I love the idea of natural skincare, but all too often it can feel somewhat unrefined – from products overloaded with potent scents and herbs, to those that are plain ineffective. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover Laire – an exquisite range of pure phytocosmetics – at a recent wellbeing event in Ibiza’s Atzaró agroturismo hotel.
My eye was immediately drawn to the brand’s small stand of chic apothecary-style containers, and, intrigued, I stopped to speak to its creator, Irene Apolo. The range is inspired by Apolo’s studies of Ayurveda and plant medicine with indigenous communities in Mexico and Asia, distilling this wisdom into a line of therapeutic oils and pomades, floral waters, creams and serums. She began creating skincare products in Seville in 2007, launching a refined version of the range as Laire two years ago.
All the products are now hand-crafted in Ibiza using the island’s wild botanicals, along with organic oils and aromatherapy essences from across the Mediterranean. For Apolo, plants are medicine, offering a means of balancing mind and body. I was instantly enticed by the aromatic chakra body oils, and opted for the Aceite Placer Svadisthana (€40 for 100ml), an exotic blend of sweet mandarin, orange blossom and ylang ylang. For a close friend I bought the Crema Corporal (€21 for 100g), a nourishing body cream packed with almond and wheatgerm oil and scented with lavender, rosemary, sage or cinnamon.
Apolo also creates bespoke blends for clients with specific requirements, so while I’m always cautious about experimenting with facial products on my sensitive skin, I decided to place my faith in her expertise and asked her to create a customised cream for me. A few days later, she came up with a special blend of two of her most popular products, fusing the jojoba and wheatgerm oil found in her facial cream for combination skin (€32 for 50g) with the calendula, camomile and lavender from her Niños Crema (€22 for 50g). This rich yet gentle formula (€25 for 30g) calmed my stressed-out complexion from the very first use, and within a couple of days it had completely soothed the redness and inflammation I often experience. I’m hooked; this blend of ancient alchemy and modern luxury is a rare find indeed.