For this weeks Wellness Wednesday I’m chatting to Jennifer Rock AKA The Skin Nerd. I love Jen, her energy and enthusiasm for all things skin related is infectious.
I first met her when we shot some videos for Yonka about a year and a half ago (you can see them here) and have been an avid fan ever since. Her approach to skincare is refreshing, knowledgeable and honest.
But I wanted to know a little more, like how does she balance work and play and what her favourite foods are? You are going to love her answers as they prove her honesty is more than just skin deep….
How would you describe your lifestyle?
At present quite hectic. I just recently switched from being employed to self-employed, which is very different. I rebranded my product, hired nerds for my team and I also have a new business launching in the summer.
In the last quarter of this year I am launching some new products so it is busy!
As much as I love being busy and my brain to buzz and pivot, I have been ill of late and the unexpected time in a hospital bed has allowed me to place a lot in perspective. The past few weeks have highlighted key factors that have to change for me both personally and within my family.
What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.
Nice – Well I adore salmon, quinoa, spinach with balsamic vinegar with a few sweet potatoes and ketchup – do the tomatoes count as healthy Alison?
I have a very black and white approach towards food. It really a case of all or nothing in the health department! I wish that wasn’t the case but I cannot lie to you!
My guilty pleasure is ice cream – with raspberry sauce, flakes and ferrero rocher sauce. I love visiting scrumdiddly’s in Donabate and Dun Laoghaire. It’s simply heaven!
Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?
Unfortunately at present I am housebound and so exercise is not allowed for 4 more weeks. It is ironic how much I want to do it now that I cannot. To be honest it had been lacking due to my work /life balance pre operation as well. I used to be a gym bunny but during the transition from employee to self-employed I was working 19-20 hours a day for the best part of 8 months – exercise simply did not happen. I lost the physical mojo, gained three stone and have not returned since.
How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?
I have to have me time or I am highly irritable! No phone, no TV, just time to chill and think, take a walk on the beach or sit out the back door with my shoes off for 10 minutes. It’s these small moments that count. I physically crave fresh air and time out. If I do that I am productive and nice again! I ALWAYS NEED MY SHOES OFF, ALWAYS! Unless of course I’m at a work event!
How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?
We did meditation in school when I was younger. An ex partner of mine was hugely involved in mindfulness, yoga and self-appreciation yet it was lost on me at that stage of my life in my twenties. It is an area I have started to read up on now. I try to not think, allow my brain to rest and I believe it is a skill I will become better at, however I try not to over think it and just be! For me there is something hugely medicinal when watching and listening to the waves – that’s my downtime!
People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?
Yes I live by goals and challenges however they change regularly and I do not stress myself out by watching the dates pass and the target is not reached- unless it is work! I am 32 and used to so desperately want to be married by 28. Now that 28 has passed and two partners later I realize that I am happier single right now than when I was either relationship. This is by no means a reflection of the relationships but rather my own mental space. My mam used to always say ‘you cannot love someone until you love yourself’ I thought she was wrong, in fact she was wrong as I loved both my partners immensely and with every part of my being (as I do with all I give attention to – son and career included) BUT if you do not know yourself, your true self, you become lost in a couple. That is my personal musings!
How do you unwind after a busy day?
Time with my son Matt; once he walks in the door I automatically change. That email I HAD to reply to suddenly takes a back seat till he’s at soccer hours later! I try to be with him not serve him or talk at him. Easier said than done while trying to do the chores while he sits looking at me!!
It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?
Walks on the beach are a must, watching Matt play soccer, as it’s his passion. I love to read, potter and visit friends. My home is the home many come to and I love the open door attitude we have. Matt’s friends typically stay over on a Saturday night and we have big breakfasts on a Sunday with teenage kids “go Leor”. Memory making days are what I like to call them! Essentially I mortify my son just by being me!
What’s your top health tip for our readers?
Be yourself, stop trying to struggle and juggle all while trying to please other people. Say NO. Learn your boundaries, be proud of you and don’t change for anyone. People are so happy to criticize others, so don’t get sucked in. The negative energy will affect you more than anyone else! What you put out is what you get back so move on, breath and live! Or as I say ‘be alive..don’t just live’
Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…
Having my health, my son Matthew’s health, planning holidays, laughing out loud regularly and being somewhat content with where I am rather than dreaming aimlessly about where I’d like to be.
Is this always the case? No, but this is what I aim for and know to be my truth. I spent all my life wanting what was next, the next goal and challenge but have since realized that NOW is the reality and all we really have.
Jennifer Rock is a keen skin enthusiast, a multi-award winning aesthetician, dermal facialist and international skin lecturer in the USA, London, Paris, Melbourne, Glasgow, and Dublin, and for brands and professional bodies such as ITECX and CIDESCO.
She’s attended skin conferences around the world with plastic surgeons, aesthetic doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, and nurses. She’s had the pleasure of lecturing alongside luminaries such as IMAGE Skincare certified plastic surgeon Dr Marc Ronert and the co-creator of London Harley Street Medical Hospital Dr Ahmar Khan, to name a few.
She’s been seen in U Magazine, Irish Country Magazine, Xposé, IMAGE Magazine, Sunday Business Post, Sunday Independent, Woman’s Way, Professional Beauty Magazine, BABTAC and The Irish Times, and as heard on 4fM, Today FM, Q102 and Sunshine Radio. She has her own website, the skinnerd.ie, filled with a panel of industry experts, dedicated to teaching her followers unbiased and factual skin truths along with the dos and do not’s of skin care.