Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience {And all about Manual Lymph Drainage}

Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.

I have had the pleasure of not only meeting Laurel, of Laurel Whole Plant Organics, but receiving facials from the talented staff at her Sausalito studio where her organic skincare potions are created, bottled and shipped.

To say Laurel is passionate about holistic skincare is an understatement. Over the years, I've become a skincare 'purist' after witnessing the outrageous amount of greenwashing in the so-called Clean Beauty World. I seek out small batch organizations with direct access to the creator and an ingredient list wholly comprised of simple, unrefined, unadulterated organic ingredients. If a preservative is necessary, it must be in its original natural form, like Citrus or Vitamin E (not Tocopheral Acid, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Grapefruit Seed Extract and the like). On top of that, the products must work! Like, knock your socks off work. Not so much to ask, right? 

Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.

Laurel is one of a few brand owners I've met who goes above and beyond the call of basic organic skincare. The science beyond her products and the synergy created by combining specific herbs and flowers is simply incredible. The plants used in her products are grown organically, biodynamically and within 100 miles of her studio, some of which were grown by team Laurel. You can genuinely experience the intention behind each product, carefully housed within protective, miron violet glass.

After using Laurel's line for several months, I can adamantly say it's one of my favorite lines to use on my skin. You know I don't emphatically endorse many brands with shout-it-from-the-rooftops exuberance, but this is definitely one of them.  

Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.

I'm obsessed. Here's what I'm using:

Facial Elixir - Oily/Combination/AcneSpritzed onto face after cleansing, the ingredients have primarily a calming, anti-inflammatory effect. Smells amazing!

Facial Serum - Anti-Inflammatory: The ideal treatment for sensitive skin with signs of inflammation; i.e. dry patches, redness, uneven skin tone, breakouts, eczema, collagen loss, broken capillaries, etc. Calming and truly transformative. Apply 2-3 drops on face and neck after elixir.

Facial Serum - Sun Damage Repair: My first Laurel product I ever used thanks to Beauty Heroes! This serum is meant to address skin discoloration and collagen loss, as well as soothing and softening rough, sun damaged skin. You can use this serum as a moisturizer, treatment serum, mild sun protectant or even, like me, use a drop to target specific hyperpigmenation spots. Use 2-4 drops on face and neck after elixir. Apply to drier parts of the face first and work inward.

Facial Balm - Transform Daily: A waterless, day-time moisturizer for most skin types. This quick-absorbing balm promotes cellular healing and new cell growth in addition to lengthening the life of collagen. A little goes a long way! Apply a small amount on face and neck after elixir or serum.

Facial Balm - Restore Nightly: The nighttime balm full of potent, anti-aging, vibrant plants working to soothe skin, regenerate skin cells, even skin tone, reduce fine lines, scavenge free radicals and more!

Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.

Blemish Treatment: Designed to target acne and breakouts by reducing stress, addressing inflammation, creating a healthy flora/microbe balance while preventing scarring.

Masks: Oh my. There are many, and I use a variety depending on my skin's needs including the Honey Berry Enzyme, Detox and Gentle.

Body Oil -  Sun: Before & After: So this body oil is packed full of incredible plant-based ingredients clinically studied or used historically for their sun damage prevention or sun damage repair attributes. Now, I'm not a big fan of sunscreen as I don't get to spend too much time in the sun, so I love letting my skin soak in the rays. So this body oil was a winner this summer since it doubles as natural, mild sun protectant (my dark skin does not burn easily at all, just FYI!). But here we are transitioning to Fall, and I'm still reaching for it as my daily body oil because 1.) I'm addicted to the smell (I think it's the Red Raspberry Oil) and 2.) it's freakin' moisturizing as all get out. 

You can find Laurel's products online:

The Studio

Laurel's Studio is located in Sausalito, California, just north of San Fransisco, and about an hour from my home. Amanda, from A Beautiful Pursuit, joined me for a girls facial trip in August, while I ventured out solo late September for a facial with a manual lymph drainage; a full 100 minute experience. 

A Crash Course in The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System via The LGDAlliance.org | janny: organically.

The Lymphatic System is an integral part of our body not isn't often talked about or appreciated. It's role is essentially that of a drainage system; removing excess fluid from body tissue into vessels called lymph capillaries. When we breath or our muscles contract, the fluid is pushed along it's route passing water and nutrients to surrounding cells while emptying toxic waste. 

It's also the first line of defense of our immune system - ever wonder why the doctors feel for swollen lymph glands when you're sick? The lymph nodes expand when they start producing more lymphocytes in order to fight a virus or infection. The lymph nodes fight off those foreign bodies and then returns the filtered lymph fluid into the blood stream. 

That's all well and good, except when the lymphatic system isn't working properly or needs a little assistance. If the lymphatic system isn't working properly, it can lead to a build of of excess toxins in the body. These may affect your body in the form of:

  • Acne

  • Allergies

  • Chronic Colds/Flus

  • Congestion

  • Fatigue

A common side effect of cancer treatment is Lymphodemaan abnormal collection of protein-rich fluid, due to the removal or damage of one or more lymph nodes.

A great way to help stimulate the lymphatic system is through Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) massage. Qualified professionals can administer a gentle massage, only about 9 oz of pressure per square inch, using rhythmic motions to stimulate lymphatic flow.

The toxin build up contributes to or even causes inflammation and free radical damage to the skin. Through removal of these toxins with MLD, you can experience an anti-aging effect due to the reduction of free radical damage and inflammation. The massage also "rejuvenates your immune system and creates an open flow for our skin to receive the abundant nutrients and antioxidants taken in by our bodies."

Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.
Holistic Purity: The Laurel Experience | janny: organically.

If you don't live near Sausalito, though, don't worry, you can search for a qualified professional in your area. You also could perform self-massage too! Here is a helpful video on DIY Manual Lymph Drainage:

Additional ways to keep stimulating lymphatic flow are:

When you don't secure the lid to your green beauty product  :(

Quick note:  These glass jars/bottles not only protect the product from light degradation, but they are tough! Here's a pic from my insta-story last week when I forgot to secure the top before knocking it over with near-full strength. 

Special thanks to Megan for the outstanding facials, Michelle for the facial photography and Laurel for letting me try so many amazing products!

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