Wellness Clean Beauty Urb Apothecary Nourishes Skin With Organic Botanical-Infused Products By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Urb Apothecary Share Twitter Pinterest Email Wellness Health & Well-being Clean Beauty From facial masks and serums to hair pomades and beard oil, these formulas from California will leave you feeling beautiful and healthy. Urb Apothecary is a California-based skincare company that makes high-quality, organic products. From body butters and facial cleansers to charcoal masks and skin serums, the product line is interesting and diverse, made with ingredients that are recognizable and safe. The purpose of these products is to nourish and feed the body, while harnessing the power of botanicals. Urb's founder, Leyna Alldred, has long been fascinated by the natural world. She grew up in rural northern California, climbing trees, playing in the mud, and dreaming of living off the land, so developing an interest in the medicinal qualities of plants seemed like a natural development later in life. She "bought every herbal book she could find, completely engrossed in the simple recipes for liver tonics, healing ointments, and cleansing teas." This passion eventually led to the creation of Urb Apothecary, an outlet for Alldred's knowledge and desire to bring plants' healing power into daily beauty and grooming rituals, while minimizing the environmental impact. All of Urb's hair, body, and face products are sourced from local, fair-trade, and organic providers and are mixed in Alldred's Santa Cruz studio. They are free from synthetic fragrances, chemical additives and preservatives, and SLS, and cruelty-free. While some contain beeswax, there is a category dedicated to vegan products. © Urb Apothecary I received some samples from Urb Apothecary recently and have fallen in love with the Green Tea Serum, an intense oil blend that takes only a few drops to leave my face feeling smooth and moisturized in the mornings. I first discovered facial serums when reviewing some from Celtic Complexion, and have loved them ever since. Lighter and seemingly purer than moisturizers, these are a great way to start the day. I've also tried Urb's Charcoal Burdock mask, made from bentonite clay and burdock and willow root powders. With recent skin breakouts and a battle with blackheads (I blame London's polluted air), the mask did a surprisingly good job at clearing things up. The morning after using the mask, I notice my skin appears smoother and tighter than it does on other days. The mask is supposed to do many things: "Treats Acne. Purifies the Pores. Detoxifies the Skin. Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells. Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles. Firms and Tones Up The Face. Softens Up The skin. Fades Away Scars and Age Spots. Gives the Skin Brightness." I like that most of Urb's packaging is glass, with cute cork stoppers in the mask test tubes. The muscle salve comes in a cardboard tube. It also offers a large zippered canvas bag as waste-free gift wrap (although these cute makeup-type bags do have a tendency to pile up, similar to reusable totes, so only take it if you're going to use it!). See here for a list of stockists in the U.S. (most are in California) or order online.