Daniela Serra is a co-founder of BLNCD Naturals. Between her experience as a holistic esthetician and her background working with iconic brands brand like AVEDA, E.L.F Beauty, and Tata Harper, Daniela is indispensable to the formulation and product development of BLNCD’s most treasured products. With the launch of our VITAL CBG Facial Mist, we were excited to speak with Daniela a bit more about the origin on the mist and her own personal journey in the beauty industry.
BLNCDWORLD: You’ve been celebrated for your work as an esthetician and have had the opportunity to work with many renowned beauty chemists & innovators over the years. Was there a particular experience or mentor that inspired you to begin innovating your own products?
DS: I was raised in a family of Italian culture on my mom’s side. My great grandmother from Italy was a firm believer of natural plant medicine & herbs for healing illness and skin issues. That was passed down through the generations so it always felt natural to me. After college I began working for Horst Rechelbacher, the original creator of Aveda Corp. I was immediately inspired by his process of extracting essential oils and carrier oils from unique plants & flowers he found around the world to create amazing skin, hair and wellness products. After spending 10 years as a Makeup Artist, I decided to get my Esthetician license in order to dive deeper into ingredients and healing the skin. I was very lucky to land a job working with Marie Veronique, a chemist & founder of a highly sought after brand in Berkeley, CA. It was with Marie that I learned how to source & blend quality plant and science based ingredients to create effective skincare products. It was in those intimate learning moments with Marie that I became passionate about product formulation. Since then, I consistently research new ingredient benefits and trends to stay ahead on top of the fast pace and saturation of the beauty industry.
BLNCDWORLD: Product development can be a tedious and arduous process. What cardinal ideologies were at the core of your mission to develop the Face Mist for BLNCD?
DS: It’s very tedious! I really take my time researching ingredients that have tried and true benefits to the skin, but also I use these formulations for months on myself as well as testing on friends, family, business partners. I won’t release a product until it’s perfect. I hold the bar high because I want BLNCD products to really make a difference on the skin. I need to be able to see and feel those results on my skin before it’s ever ready to launch. These formulations will always be unique. I want to not only find the best ingredients to see results, but also create unique blends that you won’t just find anywhere.
BLNCDWORLD: Misting is a very special delivery/application method for a beauty product. What sorts of unique challenges go into the formulation of a mist as opposed to a topical cream or oil?
DS: Misting is such an important addition to your skincare routine. It not only nourishes the barrier of the skin, but also hydrates and allows the serums and oils that you layer afterwards to penetrate so much better. I mist at least 2-4 times a day alone to not only to help absorb my skincare products better, but to refresh and soothe my skin throughout the day. I can’t function without it and neither should you.
BLNCDWORLD: A lot of people are aware of cannabis benefits as it relates to stress and relaxation, but what are some of the most exciting benefits of CBD in the beauty space?
DS: CBD is one of those ingredients that has multiple benefits, and some are still unfound. What has been researched and what I have physically seen on the skin is that CBD helps to calm my client’s skin. Whether it be clinical skincare issues or having consistent breakouts. CBD and CBG, an additional cannabinoid, has helped to break up congestion in the skin. If I sense something serious, I always recommend that they see their dermatologist first, but a lot of times they will come back to me for suggestions that are more holistic. I really focus on the holistic health of the skin. Meaning, I look beyond it… I look at gut health, hormonal health, and environmental or emotional stressors that may be contributing to the barrier disruptions. I also really tune into what products or devices are being used on the skin as well as diet. Nine out of ten times, people are over-exfoliating and using too many aggressive ingredients on their skin. Sometimes simplifying is better.
BLNCDWORLD: Ginkgo Biloba is a key ingredient in BLNCD’s Vital CBG Mist. Tell us more about this amazing tree and its benefits.
DS: This tree is magical in so many ways. From being in existence for 200 million (one of the oldest plant species on the planet) to years of being used for centuries in Chinese Medicine. It turns out that it has many benefits for the skin topically. There’s no question that this tree can outlive many environmental stressors. Which makes it an incredible ingredient for aging skin. Its antioxidant properties are highly protective, also helps to promote collagen production, tighten and help retain elasticity in the skin.
BLNCDWORLD: How does the mist play into your daily routine?
DS: My AM routine is pretty simple. After washing, I use the Vital mist, at least 4-5 pumps, and I let that sit for 30 seconds to soak in all the nutrients.
BLNCDWORLD: You’ve spoken a lot about the importance of transparency in the beauty industry. What does that mean for both brands and consumers?
DS: Transparency is everything and we all deserve to know what’s in the food that we eat, and the products we use. There are many ingredients that are considered “safe” and I follow EWG (Environment Working Group) closely to be sure that all of the ingredients we use are not only effective, but the safest possible for you and the environment. Every brand has the ability to do this and at this point there are no excuses for using harmful ingredients.
BLNCDWORLD: What advice do you have for any young adults or aspiring minds who are interested in getting into the beauty space?
DS: Follow your passion. The Beauty industry is a crowded space. But don’t let that deter you. There will always be competition, but nobody is YOU. So keep creating, keep researching, and stay authentic to what lights you up. The world needs more innovators who care about what they’re producing and why.
BLNCDWORLD: You split a lot of your time between LA and Minneapolis. How do these two very different lands impact the way your move through the world as a person and a professional?
DS: This is true! I love my home city of Minneapolis, my friends and family who still reside there. There is no match for that feeling of home, but I have found that the creative energy that exists in LA is beyond inspiring for me. It challenges me in ways I would have never imagined. Which has only motivated me to work harder. The cutting edge culture of innovators, creators, and artists keeps me feeling alive in LA and excited to bring those discoveries back home to BLNCD to create amazing products. Also the sunshine, warm climate, and access to the ocean, desert and mountains makes it a lot easier!