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Wise, Forward-Thinking, Fresh - Akamai's Philosophy on Personal Care

Clean and healthy skin, hair and teeth can be achieved with far fewer products, chemicals and complexity. We’ve taken a radically simplified, back to basics, truly natural approach.

The reality is — the mainstream approach to personal care and grooming is out of control. If you believe the hype, then in order to have clean and healthy teeth, gums, skin and hair you need tons of products the more you spend the better you will be   and it’s ok to douse yourself with a wide array of weird sounding synthetic chemicals. In this industry more is more the more I pay, the better it is, the more I use the better I will be. There is nothing normal about what has become “the norm”. 


A "Personal Care Industrial Complex" exists.

Is the cumulative burden of all these chemicals we’re absorbing through our skin and mouth worth it? (not to mention the impact on our environment) Does it make sense to follow daily rituals and use products that can wage war on our body’s natural and complex microbiomes? Are we getting healthier skin, teeth and hair in the process? Do we really need to follow daily routines requiring so many products? 

“Akamai’s philosophy is music to the ears of non-toxic beauty advocates and minimalists alike.” — Treehugger

"Make it as simple as possible but no simpler." — Albert Einstein

In the face of this, we take an outsider’s approach and show a simpler, healthier, smarter way.  

Our approach is rooted in the following 10 principles:

  • 1. Use the transdermal effect to improve health, choosing ingredients that are naturally rich in bioavailable nutrients, especially minerals (since we are all deficient).

  • 2. Avoid synthetic chemicals. Sometimes even naturally derived ones can be harmful.

  • 3. Design highly effective products that are multipurpose that anyone and everyone can use (not gender specific).

  • 4. Support our body's ecologies and skin & oral microbiomes.  Leverage and support our body’s abilities to regulate and heal itself.

  • 5. Only use time-tested, nourishing ingredients made by nature. Whole form, minimally processed to retain nutrients.

  • 6. Use the fewest number of ingredients possible. While still being highly effective.

  • 7. Every ingredient has a real purpose and impact. No hype, no fillers, no "chemistry"; more like cooking a nourishing meal.

  • 8. Offer the fewest number of products needed to get the job done.

  • 9. Question authority and marketers  dispel myths and bad advice. Use the wisdom of the past and get back to basics. Read labels, question ingredients. Use common sense and clear, rational thinking.

  • 10. Simplify products and routines less is more. We only need a to use and practice a handful of essentials, the rest is fluff.

Our Founders

Born Outside of the Personal Care Industry

Akamai adjective / aka·mai \ä-kä-ˈmī\ / smart, intelligent

Origin: Hawaiian | First Known Use: 1841

We are freethinkers, addicted to problem solving and truth-telling, and while it may sound corny, doing good and making the world a better place. 

We are driven to disrupt the norm by offering an intelligent personal care system rooted in rational thinking, health and simplicity. 

Vincent Cobb

A serial social entrepreneur, Vincent is used to making a difference and changing the status quo. On the front of the green wave, he started the company reusablebags.com in 2003 (later rebranded reuseit.com), and raised consumer awareness about the problems with use-and-toss items like plastic bags and bottles. His vision was to use simple lifestyle changes to help save the environment, save money and waste less. By 2013, reuseit.com had grown to 300,000 customers, empowering them to eliminate an estimated 1.1 billion use-and-toss items. Reuseit.com was twice voted as Green America’s Green Business of the Year.

After a course in organic chemistry weeded him out of majoring in Microbiology, he discovered Philosophy. He was, and continues to be, profoundly influenced by Stoicism, Rationalism and cites The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn as a game changer for him. When not serving Akamai’s mission, you can find him mind-training, thinking and trail running in his home state of Colorado, as well as spending time with his two children.  

Marni Shymkus

Marni has spent 15+ years researching, refining and creating health-focused DIY personal care products that leverage 100% natural ingredients in their whole form. Her goal is to craft products that are simply better than anything else available, while addressing root causes vs symptom management. She’s obsessed with creating powerful, practical, effective and affordable products that harness our body’s ability to heal naturally. 

A tireless researcher and problem solver, Marni’s passion for wellbeing blossomed 18 years ago when she became a mother. Her sense of purpose aligned and grew after she discovered the Weston A Price Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to traditional, nutrient-dense whole foods and healing arts), the discovery of Rudolph Steiner (founder of anthroposophy) and Waldorf education system— she co-founded a Waldorf School in Chicago.

While not working on Akamai, Marni can be found raising their high-school children, painting, making jewelry or hiking with their family dog Xoxo.

The Chemical Body Burden

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

We know far too many people who have died of cancer, or who have battled and won, at great cost to themselves and their family. According to the latest research, almost half of men over the age of 55 will get cancer and over one third of women. While a small percentage are genetic, 85% of all cancer is caused by the environment and lifestyle choices. The choices we make every day increase or decrease our chances of having cancer the products we choose to clean our houses, the furnishings and cookware we choose, the personal care products we use to protect us from the sun, moisturize and clean our bodies, the food and meals we buy and consume, the water we drink. These choices add up.

While cancer is the greatest concern, more common adverse side effects of toxic chemicals in personal care products include: premature aging of the skin, hormonal dysfunction, dermatitis, psoriasis and immune dysfunction.


Join us and the EWG to spread the word about toxic chemicals in personal care and the push to rethink cancer prevention. Read more at EWG’s website.

Using Business as a Force for Good

Certified BCorp and 1% For the Planet Member

Akamai is proud to be a Certified B Corporation. Certified B Corporations are a new kind of corporation that uses the power of business to improve environmental and social issues. Learn more

We are also a member of 1% for the Planet. Joining the ranks of Patagonia, these are companies that contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes. To date, this has totaled $175 million. Through this initiative, Akamai supports like-minded, high-impact nonprofits including the Environmental Working Group and The Surfrider Foundation. Learn more

“Startup Akamai is on a mission to get people to wash less.” — The Guardian