In Conversation with Natural Skincare Brand Laurmé Founder Michele Fieldson

 

There are so many natural skincare brands to choose from these days, and while that spells a ton of fun for those among us who like to experiment and hop from one brand to the next, it can be exhausting for those who want to cut to the chase and know what’s good and what’s not. Laurmé is one of those skincare brands that stands separate from the pack. We talked to Laurmé founder and creative director Michele Fieldson about her brand’s origins and what makes it so great for all of us.

Q&A with Laurmé Founder Michele Fieldson

OA: What inspired the founding of Laurmé?

MF: The company is named after my mom, Laura. My mom, my greatest inspiration, went from homemaker with no job experience to bookkeeper in order to support four young kids on a single-family income. I got my work ethic from her.

I have struggled with dry, sensitive skin since I was a teenager. While I didn’t have the typical teenage acne, I dealt with cystic acne in my early 20’s, and my skin has always been very reactive. Sensitive skin just runs in our family. I never seemed to be able to find a moisturizer that would actually hydrate my skin. Even those moisturizers that were for very dry skin never seemed to work. I tried heavier creams, but those inevitably left my skin dry but greasy and often resulted in breakouts.

“She is always the one helping others in life, and I just wanted to do something for her.”

Like most women, I sort of plodded along trying one new facial product after another. Then my sister was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. There are no words to describe how upside down life became. My sister endured over the course of two years a dozen surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and seemingly endless side effects.

My sister is my best friend, and I love her so much. I felt so hopeless and heartbroken just standing by watching someone I love suffer so much. Her skin so often looked red, raw, and parched, as though she had been walking in the hot desert sun for days. Nothing she tried seemed to make the slightest difference.

She is always the one helping others in life, and I just wanted to do something for her. At that point my skin problems were nothing compared to hers. I wanted something gentle, yet effective, something that could make a difference for my sister. This was the catalyst to launching the Laurmé product line; to follow my lifelong passion for skin care and hopefully make a difference along the way.

OA: What makes your brand different than others on the market, especially since the natural skincare market is growing so fast and there are so many new players?

MF: My goal has always been safe yet effective. First and foremost, we are Leaping Bunny Certified and cruelty-free. No testing on animals is performed at any stage in our development process. Laurmé is also free from nasty toxins like harsh parabens, phthalates, sulfates, fragrance, and PEGs.

But what really makes us different is we’ve focused on making skin care effortless. Each product is formulated to be multi-functional with the fewest number of steps. As women, we are so busy and just don’t have the time or desire for a complicated skin care routine. I believe clean beauty should be simple, thoughtful, and fit seamlessly into women’s lifestyles. High-performance, low maintenance. #PowerfullyEffortless

OA: What are some of Laurmé’s hero ingredients and products?

“A quick spritz, and sluggish, dehydrated skin is hydrated, revitalized and happy again.”

Rose Hydrating Toner/Facial Mist is pure nirvana. Since the days of the Roman Empire, the Bulgarian rose has been recognized as the finest and most exquisite rose in the world, and ours is sourced from a distiller whose plantations are located in the Kasanlak region in Southern Bulgaria, an area known as the Bulgarian Rose Valley. It serves so many purposes. It helps remove remaining dirt and grime after cleansing. It dampens skin, making any product applied afterward more effective. It can be used to set makeup.

I carry a one-ounce in my purse always. Office buildings, in general, suck the air out of skin. In the winter they’re overheated, and in the summer they’re air-conditioned to the point of bone dry. A quick spritz, and sluggish, dehydrated skin is hydrated, revitalized and happy again.

At night it actually helps calm me with the subtle, natural rose fragrance. It’s an aroma that dissipates quickly, but it’s just enough to soothe the weary soul.

The Vitamin C Brightening Serum is simply a Jill-of-all-trades. We use ascorbic acid polypeptide. When formulated properly, it is a very powerful and stable form of Vitamin C, is a powerhouse anti-oxidant, and is typically less irritating to the skin. Organic Bulgarian Rosewater helps soothe sensitive skin.

This serum helps brighten and even skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates and nourishes, helps protect against environmental stressors, and is an anti-aging workhorse of a product. I told you this one does it all!

Note: Be sure any Vitamin C product you purchase is in a dark or opaque container and not exposed to air or sunlight. Every time you take a dropper out of your serum bottle or open a jar of face cream, oxidation and degradation of Vitamin C starts to occur. This minimizes the effectiveness of the product. We use dark glass bottles with dip tubes protecting our product’s integrity, reducing outside contaminants, and allowing for a longer shelf life.

The Ultra Hydrating Facial Cream is the product I’m most proud of. It is an ultra-light yet rich cream that provides the maximum in hydration for dry, stressed, and sensitive skin. An organic aloe base helps soothe and calm sensitivities, glycerin helps keep the skin’s moisture barrier intact, and with a boost from DMAE & MSM, the result is nourished and supple skin, revived tone and texture, and a complexion that is truly touchingly soft and smooth. Incredible hydration from such a lightweight cream is pure bliss.

OA: What are some skin-soothing ingredients that help with sensitive or reactive skin?

Aloe is well known for its soothing, hydrating and nourishing properties and is wonderful on sensitive, reactive skin. This is why we use it so abundantly in our products.

Shea butter has a high concentration of fatty acids and nutrients, it is quickly absorbed into the skin and is a phenomenal moisturizer. Ideal for sensitive dry types, it quickly softens, protects against dehydration, and helps restore suppleness to sluggish skin.

Glycerin is an amazing humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air, and forms a protective barrier so moisture doesn’t escape. A strong barrier is needed to help prevent irritants and toxins from penetrating our delicate complexions. It also keeps skin looking dewy & supple. For those with oily, dehydrated and sensitive skin (yes, oily and dehydrated is possible), glycerin can be an ideal option to create that delicate balance.

Panthenol, or provitamin B5, retains moisture within the skin’s surface, helps soothe reactive skin, enhances suppleness and helps even tone.

Rose Water works wonders to pacify stressed sensitive skin. Its gentle, yet astringent-like properties make it ideal in our toner.

OA: What is the simplest regimen we can all adhere to, using your products?

Typically, I would recommend washing once a day, definitely in the evening to remove makeup before bed, and do a quick water rinse in the morning. Simple! And you don’t need a separate cleanser to remove eye makeup. This cleanser pulls double duty.

If your skin feels like there’s still congestion, try twice a day. If you begin to see irritation – read your labels to see what may be causing it (including your hair products)! And check to make sure your pillowcase isn’t the culprit. Especially with oily skin, sweat, debris, and buildup can accumulate. Consider changing your pillowcase at least twice a week.

Choosing a cleanser with irritants like artificial fragrances or sulfates can cause already sensitive or aging skin to become dry, and oily skin, which I would also consider sensitive, to break out or feel even more oily. All skin conditions could benefit from our gentle 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk. It does not strip the skin of its natural oils, but instead, works to create a balance and improve naturally occurring hydration.

To use, simply apply a small amount with your fingertips to your dry face, massage in a circular motion, add a little water to form a soothing milk, then rinse and pat dry. Your skin should never feel tight after you cleanse!

Follow with our Rose Hydrating Toner/Mist while your skin is still damp and then apply a serum for a boost of age-defying benefits. The final step is a lightweight cream to help seal in moisture and protect the skin’s barrier.

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Aylin Erman
Aylin Erman

Aylin is founder of GlowKitchen, a food blog with an emphasis on vegan and gluten-free fare. Aylin has been living in Istanbul, where she is founder and CEO of a cold-pressed juice and healthy foods company JÜS (www.jusistanbul.com).