It’s International Women’s Day! We feel so lucky to be able to talk to all of the best women creators in the wellness business, Jena Covello being no exception to that standard. She started her clean beauty empire, Agent Nateur, (after a concerning diagnosis) to fill the gaps in her beauty routine. Many might recognize Jena’s hero product, the Agent Nateur Holi (Stick) deodorant– the first formula in her lineup of gorgeous essentials. While in LA, she invited us over to her apartment to share her entire line of healthy formulas including her famed Holi (Oil) and new Holi (Bath) and Holi (Trinity) Travel Sizes. We left with brighter skin, an addiction to celery juice (more on that soon), and a lot more wisdom and insight on how to run a successful clean beauty business while maintaining your sanity and your health.
Enjoy our conversation with Jena below, and take time today to think about all of the amazing women in your life (yourself included) and the immense value they add to your every day, just like Jena adds to ours.
Laney: Hi Jena, Can you introduce yourself for everyone here at The Moment?
Jena: Hi Everyone! My name is Jena Covello, I am the creatrix of Agent Nateur, a luxury green beauty lifestyle brand that I develop in France and produce in Los Angeles. I began my holistic journey because of my diagnosis with Stage 4 endometriosis and adenomyosis.
Laney: There’s always a silver lining. Can you describe why you started Agent Nateur for us?
Jena: I started Agent because I was searching for an effective natural deodorant that was equally beautiful and chic. At the time, nothing really existed so I created my own to avoid aluminum. Aluminum is an endocrine disruptor and can cause estrogen dominance and I am already estrogen dominant- a common symptom of endometriosis and adenomyosis.
Laney: We all know and love your deodorants, but your skincare products are not to be missed. Can you walk us through your line up?
Jena: I studied natural fragrances and cosmetics in the south of France with a teacher who became my chemist. I formulate and source nearly all of my ingredients in Europe. What makes Agent so special and different is that I’m not only using active botanicals, meaning I am not an apothecary line. I am using the highest grade of anti-aging ingredients from Europe that are heavily backed by science. There are many clinical studies proving how effective my ingredients are. The best part is that they go through a scientific process but they are all approved for green beauty in Europe. I do not follow trends and I only release products that were initially created because I was filling a void in my own beauty cabinet.
I created the Holi (Trinity), a 3 step process to tone, tighten and hydrate. I don’t believe that we need to use 10 different products for the face. I also created an adaptogen, Holi (Youth) with Dr. Will Cole which lowers cortisol levels. After we turn 35 the body begins to change and stress affects our hormones in an incredible way. The first step we can take to balance hormones is by de-stressing and lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol affects the adrenals and thyroid, and thyroid plays a part in hormone imbalances. I created a body oil, Holi (Oil) with patented ingredients to target cellulite. It is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Just recently I launched a coconut milk bath, Holi (Bath). made with salt, magnesium, calendula, honey, and chamomile. I love taking baths- particularly salt and magnesium baths, but I don’t like how dry my skin felt upon leaving the bath so I added ingredients that hydrate and soothe the skin.
Laney: Why is Clean Beauty important to you?
Jena: What we put on our body is just as important as what we eat. That has been my phrase since 2014. The underarms, in particular, can absorb almost everything that we apply to them. That’s why deodorant is one of the most important green beauty products to switch to. I think there’s some misconception and I don’t believe that all synthetics are bad. For example, it will be illegal to say “paraben free” on a cosmetic in Europe because it’s giving all parabens a bad name. The first two parabens that have been on the market for 30+ years are not dangerous. It’s the newer parabens that have a long molecular structure that is dangerous. They are banned in Europe but still available in the USA. It’s important for me to only buy green beauty in America because there are no regulations testing the safety of synthetics. In Europe, I am more lenient. This is also the reason why I work with a French chemist because of the cosmetic safety regulations in Europe are the second highest in the world, followed by Japan.
Laney: That’s so interesting! Now in the US, people hear the word ‘paraben’ and they run the other way. What are your other favorite clean beauty products?
- David Mallet hair products. They are 90% organic. His hair serum is the best!
- Henne Organic’s lip mask
- Biologique Recherche but I only buy it in Paris because the French ingredients are different.
- In Fiore Kashmir body balm. Smells like heaven!
- My holistic dermatologist’s nontoxic retin-A. You can only get it with a prescription. She makes it. Retin-a is really the fountain of youth and a product I’ve been using for 12 years. I swear by it!
- Tatcha’s luminous dewy skin face mist is incredible. I apply after makeup.
Laney: You also meditate every day. How do you stick to your practice while being so busy?
Jena: We can all find 15 minutes in our day to meditate. We owe that to ourselves. It should be mandatory and part of our routine, the same way we find 15 minutes to apply makeup or take a bath. For me personally, nothing relaxes and heals the body like meditation.
Laney: How does meditation help you run your company?
Jena: It sets the tone for the day. It calms me and puts me in a tranquil state. It allows me to pause and not react.
Laney: Any pointers for those of us who also have the entrepreneurial bug?
Jena: Don’t follow trends, follow your heart, don’t listen to too much advice. Start small. I started with 1 SKU and $300. Don’t give up and don’t short change yourself. If you’re looking for investors who want to take 50% of your company, it may sound appealing in the beginning. But imagine if your company really succeeds and is worth 20 million in three years. Will you regret giving up 50%? If the answer is yes then hold out.
Laney: How do you stay in the moment?
Jena: I meditate and I am trying to not be on my phone as much! I practice deep breathing. My cat Farrah Joon keeps me present. I listen to kundalini music.
Special thanks to Jena!
Photos by Kristine Lo
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