For Jena Covello, every ingredient counts.
Faced with a hormone-related health issue from a young age, she discovered that eliminating toxins from her diet, environment and beauty regimen could make a big difference. The biggest obstacle to her completely holistic lifestyle was surprising: Covello’s doctor warned her away from antiperspirants because of their high content of estrogen-mimicking—and, therefore, potentially cancer-causing—aluminum. But finding a natural deodorant that actually worked proved impossible.
So, Covello did what any creative and innovative woman might: She sat down in her West Hollywood kitchen and made her own. And what she developed came out so nicely—was so chic and pure and beautiful and worked so well—that she quickly developed a following. And, in 2015, she officially launched her line, Agent Nateur.
Here, she describes why cleaning up the products we use could save our lives:
Live The Process: Looking back at your childhood, were there indications that you might end up creating your own natural beauty line?
Jena Covello: I was always very creative growing up. From the time I was 5, my mother enrolled me in many art programs, and I began taking art and design classes at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) when I was 13. We always played in the makeup section at the original Barneys in Chelsea, and I specifically remember being very fascinated with Makeup Forever and all of the perfumes from Creed. I was always obsessed with scent.
I didn’t know I'd end up creating a beauty line specifically, but I always wanted to do something that combined luxury and art. My mom was much more into makeup than me, but I guess watching her perform her strict anti-aging regimen had a lasting effect on me.
Health was always important. Both of my parents take very good care of their health and bodies, but it was my father and my hormone-related illness that forced me to begin living a holistic lifestyle.
LTP: How did you discover that eliminating toxins from your home and beauty regime could potentially help your health issues?
JC: I’m estrogen dominant and I suffer from endometriosis and adenomyosis. Although it’s a big step to say that the aluminum in antiperspirant causes breast cancer, it can lead to breast cancer because it is a hormone disruptor. It mimics estrogen and can cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. My teacher and chemist in France told me that the country has begun to do away with all aluminum foil at restaurants because of its effect on hormones. This is huge! From what I’ve learned in France, it’s not vaccines that are the problem; it’s the heavy metal additives (aluminum and mercury) that are creating so many health issues. Most beauty products contain ingredients that mimic estrogen or potentially cause cancer. Europe is getting ready to ban one of the bad antioxidant ingredients in most conventional lipstick called BHA because it causes cancer.
LTP: How and when did you come to launch Agent Nateur? And what separates your natural deodorant from others?
JC: I launched Agent Nateur in March of 2015, kind of by accident. I couldn’t find a natural deodorant that worked, so I began making my own. (My dad and my doctors kept telling me to stop using antiperspirant because aluminum mimics estrogen and it’s a hormone disruptor.) I couldn’t believe how effective my creation seemed to be, so I gave it to friends too—and, from there, it grew through word of mouth.
Right now, my collection includes three deodorants, and my anti-aging holi oil Youth Serum is launching in March. I am leaving for Paris shortly because I source my anti-aging ingredients in Europe. In the US, it’s nearly impossible to find vitamin C and E that is not derived from GMOs. Even if you find it, the quality is not as good as what’s found in Europe.
Those vitamins are both in my face oil, and it’s important to me to ensure that the ingredients are as pure and high-grade as possible. The serum removes fine lines; it creates an incredible glow. It brightens and helps with acne and scars.
"It's important to me to ensure that the ingredients are as pure and high-grade as possible."
LTP: Aside from using your deodorant, of course, how do you keep yourself feeling healthy and balanced?
JC: Right now, I spend a lot of time at home, creating formulas. It becomes very tedious, so I make sure I travel a lot and I always eat healthy: I start my day with a green smoothie made from spinach, apple, pineapple and a ton of ginger. I rarely eat meat, and I eat organic 90 percent of the time. I rarely eat dairy and I never eat gluten, as 90 percent of America’s wheat is sprayed with glysophate Round Up, Monsanto’s herbicide. The herbicide causes so much inflammation in our bodies and our pancreas has a hard time breaking it down. When I’m in Europe, I always eat bread and I never feel sick because GMOs are banned there. I’m happy that the state of California just forced Monsanto to label it’s glysophate Round Up as a potential cancer-causing herbicide. As I understand it, most cancers begin with inflammation.
I meditate every day with a crystal called “kyanite.” It centers and calms me, but it also gets me in touch with my intuition. I usually do a lot of Pilates and I listen to kundalini music. I sit in the steam room often, as it’s a great detox. I get a colonic once a month from my healer. I take lots of baths. I take a lot of supplements. And my two Persian cats, Farrah and Pushkin, are natural stress relievers.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JC: Doing what you love, traveling and being surrounded by people who love you and inspire you to be happy and creative.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JC: For me, “Live the Process” means being authentic and always checking in with myself to make sure that I listen to my gut and don’t make fear-based decisions.