Behind The Scenes: Laurel Whole Plant Organics

“Plants are the strongest, anti-aging tool we have,” says Laurel Shaffer, founder of her namesake flower-and-herb-based, organic facial care line Laurel Whole Plant Organics. Based in Northern California, Laurel takes extreme care in channeling that ethos into every gorgeous product – including this month’s featured Antioxidant Facial Serum.

You have an affinity for plants and their medicinal properties. How/where did your love for “green” take’ root?

It stemmed from an interest in my own health, and the ingredients I was putting on – and into – my body. I’m a “spa girl.” I love going to spas, having treatments, nurturing my mind, body and spirit. But in my spa-going, I began to see a disconnect and, in some cases, a lack of integrity in the ingredients being used. While the concept was about health and transformation, many of the products weren’t in alignment with that mission. It didn’t make sense to me how putting carcinogenic ingredients on our skin wasn’t ultimately going to age it. So I began researching and reading labels, and as I did, my interest in “green beauty” ignited.

You launched Laurel Whole Plant Organics without any prior skincare experience. And to great accolades! Tell us a bit about your vision.

I started out as a professional sommelier, an experience that gave me great insight and grounding into the world of farming and sourcing of pure, raw ingredients. When I decided to return to school to study the science of plants, herbs and flowers, and their complex healing powers, I did so with the deliberate intention of creating my own facial line.

The line now features 21 facial products and one body product. Tell us about the line, and specifically our featured “Antioxidant Serum,“ a Spa Heroes favorite, for sure.

I’m really proud of the line, and that I can say it is 100 percent organic, which was a long-term goal of mine. Most ’natural lines’ contain only a small percentage of organic ingredients. Laurel Skin now features facial cleansers, elixirs, balms, masks, and serums which, to me, are the core of the line, since they double as a moisturizer and absorb more rapidly than a cream. Our Antioxidant Serum – a powerful blend of calendula, rosehip and frankincense – happens to be one of my personal favorites. You can literally feel it working on the skin. When I was making this serum, I wanted an “end-all.” I wanted to use every possible amazing ingredient and have them work synergistically to do many things: reduce inflammation, produce collagen, brighten and generate healthy cell turnover.

We’d be remiss not to speak about the process of how your products are made.

There’s no giant manufacturing plant, that’s for sure! All of our ingredients are locally sourced, grown with 100 miles of our studio – with some even grown onsite. We macerate them for two months, before hand-pressing and bottling the products in dark glass. It’s a labor of love – for the plants, the earth, our skin and bodies – from start to finish.

Do you have a personal health/wellness ritual?

At least once a week, I have a “home-spa” day. It begins with a cup of fresh-brewed herbal tea, followed by a warm-to-hot bath, which I douse with locally made bath salts. While soaking, I cleanse my face then exfoliate, using two different facial masques. Once out of the bath, I’m very generous with Antioxidant Serum on my face and leave it on overnight.

I also love going to spas and make an effort to escape to destination spas as often as I can, even if it’s just for a weekend. I always try out their signature treatments. My love for wine remains, along with an appreciation for fine dining. All of this – combined with time with my fiancé and two dogs pretty much keeps me in balance.

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