479. Next-Level Skin Care: Sun Screen Scams, Anti-Aging & Topical Superfoods w/ Alitura's Andy Hnilo

Andy Hnilo

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Today’s guest, Andy Hnilo, is the founder of my favorite skincare company, Alitura. We discuss Andy's recent and quite public bout with addiction, the powerful, natural ingredients used in Alitura products, causes and treatments for acne, the best foods for skin health, and so much more.

Andy Hnilo is a former athlete, model, and actor who had his life turned upside-down. In March 2011, he was struck by a series of large vehicles while crossing a busy street, a trauma that caused seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and an extreme compound fracture.

Out of desperation to repair his own facial scarring, Andy began making his own natural skincare products at home. Through meticulous research, he carefully sourced active ingredients that would accelerate his skin’s healing process, using himself as the guinea pig.

Immersing himself in a diligent skincare routine that included a mineral-rich blend of four clays, organic superfoods, and nutrient-dense ingredients, Andy was able to heal his skin and get back on the runway in eight weeks. Andy is now the founder and CEO of Alitura, a company that makes life-changing skin care products using the world’s most potent, natural, and holistic ingredients.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

If you are interested in learning about how to care for your largest organ with the best topical nutrients on earth, you're going to love this episode. Today’s guest, Andy Hnilo, is the founder of my favorite skincare company, Alitura. Andy brought himself back from a near-fatal accident, using natural healing, supplements, herbs, and biohacking technology. 

He eliminated terrible facial scarring from the injuries he sustained in his accident, and as a result ended up formulating some of the most pure and potent skincare products in the world. His homemade formulas worked so well that he decided to start his company, Alitura, based on recipes he created, and perfected for himself.

This cat has been through a lot in life and he has emerged as a victor. We discuss Andy's recent and quite public bout with addiction and the power of prayer and his ongoing sobriety journey. Then, we get into the skincare deep dive and the horrific car accident that motivated Andy to develop healing products in the first place. 

We also talk about the incredible trend of bros getting into skincare, causes and treatments for acne, toxic skincare products and ingredients to watch out for, and why you should avoid harsh cleansers. We talk about hormones and how they relate to the skin, sun protection and the problem with seed oils, the best foods for skin health, the benefits of red light therapy, and so much more.

By the end of this chat, it’s quite likely that you'll want to take Alitura for a spin on your skin. If that's you, use the code LIFESTYLIST for 20% off at lukestorey.com/alitura. All right, let's all take a seat and get ready for a masterclass on natural skincare with Andy Hnilo. 

00:00:00 — Harnessing the Power of Spirituality in Recovery

  • How Andy came to live in Sedona and know its powerful energetics
  • Andy’s struggle with alcohol addiction
  • Luke’s own recovery journey
  • What it was like to spiral publicly into addiction
  • The power of prayer in recovering from addiction
  • How exploring ancient civilizations and other cultures is inspiring Andy now
  • Experimenting with plant medicine to heal deep rooted trauma

00:00:00 — Healing Acne, Effective Sun Protection & the Birth of Alitura

  • What Andy went through when he was in a gnarly car accident 2011
  • Using traditional Chinese medicine to heal his injuries: The impetus of creating Alitura
  • Sourcing unique, powerful ingredients in Alitura’s skin care products
  • Use code LIFESTYLIST for 20% off at lukestorey.com/alitura
  • Things we put in our bodies that we probably don't want in our bloodstream
  • Sun protection myths and tips
  • Root causes and catalysts for healing acne
  • The most exotic or weird skin ingredient Andy’s found
  • Benefits of derma rolling

00:00:00 — Skin Superfoods & Longevity Tips: Exploring Alitura’s Ingredients

Andy Hnilo: [00:00:00] That was tough because I didn't want to admit it. Powerless that that word-- yeah. And clearly, that's a lot of ego involvement right there. I 100% came to terms with that early December when I just realized I was powerless against alcohol. Because you go back to those times, you're like, yeah, I could shut it down one or two drinks, or whatever. You've done that a couple dozen times in my life as opposed to the other side, which leads into just nonstop. I'm Andy Hnilo, and this is the Life Stylist Podcast.

Luke Storey: [00:00:36] I'm Luke Storey from lukestorey.com, and this is Episode 479: Next Level Skincare: Sunscreen Scams, Anti-Aging, and Topical Superfoods with Alitura's Andy Hnilo. Get your piping hot show notes over at lukestorey.com/andy. Andy is the founder of my favorite skincare company Alitura, and this cat has been through a lot in life, and he has emerged as a victor. If you're interested in learning about how to care for your largest organ with the best topical nutrients on earth, you're going to love this episode. 
Here's a taste of the jams we get into with Andy. We spend the first 45 minutes or so talking about Andy's recent and quite public bout with addiction, and his ongoing sobriety journey; and then we get into the skincare deep dive, and the horrific car accident that motivated Andy to develop skin healing products in the first place; we also talk about the incredible trend of bro's getting into skincare.
Causes and treatments for acne, eczema and psoriasis; treating bug bites, burns and cuts; the most toxic skincare products and ingredients to watch out for; avoiding harsh cleansers; hormones and how they relate to the skin; sun protection and treating sunspots; the problem with seed oils; the best foods for skin health; the benefits of red light therapy, and so much more. 
By the end of this chat, it's quite likely that you'll want to take Alitura for a spin on your skin. If that's you, use the code LIFESTYLIST for 20% off at lukestorey.com/alitura. All right, let's all take a seat and get ready for a masterclass on beyond natural skincare with Andy Hnilo. And if you dig the show, please share it with a friend. Andy Hnilo, here we go.

Andy Hnilo: [00:02:29] Here we go.

Luke Storey: [00:02:30] Round 2. I wonder how long ago that was when we did our first podcast together.

Andy Hnilo: [00:02:35] I'm just guessing, but I want to say 2017 or '18.

Luke Storey: [00:02:40] Yeah, it was early on.

Andy Hnilo: [00:02:41] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:02:41] Because I'm coming up on eight years doing this show. I think June. Probably around the time this comes out will be the eight-year mark, and you were one of the earlier guests. Yeah. I think I heard you on Bulletproof Radio and figured out you were in LA. And I think I hit you up on Twitter, and we went to Erewhon, and we're just geeking out on eating oysters and raw liver. 
You were making raw liver smoothies, and I was like, oh, a kindred spirit, man. Someone who's as weird about all this shit as I am. And then you'd come up to the house when I lived in the Hollywood Hills by the Hollywood Bowl and I was growing-- I don't know if you remember this. I was growing these insane aloe vera plants in those wine barrels like, wine barrel cut in half.

Andy Hnilo: [00:03:33] Or mist dusted.

Luke Storey: [00:03:34] Yeah. Doing all this crazy shit. And then eventually, I started putting seawater in them. And I think I killed them because I didn't dilute it enough. But I used to go out to Malibu with a big water jug and go out into the water, and fill it up, and come home and water all my plants trying to get the marine minerals into them. And I think that was the end of those beautiful giant aloe vera plants.

Andy Hnilo: [00:03:59] They were so thick, though, too. I remember--

Luke Storey: [00:04:01] They were big dogs.

Andy Hnilo: [00:04:02] Yeah. Cutting a bunch of those, and then put him in the back. And they have that orange ooze, and it started to stain--

Luke Storey: [00:04:09] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:04:10] Trunk of my car. But yeah, the things we will do for health. I mean, it's so funny you mention that because I used to do the exact same thing. I'd fill up Crystal Geyser gallons full of the Santa Monica ocean water and put it in my hair because it added thickness and texture to my hair. And I'd add that seawater to my hair every morning.

Luke Storey: [00:04:30] That's funny. I used to do that too. I forgot about that. I'd put it in a spray bottle.

Andy Hnilo: [00:04:34] Exactly.

Luke Storey: [00:04:34] Yeah. Because when you get out of the ocean, it's like you just let your hair dry wild. It's always awesome. Yeah. I think women have a thing for that. It's like beach dew or beach hair or something. It's a known thing. I think fewer guys know about it. So we'll link to your past episode where we go more deeply into your story because I just want to catch up to it real time. And we'll put everything we talk about here today guys at lukestorey.com/andy. A-N-D-Y. So you're living in Sedona now? What's up with that?

Andy Hnilo: [00:05:08] Oh, man. Yeah, Living in Sedona, it's interesting. 2011, '10-ish, right around my accident when I was first throwing things together is when Sedona first came into my mind. Just right after the accident. It's so interesting that exactly 11 years after that, I got sober from alcohol, which is another thing. But also just moved to an area that was calling me.
When I was making the clay mask, I wanted to have something sacred to me, special to me, to have my products manufactured out of. And the first place I looked was Sedona. But finding co-packers for skincare products and personal care products in Sedona, I still think there aren't any, but we could be the first.

Luke Storey: [00:05:59] It's hard to find Internet in Sedona.

Andy Hnilo: [00:06:01] Yes.

Luke Storey: [00:06:01] Which I learned from living there for a couple months.

Andy Hnilo: [00:06:04] Exactly.

Luke Storey: [00:06:05] Yeah. It's more remote than it seems. Once you get there and spend some time, you realize, oh, this is a really small town. There's a lot of tourists and stuff like that, but amenities and manufacturing skincare products, I'm sure, could be challenging.

Andy Hnilo: [00:06:20] Absolutely. Yeah. It was just these little signs just kept popping up. Sedona, I didn't know too much about it. I didn't know too much about the spiritual and sacred element of it. I had heard that it was a destination, and I always wanted to go, and I would visit from time to time, and took my staff on a 2020 retreat out to Sedona. At this point, we were all remote, and people flew into Arizona, and then we drove up to Sedona and had a really nice trip there during the pandemic.
Something happened there where we went on a UFO tour. I met a couple of nice guides there that I stayed in touch with and just had a little bit of a spiritual moment with one of the instructors that saw something in me and shared that with me in front of my team. And it really-- we stayed in touch. It was a very special moment that got me-- just opened up my mind to certain things that were happening to me, and that I was experiencing spiritually, and that it had an impact. And it was in my head. This was 2020. And then a couple of years later, I would go out. I'd drive three or four hours from Vegas to Sedona just to clear my head.
And I went there in September, climbed Bell Rock, scaled that. It started to drizzle at the top of Bell Rock. I'm really big into ancient civilization, and Freddie Silva specifically, I'm a huge fan of him. Freddie Silva just knows so much about the different sacred spots all around the world, and I've become fascinated with visiting them. Bell Rock being one of them. And at the top of Bell Rock, it just started to drizzle, and it was extremely difficult to make it up there. And it was a little frightening, scaling my way down with raindrops and just making it to my hotel, messing around on Zillow. 
That night, I scheduled a meeting for a home that Sunday, and then saw a place, fell in love, walked in, maybe 10 seconds, and said, no, this is mine, and put in an offer on Monday, and accepted on Tuesday. And then just like that, mid-September or early September is the whole process of buying a home. I had no intention to buy a home. Just something came over me. And then once I finally got to Sedona and moved in, Luke, I can't even tell you just the magic that I feel daily living across from Thunder Mountain and just absorbing, listening to the spirits around me. And it's just full-on.

Luke Storey: [00:08:58] I mean, thinking about the contrast between Sedona and Las Vegas too. Just the vibe, the energy of it. I mean, both desert, similar topography, dry, arid, desert vibes, but I mean, the energetics of it, Sedona is powerful. As I was telling you earlier, we gave it a trial run to see if we could live there, and Alyson and I, both were just-- it was too intense for a full time thing. 
But then the people that end up there, like you, are just like, boom, this is my home. This is my spot. And you feel grounded there. The people that live there are like, oh, it's really grounding. For me, I was just like, ah. My nervous system couldn't handle. I was like, I'm not ready to graduate to the Sedona level yet. It was intense. But it's so beautiful, and there's so many interesting people there. And then, I mean, the nature there is just insane. There's no place like it.

Andy Hnilo: [00:09:55] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:09:55] Yeah. So I want to get into a bit of your journey over the past couple of years. And then even though we went deep into your origin story and why you got into skincare and all this stuff in the first episode, we'll touch on that. But I want to just bring something to light here, especially for people that follow you on social media or aren't aware of you and your brand, all the tours and stuff. It's maybe a couple-- maybe it wasn't even a couple of years ago, maybe a year ago or something, we started talking about doing this episode, doing another round, and we're putting it together. 
And I started seeing posts of yours on your Instagram where you were acting super fucking wild. And then a few times people DMed me and were like, hey, you're a friend of Andy's. We're concerned about him, and stuff like that. And myself being someone who had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, that's what it looked like to me.
And so I was in this weird position of like, we're supposed to be booking this podcast. I've agreed to do it. And then thinking, I don't know if this would be of the highest good for Andy if he is struggling like he appears to be. And I didn't know exactly what was going on. And I followed my intuition, and you know that I'm a sober guy, and I hope you know if you needed help, you could always call. But I'm just a live-and-let-live dude. I don't proselytize or tell people they need to be sober or whatever.
It's really none of my business until someone makes it my business. But it was clear to me that you had something going on. And I was concerned and just feeling it out and waiting to see where it went. And then I started seeing you do posts where you looked like your old self again, and maybe even better. Happy. The light in your eyes came back. You're making sense. You're cognizant. What happened, and where are you at now? I mean, to whatever degree you want to get into it.

Andy Hnilo: [00:12:00] Absolutely. No, I'm completely transparent with that situation that I-- it was a crisis for sure. Just the combination of working long hours, onboarding team after team after team. I mean, last year I onboarded seven different teams. My personal assistant on Alitura left. So I was literally the only employee left working with contractors, and onboarding, and trying to teach the system to sever the new teams, and trying to bring people in, and cover customer service, and really just bringing in a whole new set of people every month or two became stressful.
That, in combination with traveling to two different conferences and maintaining my responsibilities as owner of Alitura, combined with substance, I was drinking a lot. I would use that to medicate as a stress reliever. And then know that I would work it out, sweat it out, and then just get back to work. But that was just becoming a cycle for me that was counterproductive. Led to a chemical imbalance, being extremely irritable with people that I love. And it probably-- looking back retroactively, I wasn't the best leader by any means. Luke, I really needed that to happen to me.
It had been weighing on me because my messaging wasn't congruent with what I'm so passionate about as well, which is health and wellness. And then it just would eat away at me, the spending the weekends out, and I'd like, ah. Whatever it is, if something's needling at you and eating away, you need to pinpoint it, and mitigate it, and just get it out of the system. But that's one of those things where I just thought that I had it under control and that I could deal with work. 
And Luke, I'm building a business. I mean, ego came into that, but I really, towards the end of September, finally had my last relapse. I went to a treatment facility in July. That went well systematically. I just had my days planned, counseling, good meals, got back physically. Thought I had it. Man, came back, didn't stay on my aftercare. I was still stressed and just still angry and irritable at the situation. Just felt misunderstood the whole time, man. 
That was just-- I had gone to Cairo, Egypt two months before that. I got down on my knees outside of Saqqara Temple and begged to just release whatever type of hold substance had on me and to remove the deceptive and manipulative people from my life. And from that point, I'd literally started physically feeling a transformation that was scary. It was a lot. It was almost like a warning of what I was about to go through. And that's a scary feeling. Not knowing, like, what is this? What's this dread about something that's like a premonition of series of events that ended up happening?
And I had to pay the consequences to the lowest low that I've ever experienced my entire life, including the accident. Accident, nothing. Pain. Mentally. Nothing compared to the agony and just self-disappointment that I had for letting people down. And finally, after a series of events getting to Sedona, I was able to breathe better. I was able to-- I mean, I still had a physical dependency on alcohol, which is amazing to me. But finally, just locking in. December 25th, 2022, is when I became sober. So I'm actually sober five months today.

Luke Storey: [00:16:20] Wow. Right on. Right on. Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:16:23] Thank you, man.

Luke Storey: [00:16:23] I know from experience, dude, the first, and it's one of those things that, really, I think no matter how well-meaning people are, unless you've been in that position yourself, there's just no way that you can understand it. Because from the outside, you look at someone who's having issues with addiction and you just go, why don't you stop? Just stop. Willpower. Some people have that, and some of us have it to a lesser degree. I know that was always true in my case, but the first initial days are brutal. I mean, my first 28 days, I was in a treatment center. Thank God, the first one stuck. I was just so beat down. 
I was literally just willing to do anything. So there was no resistance left in me at that point. A lot of people relapse because they come in, they're like, oh, I hit a rough patch. Yeah, I'll go to this rehab, go to a few meetings, but I'm going to do my own thing. The ego is still in place. I think mine was just so annihilated. But, dude, I remember coming out of there after the 28 days. I mean, just functioning at all as an adult was totally impossible. I mean, I had so much emotional upheaval, and just my mind was all over the place. I mean, I just felt crazy.
And that went on for quite some time. I remember just the terror, dude, of, I'm 26 years old. I got out of rehab. I got no job, no friends. I had a little shitty apartment in Hollywood, but I knew I had to get rid of it because it was just infested with drug people. And it was just the gnarliest memories of using there. So I come out, and I have nothing. It's like, dude, every few hours is terrifying. It's getting dark. What am I going to do with myself? 
So for me, just going to meetings nonstop, there was no choice because I would have gone insane, and I would have used. So I say all that to say congratulations. And when you become addicted to alcohol or drugs, man, it's like getting clean is not for the faint at heart. It's fucking gnarly. It's gnarly. And even a month, two months, three, five months, a year, a couple of years. I mean, I look at anyone that's in the first stages of that, and it's like, man, hats off. Congratulations. Because the amount of courage it takes to let that stuff go and just face life and reality as it lands, it's tough, man. It's tough when you don't have that anesthesia to dull the sharp edges of life.

Andy Hnilo: [00:19:16] Right. No. That's a good analogy.

Luke Storey: [00:19:19] What was it like? I'm thinking back to my own experience, which was decades pre-social media. But in my life as an addict, there was so much guilt and shame that I held because I knew that I was not supposed to be living that way, and that I would get caught by my friends who all did drugs and drunk, too. But I was always the worst one. So there was always this hiding, and sneaking around, and lying, and stuff like that. But only my immediate friends and family were aware of my problems. You were going on Instagram live totally fucked up, and just going off.
What was it like to wake up the next day and be like, oh my God, what did I post? I mean, did you feel embarrassed, or ashamed after you got sober when those things would happen or friends and family seeing that and trying to intervene in your life? You did this spiraling so publicly. I think that's the interest for me. And the question is just like, what was that like to be out there that you were, and then thousands of people are seeing you take a spin?

Andy Hnilo: [00:20:37] I hurt more for my family and friends that were embarrassed. I was howling at the moon. I mean, I had a lot to say. I was expressing myself not in the best way by any means. I just had a lot going on, and a lot of disappointment I felt with just being misunderstood from authorities, police, security guards, things like that. I was really just spiraling going through it. And also very, very angry from the resentment, from certain betrayals and things like that that happened.
And by no means is it an excuse. I needed to get that type of "embarrassment", that level of the stuff that I have on the line with having the company. I'm just a really honest person though, too. I don't want to hide anything and I didn't-- a small part of me felt like it could help somebody. I'm being real. I'm being authentic here. And that's--

Luke Storey: [00:21:46] Definitely.

Andy Hnilo: [00:21:47] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:21:49] I'll give you that.

Andy Hnilo: [00:21:50] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:21:51] You're on IG live just going off, dude.

Andy Hnilo: [00:21:54] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:21:57] And no judgment here. It's curiosity to me. As I was watching that, I'm like, I wonder where this is going to go. A, obviously, I hope you're all right. You're a great guy. You're doing incredible things in the world. You're a person of service. You have a great company. You've been through a lot of shit already. But I'm just like, man, this is getting interesting. Because we were texting here and there, but it was like I would see one of those posts, and then I think it would be deleted, and then I'd see you again. And you were making more sense. All right, cool. He got it together, and then it would go out again. I was like, oh, shit, man.

Andy Hnilo: [00:22:33] Yeah. I know.

Luke Storey: [00:22:34] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:22:36] And I'm glad it happened. I needed to get broken down. Everything. And also I felt like hiding some of that was lying to my following, and definitely my customers, and people that trust me, that look for me for health advice. And I really felt like-- and even explaining that. I would have that where I'm passionately talking about certain dietary things that I do or workouts, and it would be there while I'm saying it and like, yeah, dude. I'd like to have a good time with substance a lot more than a lot of people. 
It's something that I needed to remove from my life in order to propel me forward and get to reach those heights without that guilt and without that shame of just like going, oh, I'm allowed to have a private life. I mean, there's some of that. But at the same time, it was just-- my soul was telling me to just be completely honest with this and just share everything. And there is a component of it helping others, which really does mean a lot to me. And that's why I want to just be transparent with this. 
At the same time, I needed to talk to someone. I got a lot of love from sharing my ridiculousness. But a lot of people cared, like yourself, and that love and just being there for me without judgment really helped me get back on track. And then finally, sitting with it, just solo, by myself, listening to flute music and different frequency music, just getting back and just sitting with it. A lot of prayer. A lot of prayer.

Luke Storey: [00:24:30] Yeah, that's the key. You mentioned that in Egypt, and for someone who's not had a positive or meaningful relationship with the practice of prayer, I can see how it would look almost silly, which is how I always thought of it until I was desperate enough and I had no other choice. I mean, what else are you going to do when you can't help yourself? It's like even though I didn't believe in God, I would still pray. And lo and behold, I was struck sober all these years later. Almost 26 and a half. Yeah, 26 years later, and a few months. 
I'm still in awe that those prayers that I uttered in 1997, kneeling on the floor in a rehab that they worked. It's like, what is that? What happened? Because I didn't do it. I tried to get sober on my own a bunch of times. I would make it about an hour. There's no way I could ever make it one day. Not even negotiable. Impossible. And then all of a sudden, I'm walking by the liquor store, and I don't go in. I'm driving down the street where I used to go buy drugs in downtown L.A. 
I had this job where I was delivering food for a restaurant, and they would send me down 6th Street toward downtown LA, which was the hotspot for heroin dealers on the street there. And I mean, I spent a lot of desperate moments around that corner, and I'd be driving that delivery truck, and I had cash in my pocket because I'd been getting paid to deliver the food, and I would be shocked that the car would keep going straight. I'd be like, who's steering the van? Why am I not-- they're right there.
I see the guys. You can spot them. I know who's got it. All I got to do is go, phwwwhht, a little quick whistle, quick glance, and the car is going to be surrounded by dealers spitting balloons of heroin in their hand. I mean, literally. And I knew that it was that prayer. And I just kept doing it, even though I didn't really believe in it. It's incredible. That's the crux of it, is that you have this physical, emotional, and mental illness of addiction, so it seems like the way to get over it is to address it that way. 
But on a deeper level, it's a spiritual problem. It's a disconnection from your higher self, and a disconnection from God, or one that you never had that connection. But I love that you brought in the prayer, and that your higher self is going, Andy, what are you doing, bro? I don't know if your higher self talks to you like that, but whatever that version is, where there's a part of you that knows you're better than this.

Andy Hnilo: [00:27:23] Yes.

Luke Storey: [00:27:24] A part of you that knows your life has more value than this, that you have a contribution to make, that you're worthy of actually being a whole person. And it's just that tiny little mustard seed of a voice. That's what it was for me. It was so faint. I mean, it was like a transistor radio in the dugout of an empty baseball stadium. I know you like baseball. I don't know why that analogy comes in. Maybe because you do.
It's just like you just hear this, shhh, just this slight little whisper or murmur that's like, you don't have to live like this. There's a way out. I don't know what the fuck it is, but there's a part of me that's going, ah, get me out of this. So I don't want to steal the show from you, but that's just my acknowledgment of you, and my gratitude for you having that part of yourself that was like, no, I'm done. So my question is this.

Andy Hnilo: [00:28:19] Thank you.

Luke Storey: [00:28:19] Was it difficult-- I don't know what else you were up to, but you've talked about alcohol. So if you're addicted to alcohol, was it difficult to concede to yourself that you were powerless over alcohol, that you and all your willpower wasn't enough to just stop it?

Andy Hnilo: [00:28:40] Absolutely. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:28:42] What was that like?

Andy Hnilo: [00:28:42] That was tough because I didn't want to admit it. Powerless that that word-- yeah. And clearly that's a lot of ego involvement right there. I 100% came to terms with that early December when I just realized I was powerless against alcohol. I mean, because you go back to those times you're like, yeah, I could shut it down, one or two drinks, or whatever. You've done that a couple dozen times in my life as opposed to the other side, which leads into just nonstop. Just being completely honest with yourself, and then really facing consequences. 
And then on top of just the internal agony, the past quarter of 2022, it was just tossing and turning all night. It became so much. I was so delicate with facing the consequences. And then it was just like you just take that step and just face everything. I mean, last year was tough. But just taking that step towards facing the consequences the right way and just putting in the work full on militant every day, getting back in the gym, working your way.
I mean, just having a structured routine around sobriety, not just around health and wellness, but how important my aftercare is, outpatient, my meetings, my prayer, my routine, just deep, honest. Not just to do it, but deep gratitude for what is happening around me is really hard for me to explain and put into words.

Luke Storey: [00:30:30] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:30:31] Yeah. Just to add to what you said from the spiritual aspect. And then for me, looking back to as far as I can remember when I was 11 years old, just really praying for health and happiness for my friends, my family, my loved ones back then, just parking my bike in front of the-- I would go to this little 7:00 mass, and I just needed to get back to that because, I mean, I was, still obviously I'm, very spiritual my entire life.
So getting back into that, like you said, it's interesting that it's no longer. That I don't get those little butterflies when I think about certain things with alcohol or if I see it. I went to a concert specifically in Athens that I know I probably would have been partaking. I just want to challenge myself to know that I, well, basically put myself in uncomfortable situations knowing that I can overcome that. And I did. That was good. Because you want to know that you can still have a good time without it. And everything on that trip--
I went to Jordan, Petra, the Dead Sea, and Santorini in Italy just to see these beautiful ruins and these sacred places all around. That's really my new thing that I want to spend my vacations. I want to learn as much as I can, absorb as much as I can from the different cultures all around the world. That's just basically what my new thing is in this chapter of sobriety for me. Just learning as much as I can about just ancient civilization, because I strongly believe that in doing that and paying respects to the higher power, my higher power, but also just the gods that have just created so much for us, number one, extremely interested in it. 
But I mean, just the gifts, and just the signs, and the shifting, and the natural elements that are starting to callus in me, and against using, and temptation, and having just that past, I can look back at that now. Interesting. It was just six months ago. But I am so grateful just to be able to come out on the other side and experience something that I was like, man, I thought I'd be giving something up. Do you know how beautiful every day is without that? You know what I mean?

Luke Storey: [00:33:06] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:33:07] Waking up on vacations sober and then fired up to go on a hike and see things that really overwhelm me. I'm getting chills right now. Definitely not cool. That feeling that sticks with you, and then you're able to just stack those and just carry with you forever, and just mold you into who you are. Even just saying that, it makes my travels so much more fulfilling, makes my relationships that I make on my travels just so much more powerful and real. 
I'm so glad to be where I'm at now. And I have to tell you, man, you were a big inspiration the entire time. I remember shooting that first podcast with you just going, man, this guy. How does he do it? You know what I mean? Sobriety. How did these people do it?

Luke Storey: [00:34:00] I know. I remember you came over one day when I was living in the apartment in Miracle Mile. And I don't know if you came over to talk about addiction, but I do remember having a talk with you and just sharing some of my story. And if I recall right, I think at that point, you were like, well, I've had some issues with it here and there, but I'm able to manage it and recreationally party here and there. But I have it under control. And I was like, hey, hats off to you, man. I have no idea what that's like. But I remember that. 
And I remember thinking, ah, if he really has the gene, eventually-- I don't want to wish this upon anyone, but just based on my experience, eventually, it might catch up to him. So that was interesting to see all those years later. It's like some of us are just wired that way, and we can't dabble. Eventually the dabbling becomes a full time job, and then it just eclipses everything else in your life. It's a tragic thing. So congratulations on making it out. You talked about-- and I want to get into some other stuff, but this is just such a close to my heart topic. So I appreciate your vulnerability.

Andy Hnilo: [00:35:12] Absolutely.

Luke Storey: [00:35:12] I don't think anyone really enjoys being transparent about their struggles, but it does help other people. There's going to be someone listening to this that's like, damn, I think I'm an alcoholic. And they're going to maybe do something about it, and be free like you and me. It's incredible. There's no high like reality. Reality is so fucking interesting. You don't need anything to make life more fun. It's like, dude, to be present is a wild ass ride.

Andy Hnilo: [00:35:41] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:35:42] The more present we can be.

Andy Hnilo: [00:35:45] It's a really good point.

Luke Storey: [00:35:45] But you mentioned, you're running this company. It's your first company of all these teams, this responsibility, the stress, the grind. I think many people look from the outside at an entrepreneur and think, oh, they have it made. They don't have a boss. They have their own company. They're making all this money. It's very stressful too to run a company, especially if you're new at it and you're an innovator like you are. 
Aside from that stress, though, in day-to-day life, have you uncovered any deeper layers of trauma from when you were a kid or just things that would be helped by therapy, or plant medicine ceremonies, or anything? Have things come to the surface that were more than just day-to-day life stress that you feel like you have addressed or want to address in terms of just expanding who you are?

Andy Hnilo: [00:36:39] I mean, experimenting with plant medicine and definitely sitting with ayahuasca, but doing it. I would like to go to Peru. I think Aubrey Marcus mentioned a couple people that I'd like to look into. I want to do it overseas and just get that full experience. Experimented with psilocybin and DMT. That was great, just to see a different dimension, and what's next, and just the beauty of it, and how I felt. The love that was that is inside of me. And to see how real it is. 
It was just the most impactful ceremony and experience compared to combo and other things that I've done. DMT specifically was pretty impactful, which is interesting because at that point, when I had tried it, I think-- yeah, sobriety wasn't even a flicker of anything in the future. But it definitely did open me up into just a spirituality and what's out there, just the-- I'm so interested in just the higher powers, and the cosmos, and just everything that's going on energetically. That's become a very big passion of mine. 
But I mean, as far as finding out more about myself from past traumas, I mean, I've done a lot of neurofeedback brain training. I don't know. It may be there, and I'm going to continue to-- therapy is a luxury. I would love to continue to see somebody weekly, but as far as, yeah, past trauma, I just really feel like alcohol was the main thing that just didn't agree with my biology.

Luke Storey: [00:38:41] Yeah. I asked that because it's common that people have some underlying hurt that led to them drinking and using in excess. But I also have known many people that had great families, great childhoods. They weren't abused. They weren't molested. It's more rare, I find, because I know a lot of sober people, but I'm always tripped out when I meet someone who's like, no, I had a really great life. It's just when I start drinking, I can't stop.

Andy Hnilo: [00:39:14] That's what it is.

Luke Storey: [00:39:15] It's trippy. It's a bit more rare that that's the case. But I do know people like that. I've met many people like that that are like, I'm actually a pretty happy person. I've got a great family. It's just that devil juice, man. If I get into it, it takes over. So anyway, let's get into-- and thanks again for sharing that. 
And when you first came on the show, and we'll link to that again at lukestorey.com/andy for those that want to hear the long version of the story, but I want to get into your expertise of skincare and all the shit that you know about taking care of our largest organ, but just maybe in a very brief way, share what you went through when you got hit by a couple SUVs and just got gnarled, just to give people some context for where your passion for skincare originated from.

Andy Hnilo: [00:40:09] Yeah. So I was in the entertainment industry. So I had this-- and I was into skincare, but I hid it. So every Sunday night, I had this preexisting clay mask. I think it was rhassoul, bentonite, kelp, and vitamin C at that point. And I would just run in, mix this little mask every Sunday night before my week of auditions as an actor. 
While crossing the street, March 20th, 2011, I was hit by a westbound heading vehicle, hitting the eastbound lane, run over by a Tundra, and woke up in a Cedars-Sinai ICU bed with a compound fracture of my jaw, seven broken ribs, just unrecognizable. But I knew that when I got back home, I had that clay mask. My jaw was wired shut, teeth gone. I just needed to build my system back internally. 
So I met with several different Chinese herbalists, George Lamoureaux from Jing Herbs. I met with a couple people at Dragon Herbs, Crosby [Inaudible], Sage Dammers, Truth Calkins that helped me put together this tonic that had medicinal mushrooms, chaga, reishi, some ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, herbs. 
A lot of those things that I was taking to build my system back internally and build my blood back, reduce the inflammation just to get my zest back because I was just in a fog from the antibiotics, a lot of those things I would experiment topically into the masks that I was using just to reduce swelling, exfoliation, and heal the abrasions that I had all over.
But some of those ingredients that I was taking internally, I would add to the mask, pearl powder, ginseng, colostrum. I think that's it. But I was tinkering away with the formula, which is now the clay mask by using some of the ingredients that I was ingesting internally.

Luke Storey: [00:41:59] Ah, interesting. Okay.

Andy Hnilo: [00:42:00] A lot of things didn't work, but basically came down to particle size and also just testing on myself, using myself as my biggest science experiment, basically. But, yeah, I had been into it, I just wanted to look like my pictures for auditions, being fresh for the audition. There was something about that mask that I looked forward to doing. But back then, just being an ex-athlete and a guy, I kept it to myself. 
But that was my-- pretty much after the accident, that's where everything really started to speed up because I was seeing results not only from the mask but the different things that I was experimenting with topically after the mask. And that's really where I just went, look, this is my thing. But I didn't know it was going to be my thing until after the podcast with Dave in 2014. 
But those few years in recovery, driving to different homes and people I didn't know, mixing up a clay mask, explaining why I'm putting apple cider vinegar in instead of water, and just going around that little journey, it was fun for me because I was recovering. I was seeing people that wanted to try my little clay mask. But also just getting back to what I want to do as an actor was great. 
And then I troubleshooted Dave's email and got on his podcast, very long story made short. And just the response after that was what created Alitura a few months later. After that first podcast, we had the Alitura clay mask on his Bulletproof site for a year, and then basically just keeping that same attention to detail with purity of ingredients, but going creatively, adding an element to that, and not just using the same oils that really are very commonly used, for the most part because they're good, but finding similar characteristics of those good oils. 
But you find something that nobody's found before. That's what I really-- I mean, I was just in Greece. I found oxidized copper in the mountain. I was on a little tour. There's a little bit of a language barrier, and they're pointing out these different layers of sandstone, limestone, this red rock, which is iron content. And they pointed out this oxidized copper, and I'd never heard of that before. Long story made short, I think I'm going to mine that, ultra ventilate it, get that down to an ingredient, combine that into the dry dead sea powder. 
I mean, this is just-- take it a different level with every component of your products. If you have that level of creativity, it takes a lot longer. And if you had a board, and a timeline to get things out, and profit margins, I don't have any of that. And so you can appreciate this being a musician. It is like making an album, man. A lot of things that got cut on the U2, Soundgarden, Coldplay. Some of those songs-- Heatseekers, that never made it.

Luke Storey: [00:45:11] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [00:45:12] And I just-- man, there's nothing better than releasing a product and looking at that ingredient deck and going, dude. Yeah. I mean, I like looking at people when they look at the ingredient deck. Yeah, it takes a lot. It really is just-- I'm looking right at what I was put on this planet to do, or at least one of them. And that's for me. I never thought that. I thought I'd be an athlete, maybe an actor, or whatever, but, man, I am right where I'm supposed to be.

Luke Storey: [00:45:41] I think that's one of the things that I find interesting about you is you're a sporty, athletic dude. You're a bro. You're a dude. You're a dude's dude. You're really into skincare. I've always thought that's funny, but it's cool, though, because I think about it from not so much the vanity and esthetics part of it, but just the fact that our skin is our largest organ. And you hear that thrown around a lot, but that's huge. That says a lot. And I remember when I first found you and your stuff and started experimenting with-- I mean, you were making shit in your garage. 
When I'd get your products, they wouldn't even have a label sometimes. Try this thing, and I'm going, this dude, basically, what you just explained, he's taking all the best stuff I would drink in a smoothie and putting it on the skin. There's other companies that, yeah, they use like emu oil, or they have just standardized blends of stuff, and some of them are great, but I noticed from the beginning, you were so obsessive about the quality and the rarity. 
You could just put regular bentonite clay, and you're putting the red clay. It's everything you were doing, and then putting it in the Miron glass. And I remember actually back in LA, I had a source for that. I don't know if you ended up using them, but I think I turned you on to a guy who makes it, or sells it, or something because I'm like, dude, you're making this stuff and you don't want to use preservatives, so you use the glass as a preservative. So all this extra mile stuff that you were doing, I think is what got my attention. 
Because honestly, you wouldn't have to do that to still make a product that could make you money. You could probably make more money if you didn't put these exotic ingredients in there because they're hella expensive. And I'm sure the timelines on production are longer because you're sourcing all these rare things. So that's what turned me on to your whole methodology, is I'm just going, this dude is just going next level because he has to. He can't resist making stuff as good as it can possibly be.
And then when I started using it, I got really spoiled. And now it's like--  I'm out of the Gold Serum. This is my little collection here for those that are watching the video. And I'm out of the Gold Serum, which I really love. I'm out of it because I use it so much. But this one here, the night cream. I wish you could transmit a smell through a microphone. Dude. But I put this on every night. Mostly I want to conserve it, so I just put it around my eyes, but I always want to eat it. 
And I realized I probably could actually just take a scoop of this and eat it. And I think that's a really important thing for people to understand, and we can go more deeply into this, is that when we put something on our body, we're instantaneously putting it in our body. I think that's a disconnect for people. So maybe speak to some of the things that we, humans, put on our bodies that we probably don't want in our bloodstream. What are some of the nastiest stuff that's in commercial skincare products that you wanted to avoid?

Andy Hnilo: [00:48:55] Right. See, fragrance. I mean, there's a study that women leave the house with over 160 chemicals daily between, I mean, when you think about it, hairspray, makeup, lipstick. Who knows about the shampoo and conditioner they're using that close to the brain, rubbing that into your scalp daily. It just gives me little anxiety.

Luke Storey: [00:49:14] The hair dye, and straightener, and bleach, and all that stuff.

Andy Hnilo: [00:49:18] It becomes a part of you, though. What you put on top of your skin, 63% of that gets into your respiratory biology, gets into your bloodstream, so you want to make sure that the ingredients that you're putting into and on top of your skin are as food grade or as close to Mother Nature as possible. It does take longer. And sure, there are cheaper shortcuts that may have a speck of some type of plant-derived formula and still be ecocert-approved. 
I mean, it's going back to just the ancient time-tested elements that, I mean, you look at the ancient Egyptian magic. That, I think, was my first follow up. I used to use Aztec healing clay, I think, when I was 21. But I think my secondary product to that was this ancient Egyptian magic. I'm not sure if I read about it in a magazine, but seriously, back then, I even just looked. It was like propolis, extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and I think pollen, and royal jelly. But just such a simple formula. 
That product's still there. That company's still there, and the formula is amazing, but it's interesting how-- seriously. Without even looking-- I forgot about this until recently, until I went back to Egypt last year. But the consistency of that product and my night cream are similar, and the ingredients are similar. I just wonder if it was feeding me for my elements, the knowledge from when I was growing up and actually using it and getting into that.
My point being, ancient time-tested remedies are what I want to bring back into the products, not just cutting-edge new age stuff that's been in a lab. I really want to go back and bring some of that ancient civilization time-tested alchemy into my products as much as possible. There are new-- we have plant-derived vitamin A, which we sourced from France in the Gold Serum, and even that, though, that's back to the natural element. It's organic alfalfa-derived product rather than retinol. 
So retinol is very popular now, and it's undeniably effective, but it has harsh sun sensitivity side effects. It can be really irritating to the skin. I mean, I just really feel like taking it back to the beginning, to the purest forms, my skin responds best to that. I have very reactive skin. And just with chemicals, year over year from the time I was 21, removing those chemicals and getting towards something natural, obviously, the knowledge increased because I was seeing results, better results with the products that were more expensive, sure, rather than the Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Noxzema, all of that, Dove.
I was seeing better results, and just, collectively, I felt better. You're not doing any damage to your endocrine system without the harsh fillers. You'll see products with four or five different kinds of alcohols, artificial colors in their fragrance, harsh preservatives, several forms of harsh preservatives, and then you're just rubbing that into your largest organ daily over time. Absolutely, I mean, in theory, I feel like is accelerating aging and also accelerating the aging of your skin.
I mean, when you go outside, a lot of this-- not a lot. I mean, some of this is theory. I mean, just going outside with a face full of makeup, having the sun bake that in, or having the sun bake in some SPF 50 with a littered ingredient deck list of 30 to 40 government-recognized carcinogens, but it has SPF 50, but you're putting it on in the sun, just baking that in. 
Looking back, I wonder if that's a cause for certain illnesses as opposed to-- I know there are people that are very sensitive to the sun and very susceptible to sun cancer and skin cancer. And I'm very respectful of that. 
I'm curious to figure out if that's a culprit of it. It feels like, but it's all in theory to me. I wish somebody would do a study on that just with all these SPF-loaded, 40, 50, sunscreens, and you're going out and baking it in.

Luke Storey: [00:53:43] Yeah, the sun protection thing. I get messages from people sometimes. I have fair skin. I mean, obviously, I don't think it's healthy to get burned, but my recommendation is wear a hat, wear clothes. And also what's interesting about skin sensitivity is this fact that you can build a solar callus from actually getting sunlight in your eyes, sun gazing, and things like that. I mean, there's a lot you can do internally before even considering that your exposure in the outside environment.
I mean, I never get sunburned. I guess I have inherently Italian olive skin, but I mean, I haven't been sunburned since maybe the early 2000s in Brazil, because I was like, I don't get sunburned, and I went on the beach for a few hours in Rio, and I had all these blisters all over me. It's like the equator doesn't play. So I learned, okay, maybe in LA I'm fine. I can lay naked in the sun all day long. But I'm always an advocate for safe sun exposure. 
But I think that the excess use of these sunscreens is causing a lot of problems too because you're blocking out a portion of the UV light. I forget if it's the A or B or whatever it is, but it's basically like you can get a really weird sunburn from sitting in the sun behind a window because you're not getting the full spectrum of the UV. That happened to me actually at that house in the Hollywood Hills because I had this big window and I was like, oh, I want to get my morning sun.
So I started to just sit in front of that and meditate, and I would get not a sunburn but just this weird red skin. I guess a sunburn. And then I learned that it's not great to be in direct sunlight behind a window. And then I thought, oh, that's what sunscreen does. And there's so much shit that we do that's just backwards. It's in opposition to nature. So if there's things we can eat, if we can acclimate our eyes to natural light, there's a lot we can do, I think, to build the resilience. What about--

Andy Hnilo: [00:55:47] In harmony.

Luke Storey: [00:55:48] Yeah. What about people that suffer from acne. You mentioned retinol as a common ingredient. I know people that have been really harmed by taking Accutane. I remember my little brother took that when he's a teenager. It really messed him up. And I remember also-- I'm going to embarrassed my brother Cody, but he had teenage acne, and he'd be washing his face constantly with these harsh cleansers. 
And even back then, I remember thinking, if your face has oil, it's supposed to. You know what I mean? But he could be drying out his skin, and I guess it helped his acne. But what about the issue of acne, and how much of that has to do with the external of our skin versus things like hormones, different foods we're eating, and things like that? I mean, you have really clear skin, but I know many people struggle with blemishes and things.

Andy Hnilo: [00:56:38] Right. Yeah. And I did too. For me, it was a combination of hormones racing. I was 18, 19, but also diet. I was trying to gain weight. I was an athlete at the time, and I was just focused on protein, fat, calories. Definitely not into ingredients. I just wanted to put on weight, but my back broke out. I would get like little cystic sores around my face, which is just an annoying form of acne because it never comes to a point where you can remove it. It sticks around for a few days, and it's just like a mosquito bite. And so that's really what was a catalyst. 
And switching up my products and eating better, becoming more familiar with my ingredients. I remember meeting with this-- I bought my first Flora, F-L-O-R-A, aqueous silica horsetail extract because I was just-- I met with this Chinese herbalist in Berkeley, 18, 19 years old, and I was just trying to figure out how to-- because I was changing in front of my locker room, didn't want anybody to see my back. 
But that was just the attention to what I was putting into and onto my body. It just became a very big interest of mine. But it was because I just feel like, like you mentioned, the hormones. I was growing into my body. I was disrupting it with poor nutrition. But I would say mostly-- and also using products that were just counterproductive to having clear skin. Like you said, it was just all drying out the skin, and just foaming agent, sodium laureth sulfate was a huge culprit of that. 
And then harsh preservatives and fragrance just led to this disaster of a meal for my skin that was only increasing the problem and the issue. But yeah, I mean, the thing is, you can just get-- that's why I just wanted to, with our surfactants, have it be beneficial, not just something similar to sodium laureth sulfate. For instance, our cleanser using colloidal silver to eat up bacteria, and then a nice emulsion of clays, and pearl powder, and marshmallow mushroom just to heal the skin and then eat up any bacteria if it's there. 
But just adding oils, like an oil painter cleaning the brushes, you need a little bit of oil to cleanse some of the brushes. And so we have some of those oils to just act as a mild surfactant, naturally cleaning your face of oil and dirt and then eating up bacteria with the colloidal silver. You can really keep it not basic, but like you said, as close to nature as possible without using the lab-made chemicals that are just so harsh on the skin. 
And I would say a big cause of the irritation, the acne, and then endocrine disruptors, hormones already racing from that, and now you're having to take a pill internally with Accutane, I mean, I've heard nightmare stories about just the harsh side effects, depression, things like that that it can lead to. And one of my former employees, actually, he's like, man, you're depressed with acne or you're depressed with the Accutane. He's like, which one would you rather have? 
And I was like, man, that's a tough position to be in. And so, yeah, man. I mean, I just think a good, balanced diet, but hormones can be very tough. But just staying active, getting good sunlight, and then using clean products. You're growing into your body. You're going to have some elements of the hormonal-- maybe your body's reaction to growing into where it's going to be, and the pubescent stages of our lives. 
But yeah, I mean, just making sure that we're putting clean products into and onto our body, I think, helps mitigate all of the side effects and things that can happen with just low hormones racing, and then just putting a band-aid on that with a pill or just some drying out of your skin daily, and then having to add this other moisturizer. They're all littered with chemicals. 
And so I just really like to find cleaner formulas closer to nature, but also dynamic too. Plants are amazing. I mean, there's just so much out there with just different remedies. And that's what's fun hearing in my travels from different cultures and what they use, and just taking that back in my little alchemy when I decide to make a new product. 
It's just absorbing what other people do, taking what I want, leave the rest. Experimenting on myself, seeing what works, what doesn't. If it works, maybe try it on some other people. Seeing if they're seeing the same feeling, the same thing that I am, and taking it from there. But yeah, it's a fun process of creation.

Luke Storey: [01:01:56] Artistry.

Andy Hnilo: [01:01:57] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:01:59] So as you're traveling around looking at these different cultures around the world, what is the most exotic or weird skin ingredient you found?

Andy Hnilo: [01:02:11] Mm. All right. Well, it's a potential, but it's going to be tough to extract. There's this tree in Belize that is horned, had these points that came out. Well, underneath that is-- well, you rip that bark off. There's another layer to the tree which apparently has SPF and properties in it to just heal your-- well, prevent sun damage. And that's known in San Pedro. And they also have these little coquitos. They're like mini coconuts that you can crack open, scoop, just like full on coconuts, but they're this big. That was interesting. 
That was back when I went there, when MCT was so hot, and I was like, well, maybe I could get a ton of those. And who knows? Maybe it would be more potent and medium chain triglyceride fat. Let's see. What else? I want to get Petra red rock into one of my masks as well. I think it'd be amazing to have Petra red rock, dried dead sea mud, oxidized copper, tie that in somehow with an ingredient that I met either in Italy or-- I want to make a product called Blue. Alitura Blue, and have an ingredient from each blue zone. Petra is one. 
Yeah, an ingredient from each blue zone in an effort to just-- for skin longevity. So that's next. But I would-- yeah, I definitely want to get a just an ingredient from those areas. And I have. So actually, when I went there, I went to the biggest dead sea skincare manufacturer, just walked in, had a jar of my clay mask, showed them my website, and just-- there's a little bit of a language barrier. 
But yeah, we're working together now, and they designed a couple of cool tables for me too, that they had. They're showing off their products, and it was just a really cool experience working with them. But yeah, I'm going to be making a body scrub and a pre-made clay mask with those ingredients. It's a little far out, but it's just cool that the traveling inspired that.

Luke Storey: [01:04:31] Speaking of Alitura Blue, have you ever thought about putting methylene blue in any of your products?

Andy Hnilo: [01:04:36] Yeah, I did. I did. I almost added it to the Gold Serum when I was making it. I took it out just because I just wasn't ready to put it in yet. But I mean, man, that was what, 2016, '17? And it's only increased as far as just the interest. I take it almost daily, a little tincture in the back. But as far-- and I put it in my clay mask. But as far-- sometimes I'll roll it into the skin. I'll combine a little bit of that with the Gold Serum and then roll it into the skin.

Luke Storey: [01:05:05] With the-- what's it called?

Andy Hnilo: [01:05:06] The derma roller.

Luke Storey: [01:05:07] Derma Roller.

Andy Hnilo: [01:05:07] Yeah. And that's interesting. I definitely feel some activity there. I'll take some NAD for my peptides, squirt it in there, just rub it around the Gold Serum, a little methylene blue, and then roll that into the skin.

Luke Storey: [01:05:21] Wow. That's a cool idea.

Andy Hnilo: [01:05:22] That's a game changer for sure. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:05:24] Wow. Yeah. Methylene blue is just interesting because it's so photo-reactive. If you get in the sunlight with methylene blue or under red light, it potentiates the effect of it. So that's why I'm always like, huh, there's got to be a way to get it into your skin and scalp. There's something to that. But I like the derma roller idea.

Andy Hnilo: [01:05:45] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:05:46] What's the deal with-- I haven't used a derma roller a lot on my skin, but I know that's something that you're into. Would you explain to people what the benefits are of derma rolling, and how it helps rejuvenate the collagen in your skin, and all that?

Andy Hnilo: [01:06:00] Yeah. So micro needling is huge. We have 0.25, 0.5, and one millimeter lengths of these micro-titanium needles that you just roll across your face, effectively opening up the epidermis, the first layer of your skin, and then letting the ingredients that you put on afterwards sink in that much further, effectively just maximizing the benefits of the products, sinking in that much deeper past the initial layer of the skin with good, clean titanium needles. I mean, there are plastic derma rollers out there, stainless steel, I guess isn't that bad, but just making sure that you're cleaning it well, in between use.
I do 1 to 3 times a week. Did it today. It's so invigorating. And also what it does, it signals to your skin to repair itself effectively, creating a thicker collagen layer over time, creating these tiny little micro tears. I mean, sometimes if you-- depending on how hard you roll it, you'll get like little pokes of blood. And those vampire facials are becoming super popular now. But, I mean, this is something that you can do by just using the control of your own hand, and for a fraction of the cost, at the comfort of your own home, just a couple times a week. Some people are for it. Some people aren't. I love it.

Luke Storey: [01:07:12] I got to get on it. I think you guys sent me one of the rollers, and I was looking for my little collection of your products, and I couldn't find it. So I don't know what I did with it, but I've done it on my scalp when I've tried to regrow my hair. I've done the micro needling and put serums in there, and red light, and shit, and I just never can keep up with it. But I do like your face mask has this, which is this thing right here, the clay mask, which I better be careful opening. I'm going to get all over the furniture. 
But this has a cool effect because it has this tingly feeling to it, which maybe you can speak to what it's doing. I'm admittedly a bit lazy with the clay mask. It's like I do it, and go, oh my God, I should do this all the time because it feels amazing. Your skin looks and feels great afterward. But  I tend to just put the oils in, the night cream on because it's just faster. But what about micro needling, then doing a mask? Is that a good move?

Andy Hnilo: [01:08:10] Yeah. That's a move right there, especially if you do methylene blue because you're going to want to pull off all that, which it does. Yeah. The clay mask is special. It's a blend of four clays, rhassoul, kaolin, green desert clay, and French illite clay. We have a 10% ascorbic acid, which is a high potency form of vitamin C. That's probably where you get that little tingling and the bubbling from. Foams up a little bit. That wasn't intentional. It's just part of it. Freshwater pearl powder, American ginseng, first four milking and grass-fed colostrum, and organic kelp powder. So I mean, a lot of these things--

Luke Storey: [01:08:47] So you could legit just--

Andy Hnilo: [01:08:49] Drink it.

Luke Storey: [01:08:50] Make a drink of that.

Andy Hnilo: [01:08:51] I mean, I've done it. I've done it sometimes when you're a little depleted. Yeah. I mean, with the exception of maybe the rhassoul clay or kaolin clay, but kaolin clay is in toothpaste. Yeah. So you mix it up. I like apple cider vinegar because it has a mother enzyme in it, the kind that blends with the bentonite it, helps just maintain the electromagnetic properties which help remove heavy metals. And it just has a really good-- the particle size makes sense because I was pretty finicky with sourcing the clays, so I didn't know this. It was just a feel thing. You know what I mean? 
It's not like I went through and micro-tested it, but I mean, tested the properties of it, but just in sourcing the clays, that was important just to have it sit, have it blend perfectly. The emulsion, it sits on the face a lot different than any other clay masks. And I've seen also the components of it. You're really drawing out so much while reintroducing a lot of good minerals, trace minerals and just nutrition that your skin and body needs internally, but also just topically with subtly exfoliating over time with sunspots, and acne scars, and just rejuvenating the skin. 
If it's once a week that you're doing it, if you're taking a couple of days off and doing it a few times a week, I mean, it's just like a professional spa-quality facial from the comfort of your own home. I mean, you can add just different essential oils to make it a little bit of an aromatherapy experience as well.

Luke Storey: [01:10:31] I got to get back on it. You inspired me. Every time I interview someone and they remind me of something, I'm like, all right. I do a lot of shit. I go through phases of having discipline to do certain things, but that's one I think would really help me. Plus, I'm no spring chicken, so I want to salvage what looks I have as long as I can. I'll be 53 this year, dude. Sometimes I look at pictures of myself and I'm like, oh, shit, you're the old guy. How did that happen?

Andy Hnilo: [01:10:57] Not at all, dude.

Luke Storey: [01:10:58] I mean, I'm not really too caught up in vanity, but no one's mad at looking in the mirror and going, shit, I'm doing all right.

Andy Hnilo: [01:11:06] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:11:06] So you think about these things a little more, I think, as you get older. Have you thought about doing any bath products, like a bath ball or something? I thought of that because back in the day, I was really into these medicinal baths, and I'd put a shit ton of calcium bentonite clay, and different things in the bath to adsorb toxins and things like that. And as you talk about the clay mask, I'm like, man, it'd be dope to do it to your whole body. Have you ever thought about doing something like that?

Andy Hnilo: [01:11:33] I've thought about that, and I've thought about it just recently because Matt Blackburn did a podcast on his amino acid bath.

Luke Storey: [01:11:41] Oh, right.

Andy Hnilo: [01:11:41] And now I'm like, all right. So now maybe that's another thing because I've been fascinated with it. I had a friend, like you said, that used to do these charcoal baths, bentonite baths, and I was like, man, that's going to be expensive if I ever did the clay mask with that. No, but you're right, though. If you just isolated it, made little cubes and then really made them concentrated with impactful ingredients, yeah, that could be huge. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:12:10] I thought about it too since most of us are taking baths in tap water. I think one of my, and I don't know if there's any scientific basis to this reality, but I always felt like if I was putting a little bit of charcoal or some clay in the bath, that it was helping to absorb some of the chlorine and toxins and stuff in there.

Andy Hnilo: [01:12:31] Oh, that's a good point.

Luke Storey: [01:12:31] And again, I don't know if that's true. It was a mental thing where I'm like, God, baths are really good for you. But in LA tap water, who knows?

Andy Hnilo: [01:12:40] I know.

Luke Storey: [01:12:40] I'll show you when we're done recording. We're just in the process of having this whole house O4 water system put in here. I'm just so excited to finally be able to take a bath in clean water, take a shower in clean water. I've never had that in my whole life. And I've had shower filters, and I do what I can, but baths specifically, I mean, you can smell the chlorine and shit. It's just like there's fluoride and all kinds of nasty stuff in there.

Andy Hnilo: [01:13:07] I remember you years ago telling me about the-- because I would go into the Equinox steam room and-- 

Luke Storey: [01:13:14] Steam room.

Andy Hnilo: [01:13:15] Dude, your explanation is steam rooms-- yeah. I don't think I've been back. I think I've gone once in 10 years.

Luke Storey: [01:13:21] Well, it's funny because some gyms, and this is probably true of Equinox since they're a higher-end gym, some gyms do filter the water before it goes to steam. But I started noticing that because I'd go to 24 Hour Fitness and go in the steam room. And after you're living a chemical-free life for a long time, you really smell stuff. I'm sure if you put on some crappy cologne or some skin product that has a lot of fragrance in it, it's like, oh, it's overwhelming because you're not used to it. 
So yeah, I'd walk in the steam room and just be like, this is literally a gas chamber, because the crazy-- and this is true of hot showers too in city water. Not to freak people out, but it's one thing when you mix chemicals together in solution in water. There's different byproducts that are formed by mixing chemicals. It's like alchemy. Toxic alchemy. 
But when you turn them into steam, a lot of chemicals become other chemicals. And when you mix the steams together, of the chemicals, there's further chemicals still. So, yeah, steam rooms for me-- but then I went to-- it might have even been in Equinox. I remember going to one gym being like, I know this is going to sound crazy, but do you guys happen to filter the water for the steam rooms? They're like, yeah, absolutely. We have a whole system. 
Yeah, it was in LA. I forget what gym it was, and I was like, oh, cool. It might have even been Equinox on Wilshire. Yeah. A girlfriend at the time, I think, had a membership there, and I had a guest pass for one day, and I was like, we'll see what's up. I was impressed. But it's definitely something to  consider if you're a health-minded person and you're doing things to support your health. Steam is great, but maybe not if your pores are all opening up, your lungs are open, and you're breathing that shit in for half an hour or whatever. Probably not awesome. 
I want to let people know, before I forget, you guys have given us a 20% discount on all of Alitura products. So if you guys go to lukestorey.com/Alitura, that's A-L-I-T-U-R-A, lukestorey.com/alitura, and the code is the name of the show, LIFESTYLIST, that's going to get you 20% off. 
I want to go into a couple of the ingredients because as I said earlier, I'm just a nut, like you, about just obsessively wanting the highest quality of everything possible. You mentioned that you put colostrum in some of your products, and I eat a lot of colostrum. Until I met you. I never thought of putting it on the skin. What's the logic behind that?

Andy Hnilo: [01:15:50] So healing. That was one of those things-- yeah, Ivankovich gave me a jar of, I think it was, I don't know if it was Daniel Vitalis's colostrum because he was literally one of the first people to even mention it, Daniel Vitalis. And I was taking that in my smoothie, extremely expensive, but I just thought it was really good for just building my system back internally. But I mean, it's   the first mother's milk to the calf. What all the calves are fed or were fed before. We get the surplus. We concentrate that, put it into a powder, make it into a powder. 
And it's really good for repairing, healing the skin post exfoliation, introducing minerals to the skin. It has an IGF, one growth factor, component to it, which I feel like right during the cell turnover process, in combination with the vitamin C, and the different trace minerals, and the silica from the clays just helps develop a healthier collagen synthesis over time. 
I feel I can replenish that area. Combined with all the blood flow to the surface, I mean, you're just really incorporating a lot of rich, healthy ingredients back into the skin as well as removing a lot of impurities. But yeah, colostrum is one of those things where I trusted the process that it was so good internally, then start experimenting with it. I would make little pastes with beeswax, cacao butter, and that is actually in our night cream too. Yeah, that's how it started.

Luke Storey: [01:17:29] This stuff has cacao in it?

Andy Hnilo: [01:17:31] Yeah. A colostrum.

Luke Storey: [01:17:32] Oh, okay. It has colostrum.

Andy Hnilo: [01:17:34] Cacao butter, excuse me? Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:17:34] It has cacao. Yeah. Because I think that's why I always want to eat it. I couldn't place the smell, but I think that's what it is. It has a little slight chocolaty flavor to it. One of these days I'm going to eat it. I'm going to try right now.

Andy Hnilo: [01:17:48] Go for it.

Luke Storey: [01:17:51] Actually tastes pretty good.

Andy Hnilo: [01:17:52] Yeah, it's a little--

Luke Storey: [01:17:54] I don't know why this is the first time I've done that because, literally, every night I put on, I'm like, God, I wish this was like a--

Andy Hnilo: [01:17:59] Body lotion is good.

Luke Storey: [01:18:00] I wish this was like a cake frosting, but-- 

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:03] I'm not kidding. Here. Seriously, try.

Luke Storey: [01:18:05] I'll try it.

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:05] It's not bad.

Luke Storey: [01:18:05] I ain't scared. Oh, does this one have a little sandalwood in it?

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:10] Yeah. Sandalwood, lemongrass, vanilla.

Luke Storey: [01:18:12] I like the smell of this.

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:14] Beeswax.

Luke Storey: [01:18:15] All right, we're over here eating lotion, guys, for those--

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:17] I used to do that.

Luke Storey: [01:18:18] Listening. Dude, that tastes really good.

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:20] It's not bad.

Luke Storey: [01:18:20] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:18:21] Yeah, a little lemon, vanilla, beeswax.

Luke Storey: [01:18:23] That's actually really good. It tastes like a sweet, vanilla Thai food because the lemongrass. I started using a very expensive salad dressing. I mean, there's a lot of products, though, in the body care space that are like, oh. They know the concept, if you're putting it on your skin, you're putting it in your body. And so people say like, oh, it's so clean you can eat it. But I would probably never do that with most products. 
But I mean, unless you're lying about the ingredient deck, everything in here is edible. Anyway, I want to get into a couple more things that I'm just curious about. You mentioned some of the clays. What about the bee products, like the propolis, and the honey, and stuff like that? You mentioned this goes back to ancient cultures in Egypt and elsewhere. What's the deal with using bee products on the skin?

Andy Hnilo: [01:19:16] I'm just so glad I became drawn to and interested in that, because can you imagine me trying to find another emulsifying agent? It's difficult.

Luke Storey: [01:19:28] And the emulsify-- explain what the emulsifying agent--

Andy Hnilo: [01:19:30] Like glycerin, just fillers, flowing agents--

Luke Storey: [01:19:33] To make something liquid?

Andy Hnilo: [01:19:35] Yeah. 

Luke Storey: [01:19:35] Okay.

Andy Hnilo: [01:19:35] And sometimes they can be powdered to thicken up. Thickeners, fillers, things that really-- I mean, especially, if you can find one that serves the skin as well as bee products. I mean, just scientists are finding out more and more about molecularly complex royal jelly, propolis, pollen, beeswax and honey in general. I mean, I'm just fascinated by bees, their healing components, how much they control, worldwide, our food production. I mean, they're essential for just so many components of our lives.
And so I luckily got put in touch with a family out in Haleiwa, Hawaii that holistically raises bees. I'm trying to think of another sign. When I was first starting this, and I think I only had my moisturizer back then, Carly Stein from Beekeeper's Naturals, I think she used to be a beekeeper. I should know this. But it was interesting that she was starting-- I think she started a year after me or maybe right around the same time.
But that's just-- the bee products in general have been just very-- I've just been very interested in using them in my formulas over anything else really. I'm not sure why, but I've been drawn to that as a base for all my formulas with the exception of Santal Black, and Presence, and our Pearl Cleanser. But the moisturizing aspect, the healing, just the fact that it's so-- I know this may sound-- that it's so sticky. That it's so sticky. 
I mean the medicinal parts of aloe vera, garlic, turmeric, they're harsh. You know what I mean? The stickiness. I just feel like that's part of the medicine, the healing component. It's not just going to go there and be absorbed, and then just-- I mean, I love the fact that for our night-- and that was a big reason why I wanted to know that it was healing my scarring is because it was there the next morning when I was making the little paste. 
And so I just felt like the things that you rub in, and the creams, and things that are that I was buying to-- it was on the shelf. I forget the name. Erewhon. And it had a good clean ingredient deck of oils. And it would just get absorbed. And then it was gone. It just wasn't-- I just feel like that that has no healing component over time. I love the fact that, yeah, with bee products, specifically the honeys, royal jelly, just finding out this-- I mean, the way these elements are secreted from such interesting little--

Luke Storey: [01:22:25] Bees are so cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:22:27] I know. 

Luke Storey: [01:22:27] I love bee products. I had Carly on the show from Beekeeper's Naturals a couple of years, or that was a few years ago now at this point, maybe shortly after she launched. I still use their stuff all the time. I haven't found a better comprehensive bee product. I mean, she's got the propolis, and the royal jelly, and the pollen, and the honey. I think it's called B Powered, one of their products. Freaking amazing. 
But one thing that's interesting about even just honey is that you can put it on cuts and burns, I mean, just by itself. It's crazy. Talk about an internal and an external medicinal superfood. Bees, I'm with you there. Just the most awesome little creatures.

Andy Hnilo: [01:23:09] Antimicrobial, antibacterial. I mean, it's just extremely healing and moisturizing at the same time. And their trace minerals, I mean, there's just so much-- 

Luke Storey: [01:23:19] Enzymes too. Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:23:22] Yeah. Especially when you get it raw like we do. That was another thing in the manufacturing process. I knew I wanted it to be bee product based, but just meeting with different manufacturers. Oh, we have honey. I mean, this family holistically raises bee farms. It's that fresh rather than getting something that has just been sitting. I mean, I just love that there's a story behind that part of it that was never intended.

Luke Storey: [01:23:47] And then what about the lack of preservatives? I notice a lot of skincare products will have good ingredients, but then there's like sodium benzoate or shit on there that's hard to pronounce. And then I'm, eh. I mean, how hard was it for you to avoid putting harmful preservatives? Because obviously, your stuff's not the cheapest on the market because of the ingredients you're using, obviously, we've described. 
But if somebody pays 30, 50, 60 bucks, whatever it is, for a little jar of skincare product, and then it starts growing mold and goes bad, that super sucks for the customer. Did you have issues at any point of getting stuck and being like, oh, we have to come up with some preservative?

Andy Hnilo: [01:24:34] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:24:34] Or did the Miron Glass solve that? How does your stuff last without putting chemicals in it?

Andy Hnilo: [01:24:40] I did. I had to reformulate the night cream with an ecocert-approved little daikon radish extract and a coconut lactobacillus ferment. I mean, it's-- but we started off without it. But we thought it'd be a good idea because you're reintroducing your own bacteria. It wasn't a huge, huge problem, but it was just something that we wanted to solve. And we have that in our Pearl Cleanser as well. Moisturizer, Gold Serum, body lotion, no preservatives. So we use Miron Glass for that. 
Their whole motto is preserve by the bottle, not by toxins. And I know it's a water-based product. It's just we-- I mean, whether it's bee products or we're just enhancing the life, or the fact that the Miron is blocking out the artificial light and only allowing in the good rays to enhance the life and the bioactivity of the ingredients, I mean, yeah, with the exception of-- it's a matter of testing.
With the night cream, I just felt that-- introducing your own bacteria. And then we did have some mold issues with that, so we had to go back and add in an ecocert-approved food grade preservative. That's the only way that I think I would do it. Yeah. But luckily, I mean, they met the specifications. We did the 30, 60, 90 micro-test on the night cream and Pearl Cleanser, and it's going to be in our Meteorite Scrub. 
I mean, it's important to have it in there if you need it, but, like I said, in the other products moisturizer, Gold Serum, body lotion. Santal Black doesn't have any. Obviously, it's all water. They don't have that, which is super rare. Nobody does that.

Luke Storey: [01:26:26] Have you ever done the experiment with the Miron glass? Everyone says it's different, where you take a clear glass and put a tomato in it, and then put a tomato in the Miron glass?

Andy Hnilo: [01:26:40] No.

Luke Storey: [01:26:40] I've never done it, but I've seen photos of it. And they say, they, on the interweb, say that, dude, you could put a tomato inside this glass and it'll last for years sitting on the kitchen counter. And then the other one is moldy in three days and starts to rot. Yeah. I've always like-- I see stuff like that, I'm like, ah, I want to try it. Or where people will grow a plate of sprouts next to a Wi-Fi router, and then they grow a plate of sprouts over here with some EMF protection stuff or whatever. 
There's a lot of cool at-home, little science experiments you can do. And I always want to do it to see if it works for me like it did for the person online or wherever I saw it. But that's one that's always where I'm like, ah, I got to do that, and then I just forget to order a couple big jars of this glass to see what you can do. It's just fun to play around with that.

Andy Hnilo: [01:27:27] But your connect Michael Soko, I think his name is, he showed me. I sat down. I met with him right after meeting with you. I mean, that's-- thank you, by the way. That's 100% what led to my sourcing for this.

Luke Storey: [01:27:38] Oh, cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:27:39] But yeah, that's-- but he did. He showed me.

Luke Storey: [01:27:43] Oh, he did?

Andy Hnilo: [01:27:43] I think he had tomato paste and tomato. The guy blew me away with it. It wasn't even a-- matter of fact, when I was trying to figure out price breaks, 1 to 5k, 10K, or something like that, units, he's like, no price breaks. 

Luke Storey: [01:27:59] Oh, damn.

Andy Hnilo: [01:27:59] Yeah. They're doing well. Yeah. I mean, when I see people using Miron glass, I know that they care. That's big respect for any company out there using Miron Glass.

Luke Storey: [01:28:08] I've noticed this has become more prevalent. And I know from talking to you about it, it's way more expensive.

Andy Hnilo: [01:28:14] So much more expensive. This bottle and pump is more expensive. Just the bottle. No formula. Bottle and pump is more expensive, I bet, than four-figure creams out there. You know what I mean? Yeah, just the bottle. I mean, I think it's $2.54 for just the bottle and the pump. That's it. This formula right here is $24.

Luke Storey: [01:28:34] Well, knowing that, I sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I'll take the labels off these and reuse them because I don't like throwing away this glass because I know how expensive it is. It feels so wasteful and there's like something I can do with it. So I have a few little jars where I'll keep my psilocybin microdose in there or something that I really want to preserve. I'll use these empties after I peel the sticker off, run it through the dishwasher and get the sticky shit off. And then it becomes my little stash box.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:03] That's smart.

Luke Storey: [01:29:03] Yeah. I mean, it's just not something you want to waste.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:07] No.

Luke Storey: [01:29:07] All right, let me see. I want to make sure I get every bit of information out of you here especially about the ingredients. Oh, yeah. So there's a couple things that just make sense like marine collagen. Cool. Yeah. Collagen, you need that to build skin. And colloidal silver, you mentioned, which is obviously, super smart and in other products because it's antimicrobial. But something too that stuck out that you're using are chaga mushrooms and the Chinese herb, He Shou Wu.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:37] Oh, He Shou Wu. 

Luke Storey: [01:29:39] He Shou Wu. Okay.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:40] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:29:40] Because I eat those two herbs very consistently actually, but I never thought to put them on my skin.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:47] The He Shou Wu isn't in any skincare product yet.

Luke Storey: [01:29:51] Oh, okay.

Andy Hnilo: [01:29:52] But maybe in a hair product. That is undeniably effective. I started taking that when I was what, 22, 21, 22, when a professor made fun of me for having grays in my goatee. And so I just started-- I mean, became obsessed with trying to reverse gray hair. And I found out about-- yeah. I mean, it's basically He Shou Wu. I got my first kilo of that from Maytag, plum flower-- Chinese. I forget the source, but I started taking tablespoons of that every day. Every day. And my hair got probably about as dark as yours. I have pictures.

Luke Storey: [01:30:33] Really?

Andy Hnilo: [01:30:33] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:30:34] Because I've heard about that herb. And I don't know, I actually like the taste of it. There's a company called Longevity Power. Have you ever used their stuff?

Andy Hnilo: [01:30:44] No.

Luke Storey: [01:30:45] He has really good extracts. He's got a goji berry extract. It's freaking amazing. He's got by far the most potent reishi extract, a powdered extract. I mean, it's black. A quarter teaspoon in a glass of water looks like coffee. It's really strong. And then he's got a great mocha, a 10X mocha extract. So no fiber at all. Just the extract. Yeah. Longevity Power. Huge shout out. We'll put his stuff in the show notes. Christian Bates is his name.

Andy Hnilo: [01:31:13] Okay.

Luke Storey: [01:31:14] But he has the best He Shou Wu that I've ever found. And it's something like a 10X extract. It's super potent. I've been out of that for a while, actually. I got to get back on it. All right. For some reason, I thought you were putting that in stuff. What about chaga? Is that just something you use, or does that have any application in skincare in the future?

Andy Hnilo: [01:31:34] I'm really interested in Tremella mushroom. It's like one of nature's highest source of hyaluronic acid. That's in our cleanser. Chaga and reishi. I mean, well, chaga is in our night cream.

Luke Storey: [01:31:50] Oh, it is?

Andy Hnilo: [01:31:51] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:31:51] Oh, okay. Chaga is interesting because it has melanin in it. It's one of the few sources of melanin in nature. That's why I thought, oh, that would kind of make sense to put in a skincare product.

Andy Hnilo: [01:32:01] Yeah. A lot of these, not a lot, well, it's experimenting, seeing how-- the alchemy. Because if it's good for certain things immune system wise, I just feel like it may be healing to some type of infection topically as well. And through that experimentation, I just felt like it fit. Back then when I was making that, chaga was huge. I don't know if you've-- 

Luke Storey: [01:32:28] Yeah. Well, you brought me back. Truth Calkins and Ron Teeguarden, and all these guys, that's like the early Erewhon crew. And then David Wolfe started going in there and chilling with Truth. And then he started really popularizing a lot of the Chinese herbs, specifically the medicinal mushrooms. But isn't it crazy now, dude? It's like the CBD industry. There's medicinal mushrooms in everything now. You go into Whole Foods, and just  everywhere. But yeah, remember, man, I still boil my own chaga. But yeah, it was such an exciting time back then. I'm just going in and getting these crazy tonics and all these different Chinese herbs that you'd never heard of. 
Because back in my day, in the '70s and '80s, my parents shopped at the health food store, but it was granola and wheat germ powder out of the bulk bin. You didn't have all this exotic stuff from all over the world. But when the cacao hit, I mean, David Wolfe really popularized cacao. But that early Erewhon scene was really fun because you're just learning about all these different ingredients and herbs, all these different superfoods, and stuff like that. That was a really cool time. 
That was when I cut my teeth and learned about a lot of this stuff too, but I never thought of putting it on your skin. I have you to thank for that. It's like, well, I like your methodology. If it's good for you inside, something like colostrum is known to be so healing to the gut. What's your gut? Basically, it's the skin on the inside of you. So it would make sense that it's going to be healing to your external skin too.

Andy Hnilo: [01:34:03] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:34:04] These barriers. It's like you have the gut, all your mucosal lining throughout the interior of your body is basically skin on the inside to protect you from shit that you eat like your skin on the outside protects you from the outer environment.

Andy Hnilo: [01:34:17] That's a really good point. Would explain a lot. Just an experimentation with that, and also with aloe vera too. Aloe vera was another big component. And then with it being so helpful and healing topically as well, that was another big--

Luke Storey: [01:34:36] You put aloe in your stuff now?

Andy Hnilo: [01:34:38] Aloe is in our moisturizer and cleanser. But I like aloe because it's so hard to keep-- powdered version of it.

Luke Storey: [01:34:52] It goes bad, right?

Andy Hnilo: [01:34:53] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:34:53] Because I know a lot of the oral aloe products where you can buy it to drink there, it's hard to find it without preservative.

Andy Hnilo: [01:35:00] Citric acid or something. Yeah, that's literally what it is.

Luke Storey: [01:35:04] Dude, you know what's funny? Two days ago-- it's like coming into early summer here, so I'm on my usual yearly plant buying spree, and we haven't done the landscaping here, so I'm just buying a couple plants to pretty up the yard. For the first time since the old house in LA all those years ago, I just bought two little baby aloe vera plants.

Andy Hnilo: [01:35:24] Nice.

Luke Storey: [01:35:24] Yeah. Because I would cut a fillet of those, and I'd throw just a big fillet chunk in my smoothie every day, then I'd take the skin and rub that slime all over my hands. And that was my face lotion. And I actually miss doing that. It was a cool little ritual. And I don't know if it's good to put that much aloe vera on your face, but--

Andy Hnilo: [01:35:46] I think it is.

Luke Storey: [01:35:46] It felt good, and then it would dry and make my skin all taut. It was like a little facelift.

Andy Hnilo: [01:35:51] Exactly. I did the same thing, man.

Luke Storey: [01:35:53] But yeah, I didn't even realize that. I just am reintroducing aloe vera into my world. But yeah, I guess in a product like yours, you're using a powdered version because the juice just is prone to spoilage. Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:05] That would mess a lot of things up. We attempted, but the powdered version is good. What else was I going to say? Yeah, it's so funny. But yeah, just the raw, I mean, cut straight from the ground, I mean, those enzymes.

Luke Storey: [01:36:25] Are you growing any in Sedona, aloe vera?

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:28] Not yet.

Luke Storey: [01:36:29] I mean, you got the sun for it.

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:31] I know.

Luke Storey: [01:36:31] It'd probably do really well there.

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:33] I know.

Luke Storey: [01:36:33] You could water it with the spring water. Do you go get spring water ever from that spring up on 89?

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:38] I do. There's a lot of people that have conflicting opinions on whether or not that's actual municipal water or if it's actually from the creek.

Luke Storey: [01:36:47] No way, dude. That's-- 

Andy Hnilo: [01:36:50] I need to know.

Luke Storey: [01:36:51] Real deal spring. If you go to-- there's a site called testmyhome.com, it's a guy, Ryan Blaser, I had on the show, and they have a great service where they go in and test your home for air quality, mold, VOCs, all your lighting, flicker, color temperature, and EMF. Really great guy, great service. But on their site, you can order a water test, and you take some sample water and you send it in. It's a very stringent lab, and it'll tell you if the water is safe. That's what I recommend for people that have a spring locally that they want to drink from.
But there's no way that Sedona Spring is river water or tap water. No way. But there was a time many years ago when it got contaminated, and they shut it down because there was a fire on the hill above it, and they used all this fire retardant they sprayed to stop the fire, the firefighters. And so that got into the ground and actually went in the spring, and it was contaminated for some time. 
And then there was talk of like some bacteria and weird stuff. So I know a lot of locals have had an on and off relationship with that spring, so it's worth testing. But I'm like, man, if the water is clean and pure still as I think it is, I'd be doing some experiments and getting that living water, making some stuff with that. Growing your aloe vera with that great spring water.

Andy Hnilo: [01:38:10] Absolutely.

Luke Storey: [01:38:11] If it's legit.

Andy Hnilo: [01:38:12] I got to have that guy come out to my house.

Luke Storey: [01:38:16] Oh, yeah. testmyhome.com.

Andy Hnilo: [01:38:18] testmyhome.com.

Luke Storey: [01:38:19] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:38:19] Okay.

Luke Storey: [01:38:20] Yeah, it's a great service. They came here, and I'll tell you, dude, it was part of the podcast because we tested everything then talked about what we had tested for. It was such a relief because I put so much energy into this house of just all non-toxic everything. And then I did a lot of EMF shielding in different rooms and stuff, and also dealt with the mold and the air quality. And I was like, goddamn it. If he comes in here and I fail any of these, I'm going to be so pissed because, I mean, I work so hard, and it's like, passed with flying colors. 
A couple minor little EMF things that I had to fine tune, But it's been my dream my whole adult life, basically, to have a house that's really clean energy and doesn't have any weird shit in it. But I was always renting, so I never I never went that hardcore. This time, I'm doing it right.

Andy Hnilo: [01:39:09] Blank canvas.

Luke Storey: [01:39:10] Yeah. A lot of time, money, and energy spent doing it. But I've thought about it, though. I'm like, if we ever sell this house, which I don't have any plans of doing anytime soon, but I'm like, I would have to sell it to the right type of person so they would be willing to pay the extra that I spent. I want to get that money back. This room right here that we're in, under these wood floors, for example, is all shielded for electric field. So there's a grounded mesh under the floorboards, and then about six feet up, the walls are all shielded for electric fields. 
So when we're chilling in here, we're not getting electric fields from the floor because there's fans and ceiling lights underneath us in the family room. So we tested for that. There's just massive shit coming out of the floor, and you're laying here, relaxing, getting zapped with 60Hz all day long. So I was like, I don't want that. So I did all kinds of super crazy shit beyond just Faraday. The bedrooms also. Any lounge areas are all shielded. Yeah. Because I'm just that paranoid and crazy, and maybe smart.

Andy Hnilo: [01:40:12] No, it's good, though.

Luke Storey: [01:40:13] Yeah. One thing I wanted to add that we didn't talk about earlier on the sun protection, do you have anything to say about the elimination of seed oils, omega-6s from the diet? I think that is why a lot of people have skin problems, and susceptibility to being burned is not only from the sunscreen but from eating these inflammatory oils.

Andy Hnilo: [01:40:40] Yeah. I mean, I think-- I've heard so much about seed oils, and you're hearing a lot of negative talk just for diet restrictions and how it just can lead to-- it's so commonly found in a lot of shady protein bars, high sugar. It's up there with staying away from processed foods, seed oils, high sugar, dairy, all that. I think it is just another one of those, like how we can bark at your skin and you can have some type of reaction. I feel like seed oils can definitely-- I mean that's a-- we get a lot of customers contacting us just about seed oils. If it's in any of our products.
We stay away from them for the most part. I have sunflower seed because it does have a high concentration of vitamin E as opposed to using soy. So I use that, tocopherol base, in our Pearl Cleanser as a preservative. And then also in Santal Black just because of its emulsion. That's very good topical emollients and vitamin E as well too. But I mean, as far as ingesting, I would definitely stay away from seed oils. 
And then now that I think about it, just how that would incorporate topically with your skin, I mean, I guess those do go hand in hand with what my theory on being so good internally to use topically as well. I mean, I guess, yeah, it would make sense. I'm not using seed oils on the skin. I do use a couple. I do think raspberry seed oil is very beneficial for the skin. We're going to be putting that in, and, like I said, sunflower seed. But there are--

Luke Storey: [01:42:32] Well, that's a lot. I mean, to your credit, that's a much different universe than putting canola oil in your-- I mean, I see a lot of skincare products have super shitty seed oils in them. I'm like, dude, come on. You want to talk about getting sunburned? Go slather on some, whatever, seed oil of choice. But I think there are also classifications. If you're using some sunflower oil, for example, if it's not rancid, that's a completely different world than using canola oil or something that is highly processed and hydrogenated, and all this shit. There's definitely classifications.

Andy Hnilo: [01:43:16] For sure.

Luke Storey: [01:43:16] And I haven't had any in a while because we don't have Erewhon out here, but I used to like to use sunflower lecithin as an emulsifier to make my different smoothies and elixirs and stuff like that. And it's incredible because you can mix fat and water and turn something into a creamy texture that would have been hard to actually emulsify. So I'm not mad at sunflower products, and I'm sure yours are sourced, right?

Andy Hnilo: [01:43:43] Mm-hmm.

Luke Storey: [01:43:43] Before we wrap up here, just to geek out with you for a sec, what supplements, superfoods, what shit are you on, just on dietary things that you're taking in terms of the internal health, and energy, and stuff?

Andy Hnilo: [01:43:57] Yeah. Let's see here. I love NAD. I don't know if you're taking peptides. I take NAD, vitamin C, glutathione a few times a week.

Luke Storey: [01:44:09] How are you getting the NAD in you?

Andy Hnilo: [01:44:12] Injection.

Luke Storey: [01:44:12] Okay. Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:44:13] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:44:13] It stings.

Andy Hnilo: [01:44:15] Yeah. And then it gives you like, a little-- 

Luke Storey: [01:44:17] Yeah. Dude, speaking of NAD, before I forget, I recently got turned on to this product, I think it's called IonLayer. I just got some, and they're-- actually, I have one right here. NAD patches, dude. And I'm like, I'll try this. It's got a negative charge side on the little pad, and then a positive charge side and you put this different solution on either side, and then it's a vial of like NAD powder, and you mix it with the sterile water, and you fill up each side with one of the two solutions, and you put the sticker on for 14 hours. 
Yesterday, I still have mine on just out of laziness, even though it's probably already absorbed, but I got shit sleep the night before, and I was smoked when I woke up, I was so tired. I'm like, all right, today's the day I'm going to test this patch. I'm not going to do any other super energizing supplements, coffee, or anything. I'm just going to see how my energy is. And after maybe an hour, I couldn't even tell that I got bad sleep. And I don't recommend NAD as a substitute for bad sleep because nothing really makes up for sleep, but I was like, this shit works. I literally no doubt had more energy after I put that thing on.

Andy Hnilo: [01:45:21] Yeah. It was solid. That's Anthony Gustin's new-- yeah, I tried that out. They sent me some too.

Luke Storey: [01:45:28] I didn't even realize that was Anthony. He's been on the podcast.

Andy Hnilo: [01:45:30] Yeah. No, he's awesome.

Luke Storey: [01:45:32] Okay. Yeah. Because I was doing the NAD injections. I'm like, would leave me like a little sore in my belly fat, or where I'd inject it. It's a little stinging. So that's why I was stoked to find this one.

Andy Hnilo: [01:45:43] Yeah. I did note it's tough to compare, for me, potency wise.  But I did like that, though. I did notice a subtle boost when I did-- I would switch it out. I wouldn't do, obviously, both. But yeah, I did those. It was a little bit of a process, adding in with the stickers and getting it all dialed in.

Luke Storey: [01:46:04] It took me a couple times to figure it out. Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:46:07] Me too.

Luke Storey: [01:46:07] I put too much liquid on one time it was all dripping down my arm and shit. And you can't get it wet, so I had to figure out how to get in the ice bath without submerging my shoulder. But now I've been through, I think, four of them. I've used it four times. Yeah. Now I'm like, okay, I know what to do now, when to put it on and how to keep it dry and stuff. 
Yeah. I'm a big fan of NAD. Always just want more energy. I mean, that's what we're all going for. If you have energy, you can do anything you want to do, any disease or issues we're having are usually a metabolic lack of energy. There's something happening in our mitochondria, and they aren't making ATP, right, or enough of it.

Andy Hnilo: [01:46:45] Yeah. I would say there's something about high dose niacin and sauna as being just a complete. I know what I'm getting every single time the next day. You know what I mean? It's not comfortable, and maybe you want to seek a physician's advice before using niacin. That's one thing that I really-- a couple times a week, high dose niacin, sauna. I get movement in daily. Obviously, we're getting busier. So my workouts are 10, 15. No, no, 15, 20. And then most of my work is in the sauna. I mean, just for-- 

Luke Storey: [01:47:25] What kind of sauna do you have?

Andy Hnilo: [01:47:26] Well, it's not mine. I'm going to get one, but at the gym, they have, I think it's a clear light.

Luke Storey: [01:47:31] Okay, cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:47:32] And yeah, I mean, that's mentally, as well, just a lot of cleansing. And for some reason, that's where I get a lot of my good thoughts in and meditation.

Luke Storey: [01:47:45] Sauna therapy is the best. Yeah. I don't know what I would do without saunas, although I recently learned something much to my dismay. We've been wanting to have a baby, and been at it for about a year or so, and it hasn't happened. So I'm like, there's no way I have issues with sperm because I'm so healthy, all the shit that I do. So I got mine tested. The test came back. It's a company, I think it's called Fellow, and you send in a sample, and then they send your results, and it looks like a credit score. It's a little circle, and there's a red dot on one end and a green on the other end. 
I'm in the red, way low motility. And I'm going, what the hell? I mean, I know I'm 52, but I should be doing better in that department. So I start researching it. First thing I see from Dr. Google is if you want to raise your sperm count, don't take hot tubs. And I was like, oh, man, I love hot springs and hot tubs. We have a Jacuzzi here, but it hardly ever works, so I don't really use it.
Next line says saunas. Avoid saunas. I'm like, dude, I haven't taken saunas for years. It turns out that heating up, the wedding tackle, if you're a male, kills your sperm. So I had to stop taking saunas. Every once in a while, I take it with an ice pack where it's needed. But dude, just not doing them all the time, I miss my saunas. I've got to hurry up and have a kid so I can get back to my sauna routine here, man. Yeah. 
So any guys listening, if you're having issues conceiving, it's really something to look into is getting the sperm test and being mindful of the saunas. And I was just so annoyed because I've interviewed sauna manufacturers, experts. I've been a huge promoter of sauna therapy. I'm like, been taking saunas literally since I was a little kid. Why did I never once hear that that was one of the unfortunate side effects of sauna therapy. So something to keep in mind. I don't know if you're dating anyone or what your deal is right now, but if you're going to use them boys, bring an ice pack in there when you do if you want to have kids anyway.

Andy Hnilo: [01:49:52] It's exactly what you just said. That's really tough, man, because sauna is--

Luke Storey: [01:49:57] It's how I stay sane. It's so good emotionally and mentally. That's what I find. It's like physically it feels great because it releases all the tension, but it's just like if I'm stressed out or have anxiety or I'm just like moody and mopey, I take a sauna and jump in the ice bath, I'm like a new person. It's like I was just reborn.

Andy Hnilo: [01:50:18] It's right up there with the sun. Stay out of the sun. I mean, can you imagine no sun, no sauna? Wow.

Luke Storey: [01:50:23] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:50:25] But it does make sense. And I had heard that. I think Siam, S-I-A-M, is awesome. I think he did a report on that recently.

Luke Storey: [01:50:38] Yeah, well, I wish I would have known. But better late than never. Last thing I want to ask you in terms of skin health and the longevity of our youthful looks, what about red light therapy?

Andy Hnilo: [01:50:51] Oh, huge fan. And yeah, it was you and Ben Greenfield that really turned it up for me. I used Joovv. What I like to do, I like a Joovv solo right here, probably 15 minutes on each side. And then before I go to bed as well, it's supposed to just balance out your circadian rhythm, but at the same time, it does something to the mitochondria of all of our cells. 
So after exfoliation or after derma rolling with the methylene blue and NAD, with a mask on, as it starts to dry, there's some type of warmth from that photobiomodulation and the red light that just-- and then also healing. Once you rinse off the mask, I put on the gold-- there's just activity that is not there normally when I'm not using the red light or putting on those products.

Luke Storey: [01:51:44] That's cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:51:44] Cell signaling, there's something to it.

Luke Storey: [01:51:47] I got to get-- I'm committed. I'm going to get back on the clay mask and try it in the red light. Because one thing I've always liked about going to hot springs, if you find one that has mud, I always like to cover my whole body in mud and go lay in the sun and just bake. There's just something innate in my awareness that knows it's good. I don't know why I like doing it, but it's just this primal thing. I have to cover myself in mud and lay in the sun.

Andy Hnilo: [01:52:14] Lay in the sun. That's what animals do to heal themselves, or at least elephants for sure.

Luke Storey: [01:52:18] Oh, right. Right.

Andy Hnilo: [01:52:19] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:52:19] So there's something to that red light with the clay. Yeah, that's cool. All right, last thing I'm going to ask you, my friend, is this, who have been three teachers or teachings, philosophical teachings, etc, that have influenced your life and helped you be who you are?

Andy Hnilo: [01:52:38] Hmm. Robert Frost, his quote. There were two paths in the diverted woods. I took the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference. I'm paraphrasing. It's definitely true, though, man. I graduated, had a draft party, wasn't drafted, went down to LA, just following something bigger. Not getting the job right out of college, working at Abercrombie, but believing in something.

Luke Storey: [01:53:05] Were you one of the ripped Abercrombie guys at the door with your shirt off?

Andy Hnilo: [01:53:08] That was me. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:53:10] Dude, that's classic.

Andy Hnilo: [01:53:11] Yeah, that was my job.

Luke Storey: [01:53:14] Speaking of fragrance, dude, when I used to work in the industry in Hollywood, and I have to go in that store, I'd walk in and just-- I think they're running that fragrance through the vents. It's just like I go in there and just get knocked on my ass. But that's funny. I used to wonder, what's that job like? You got your eight pack abs, all tan, all waxed, and just sitting at the door at the mall going, hey, come on in.

Andy Hnilo: [01:53:37] Dude, it was-- see, the thing is, though, at the flagship store in the Grove--

Luke Storey: [01:53:41] Yeah, that's the one. 

Andy Hnilo: [01:53:42] Yeah. I mean they had auditions for that. I mean it was a four-hour shift, but one of those was a break, and you got basically three hours for 150. I did that three or four days a week. So it wasn't a bad paying job at the flagship store, but I started off at the Santa Monica store. I want to keep it real. I think that was--

Luke Storey: [01:54:00] Have you seen the documentary about that company? There's the-- 

Andy Hnilo: [01:54:04] I started watching it.

Luke Storey: [01:54:05] The super scandalous.

Luke Storey: [01:54:07] Oh, yeah. And you could feel it too.

Luke Storey: [01:54:09] Super trippy. Yeah. I'll see if we can put that in the show notes. My editors are listening. lukestorey.com/andy. Yeah, that was-- I love documentaries about cults, any scandalous shit where an organization becomes corrupted by a charismatic leader gone wrong. The fallen guru syndrome. For some reason, I love that genre. Maybe because I went to a cult boarding school when I was a teenager and have been working on recovering from that. But I find it really interesting especially when it's a huge company like that, and then you find out behind the scenes there's all this shadiness going on. But anyway, I digress. So that was your first one? Robert Frost. Two more.

Andy Hnilo: [01:54:56] Tupac Shakur for sure. His passion. Ever since I was a little kid-- I mean, I can remember maybe watching Juice, his interviews, I've been so fascinated with his interviews, and just the passion, and how articulate he is, and how smart and intelligent he is. And then just releasing his music, his timing, and just his messaging. Tupac Shakur has been a huge influence. 

Luke Storey: [01:55:26] That one surprised me. That's the first time on this show. That's cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:55:30] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:55:31] That's cool.

Andy Hnilo: [01:55:31] And let's see. My parents, I would say. All I know growing up is their dedicating of their lives to my brother, myself, and my sisters. And looking back on that and just how grateful I am to have had a good, solid upbringing. So many people, especially going to rehab and hearing other stories and other wise that led to them to use,  so many people don't have people. So many people weren't raised the way I was. I'm so grateful for my parents and the love that they showed me, my brother, and my sisters growing up. And just the work ethic of my dad, doing his thing every single day to provide. 
And my mom, her heart and kindness. She's just my everything. And so I just-- yeah. I mean, I have so many more everywhere I go, though. You know what I mean? I love people. And everybody has a story. I mean, especially if connecting is important to you, you're going to want to dive in and get to know someone. It's just so interesting. I mean, I'm inspired by a lot of different people. I take what I want, and I absorb a lot from people.
There are a lot of just amazing people out there that are doing so much daily to provide for their families, so much. You know what I mean? And in my travels, you see that. It's a good reminder or perspective to come back and how good we have it. At the same time, that moment impacted me. Number four would be just the beautiful people that I'm able to be connected with when I  travel, seeing how they live, how they do things, just learning from that and incorporating that in my own life. That's been easily the biggest impact in--

Luke Storey: [01:57:36] I know exactly what you mean.

Andy Hnilo: [01:57:38] Transformation.

Luke Storey: [01:57:39] Sitting here with people like you every week, man. I'm the most blessed person. There's so many interesting, inspiring people in the world, and I'm so grateful myself I made a career out of talking to them, least part of it.  Literally just sit and talk to cool people, once, sometimes twice a week. Well, sometimes I'll do a bunch in a week, but they come out every week.

Andy Hnilo: [01:58:01] But just big--

Luke Storey: [01:58:02] Yeah.

Andy Hnilo: [01:58:03] I got to recognize that, though. Give a little shout out to the listeners who haven't been there since the beginning. Man, I remember you getting into this when it was a want. Look at it now, dude. Yeah, it's crazy. You had an amazing business as a stylist, dude. It was actually very impressive to see the courses and just the things you had going on while we were meeting up. Look at you now, dude. Big respect to you, Luke, dude.

Luke Storey: [01:58:35] Thanks, brother.

Andy Hnilo: [01:58:36] You did it, man. And you're doing it. You're going to continue.

Luke Storey: [01:58:38] Consistently over time create success, at least one measure of it. So yeah, now I don't get turned down as often as I did in the beginning, trying to get people on my show. I was pretty lucky because, I don't know, I just would go for it, just ask people. But there's been so many people in the beginning. Just to, I don't know, have a Gabor Mate, or just had Rick Rubin on the show. Just people that I really admire. And in the beginning, I might have even been too shy to ask them, and then sometimes maybe send an email out, and I wouldn't really get a no, but I just wouldn't hear back. And I'd be like, oh, shit. And I just keep going and keep going. 
And now, most of the time, when I'm interested in talking to someone, they're willing to do it. So just from putting in that work consecutively for a few years. So yeah. You were one in the beginning, and it was on my show when I don't know how many downloads I was getting, but very few people were listening in the beginning, the first couple of years before it really took off. Yeah. So thanks for coming on back then when I was a little old nobody. Thanks for coming back on now when I'm a little more of a somebody.

Andy Hnilo: [01:59:47] Yeah, yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:59:48] Yeah. And I'm so glad you're doing well, man. And thank you again for sharing your path of addiction and getting sober. I'm so happy for you. And it's always nice to see you on Instagram. And I'm like, okay, let's check on Andy. What's he saying? It's like, no, he's making sense. He's solid. He's tan. His eyes are clear. He's happy. I'm like, right on, dude. Because many people don't make it.

Andy Hnilo: [02:00:11] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:00:12] Many people don't make it. Most people don't make it once they cross a certain threshold into that lane, man, it's exceedingly difficult to get out. So congratulations on your surrender, and humbling yourself, and just saying, man, I need help. That's the big stumbling block for people, is that ego will not reach out for help. They just can't do it.
It's just being humble is not part of the repertoire of the addict ego. It's either defensiveness or like, fuck you, I'm fine. Everyone else is the problem. If people just leave me alone. Or else it just evades the problem and goes into denial and all that. So coming to terms with those parts of ourselves is really hard and really scary. So glad you're able to do it, man.

Andy Hnilo: [02:00:58] Thank you.

Luke Storey: [02:00:59] Yeah. And wish you a long, prosperous life of however sobriety ends up looking for you.

Andy Hnilo: [02:01:05] I appreciate that. Yeah. It was definitely something that I had to go through. Just looking back, it was for me. Getting down on my knees in Egypt and praying for it, even though it was an absolute nightmare. I mean, just to think in exactly a year later, man, I would do it all again just to feel how I feel now and to know what it's like on the other side without any type of temptation or urge to. It's been removed. Seriously, it's been removed. 
I mean, that's unbelievable. And to all my friends, you party buddies, it's got to be amazing to them. But I can't wait to be that-- it's just who I am now. And I'll continue to put in the work because it's important to me, and it's just better on this side for me.

Luke Storey: [02:01:57] Oh, yeah, man. Well, thanks for coming by. It's great to see you again.

Andy Hnilo: [02:02:00] It's great to see you, too.

Luke Storey: [02:02:02] All right, that's it. And that's all, folks. Thanks for being my copilot on Episode 479. And if you want to learn more about Andy, go way back and peep out Episode 18. Andy was with me in the very beginning, back in the nitty gritty days of the Life Stylist. You'll find that episode linked along with everything we talked about today at lukestorey.com/andy. 
All right, what's next? Well, this Sunday, we're dropping a bonus rebroadcast of my recent appearance on the Higher Self podcast with Danny Morrel, where I do my best to simplify non-duality and God consciousness. Some light stuff there. But that was a fun interview, so I wanted to share that with you as a little bonus. 
Then next Tuesday, we're back with Episode 480, featuring Amandha Vollmer, someone for whom I've had many, many requests over the years, and I finally managed to get that done. And it was well worth the wait. We're going to explore the fascinating world of DMSO and what it means to be medically free. And before we get out of here, if you want to help prevent another scamdemic, make sure to go get yourself on this list to watch the whole End of Covid series. 
Visit lukestorey.com/endofcovid. And the whole series, by the way, is totally free for the first 21 days, which is incredible. There is so much valuable content in the End of Covid series. I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on it myself. And if you caught the recent episode with Alec Zeck, you'll know what I'm talking about. But in order to get the access you need, you got to get signed up. So again, go to lukestorey.com/endofcovid. All right, that's it. Until we meet again, stay well, and most of all, stay free.


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