If you are anything like me, you relish in the chase. The hunt. You know it’s out there and thoughts like, “Five more minutes on Google” are no stranger to you. But then you don’t find it, or it’s almost perfect but in the end it’s lacking in some way. Girl, I GET IT!
Well I’m here to tell you, I’ve found it. Biodynamic, impeccably sourced, plant-powered skincare at it’s finest. Ladies and gents, please allow me to introduce you to Laurel.
In it’s truest form, Laurel is the definition of slow beauty. Based out of Sausalito, California, founder Laurel works side by side with local artisan farmers to procure over 150 plants each season. And when I say she works side by side, I mean she literally goes to the farms, cultivates relationships with her farmers, follows each ingredient from seed to harvest and ensures everything is grown (at the very minimum) organically. From there, the plants, flowers and herbs are brought to Laurel’s lab in raw form, steeped for months in handmade blends and turned into plant medicine for the skin.
(I mean, Laurel even makes all of their own botanicals extracts! This is just mind blowing considering #1, no one does this. And #2, commercial extracts can be a major buzzkill. They tend to be chemically refined and have a compromised nutrient density. So you are getting “it” but you are not really getting all of “it.”)
In addition, Laurel blends with oils that are certified organic or biodynamic, raw, cold-pressed, unrefined and pressed freshly specifically for Laurel. Essential oils that are certified organic or biodynamic that have not been contaminated with pesticides or herbicides. And instead of water, aloe or alcohol, Laurel uses certified organic or biodynamic plant hydrosols made by distilling rain water through freshly harvested plant material. I know. I KNOW!
Not only is this mind blowing, it guarantees unparalleled freshness and efficacy. And believe me, I’ve seen it first hand. Use anything Laurel, JUST ONCE and you will see a difference in your skin. This is especially true with her Brighten Mask.
What it is and what it isn’t…
If you’ve read TNK for any length of time, you will notice that I rarely talk about what’s “NOT” in a formula. I think that’s a cheap sales tactic and it’s often designed to distract us from what actually IS in the formula. (In fact I wrote a whole piece about it here in regards to buying chicken from the grocery). BUT I have to talk about what’s NOT in Laurel because it’s truly unique. Each formula is free from any harmful ingredients ofc but get this. Laurel is even free from bio-identical ingredients (which I see used in green beauty products labeled as “fragrance” or “aroma”), GMO’s and even conventionally grown plants. And while we are on the subject, Laurel is free of water, alcohol and fillers too.
Now that being said, let’s talk about what Laurel Skin actually IS too. Every single ingredient they formulate with is certified organic or certified biodynamic and they make no exceptions.
What’s in it for us?
What we get is rich, bold, beautifully formulated face oils that are raging with antioxidant potency. And Laurel takes every measure to preserve them by limiting light, heat and oxygen exposure. Laurel adds…
Our 100% organic, raw, unrefined whole plant ingredients contain hundreds of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. In short, there is simply no man-made ingredient that can compare to the delicate, intricate and powerful science of nature.Laurel
I probably should have led with this but Laurel was created by Laurel (a sommelier and skin specific herbalist) with spas and estheticians in mind. Offering the complexity to support customized, results-driven facials, yet intuitive enough for home use. And I can attest to that as I just got my FIRST EVER Laurel Skin facial here in Atlanta at Modern Holistic. By no exaggeration, this facial was, hands down, the best facial I’ve ever had. So if you are local – you have to get a facial here! But if you are not local, check out Laurel’s stockists list to see if there is a spa near you that offers Laurel Facials.
Here’s the thing though. Laurel is a small company. It will always be small. They work with the Earth and inside the gifts of Mother Nature’s annual and perennial bounty. If a key crop component of a mask is ruined one year, we won’t see that mask until the following year.
They sell out. Not that kind of sell-out. I mean like OUT OF STOCK sell out. They make limited editions like the Honey Rose Spice Mask which became available this January for the second time ever and only time will tell if we are fortunate enough to see it again. More here on that.
I also think it’s important to point out the date on the bottle is the manufacture date. Currently, everything Laurel is made in small batches and often “to order” (as in, you press “buy” on your computer and THEN they start making it). Everything is made fresh within a week of shipping and does not sit on shelves. And as with most natural skincare, it’s best used within a year of the manufacture date.
All of this to say, when I am lucky enough to have Laurel on hand, you best believe I AM USING IT…everyday….down to the last drop.
Here’s what I recommend:
Antioxidant Facial Serum – The first product Laurel ever created. Gosh, the color alone here will make you weak in the knees. But hear this. You are looking at 31 of the freshest and most potent + powerful botanicals. Nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and mineral activity address surface level symptoms of aging (like fine lines, wrinkles, tone..) and they work to restore skin health. This oil goes on bright and rich and sinks right in. It’s smells of fresh harvested botanicals and a warm breeze on a summers eve. I love that this oil doubles as a serum and a moisturizer. I always say; Put your money where your face oil is! It’s the product that stays with you all day long. This is a beautiful one to invest in.
Sun Serum – People ask me all the time, “What can I use that will fade my hyper-pigmentation?” I’m like *neon arrows* THIS! And it’s not just me – I have had several readers reach out and confirm, they are seeing a difference in their skin. This serum delivers a firmer, more supple appearance, a brighter, more even skin tone and a visible reduction in redness and irritation. How? Studies show that nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, ferulic acid, beta carotene, and many different polyphenols can lessen damage brought on by both UVA and UVB rays. And it’s all here ladies and gents. Love this oil for both day and night. Try it!
Brighten Mask – I love this mask so much I also wrote about it here. All I have to say about this mask is USE IT ONCE and you will see a difference in your skin. This mask is bursting with Vitamin C and is designed to lighten discoloration with delicate raw fruit acids. (ONCE!)
Oh and Laurel’s signature mask brush and mask bowl set totally elevates the experience. The brush’s soft fan shape delivers product evenly and covers ground while the shallow, lipped, ivory, artisan-made bowl reigns you in from mixing up too much product.
Honey Berry Mask – SWOON WORTHY! This honey-based mask is formulated with just 5 superfood ingredients and works as an enzymatic exfoliator, a hydrator and visibly pumps and firms. If my supplies were endless, this would be me every morning. Leave it on for 5 minutes or 5 hours. It just gives my skin a glow from within – you know the kind where you see it and you’re like, “I’ll have what she’s having!” Try it!
Night Balm – OMG. If you are looking for a decadent overnight treatment OR a concentrated daytime moisturizer, look no further than Restore Nightly Facial Balm. The texture is smooth, creamy and decadent. While the color is rich and dreamy. This balm sinks into skin working to repair and regenerate as well as soothe. You can also use this as a mask too. Leave it on for 30 minutes then wipe off and radiate. Talk about a GLOW!
Do you have a Laurel fave?
P.S. Don’t for get to check out my thoughts on the limited edition Laurel Honey Rose Spice Mask and 5 natural masks that deliver instant results!
Laurel works side by side with local artisan farmers to procure over 150 plants each season that are steeped for months in handmade blends and turned into plant medicine for the skin.
- Each formula is free from any synthetic ingredients
- Free of bio-identical ingredients
- Free of GMOs
- Free of water, alcohol, and fillers
- Full control of the supply chain from seed to bottle
- Plant-powered actives in high concentrations
- Artisanal organic skincare at it’s finest
- Limited edition products sell out fast
- Products are made in small batches (also a pro)
DawnetteJanuary 24, 2019
How does this stack up against True Botanicals?
LisaJanuary 24, 2019
Hi Dawnette! Apples and oranges! True Botanicals blends science and nature to create a line that is results driven – breaking barriers on what nontoxic skincare can do. So much so it even beat out Proactiv+ in third party clinical trials. It’s “nontoxic” for sure and even certified MADE SAFE but it’s not biodynamic plant-medicine. Laurel pushes the envelope on purity -formulating with botanicals, flowers and herbs – she uses her expertise to really showcase the power of nature. I would never use the word “nontoxic” to describe Laurel because it doesn’t capture what she does. It’s unadulterated biodynamic skincare that delivers results through pure plant-medicine.
KathleenJuly 30, 2020
How is this line similar to May Lindstrom skincare?
LisaAugust 4, 2020
Hi Kathleen! I would classify both May and Laurel as clean skincare lines. Laurel however is one of a kind. Truly organic and in some cases biodynamic skincare that is literally “seed to skin.” She is involved at every stage of the process from cultivating botanicals from local farmers to creating her own infusions to formulating her skincare. All of her products are 100% botanical and thoughtfully sourced.
RoxNovember 18, 2020
How would you compare Laurel to Vintner’s Daughter?
LisaNovember 22, 2020
Hi Rox! Both some of the best right here. I would say I know Laurel has major control over the line of sourcing for her ingredients…I’m not sure what that looks like on VD’s end but that would be where I would start – looking for as local and as short-chain as possible. Both of these are super clean and seriously the best of the best.
NicoleFebruary 6, 2021
How does this compare to Kypris?
LisaFebruary 9, 2021
Hi Nicole! Not much really compares to Laurel because she truly grows her own botanicals and makes a lot of her own ingredients. I don’t think there are too many brands, if any who do that. ; ) Lisa
JessicaJuly 23, 2021
I am currently using a combination of May Lindstrom and Kypris products. I have rosacea and reactive skin, and am looking to also fade some hyperpigmentation. I have been reading more about Laurel Skin Care and am very intrigued. I loved your article and review. Would you suggest making a switch to Laurel once my other products are finished? Do you personally use Laurel on a daily basis?
Thanks in advance!
LisaJuly 29, 2021
Hi Jessica! Thanks for this! Laurel’s Sun Serum targets hyperpigmentation. If you have reactive skin, I would 100% recommend Laurel. It’s plant-powered and effective yet also very gentle on skin. You could also consider a retinol which will speed up the process but might be too irritating for someone with reactive skin. This one is my fave. Also, I update what I am using every quarter here! xo, Lisa
JessicaAugust 4, 2021
Thanks so very much, Lisa!!! I appreciate your time and response.
Please take care!
RebeccaMarch 29, 2022
Hi! I am interested in what the key differences between Laurel Skin products and Maya Chia are? I am ready to make a big swap in my skincare and most interested in these brands being that they both have a shea butter based balm. I have tried and loved Maya Chia Optimist. Are the Laurel hydrating mists as good?
Thanks for helping me narrow down my choices with all your great information.
Lisa FennessyApril 10, 2022
Hi Rebecca! Great question. Okay, first and foremost both are BEAUTIFUL and EFFECTIVE. I would say Laurel is more plant-powered. They work with local farmers to procure the most organic, biodynamic botanicals and then they make their own infusions and more to deliver the power of plants in their most raw, potent, pure form. They even found a way to create the worlds only* jasmine hydrosol (mist). When I use their products I feel connected with nature, wholesome, grounded and supported. It’s incredible what they do. Maya Chia blends botanicals with green science for truly effective, innovative skincare. Almost every product they make results in a change to my skin. I will swear by their retinol till the day I die. When I use their skincare I feel in charge, powerful, hopeful and beautiful. Hope this helps! xo, L