At ORESTA, we are continuosly seeking out the latest, purest, most results-oriented organic and natural brands from around the globe so that we can offer a thoughtfully curated selection of the best organic skin care, hair care, personal care and makeup products.
We are beyond thrilled to present Laurel Whole Plant Organics Skin Care and are elated to be the premier and exclusive spa in Canada to feature Laurel organic skin care and signature Laurel Holistic Facials.
We have long been admirers of Laurel. The purity and integrity of her products is unparalleled. Whole plants are potent and nutrient-rich food for your skin. The purer and less altered plants are, the more powerful they are. Diluting them, refining them with chemicals or growing and producing their extracts in masses lessens their efficacy. That is why Laurel uses only raw, unrefined whole plant organic ingredients, sourced directly from farmers within a 100 mile radius of her studio in Sausalito, California. The whole plant (stem, leaf and flower) is ground and macerated in jojoba oil for up to three months and then pressed by hand to create made-to-order powerful, living, results-oriented skin care.
Laryssa and I had the opportunity to visit skin care formulator Laurel Shaffer at her studio in Sausalito, California last year. Laurel's passion for herbal medicine along with her genuine and generous spirit and commitment to creating quality nourishing healthy skin care is extraordinary. We spent time with Laurel and her team in her sunny studio kitchen filled with jars of plant-infused oils and herbs and observed the creation and packaging of a her spectacular products. We spent time training with Laurel and her team on the product line and facial protocol. We spoke with Laurel about her journey in creating the exquisite Laurel Whole Plant Organics skin care.
1. How do you describe beauty?
Laurel: Beauty isn't selfish or vain. I think of beauty as self care. Beauty is all around us, both inside and out, it inspires and brings joy. Slow beauty inspires introspection. The more self aware we are (in a positive spiritual sense), the more we are able to be the best version of ourselves for those around us. The more accepting we are of ourselves in our own skin, the more we are able to accept others and that is where beauty begins.
2. Tell us about your journey in creating Laurel Whole Plant Organics.
Laurel: I am a lover of spas and healthy green living. I began my career in wine studies where I learned about organic and biodynamic farming. As I became more aware of what I was putting in and on my body, I knew I needed to study either farming practices or herbal medicine. When I visited luxury destination spas or spas centered around wellness, I would feel a disconnect as their products were usually toxic, and when they were 'green', they didn't feel special nor did they reflect the surroundings of the spa. So, I decided to set out to create my own skin care line. I studied plants and physiology at the California School of Herbal Studies and upon graduation, I started formulating straight away, and the rest is what you see.
3. What is your skin care philosophy?
Laurel: My skin care philosophy is to protect and nourish our skin. We do not believe in any harsh treatments. I recently read in an article that 'wounds don't heal by deepening the injury'. This is so profound in the world of skin. We often make things much worse with our products and aggressive anti-aging treatments believing that this is the solution to heal our skin. Further damaging the skin to induce healing is completely illogical. Nothing can replace nourishment when it comes to the skin.
4. What makes Laurel Whole Plant Organics different from other organic skin care lines on the market?
Laurel: The quality of our ingredients and our unwillingness to commercialize our brand is what sets us apart. Our ingredients come from small artisan farmers that we know personally. We have found that the higher the quality the ingredient, the higher the antioxidant content, and the more results we see from our products. As for commercialism, brands will often make products just to sell, they cater to the scent and texture of a product so it will sell easily. But when you cater to scent, texture, and usage - it is impossible to make efficacy the main priority. And for us, results and the health and improvement of your skin is the most important priority.
5. What Laurel product are you most proud of?
Laurel: I am definitely most proud of our Balms. Balms are relatively new in the beauty world. To consumers new to the concept, balms sound sticky and heavy. We designed our balms to replace creams so they had to be lightweight, fast absorbing, and have a silky smooth texture - and deliver amazing results. It took me years to perfect the texture of our Balms, but I can honestly say after trying so many, there are no Balms on the market today with the texture and efficacy of ours.
6. What are your favourite carrier oils?
Laurel: I have so many! My favorite carrier oil often changes depending on what is in season, or per batch. I always love Cranberry Seed and Raspberry Seed.... but even more 'common' carrier oils like Sesame, Evening Primrose and Almond which are pressed every 2 weeks for us from fresh nuts and seeds. I cannot describe their beauty. We also have access to the best Olive Oil in the world in California. Sourcing oils is so important, especially with carrier oils. The quality of the oil completely changes its texture, absorbency, scent, and the results it creates in the skin.
7. What is your daily beauty ritual?
Laurel: My daily beauty ritual is fairly simple. I start my morning with a warm compress to help move lymph, break up stagnation and wake up my skin. I generously mist with an Elixir (7-8 sprays), and follow that with a generous application of Serum (usually a full dropperful for my face, neck and decollate . That's not really recommended but I like way too much product! I usually go back and forth using both of our Elixirs and all of Serums depending on how my skin is at that time of the month, week or year. My night time ritual is a little more loving and extravagant. I cleanse my skin with one of our 2 cream cleansers or a new oil cleanser that I have been developing, and remove the cleanser with a warm compress towel. I follow that with an Elixir and Serum again. At night, I add in one of our Eye products, the Night Balm, and Blemish Treatment when I need it. I usually exfoliate with our Almond Exfoliant 2x per week, and I mask 2x per week with one of our treatment masks ..... I use all of them based on whatever my skin needs at that time.
8. What is the biggest mistake people make regarding their skin care?
Laurel: The biggest mistake people make with their skin is damaging it further, and accelerating the aging process by using harsh chemical peels, abusing retin A products, and using toxic carcinogenic chemicals on their skin. Much like our own internal health, there is no quick fix. In order for our skin to look its best, we have to address our full picture of health, and that takes time. We also have to provide it with optimal nourishment, so that it has the nutrients it needs to be as healthy and vibrant as possible.
9. What is your best healthy beauty tip?
Laurel: Use Waters + Oils. Our Facial Elixirs offer skin a dense amount of hydro nutrients that are so beneficial for the skin. Hydration is essential for all skin types, especially mature. Oils (Serums and Balms) offer a completely different type of nutrition, as well as protection, and a whole other form of antioxidants in lipid form, which are also absolutely necessary for healthy skin. When these are layered (Elixir, Serum, Balm) - it is like a trifecta of a perfect recipe for vibrant glowing skin. We do not find Creams as effective as this layering trifecta. Creams are drastically less concentrated, and they also contain preservatives and emulsifiers which dull the life and vibrancy of the ingredients within them. Its also far more effective to layer them so that the water portion (elixir) is first, followed by lighter lipids (serums), followed by heavier lipids (balms) for skin types that need extra protection.
10. Why did you choose to feature Laurel at ORESTA?
Laurel: When I created Laurel WPO I always intended to partner with spas and estheticians who were looking for something different... something special, products that were highly effective and products that didn't compromise. I wanted to partner with spas that I wanted to visit myself and ORESTA is IT! I have know about ORESTA for years now, and they are right on the pulse of what is next in the green beauty. They are already in the future and see the full picture of beauty and spa wellness. Our missions are definitely aligned, and they include result driven skin care, unmatched purity standards, and the beautiful ritual that is slow beauty and wellness. I'm just in love with Oresta and Laryssa, and am so grateful to share our products with you through them.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics is available at all 3 ORESTA locations as well as online at oresta.ca.
Stay tuned for the launch of our NEW Laurel Holistic Facial!