Ask An Expert: Heidi Zak on Finding Balance

Heidi Zak is the co-founder and co-CEO of the innovative bra company ThirdLove, and was named one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40. Since 2013, more than 12 million women have used ThirdLove’s innovative Fit Finder™ to find a bra in one of the brand’s 78 sizes, including exclusive half-cups. We asked her to share some of her personal insights into self-care and how she finds balance within her busy life.

Ask an Expert with Heidi Zak

Burt’s Bees: Why is self-care important to you?

Heidi Zak: With two young kids and a growing business, having high energy is important to my success. Taking time for self-care boosts my confidence, and is great for my overall productivity. It helps me feel my best in my skin and allows me time to connect with myself every day which gives me the focus and clarity I need.

Tell us about what self-care looks like for you.

I love to get my workouts in before heading to the office in the morning. I used to try and make it to a class, but as a mom of two kids, and a co-founder and co-CEO, that just wasn’t realistic. Buying a Peloton bike, and now the Peloton treadmill, has completely cut out the stress of rushing to the gym to get a workout in.

If someone only has five minutes per day to practice better self-care, what would you recommend they do?

Get moving! Even a short workout from home can have a great impact on how you feel the rest of the day. I always feel like I’m at my most productive when I regularly start my day with exercise.

You’ve been outspoken about loving yourself as you are, whoever you are—how does that influence your ideas about self-care?

ThirdLove was born out of the idea that women deserve a better option. We believe that every woman has the right to define herself and what makes her feel beautiful, sexy or confident. What works for me may not work for everyone, and that’s okay! It’s all about doing what is best for you and your body to make you feel your absolute best.

Do you believe a daily skin care routine is an important step to practice self-care and why?

Of course! Your skin is the base for your whole look, similar to how your bra is the base for your whole wardrobe.

What is your daily skincare routine?

In the morning I use a vitamin C serum and then sunscreen. In the evening I do a gentle face wash, followed by Factor Five serum and 24/7 Barrier Cream.

What is the one step in your skincare routine that you can’t live without?

Sunscreen! I love Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Day Lotion with SPF. It moisturizes and protects my skin, and gives me a natural glow without any makeup.

How do you find time for yourself while being a mom and the co-CEO of a growing apparel brand?

It wasn’t easy to learn to take time for myself, but it became painfully obvious that it wouldn’t just happen on its own. I have to carve out that free time for myself. For example, I get an in-home massage every month, which I always look forward to, and helps keep my stress levels down.

Do you have any organizational tips for creating a balanced work-life schedule with regular self-care moments?

I try to be fully present in whatever I am doing at that moment. If I’m at the office, I’m completely focused on my meetings and checking in with my team. Once I’m home, I stop checking emails and taking calls to be fully present with my kids and make time for myself outside of work.

What is your best piece of advice for how to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin?

Start with a great fitting bra, made for your exact size. It’s the base of your entire wardrobe, and if you’re not worrying about your bra, you have time to focus on other things.

What message do you want to deliver to women through ThirdLove?

You’re beautiful and we are here to support you. It’s no secret that the lingerie industry has been dominated by one player largely run by men. We had to break the mold (literally!) to create a perfectly fitting bra in 74 sizes, including half cups, to fulfill our mission statement of creating a bra for every body. And we’re just getting started.

What’s your favorite ThirdLove item?

I love our 24/7™ Lace Balconette Bra in Sea Salt, it looks great under blouses and is the only lace bra that I’ve ever had that is actually comfortable.

What else are you working on that’s exciting you?

We must create a strong next generation of young women that have even more opportunities than we do. That’s why I’m an angel investor in six female-founded early-stage startups, and I share advice and make connections that I didn’t have when starting ThirdLove.