I’m always completely giddy to bring you a new “natural beauty buff” feature, but today’s post featuring Laurel Shaffer of Laurel Whole Plant Organics has my heart skipping a beat.
Laurel is just one of those founders you can instantly connect with because she’s the real deal — from the first email to the first handshake.
Warm and sweet, Laurel is chock-full of natural beauty knowledge (she’s a trained herbalist, ya know), yet explains it to you in a way that’s not sales-y, shocking or oversexed. It’s just real.
It’s also refreshing to see that not only does she use her own products in her daily rituals, but she also gets excited by other green beauty brands (and dare we say the c-word — “competitors”), which just goes to show you how deeply ingrained Laurel is in this bustling green beauty community.
Something tells me that’s that Bay Area coolness coming across in her demeanor.
As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love!
I love products.
I love my products.
I love other brand’s products.
If I could use 30 products everyday, I would. I might have to take time away from work to fit them all in, but it would be worth it!
I don’t wear makeup often, so I didn’t include that in my routine. I love nourishing my skin and keeping it bare whenever I can.
When I do wear makeup, though, most of my staples are from Alima Pure and Vapour Organic Beauty. Below are my “Daily Essentials” that I really do use every day!
Laurel’s Daily Essentials
*Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner
OMG. I am a believer! Using “natural” hair care products has always been a struggle for me. I tried pretty much everything on the shelves of Whole Foods. Not only did they not work, but they were usually a pretty far stretch from natural to my own standards. I came across Josh’s brand, and the purity really stood out to me — in fact, a purity in shampoo and conditioner that I had never come across. So you can imagine my surprise that it WORKED. I’m a die-hard. I’ve found my go-to hair care brand. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been.
Rupam’s Tooth Soap
All about the purity for me – always! I love that Rupam’s tooth concoction is so incredibly pure and effective. My teeth are always squeaky clean. This product replaces a toothpaste for me, and my teeth actually feel cleaner than when I used a toothpaste.
*Etta & Billie Soap
Shout out to one of the many indie green brands in my Bay Area home. Alana, who makes these soaps, is such a lovely person…. her formulas are incredibly pure (again, with the purity!). I love that her formulas are mostly organic and that she uses rosemary to preserve her oils instead of vitamin E. She also uses super-cool combinations for her soaps like this locally made Earl Grey Tea.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Normal/Dry Cleanser
This is my go-to cleanser for washing my face and removing my makeup. I like to treat it like an oil cleanse and remove it with a towel. It’s super-nourishing and hydrating, starring rose, calendula, honey, rose geranium and bergamot. With 20 active beneficial plant ingredients, and no water or alcohol, this cleanser is more than a cleanser for sure.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Normal/Mature Elixir
Immediately after cleansing, I use our Elixir. It smells so lovely, and I tend to overuse. Guilty. This product is also rose-focused, accompanied by frankincense, lemon balm and sandalwood — a total of 20 beneficial plant actives actually! This product is also water- and alcohol-free, so the formula in total is 100 percent beneficial active ingredients. This is definitely more than an average toner and a must for my anti-aging regimen.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun Damage Serum
How I moisturize my skin changes daily. I love that about our line. Do I use a Balm today? Is my skin inflamed? Do I need an antioxidant boost? I love being able to ask myself those questions each morning and choose accordingly. But in the summer, often our Sun Damage Repair Serum wins. It contains a high amount of whole plant vitamin C, and it repairs as well as prevents sun damage. I am a huge advocate for using whole plants instead of synthetics for our antioxidants like vitamin C, and this product is an obvious reflection of that philosophy’s efficacy.
On Laurel’s “Daily Essentials” Wish List:
A good deodorant. I really need to work a good deodorant into my routine, and I am excited to try the news ones from Meow Meow Tweet, Schmidt’s and Blissoma! [Laurel, tell me you’ve seen my ultimate guide to natural deodorants?!]
Laurel’s “Serious Me Time” Products
I try to take at least one day a week to really relax, take a bath and surround myself with products. That sometimes is the only time I take for myself all week when things are busy. It helps me relax like nothing else. This always starts with a bath and some tea!
By Nieves Bath Salts
I have personally known Nieves for years, being one of my fellow Bay Area brands. She is always incredibly kind. I love that this bath salt has some of my favorite EO’s for relaxing, like lavender and cedar, and it also has seaweed for a great detox. My skin is always incredibly soft after.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Honey Berry Mask
On a serious pampering day, I have been known to do three masks back to back! And use, easily, 15 products. Love it. But our Honey Mask is a staple. I never give myself a facial without it being included. One tip is to NOT mix it with powdered masks! We get asked that a lot. Honey coats the plants in the powdered mask, so then you are not getting the full benefits of the plants, only the honey.
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Brighten Mask
This is our real-deal, anti-aging mask. This is another product where we focus on using the whole plant version of our desired antioxidants, like vitamin C. Camu Camu, acerola cherry and rosehip are all packed with vitamin C to repair damaged skin, restore collagen and brighten skin tone. I should probably be using this one daily!
Herbivore Botanicals Hair Serum
I love this hair serum! I slather this all over my hair, and sometimes leave it on until the following day. It has a rich texture to it, and a soft bright floral scent. I also think the owners of Herbivore are basically the coolest hippie product-makers ever.
*Laurel Whole Plant Organics Night Balm
A real anti-age facial is not complete without our Night Balm. Our Night Balm contains more rose and more sea buckthorn than any of our other products. It is by far one of our most concentrated and results-driven formulas. I will be the first to admit it smells a little heavy — nutty, floral and musky. I love it, but I know that it smells so heavy because of all of our unrefined quality oils. Sometimes efficacy has to come before scent in my opinion. That is what perfumes are for! Which leads me to…
Charmed Botanicals Chakra Oil
This scented roll-on scent is made only with essential oils, and it is super special. It is made of equal parts seven oils, one for each chakra. It is truly harmonious and blissful. It is very delicate, which I love. I could spend hours smelling it and trying to pick out the seven oils and how they interweave together. For me, scents aren’t necessarily something you throw on before you leave the house. They are part of me caring for myself and feeling beautiful.
On Laurel’s “Me Time” Wish List:
*May Lindstrom Skin The Jasmine Garden
Yes, I know, I know – we make Elixirs! But we actually don’t use a lot of Jasmine, and May has such a gift for making self-care so special.
La Bella Figura Aria Nighttime Cell Recovery Treatment
Even though we make plenty of serums, LBF’s Aria looks so rich in color! And as a formulator, that tells me all I need to know: The richer the color typically means the higher the antioxidant content and the higher quality the oils – sold!