Gretchen Lidicker is a writer, researcher, and the author of the books CBD Oil Everyday Secrets and Magnesium Everyday Secrets. She has a degree in biology and a masters in physiology with a concentration in complementary and integrative medicine. She's been featured in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Forbes, and Travel & Leisure.
For a makeup artist, herbalist, and natural beauty expert Jessa Blades, food and beauty are one in the same. “So much of my beauty routine lives in the kitchen,” she explains. Natural beauty is all about avoiding the chemicals and toxins — like parabens and phthalates — that often find their way into our cosmetics, so a good rule of thumb is to use ingredients on your skin that you’d be okay ingesting as well.
But what does that look like in practice? “In the morning I’ll put on a facemask, which has a little bit of coconut oil, hemp oil, and some honey,” she explains. Honey, especially Manuka honey, is quickly gaining recognition for its anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties, which can be beneficial in skincare.
She leaves the mask on her face for about 10 minutes, which is just enough time to make breakfast and brew some black tea. Blades recently gave up coffee, saying “it’s just not the plant medicine that works for my body.” She’s currently in the habit of starting her day with a really nice earl grey. “The smell of bergamot is just fantastic,” she says. While she’s putting on her facemask she’ll add some honey to the bottom of her mug for a little sweetness. The other option is a mushroom tonic with cacao, maple syrup, and nut milk, which she makes herself from scratch.
Blades’ goal is to use ingredients in her wellness routine that remain in their truest form. “Am I taking a garlic pill for immunity every day? No. I’m making toast and rubbing it with garlic instead,” she says.
The same applies to her beauty routine. I like to wash my face as little as possible so I don’t disrupt the natural oils,” says Blades, who’s skin is frequently on the dry side. To combat this, she also drinks a ton of water — often infusing it with nettle or red raspberry leaf herbal extracts — and increases her intake of healthy fats, which “might look like extra olive oil or avocado in my diet to help with the internal hydration,” she tells us. If that doesn’t do the trick for her dry skin, Blades will call upon an olive oil-based face oil infused with botanicals like fennel and astragalus.
So whether she’s scouring the jar-filled shelves of her favorite herb stores or berry picking in upstate New York, you can rest assured that she’s collecting ingredients that will help her blur the lines between food, beauty, and herbal medicine.
How To Do it: When you’re buying a facemask or other type of cosmetic, ask yourself: “Would I eat this?” If the answer is no, consider looking for an alternative; or, make your own!
Meet the Make-it-Easy Masters
It’s easy to be inspired by women who do big, incredible things like starting their own medical practice, running a marathon, or writing a book. But we can’t forget about the small stuff, either! That’s why we teamed up with Youtheory to bring you the Make-It-Easy Masters series. You’ll meet 10 women who are doing big things while still making sure they get the little things done. They’re sharing tips, recipes, and wisdom on everything from meal prep to self care to natural beauty to inspire your journey towards good living.