WTF is Wellness is a new series that takes us alongside our Founder, Beryl Solomon, as she talks all things modern wellness with some of the most exciting and influential minds in the space. From CBD and cannabis to mind, body and lifestyle - let’s navigate this crazy world we live in one conversation at a time.
This week we’re talking with Jessica Wu, a Jane of all trades—stylist, producer and model to name a few—about what wellness looks like in 2019.
With roots in Southern California, but a clear identity as a New Yorker, Jessica is fearlessly motivated and unapologetically herself. Now immersed in her newest platform/project, The Period Space, she’s focusing much of her energy on what matters most - pulling the red tape from women’s health and giving it the transparency we all need.
Beryl: What does wellness mean to you? Do you ever think about it?
Jessica: Yeah, I definitely think about it. To me, the biggest part of wellness is balance. That’s something I’ve struggled with over the last 6 years being in New York, balancing personal health and work, because I freelance, and there’s a freelance-stress balance.
Beryl: Right, and that balance is always changing.
Jessica: Yes! Also, fitness is a big part. Maintaining standards for how often I work out, where I work out, what muscles I work out, which has actually changed drastically in the last few months. Before, I used to run outside and was only working my leg muscles. Now, I’m starting to do some resistance stuff at home with dumbbells and band, so when it’s too cold to go outside I can just do it in my room.
Beryl: That’s amazing! Have you always thought about wellness and working out?
Jessica: I don’t think my family was huge on wellness per se, but they were always like “you need balance in your life.” I was born and raised in Newport Beach, California, but I’m not meant to live there. I think industry-wise and career-wise I definitely thrive more in New York.
Beryl: It has its own energy.
Jessica: Yeah exactly, it’s a much more determined energy. Plus, I hate running outside when it’s hot and I love running in the winter when it’s like 35 degrees. You can always put on more layers, but you can’t always run naked.
Beryl: Wise words to live by! Tell me more about your favorite beauty products and routine.
Jessica: I slowly introduce things into my routine and if they work I’ll keep them in rotation. I’ve been using Amore Pacific a lot. They have a Korean heritage and everything is scientific which I really appreciate. I have this serum that’s made from green tea leaves farmed on an island in Korea and they’re only picked in the morning, extracted for 48 hours, and they only make 100 bottles of these a year so that’s pretty cool.
Beryl: Wow! That’s intense.
Jessica: I also use a lot of products from a brand in LA that’s also Korean called Cle Cosmetics. I have a serum and this CCC cream from them I’ve been using every day for like 3 years and it’s pretty amazing.
Beryl: Isn’t it crazy that some products you can use forever?
Jessica: Totally. I also really loving Supergoop, I use their products everyday. SPF is very important to me because I used to get hyperpigmentation.
Makeup-wise I’ve been wearing this $6 drugstore eyeliner religiously for like 6 years. I also really love Glossier. I use their highlighter, cloud paint, and mascara a lot; those are my favorites. Also Drunk Elephant’s Serum gives you a really good glow.
Beryl: Any CBD products part of your routine?
Jessica: For sure. I love the topical Wildflower CBD stick —I apply it to my abs whether I have pain from working out or from period cramps. I’ve recently just started getting them, and actually also just started a menstrual and reproductive health platform.
Beryl: I love that! Tell me more about it.
Jessica: It’s called Period Space! Ever since I started my period I’ve always had issues with it. Early on it would last for 2-3 weeks and I would get it every 2-3 weeks.
Beryl: It feels like almost everyone has some type of irregularity with their cycle, but no one talks about it.
Jessica: It was terrible and something I dealt with alone for a long time. I went on birth control for the first time a couple years ago and it regulated my period but it made me gain weight, I had depressive mood swings, I was sad all the time, and broke out. I never had a pimple in my life before. So it fixed my period...
Beryl: ...but it ruined everything else!
Jessica: Yeah. It really triggered this change in my body which was the best for me because now I look at the things I consume very carefully.
Beryl: So what happens at Period Space?
Jessica: The platform itself is sort of a forum. Everything is crowdsourced, all my content is based on personal essays. It’s just people having voices about their periods, reproductive health issues that aren’t talked about enough among teenage girls, among women, and people who have periods in general.
My first official launch event was a panel in October and I moderated and invited Sophia Roe, a chef and wellness expert and an assembly woman who’s in my district trying to pass total public access to tampons and pads in schools and reproductive health education across K-12. I also had the founder of this company Kali, which is a subscription period product service.
Beryl: That’ so cool! So yes to CBD, especially because it can help with menstrual pain... but what about cannabis?
Jessica: I’m not into smoking in any way shape or form, but I’m down to consume something... although I’ve had instances with edibles as everyone has.
Beryl: Yes, everyone has! And the edibles of my youth are definitely not the edibles of today, you can be way more cautious.
Jessica: Definitely. I was actually lucky enough to go to this event for Sundae School and they made CBD-infused food. I’m really interested to see how an infusion of cannabis in the culinary industry is going to grow with legalization.
Beryl: I agree, I think it’s one of the new frontiers! Any final thoughts on wellness in the year ahead?
Jessica: This year I really want to diversify my social media content to include things other than fashion, like food and fitness. I want to work on myself and help other people work on themselves as well.
Beryl: That’s kind of what it's all about. Thank you Jessica! You totally rock.