Q&A with Jessa Blades, founder of Blades Natural Beauty

On Wednesday, August 21st, Jessa Blades, founder of Blades Natural Beauty, will join us on Facebook for a Q&A & Giveaway on GREENING your Beauty Routine. Jessa is the Founder of Blades Natural Beauty, which is a shop and blog for natural products for skincare, makeup and wellness.

NN: What would you say are the main advantages of natural vs more conventional skincare? What are the risks of more conventional options in the skincare market these days?
JB: The advantages of natural skincare is that it is better for the overall health of your skin and it will make your skin happier, healthier and give you that elusive glow that everyone always asks me for . Conventional skincare products can work and sometimes they can work well. But mostly only in the short term. I’m more excited about supporting smaller companies, using good ingredients and voting with my dollar, to show the beauty industry that we are ready for change and want healthier, non-toxic products on the shelves. 

NN: Tell us about your work as a natural makeup artist and Blades Natural Beauty.  What inspired you to explore the all-natural beauty and skincare space? 

JB: As a makeup artist, with a background in art and psychology, I’ve always been fascinated by the power of beauty and my mission has always been to help women feel good through looking good. 
 
I started out working in the fashion world, collaborating on set with talented creatives, models and celebrities, working to make beautiful images. The other side what I did was working with real woman, teaching them how to do their makeup or transforming them on their wedding day or for a special event. I began incorporating natural products into my makeup kit about five years ago. It all started with a personal mission to heal my own skin, and natural products were my last attempt after trying everything that the allergists and dermatologists had recommended. It was a lot of trial and error and self education and once I was done I realized that even as an makeup artist, I had a so much to learn and had no idea that there were toxic chemicals in my beauty products. It struck me if as an expert that I didn’t know this, the average woman must not know either.
 
My journey to heal my skin and understand how to truly help others led me to study herbal medicine. Through this education I’ve learned many simple, time tested ways to heal the body and skin, allowing me to help my clients make long lasting changes for their overall wellness. The mission for my company is to help woman look and feel like the best version of themselves, using the best products available. I do this by teaching classes and educating about natural beauty. This journey also inspired me to start my own product line of natural skincare and teas as well as start an online store, making it easy to find healthy products that work well. There are so many choices on the market today and it can all be so confusing, and we are all so busy don’t have time to do tons of research. That is why I love having a store and sharing the amazing my products that I find. I do all the work and my customers get to have a resource that they can trust.

NN: You talk about your love of herbs and plant medicines. Give us some highlights – what are some of the herbs and plants that make for great makeup and skincare?

JB: I do love plants! I really love using herbs and plants for myself and my clients. Some of my favorite plant based ingredients are aloe, calendula, and rose.
All of them are really soothing, nourishing and healing to the skin. And the best thing we can do for our skin is to eat more plants, thinking of our food as our medicine. Eating as much local and organic food as possible. Eating local raw honey, seaweed, garlic are good foods to start with, and in general eating nutritious food versus supplements and vitamins is a really good place to start in your journey to healthy skin. 

NN: Some women are still reluctant to making the switch to natural beauty products. The switch to natural sometimes takes more research, more effort, more expense. What advice would you offer them?

JB: I would agree with them that it is a hard transition. The best advice I can offer is to start slow and make baby steps when it comes to making changes. It is good for them to focus on changing the products that they use once or twice a day.
Simply start by changing these products first. The next advice is to just be curious. To open themselves up to the idea that because there is no regulation for ingredients in beauty products, that they need to arm themselves with a list of ingredients to avoid, and start flipping products over and reading labels. Being able to pronounce ingredients is always good and so is choosing products with less ingredients, avoiding fragrance and dye colorings. And then find companies with great stories that they can trust. There are a lot of talented people out there making great products with awesome ingredients, like Nine Naturals, Revolution Organics and of course mine, from Blades Natural Beauty.

NN: In addition to providing skincare and beauty products, you also have a blend of hand-selected teas! What’s the relationship in these somewhat different products?

JB: The really great thing about my tea blends, and herbal tea in general, is that it is enjoyable to drink and an addtional way to bring wellness into your every day life. Herbal teas can help your body function better and heal, and they taste really good. Most of my clients are super stressed out and as a result their skin and overall wellbeing is suffering. Having them drink tea on a daily basis is a great way to help them deal with their stress.

NN: You’re an expert in the natural skincare space. Think about the clients you have who are pregnant – what advice to you have for them about the importance of all-natural skincare and haircare? What advice do you have for them after the baby is born?

JB: My advice for pregnant woman and new moms is to try to be as natural as possible with your beauty routine and to remember that your skin is your largest organ. It is important to consider the products that you are using all the time, but especially when you are pregnant and nursing. It is also important to be aware of and avoid fragrance and inhaling synthetic ingredients during this sensitive time. If you are going to use nail polish or fragrance, make sure to do it outside or in a well ventilated area, because these ingredients can get into you body by inhalation.
My other advice for new mom’s is to consider that their whole body is connected, so if you are nursing, don’t use conventional deodorant. Your breast tissue is connected and very close to your underarm area. Avoid deodorant all together or if you are going to use it, make sure you are using one that is non-toxic.

NN: What’s your favorite Nine Naturals product?

JB: I really can’t get enough of the Body Butter!