What does working with whole plants mean?

by Rayna van Aalst September 30, 2018

What does working with whole plants mean?

When Laurel Schaffer, founder of Laurel WPO, was a guest on Hail the Queen we talked about slow-farmed beauty and of course what truly sets them apart – working with whole plants.

If you haven't listened to that episode... well, do it now.

Here's an excerpt of my conversation with Laurel which captivates the essence of the brand's philosophy and why Laurel chooses to work exclusively with whole plants.

Laurel: There’s a spectrum of green beauty, like shades. For a lot of people that just means safe products. And that's totally fine. They will use what I call ISNs - isolated synthetic nutrients, which are essentially chemical compounds that are considered natural. Sometimes they are from plants and sometimes they aren’t, but they are usually considered natural because they can be found in nature.

Almost all brands use those. And again, there's nothing wrong with those ingredients but I just don't feel that I have to use them.

I prefer to work with whole plants instead because I think that there's something really beautiful about getting that really wide range of chemical constituents that are offered in a plant. For example one plant might have a 100 different phytochemicals and I think there are benefits there that we don't even understand as humans, that our brains haven't even really comprehended yet.

New antioxidants are found every day and there are tens of thousands of them that have already been discovered so I don't think that relying on 1 or 2 to offer benefits, that just doesn't sound logical to me. I feel that whole plants have the ability to offer more what.


Vitamin C is one of my favorite examples because it oxidizes so easily but when you have plants there are other antioxidants present that are preventing the vitamin C from oxidizing, so they really work very synergistically.

They all work together to support each other.

Rayna:   So you’re using the wisdom of Nature which has already created the plant where all these nutrients work together and then you “just” deliver that to the skin? You're a true magician.

Rayna van Aalst
Rayna van Aalst