Jeannie Jarnot is one of our green beauty heroes. As the founder of the incredibly successful non-toxic beauty subscription box company Beauty Heroes, she’s committed to educating customers on clean ingredients and showcasing some of the best in full-size healthy beauty products to as many women as possible. Jeannie’s passion for helping to lead the charge toward non-toxic ingredients is evident in everything she does. We caught up with her to talk beauty, business and the art of living well.
The W.E.L.L. Summit: We’re thrilled to have Beauty Heroes on board with The W.E.L.L. Summit! How did you become interested in green beauty?
I began my career as a spa director in 1997 and had an “ah-ha” moment when, 12 or 13 years ago, I realized that the products we were using in spas contained parabens and other toxic ingredients. We were supposed to be promoting health and wellness, and I didn’t want to be massaging my clients with those ingredients. I began researching, but found it difficult to navigate what was toxic and what wasn’t. That helped fuel my passion for green beauty. It also helps that so many of the founders of clean beauty brands are really incredible people who have invested their own life stories into their products. I’m committed to helping them tell their stories. Most mainstream beauty brands don’t have the personal touch that green beauty brands have; that energy is palpable when you meet the makers and hear their stories.
Congratulations on Beauty Heroes’ success! It’s so encouraging to see a company that’s focused on getting the message of clean beauty out to as many people as possible. What do you think the appeal of green beauty has resonated so strongly with consumers across the US?
I think there’s a long way to go—it’s still a bit of niche, but it’s on the verge of explosion. Once women discover it, it’s hard to go back. We’re trying to make it more accessible to mainstream markets: Just like when you start to eat a diet of fresh, clean foods, you can’t really go back to eating fast food or tons of junk. I think people recognize the artistry of green beauty and the passion behind it.
How do you choose which products to feature in Beauty Heroes boxes? Are there key ingredients, company values that you try to align with?
There’s always a story behind each brand we feature. Some brands contact us, or we meet them at events. I often meet founders through other founders; for instance, I met Josh Rosebrook through Laurel of Laurel Whole Plant Organics. Regardless of how we meet, I always have several conversations with each founder: What’s the hero product, what are their ingredients? We want to convey the best product of the brand to our customers and open the brand up to them.
We rotate between hair, skin, body & sun that fits well for the season, and we often feature a hero product and a smaller “sidekick” to give people insight into the brand. We only work with full size products, which sets us apart.
It feels like those of us who are passionate about clean ingredients are multiplying daily. What do you hope to see change by way of legislation in the next 5 years?
I’m part of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics business network, so I’m very aware of what’s happening by way of legislation. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot in sight. We’re awaiting the Personal Care Safety Act, but it might not make the floor in 2016. The ultimate goal is to have ingredients tested before they hit the market. Beauty Heroes has a clearly defined ingredient directive that surpasses even the E.U. standard. But my hope is that women who begin learning more will seriously take their health into their own hands and care enough to eliminate toxic ingredients—not just from skincare, but from dish soap, hand soap and other over the counter products. With no sign of significant legislation in sight, we all need to be our own heroes.
How do you live well?
I live well through meditation and exercise. I take business calls while on a walk sometimes to try to fit in some movement. I also try to be mindful in each step of my business—though it’s always a challenge, it’s a large part of my day. When you’re working at a health-focused company, I think you need to you’re your talk and be health-conscious and as our brand name suggests, I want to do it heroically! I try to eat a balanced diet with regular meals and get a good night’s sleep—again, it’s a challenge, but I try! Lastly, as a business owner, I only work with people I care about, who also live well. That’s a luxury for me, and I know how lucky I am to choose those with whom I surround myself. It’s a huge part of how I live well!