Monday, March 26, 2018

Natural Beauty Series - Meet Ava from Earthwise Beauty

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕  

You have no idea how happy I am to present this blog post to you guys! Like bursting at the seams excited! You know why? Because Ava from Earthwise Beauty is featured here as Natural Beauty today 💕 It was fascinating to pick brains of this fabulous green beauty heavyweight - I did a happy little dance when her interview answers came back, and now I am equally happy dancing sharing it all with you, my lovely readers. It is true you learn something new everyday - I learned a new way to nourish my scalp today, all thanks to Ava!

💕 I know exactly who You are, and I am a big fan, but would You please introduce Yourself to those who might don't know You?

My name is Ava Zhan, and I am the founder of Earthwise Beauty, an organic skin care line with a focus on local herbs grown or harvested by us, on unprocessed, often unusual plant oils, and on highly effective formulas! More recently, I couldn't help myself and also launched a second company, Pacific Northwest Essences (mind you, with the help of a whole super hard working and dedicated team). The essence company will soon carry over 100 flower and gem essences for internal use as herbal supplements, and also some eagerly awaited aura mists.

💕 How has going natural and non toxic in your beauty regimen changed your overall health and beauty?

Well, that happened over 15 years ago. Since my teenage years, I have been very interested in nutritional healing and herbal healing (Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine), which means the changes happened from outside and from inside simultaneously and gradually. But as far as the skin care regimen, not only do I take much more pleasure in using pure natural products, my skin generally looks very well fed. At 42, I don't really have wrinkles or loss of elasticity, and the minor tendency I have toward premenstrual breakouts is quite easy to keep in check. My approach with our products is to offer nourishing with oils and plants that are rich in vitamins, omegas, and many other phytonutrients. I believe in nurturing and boosting, and I am not a big proponent of scrubbing, several cleanses, stripping, or peeling. Intense exfoliating treatments offer quick visible results, but somehow in the long run, most heavy users of such products end up looking older, not younger. It is as if the skin cells become more passive or stripped off some crucial resiliency components and they do not bounce back on their own. What I have also found is that deeper peels may increase the tendency toward hyperpigmentation even though they are often supposed to diminish it. 
Ava Zhan, the founder of Earthwise Beauty,

💕 Three things that make You happy?

Freedom, ponderosa pines, and my children. 

💕 What is the best advice You've been given?

One good piece of advice that comes to mind is from the time I was just beginning to drive on highways and on busy big city streets. I was explaining to my friends that I feel a lot of pressure from the drivers behind me to get moving when I am preparing for a left turn on a very busy intersection. I wait and wait for a good while, but sometimes it takes quite long for the gap between oncoming cars to be wide enough. And the friends I was talking with made me realize that the right time to turn is when I am comfortable. It is not about pleasing them, it is about my and my passengers' safety. It was eye opening to realize how much we are thought to please others first. 

💕 What people inspire You? 

I am particularly inspired by people who have grace and kindness, who strive, create, achieve, yet they also work hard to be nonviolent, to maintain a pure and good heart.

💕 What are Your three (or five) can't-live-without-it green beauty products?

Among our products, I can't live without Nap in the Meadow Serum, Ferns and Moss Serum, and Farizad's Veil sun protective powder. 

Earthwise Beauty Products

💕 Your best DIY recipe? Other than your fabulous products? It might be a simple scrub or cleaning solution, something simple like that?

My scalp is extremely sensitive to chemicals, including natural preservatives and emulsifiers that are used in large percentages by most, it seems, companies, including organic ones. For this reason, I often doctor up the cleanest, purest hair products I can find. I often make blends of a serving of natural shampoo with a few drops of lemon thyme essential oil and a dropperfull of burdock tincture. I leave on this enriched shampoo for as long as possible, and it soothes and nourishes my scalp.
*Noted - Renata. Thanks so much for the tip :)

💕 What do You like and dislike about yourself?

I like to laugh and joke in the company of people who get my jokes. Another thing that I like about myself is that I get things done. I will keep most of the dislikes secret, but to give you a few: I am impatient, don't like to wait, and I am late to places and appointments way more often than I would like.

💕 Your proudest achievement?

I don't know whether this is my personal achievement, but I am very proud of how my boys are turning out.

💕 What are You currently reading?

I am reading on several topics at once: Native American mythology, a novel set in India, and a series of books about the meanings of our dreams, especially with animal or mythical symbols, and I always look things up in my reference books on herbal healing.

💕 What food do You like to cook/eat?

I like healthy and tasty food, primarily vegetarian. When I lived in New York City, I was working as a cookbook editor for several years and I was surrounded by people whether editors or chefs who loved to eat, cook, bake, and to create new recipes, and most if not all of them ate very healthy foods. It was great fun to go to restaurants where competitive and creative chefs always worked on surprising their choosy New York clientele. We had access to food that was fresh, organic, inspired by cuisines around the world, and very tasty. 
💕 What is your favourite product from the ones You created?

It is a difficult question. I always want to improve and I am almost never fully satisfied with my formulas. On most days I am too perfectionistic. But let me choose Ferns and Moss Face Serum. It feels more complete than most facial oils, I love the amber color, the oakmoss scent, and the thick yet nonoily texture. And it is so versatile: Ferns and Moss works on bare washed skin, layered over other products such as our Nap in the Meadow, mixed with Farizad's Veil powder for the daytime. And it is one of those oils that I never ever worry may cause me congestion (with many products, I need to be careful and only apply richer products on the dry outer sides of my face, and light ones such as Ambrosia del Cerrado Moisturizer on my T-zone). During a time with very dry skin last winter, I even used a second layer of Ferns and Moss for the day over my foundation and loved the effect. My skin always asks for more Ferns and Moss.   

💕 Your guilty pleasure?
A chocolate muffin here and there.

💕 Your top tips for being healthy and happy?
First of all, lots of time in nature. Fresh air, sun, a breeze, and the sight of trees or an ocean are all my recipes for calm and happiness. Then very healthy foods, with a wide range of fresh fruits and cooked vegetables at every meal (yes, three times a day, not once). Then, nurture the quality relationships in your life, and if you have any that consistently make you unhappy, move on. There are new friends to meet at any time in one's life. 

💕 What scents excite You?
I love scents that are deep, evocative, earthy, resinous, surprising, and highest grade florals. As is evident for everyone who has tried our products, I can't bring myself to just add a little lavender and call a product scented and ready. If I go for lavender, I search for that one that smells like wild lavender, it is subtle and green, not just floral. 

💕 What is Your mantra in life? 
I don't have a mantra, but I am particularly sensitive on the topic of personal freedom. I try to create a life for myself and for my family members where we have freedom in many areas of our life even though we need to adjust to others' needs here and there, or say the school schedule.

💕 Favorite affirmation if You have one?

I don't have an affirmation, but not too long ago, I was writing text for a postcard that features the yellow iris flower essence that we carry on our web site. I normally write long essence descriptions, but there is very little space on the card, and I wanted something more like an affirmation, but of course it had to also be faithful to how this particular essence works. What I wrote was "My cup is full." It has been many months and this sentence comes back to me often. Many of us grew up with a feeling of lack, whether from poverty or insufficiency, and we carry that feeling into adulthood even though it may no longer be true, or is not true much of the time. We need to retrain our brain to see with new eyes that we have changed, that our situation has changed. 

💕 3 resources every girl needs..

Her own money, easy access to nature, and people in her life who respect and appreciate her.

💕 Once an week for my health...

Chinese acupuncture.

💕 What do You do to de-stress?

I love weekends without any plans, classes, a schedule, and then I like to spend as much time as possible wandering our local meadows and forests.

💕 Last thing you do at night?

I read at least a few pages of a book. I have a huge stack of books next to my bed that I choose from, mostly my herbal reference books.
 I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did? 

Then please make my day and share this or any of my blog posts on social media - it helps to get the green beauty word out and for that I Thank You!
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You can check out thirteen more Natural Beauty interviews with the green beauty movers and shakers here. Feels so good to share the love 💕
Lots of Love,

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