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Laura Xiao of Henné Organics

The millennial lip care connoisseur on creating restorative balms and exfoliators, and why it pays off to pay attention to your pout.

It all started from ping pong. After years of competing professionally, Laura Xiao of Henné Organics travelled the world, picking up a love for Scandinavian minimalism and an appreciation for basic necessities. Upon her return home and a move to Las Vegas, desert weather and an insatiable need to constantly coat her lips with balm inspired Laura to experiment with creating her own products.

With a competitive streak ingrained in her from young, the drive to work hard on what she set her mind to and the ability to visualise success, Laura persevered when so many others would have given up in the burgeoning industry that is beauty. Since the launch of the brand in 2015, Henné Organics now retails in meccas such as CAP Beauty, Credo and Anthropologie.

I visualise about my business. It’s important because the everyday grind can get really tedious and very discouraging for anything or for anybody, so you have to keep your eye on the ball to push forward,” says Laura.

From pretty pink rose diamond exfoliators to a steadfast delectable balm for the driest of climates, we want it all. Now, we just can’t wait for Henné Organics to extend beyond lip care.

Luxury lip gems. Image courtesy of @elkantlers

“It’s not enough to be natural and organic. Products need to be highly effective too.”

What does Henné mean, and why did you launch the brand?

The brand name is derived from the Swedish word “henne” which means “her”. The idea was to create a luxury line tailored to the modern woman, while paying homage to Sweden, which I have strong ties to and consider my second home.

Why is it important to you that your collection is created with natural and organic ingredients?

I’ve been passionate about organic products (and food) for quite awhile, so I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I believe the green beauty industry has grown leaps and bounds in recent years, not just in terms of the number of brands, but also the quality of products. These days, it’s not enough to be natural and organic. Products need to be highly effective too.

For someone with dry or chapped lips, what routine would you recommend?

I highly recommend starting off with exfoliating the lips. If you have a layer of dry skin on the lips, it’s difficult for any type of product to penetrate the surface and absorb into the skin. After exfoliation, apply a thick layer of lip balm (I recommend our jar version) and leave it on overnight. Repeat the exfoliation three to four times a week and make sure to use the lip balm regularly, especially at bedtime.

Henne Organics nordic berries lip exfoliator

The Nordic Berries Lip Exfoliator features “flavours” over “extracts” because the latter contains alcohol, while flavours do not

“If you have a layer of dry skin on the lips, it’s difficult for any type of product to penetrate the surface and absorb into the skin.”

When formulating, what were the difficulties you faced in achieving your desired consistency for your lip balm?

Making the formula as perfect as possible while taking into consideration all the organic unrefined butters we have in the lip balm.

What are some of the differences between your lip exfoliators?

All three lip exfoliators will do an equally amazing job at exfoliating and smoothing out the lips. The three scents/flavours give customers more options. For example, someone may love the scent of lavender and mint, but dislike fruit scents, and vice versa.

Henne Organics luxury lip balm and rose diamond exfoliator

Henné Organics’ Luxury Lip Balms in stick and pot versions, and the Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator

When shopping for cleaner, consciously made lip products, what do you recommend one look out for?

Read the full ingredients list. If there’s an ingredient you don’t recognise, look it up online to find out more information. Sometimes the ingredient is very toxic, but other times it may be a false alarm — like a natural ingredient that just has a strange INCI name.

Your tints have beautiful, wearable colours. What are the benefits of them being tinted with titanium dioxide and iron oxide?

These are the most natural options for lip colour. We use larger particles for our lip tints and lower amounts compared to other lip tints/colours on the market. This ensures that our products are safer but also gives more flattering colours for our lip tints (not too sheer but definitely not as strong as a lipstick).

Henne organics lip tints in Azalea, Bare, Coral and Intrigue

From L-R: The Luxury Lip Tint range in Azalea, Bare, Coral and Intrigue

What are some of your current favourite beauty products.

Outside of Henné, these are some of my favourites:

May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon: I’m obsessed with this. The scent alone is reason enough to buy this product. I love applying it on my face and neck before bed.

Agent Nateur: I’m a big fan of Agent Nateur’s products. The founder is extremely passionate about her work and it shows in her products.

MŪN Akwi Purifying Cleanser: It works and smells amazing. It’s also gentle enough for different skin types. 

Dr. Alkaitis Cellular Repair Mask: This fruit mask is pure and simple, and works wonders on my skin. 

Why is it important to note that these particles are not nano-sized?

When the particles are too small (like nanoparticles), they can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, while larger particles have far more difficulty absorbing into the skin and body.

Henne organics courtesy of @levertbeauty

Henne Organics’ signature balm contains various essential oils, beeswax and vitamin E. Image courtesy of @levertbeauty

What can we expect from Henné Organics?

We plan to add a few more lip products in the near future but after that, we plan to expand beyond lip care.

What does the idea of conscious living mean to you? 

Being considerate and taking care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Show the same consideration for those around you as well as the environment. That pretty much sums it up for me!

Images courtesy of Henné Organics