and yin it out a bit?  

G: Tell me a bit about your love of yoga. That's a passion of mine too. Is there a particular type of yoga you are drawn to? 

C: Right now I teach a lot of moksha and flow yoga and I'm currently studying kundalini yoga. 

G: I love kundalini! I find that's a very accessible type of yoga since it can be performed sitting if necessary so people with physical limitations can also do it. It's also super powerful and transformative. It helped get me through a challenging part of my life. 

C: Absolutely. The way you're describing it is similar to how it feels for me too. I've been through some challenging times in my life as well and I have a lot of respect for the science behind it and how prescriptive it is. 

G: Definitely. So aside from doing yoga what does a day in the life of Carmelinda look like? What advice do you have for taking care of your health and wellness on a daily basis? 

C: I'm certainly not following any particular rules about health and wellness. I don't feel like I have a structured way of doing things but it's all about finding balance. What I generally find really beautiful about people is that people who care about their bodies and spiritual well being are also be able to enjoy life! Not being too rigid but still caring is important to living in a radiant way. 

But a day in the life I would say is very scheduled. I'm usually up by 7, teach multiple classes, try to practice once a day. It may be a spin class or yoga but I always try to move everyday to stay active. I'm really social so I'm usually dining or grabbing a coffee with friends.  

G: And you work in the evening as well? 

C: Yes often. I've been getting a lot of invitations to DJ at fitness events, fashion events or night clubs and I don't sleep that much! On average I probably sleep 6 hours but I fill my day with activities that energize me and that keeps my energy level high. 

G: It takes some courage to follow what you love to do. Did you always know you wanted to teach yoga? 

C: For a long time I was working in hospitality. I did like what I was doing but I was also very passionate about yoga. I did my yoga training, expecting to deepen my practice and just fell in love with it. It definitely took courage and it called on me to make some drastic lifestyle changes but it was definitely worth it. I get to spend my days doing something I really love. 

G:Yes and not a lot of people get the chance to do what they love. Is there a message you have for women out there who are struggling to find inspiration or passion projects of their own? 

C: I truly feel women need to find things, activities, hobbies that supports themselves in self expression. By participating in these creative activities is how we find our power. We live in a world that can chip away at our power so it's  important to be passionate about something that reveals the truest part of yourself. 

G: Do you have any tips that you can pass onto our readers that they can incorporate on a daily basis to improve their well being? 

C: I believe starting your day writing in a journal and envisioning what that day is going to be about and list things that you hope to experience in that day or something more specific than that. I try to do that once a day, set the tone for the day in the morning, set an intention and I would suggest some movement practice. Movement creates a change in brain chemistry which is fundamental in being a healthy person. 

And lastly I would say drinking a lot of water. Brain is sharper with water, we have more energy with water, and we look more beautiful. Making hydration a habit is important. 

G: And now the flip side of that question, what habits have you eliminated that no longer serve you? Because it's hard to let go of things that no longer serve you. 

C: That's a great question. I think that there are still things I'm working on. For example, its hard to change your mental habits and your tendencies on how you perceive situations. So one of the things I'm working on right now are replacing any self sabotaging attitudes and riding myself of those things and replacing it with attitudes that elevate me and that takes effort.

And I think especially in relationships your value system might change and sometimes you recognize "we're not on the same frequency so why am I spending time with someone I'm not inspired by?" Life is short. Spend time with people who are supportive of your well being so I've made some changes in relationships as well. 

G: That's great advice. But sometimes that's harder said than done and there are certain people you can't let go of so easily. How do you deal with challenging people? I try to practice good vibes but sometimes it's hard.

C: For me I try to pause. I don't react or respond in that moment and I try to practice pausing. Time supports processing which helps diffuse a tense chemistry and I come back when I feel a little softer. I try not to make any decision until I've taken time away from the situation. 

G: I really think positive energy attracts positive energy so it's no surprise that we met! Is there a daily mantra you have that might be helpful for other people to repeat? Because mantras -the words and the sounds- can heal you without even knowing. 

C: I'm a firm believer in mantras. It's a big part of the kundalini practice. There's the idea that moving your tongue at a certain way is hitting certain meridian points in your mouth and can benefit you a lot mentally. The mantras I work with on a daily basis tend to change depends on what I'm experiencing in life but one I've repeating a lot as I'm DJing is 'Spirit, shine your love and light through me... into the music... onto the crowd and into their hearts. Wash us with your joy and peace.' I have a visualization I do and repeat during a set when I feel like I need to recenter myself. I feel that it influences things.

G: Is this something our readers can also do to visualize channeling light through themselves? 

C: Yes of course. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this interview. To watch the full video make sure to check out our IGTV channel on Instagram! 


Hydrate with Vegan Hyaluronic Acid


The launch of Moon Serum has been highly anticipated and we wanted to share some of the ingredients that make this hydrophilic, oil-free serum unique and exciting. Not only does this potent blue serum contain purposeful targeted age-prevention ingredients such as botanical retinol from Vigna aconitifolia seed and neuro-modulating peptides derived from hibiscus but it also delivers plumping and smoothing hydration using a vegan hyaluronic acid.

What is Vegan Hyaluronic Acid?

The vegan hyaluronic acid we have included in the Moon Serum is derived from Cassia augustifolia (aka senna). This polysaccharide is a water-binding sugar that retains moisture within the skin. In addition, it restores hydration and radiance to the skin by mediating the impact of stress on the skin by suppressing cutaneous cortisol. Increased levels of stress and cortisol cause the skin to become dehydrated, accelerate transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and prematurely ages the skin by making fine lines and wrinkles more pronounced. Topical application mimics the effects of hyaluronic acid to moisturize and soften the skin, plump fine lines and wrinkles, and provide long-lasting hydration.

Benefits of Vegan Hyaluronic Acid:

  • Reduces cutaneous cortisol levels
  • Highly moisturizing and skin conditioning
  • Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Softens and plumps the skin
  • Soothes inflammation and skin irritations

Research on Vegan Hyaluronic Acid:

Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide has been clinically proven to be a more potent hydrator than Hyaluronic Acid (the industry gold standard hydration ingredient), over the course of 24 hours. 

Some of the most interesting research was done to illustrate the benefits of Cassia augustifolia in stressed skin. Stress was found to increase dullness and dryness of skin. The topical application of polysaccharides from Cassia augustifolia was found to reduce cortisol and dramatically increase enzymes that suppress cortisol within the skin. The other outcome was improvements in skin hydration and radiance.

Who should use skincare products with vegan hyaluronic acid?

Pretty much everyone can benefit from including a vegan hyaluronic acid in his or her skincare routine. This gentle and effective moisturizer restores hydration deep within the skin and helps to mitigate the effects of stress on the health of the skin. Combined with the other innovative ingredients in the Moon Serum, vegan hyaluronic acid amplifies the skin nourishing impact of this serum and provides another layer of age-prevention and soothing. This serum is ideal for anyone looking to slow the signs of aging, hydrate sensitive skin or enhance their natural healthy glow.

What else is in the Moon Serum? Learn more about our anti-pollution complex, peptides, collagen and retinol

 Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 

Anti-Pollution Complex – Protect Your Skin From the World You Live In

moringa seed

One of the really amazing ingredients that we included in the Moon Serum is an Anti-Pollution Complex to shield you against environmental pollutants and oxidative stress.

What is Anti-Pollution Complex?

Anti-Pollution Complex is derived from moringa seed extract. It prevents the adhesion of particles to the skin and prevents against oxidative damage caused by contact with environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke and toxic heavy metals. It essentially creates a protective shield on the skin.

The inclusion of an anti-pollution complex within skincare is the latest advancement in anti-aging. Your skin is particularly susceptible to the impact of environmental pollution. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are tiny particles, emitted primarily by cars and other vehicles, which penetrate through the outer layers of the skin. These PAHs alter the skin barrier and disrupts the connections between healthy cells. By weakening the dermal barrier, these PAHs penetrate even deeper within the skin where they cause oxidative stress and trigger chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation leads to unwanted pigmentation and the destruction of collagen; it essentially ages the skin more rapidly.

Anti-Pollution Complex Benefits:

  • Decreases reactive oxygen species/oxidative stress
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Detoxifies the skin and reduces the adhesion of pollution
  • Protects the skin from premature aging
  • Prevents the development of acne blemishes by inhibiting lipid peroxidation (oxidation of sebum)

Anti-Pollution Complex Research:

Some of the most promising research in the use of the Anti-Pollution Complex in skincare showed that it reduced pollution-induced inflammation by ~50% and oxidative stress by ~51%.

Who should use skincare products with Anti-Pollution Complex?

Skincare products that contain ingredients like the Anti-Pollution Complex that create a protective barrier on the skin are idea for those living in urban centres or those with sensitive or reactive skin. The Anti-Pollution Complex included in the Moon Serum is also beneficial for those wanting to slow the signs of aging as well as those struggling with acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. This unique anti aging serum is the perfect complement to a number of targeted skincare routines.

What else is in the Moon Serum? Learn more about collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid and retinol

 Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 

Peptide Power to Prevent Signs of Aging


The launch of Moon Serum introduces one of our most potent and active products that is also gentle and ideal for those with sensitive or sensitized skin.

The Moon Serum is particularly amazing for those hoping to slow the signs of aging because of our inclusion of a peptide complex derived from hibiscus extract that prevents the development of wrinkles when applied topically by inhibiting muscle contractions.

What are peptides and how do they work?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that act as messengers within the skin and body. One of the most significant signs of aging is the texture of our skin and surface wrinkles. And it turns out that peptides are the body’s natural signal that control collagen production and modulate muscle contractions. In skincare peptides are used for collagen synthesis, wound healing, “Botox-like” wrinkle smoothing, as well as antioxidative, antimicrobial, and lightening effects. The oligopeptides derived from hibiscus that we have included in the Moon Serum are particularly effective as neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, meaning that they inhibit acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction to prevent muscle contraction mimicking the effect of Botox when applied to the skin.

Peptide Benefits:

  • Anti-aging
  • Reduction of expression lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidant that reduces free radical damage

Peptides Research:

The peptides from hibiscus extract have been found to work effectively against expression lines and wrinkles in both in vitro and human clinical trials. One of the most promising studies found that regular application of a cream containing just 1% hibiscus oligopeptides resulted in significantly reduced wrinkle depth in 3 short weeks. It was also found to reversibly inhibit muscle cell contractions responsible for expression lines.

Who should use skincare products with neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides such as those derived from hibiscus?

Peptides are becoming increasingly popular in skincare formulations and are amazing for those looking to slow the signs of aging and both reduce and prevent the formation of expression lines. Oligopeptides derived from hibiscus extract is a great ingredient to try if you are starting to consider more invasive treatments such as neuromodulating injections like Botox to reduce lines and wrinkles but would prefer something more gentle that also improves the health and condition of your skin. Graydon Skincare's Moon Serum is a light, water-based serum and can be layered under makeup or other products in your skincare regimen to further enhance the health and youthful appearance of your skin.

What else is in the Moon Serum? Learn more about collagen, anti-pollution complex, hyaluronic acid and retinol

 Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 



Botanical Retinol for Beautiful Skin without the Irritation

woman smiling

We're so excited about the recent launch of our much-anticipated Moon Serum. This anti-aging serum has been a long time coming and is something that we are so proud of. One of the most exciting ingredients in the Moon Serum is a revolutionary botanical retinol.

Retinoids, vitamin A derivatives, have more proven skin benefits than any other anti-aging or anti-breakout ingredient. While retinol is proven to be effective for fighting aging, there are several drawbacks of using retinol in cosmetic products; the compound has shown to be very unstable, especially when exposed to UV light, and might lead to increased skin sensitivity, irritation, peeling, and redness. The botanical retinol we have included in the Moon Serum has proven benefits and mechanism of action similar to conventional retinol but with improved tolerance and greater stability (it can even be safely worn during the day).

What is Botanical Retinol?

Botanical retinol is an extract from the Vigna aconitifolia seed and is not actually a vitamin A derivative. Vigna aconitifolia is a type of legume native to India and Pakistan. This potent extract has been proven to be as effective in anti-aging products as synthetic retinols. Vigna aconitifolia extract penetrates into the skin, where it works on a molecular level to jump-start the production of collagen and boost cell renewal. Additionally, this botanical alternative to retinol contains phenolic compounds – caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and kaempferol. All these compounds are the reason why Vigna aconitifolia extract is an excellent antioxidant that protects your skin against free radicals and UV damage. These characteristics of Vigna aconitifolia make it safe for use even during the day and when exposed to UV light unlike other retinoid compounds.

Benefits of Retinol:

  • Stimulates skin cell renewal
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis
  • Decreases the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidant activity to prevent free radical and UV damage
  • Gentle exfoliant reduces pore clogging and prevent the development of acne blemishes
  • Highly stable and more tolerated than other forms of retinol

Research on Botanical Retinol:

One of the most interesting studies directly compared the renewal of the stratum corneum by Vigna aconitifolia and retinyl palmitate and found that topical applications of the botanical retinol accelerated skin cell turnover more effectively than the topical retinyl palmitate. Another study comparing both directly found that the botanical retinol offered comparable anti-wrinkle activity to an encapsulated synthetic retinol. This evidence supports the use of a botanical retinol as an effective and safe alternative to potentially harmful synthetic retinoids like Retin-A or retinyl palmitate.

Who should use skincare products with Botanical Retinols?

I recommend the use of safe and gentle retinoid to address a number of skin concerns. The Moon Serum and it’s unique botanical retinol is ideal for those struggling with acne or congested skin. Because this serum is water based there are no oils or waxes that could further clog pores and trigger breakouts. In addition, the botanical retinol encourages cell turnover to help clear congestion and prevent acne. A botanical retinol is also amazing for slowing down visible signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity. By enhancing collagen and elastin production, this anti aging serum helps to rebuild the structural architecture of the skin and maintain its youthful appearance. There is also evidence supporting the use of a gentle retinoid for those with rosacea.

The Moon Serum is a great option for those combating the redness and sensitivity of rosacea and pairs well with any of Graydon Skincare’s moisturizers. The Moon Serum botanical retinol is a great addition to most skincare routines and offers a safe and effective alternative to less stable forms of retinoids commonly used in skincare products.

What else is in the Moon Serum? Learn more about our anti-pollution complex, peptides, hyaluronic acid and collagen

Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 



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