Whole Plant Organic
Laurel Shaffer crafts beautiful luxurious slow farmed skincare from organic and biodynamically grown herbs, plants and flowers. Here she shares why it's important to use plants in their whole raw state.
Whole Plants: My Deepest Why
We are a whole plant line. What that means is something we have to explain often, and yet it still mystifies! These words (‘whole plant organic’) mean very little within our industry that is constantly peppered with new marketing terms. There are few who use this term, but to my knowledge, no one else carries the same definition as we do.
For me ‘whole plant organic’ is not a marketing term. It represents my deep trust for Mother Earth. It is a lifestyle that determines my own daily choices.
From a scientific perspective, ‘whole plant’ is easiest explained as unprocessed, un-molecularly-altered, unrefined, and not lab synthesized. There are no derived from ingredients and no synthetic solvents. My goal is always for the plant to be as close to what Nature intended as possible - down to the molecular level. We strive to get out of the way so that the plant can be expressed as it is found in Nature.
‘Whole plant’ is not palm/coconut/corn/soy derived ingredients, which can go through dozens of chemical processes before they make it to a bottle. 'Whole plant’ is not single chemical compounds like astaxanthin, or ascorbic acid or allantoin. Whole plants are exactly what you see in gardens, farms, and forests - they are whole plants. Calendula, Yarrow, Rosehip - unprocessed and unrefined.
My deepest why comes from my trust that I do not actually know better than Mother Earth herself. How could I? How could anything I create be better than the miraculous and perfect medicine growing directly out of the ground? My formulation style has been a constant practice of trusting the process of not knowing, getting out of the way, and letting the plants shine in their truest form.
Trusting Nature, surrendering, not knowing - this is a deeply rooted way of living life. Honoring Mother Earth as a teacher and guide. It is the foundation our brand stands on and defines who we are. This trust is a daily practice in honoring the world around us.
In the Lab: House Blends
The whole plant extracts that we make in house are one of the things that makes our line so unique. We pride ourselves on our understanding of whole plant science and enjoy pushing the limits of what is possible with whole plant formulas. Making our extracts as concentrated as possible is something we strive for!
Our 'Blends' are organic whole plant extracts that go into our Serums and Balms. These concentrated nutritious extracts are the reason we refer to our products as Serums instead of facial oils.
The plants in our blends are farmed exclusively for Laurel Skin from seed to harvest. Farmers deliver the plants to our studio, or we pick them up - last week we even went on a group harvesting trip and harvested some of these plants ourselves!
Our blends macerate for 3 months (or 3 lunar cycles) prior to being hand pressed for our Serums and Balms. This extended length of time is unheard-of in the industry, but it helps all the dense nutrients soften and marry together. We give them loving attention and mix them everyday for the full 3 months.
We have a proprietary process that helps us extract a wider array of phytonutrients that are soluble across multiple mediums. That means you are getting more variety in your nutrients that aren’t typically found in facial oils.
The rich colors of the products come from all the colorful antioxidants found in our plants, that have now seeped out into the Blend, and will eventually make their way to your skin