Henné Organics Founder Laura Xiao Gives a Lip Care Crash Course
“Swedish inspired, American made”. That’s the tagline for the US-based eco luxury beauty brand that has forever opened up our eyes to lip care. (How could we ever be so neglectful?) Having been married to a Swede for over 13 years, Henné Organics founder Laura Xiao has come to spend extensive time in Sweden, and even calls it her second home. She says it’s a place that has heavily influenced the creation and evolution of her beauty brand; form the Scandinavian-type design and branding, to the ingredient selection, and even the name (Henne, meaning “her”).
“I started the brand out of a combination of inspiration and necessity,” says Laura. “Living in countries like Sweden and New Zealand gave me access to more natural and organic options (both food and personal care). But still, I felt like there weren’t many beauty or skincare products that were organic and just as effective as their conventional counterparts, while looking and feeling truly luxurious. I was in my mid-20s at the time though, and figured that this idea was something I would pursue later on, perhaps in my 40s.”
“… I knew I could come out with a lip balm more effective and far more aesthetically pleasing. And so Henné Organics was conceived in 2015.”
However, moving to the Vegas desert in 2014 expedited those plans. Within just a week of living in the harsh climate, Laura started experiencing bleeding and cracked lips, which gave her the motivation she needed to put her ideas into action.
“Now, I’m not going to pretend that there was no lip balm in the world, the various organic lip balms that I tried worked all right, but all of them were… let’s just say: they weren’t products that made me feel great or proud when I used them. I knew I could come out with a lip balm more effective and far more aesthetically pleasing. And so Henné Organics was conceived in 2015, with our first product being the Luxury Lip Balm.”
As with many brands that are now our favorites, we discovered Henné Organics while browsing Reve En Vert (shout out to Cora Hilts), and immediately felt drawn to the minimalist Scandi aesthetics. And even though looks definitely do matter, we all know it’s really the inside that counts… Some of the key ingredients that Laura favors for her products are typical Nordic ones; like nourishing oils extracted from cloudberry, lingonberry, sea buckthorn, and rosehip. She tells us that she primarily work with ethical and organic certified US suppliers, but she imports some of the Nordic ingredients from countries like Norway and Finland.
Sustainability is of course a priority, and Laura tells us that they consider it in every part of the business. “With our packaging, we primary use glass and metal. The little plastic that we use is sustainably sourced, BPA-free, and 100% recyclable. We always encourage our customers to recycle and reuse our packaging. For example, after you finish one of our jar products, you can wash them and refill them with other products, such as facial moisturizers, eye cream, hand cream, and so on.”
“We do all of our manufacturing in-house, so not only are we able to maintain an extremely high caliber of quality control, but we’re also able to minimize waste as much as possible. For example, when some lip tints don’t come out perfect, instead of disposing them, our team takes the time to reheat them and remake them. It would be cheaper just to dispose of them, but the bottom line is that pinching dollars is not what a business should only be about. We’re all living on the same incredible planet, and I strongly believe that we can all do our part to make it a better and more environmentally-sound place.”
Moving on to beauty now, we have to start with the most basic question: WHY should we pay more attention to our lips?
Lip care does often get neglected, and even when it’s not neglected, sometimes it’s not as effective because the product comes off before it’s had a chance to nourish the lips. For example, when you apply a face moisturizer in the morning, you don’t splash water on your face throughout the day or rub it constantly with your hands.
When you put a lip product on, you’re drinking water/coffee/tea and eating throughout the day, which is why reapplication is absolutely necessary for proper lip care. Also, as we age, our lip lines gradually become more pronounced. I’m not saying this can be 100% reversed with lip care, but a regular lip care routine can definitely help a lot.
“We’re all living on the same incredible planet, and I strongly believe that we can all do our part to make it a better and more environmentally-sound place.”
We’ve tried countless formulas over the years without finding the perfect one. So, what is the secret to a really good lip balm?
Cutting out filler ingredients, even some natural ones that are not that effective at moisturization but are cheaper. For our lip balms, we really focused on the purest organic and non-GMO ingredients that are the most effective at moisturizing and protecting the lips.
What are your 3 best tips for healthy, beautiful lips?
EXFOLIATE regularly. We can’t bring dead skin back to life!
REAPPLY a few times during the day. This is important as we drink and eat throughout the day, which oftentimes removes most of the lip product.
HYDRATE. Drink plenty of water each day. It sounds so simple, but it doesn’t make it less important. If I even go one day without drinking enough water, I can see a difference in my skin and lips.
Finally: Would you like to take us through your own lip care routine, step by step? (We’re super curious!)
Of course! It does vary each day, but here’s my full evening lip care routine:
1. Exfoliate the lips using one of our 3 lip exfoliators. Rinse off the exfoliator and remove excess oils.
2. Apply a thick layer of the Lip Mask. Leave it on for about 20 minutes.
3. Apply a couple layers of the Lip Serum. Wait a few minutes for it to fully absorb.
4. Apply a thick layer of the Luxury Lip Balm. I wake up with the softest, smoothest lips.
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