On The Road with Lavido Skincare in Israel’s Galilee Valley

When I visited Lavido Skincare‘s demonstration garden in Israel’s Galilee Valley, I was pleasantly surprised by their chic shop and its beautifully-packaged products– mostly because the super-modern outpost was in rural Moshave, surrounded by orchards and fields.

Lavido founder, Ido Magal, greeted me on site and made me a strong cup of coffee as we sat outside on the terrace overlooking the garden. It was still a bit early to see the garden in full form, but that was not necessary for me to understand the concept behind Lavido: Ido’s vision of the brand is so clear that one doesn’t need the accessory of a flower garden to understand it. Ido grew up around agriculture, but moved to the city to try his hand in the restaurant business before moving on to study chinese medicine, herbs, and aromatherapy. Eventually, he returned to the valley to launch Lavido, which uses progressive technologies and a deep gardening ethic to source its ingredients from the land.

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Today, Lavido uses many local plants native to Israel: lemon cypress, a desert thyme that has small pink flowers, and Pomegranate oil are just a few of the ingredients that frequent their labels. They also grow lavender, rosemary, and aloe– many of the plants are desert natives, each with different dermatological properties.

The pomegranate oil alone has been in Ido’s products for 12 years, as pomegranates in Israel are as commonplace as apples are in the United States, and Ido has long known what many big brands today are just now coming to understand: that Pomegranates make excellent skincare products because of their high antioxidant profile and super-hydrating capacities. Drinking freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice is said to help fight heart disease and cancer, but using it on your skin is said to improve fine lines– the kind of ailments that woman (and increasingly, men) are constantly searching for ways to prevent. For me, the anti-aging effects of pomegranates was not a hard sell: I grew up with a craggy old pomegranate tree in the back yard of my California home, and I have been eating pomegranates my whole life.

After we finished our coffee, Ido walked me through the garden and explained everything from his path prep (which involved sprinkling pine needles covered with locally-chipped wood onto the dirt paths between plots) to the antibacterial benefits of the artemis he was growing in the garden. As he espoused the miracles of citrus oil(also a local ingredient), it became increasingly clear to me that Ido was a hippie dressed in a button down shirt. We bonded over our shared view that a hard day’s work in the garden was as energizing and healing as a trip to the gym– we agree that gardening is the ultimate form of relaxation, better than any therapy session. At Lavido, Ido takes the idea of “the garden as therapy” one step further by employing special needs men and woman to work in his Jezreel valley garden, which adds a second layer of humanity to what is already a natural, lovingly-sourced product.

Lavido was born out of Ido’s passion for the land and his perspective that the garden can positively influence and improve how we look and feel– both in the act of tending it and in the products we can source from it. I have been using the pomegranate serum daily for the past three months and I have never looked back.

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