LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "acne"

Green Masque: Spring Cleaning for the Face

Early spring is the perfect time to treat complexion to a deeply cleansing Green Masque. The ingredients in this classic European recipe are great for reviving a dull, tired complexion after a long, hard winter.

The peppermint in the green masque helps prevent acne breakouts. Image courtesy of paytai /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alfalfa – The chlorophyll that gives alfalfa and other green plants their color is the secret of this mask’s powerful detoxifying effects. Because it’s packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, chlorophyll helps reverse the aging effects of free radical damage. The various B-complex vitamins in chlorophyll contribute to healthy skin in a range of ways from stimulating circulation to fending off acne. Chlorophyll’s anti-inflammatory properties also play an important role in the cultivation of clearer, younger-looking skin.

Peppermint – In addition to chlorophyll, peppermint contains menthol. The cooling effect of menthol helps soothe itchy or irritated skin. Menthol also helps control excess oiliness and protects the skin from bacterial infections. These properties, together with the anti-inflammatory effect of chlorophyll, make peppermint an excellent option for acne-prone complexions.

Oatmeal – This healthful grain is an ideal treatment for all skin types.  A gentle exfoliant, oatmeal helps remove old skin cells so fresh new ones can emerge. Beta glucan, a type of carbohydrate found in oatmeal, binds water to the skin, protects against irritants, and promotes healing. Studies suggest that beta glucan molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin surface and bring moisture to emerging cells in its deeper layers. Oatmeal also contains mild natural cleansing agents, anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatories. Oatmeal masks are helpful for a variety of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, eczema, and sun damage.

The Green Masque can be incorporated into a standard facial or applied between treatments to extend their benefits. It’s a safe, effective way to restore springtime freshness to your face.

5 Diet Tips for a Younger, More Beautiful Face

Now that the season for New Year’s resolutions is here, many of you may be giving some extra thought to your eating habits. This year, keep in mind that what we eat is as important to the appearance of our face as it is to the size and shape of our body. Every aspect of our health from digestion and skin and muscle repair to mood regulation is affected by our diet. A diet that supports the healthy functioning of our organs and tissues optimizes the defining elements of a beautiful, youthful face. A radiant complexion, firm facial muscles, and a vibrant expression are all reflections of a thoughtful, balanced approach to eating.

Your face is a mirror of your overall health. <Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net>

Here are some dietary tips for maintaining a naturally attractive face:
1. Eat enzyme-rich foods – Raw plant-based and naturally fermented foods contain high levels of enzymes, substances that speed up and regulate chemical reactions in the body. Enzymes improve digestion and help cleanse the blood by breaking down toxins and organic wastes. Our body’s supply of these vital substances declines as we age. To replenish enzyme levels, include foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, sprouted grains, yogurt, miso, olives, and sauerkraut in your meals and snacks. You’ll find that eating these foods not only increases you energy levels, but also helps restore the clear eyes and fresh complexion of youth.

2. Consume plenty of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables – Broccoli, kale, yellow and red peppers, purple plums and grapes—eating a “rainbow diet” will ensure you get the antioxidants you need to fight the effects of free radical damage on the skin. Carotenoids—a type of antioxidant found in deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables—can even improve skin tone. These yellow, orange, and red pigments give your complexion a healthy golden glow.

3. Get enough protein The amino acids in the proteins we eat provide our bodies with the raw materials for rebuilding the collagen fibers in our skin, muscles, and bones. Over time as collagen production declines, these tissues atrophy, causing sagging and wrinkling. To help slow this process, our diet should consist of 10% to 35% protein. The quality of the protein we consume is as important as the quantity. High-quality proteins contain some or all of the 9 essential amino acids that our body can’t manufacture on its own. Good sources of these amino acids include meat, fish, egg whites, legumes, soy, nuts, and quinoa.

4. Include healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources and fatty cold-water fish have powerful anti-aging benefits. These healthy fats help keep the skin moist, control acne, and repair sun damage. By repairing cell membranes, omega-3s help protect the skin from environmental threats They’ve also been shown to improve mood and sleep, two important factors in maintaining a young, vital look. Good sources of omega-3s include olive oil, flaxseeds, nuts, avocados, salmon, and mackerel.

5. Avoid refined carbohydrates – High blood glucose levels from foods like white flour and sugar can trigger the chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalances associated with acne. Chronic inflammation also contributes to the breakdown of the collagen and elastin fibers that keep our skin strong and resilient. These fibers can begin to crack and tear when they bond with sugar molecules. To keep both acne and wrinkles at bay, substitute fresh fruit for sugary treats and replace refined carbohydrates with 100% whole grain products.

Your face is the mirror of your total health and wellbeing. In upcoming posts, I’ll be saying more about how to beautify your face by adopting healthy lifestyle practices.

Tips for Taming Hormonal Acne

Stubborn cases of hormonal acne warrant the best professional care. But even the most advanced treatments can’t do the job alone. Make sure you’re doing your part by soothing and healing troubled skin from the inside out. Here are some guidelines:

PURSUE INNER EQUILIBRIUM

1. DON’T eat foods that promote hormonal imbalances and inflammation.

  • Refined sugars
  • White flour
  • Processed foods
  • Meat and dairy products that contain growth hormones
  • Trans-fats

2. DO adopt a back-to-nature diet rich in nutritious, anti-inflammatory foods, including

  • Fruits (especially berries, cherries, apples)
  • Vegetables (especially broccoli, spinach and other dark leafy greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes)
  • Cold water fish (salmon, cod, mackerel, snapper, sardines)
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Soy products
  • Omega oils (olive oil, avocado oil)
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds)
  • Spices and herbs (tumeric, capsaicin pepper, cinnamon, garlic, rosemary, thyme)
  • Tea (white, green, oolong)
  • Healthy sweets (eat sparingly) – Substitute honey, maple syrup, and molasses for refined sugar; add high-fiber, nutrient-dense ingredients such as dried fruit and nuts; include anti-inflammatory dark chocolate and cocoa.

3. DO keep your weight and stress levels in check with vigorous physical activity, plenty of restful sleep, and regular interludes of relaxation.

Restore clear, healthy skin, with the right balance of pure, plant-derived nutrients inside and out.

MAINTAIN BALANCED SKIN FUNCTIONING

1. DON’T use harsh synthetic ingredients that clog pores, dehydrate skin, or cause inflammation

  • Alcohol-based astringents
  • Soap
  • Petroleum-based products (petroleum jelly, baby oil, mineral oil)
  • Parabens

2. DO calm, hydrate, and protect hypersensitive skin with premium organic skin care.

  • Zinc oxide to help control excess oil
  • Natural anti-inflammatory botanical and herbal extracts
  • Plant-derived anti-microbials (rosemary, aloe vera, white tea)
  • Natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) (shea butter, squalene, aloe • vera and other botanical oils and humectants)
  • Natural vitamin A – Avoid overuse of topical retinoids to prevent harmful levels of inflammation.

Regardless of the acne treatments you’re currently using, I’m confident you’ll find that this integrated health-driven approach to restoring hormonal balance to your skin will optimize the results—and contribute to your total wellbeing.

 

 

The Latest Word on Conquering Acne

Like all the stages in the life of your complexion, acne is more than a collection of symptoms. The blemishes and oily shine you see in the mirror start below the surface with complex changes in the deeper layers of the skin and the body’s internal organs. While using the right topical products can help control these symptoms, putting the wrong foods inside your body can aggravate their root causes. As new research reported in the New York Times makes plain, bad food choices can be as disastrous for your face as they are for your waistline.

The High Price of High-Carb Diets

The studies cited in the article link the risks of refined carbohydrates like white flour and  corn syrup to their immediate and long-term effects on hormone levels. When we indulge in  starchy or sugary treats, insulin surges into our bloodstream. This excess insulin, in turn,  stimulates our oil glands and the buildup of surface skin cells, clogging pores and trapping  bacteria. The weight gain that can result from a serious junk food habit also raises levels of  androgen, a prime culprit in the type of acne associated with periods of hormonal change.

Unfortunately, the cost of those empty calories seldom stops with a few extra pounds and  an occasional pimple. The reason both problems tend to spiral out of control is the stress  hormone cortisol.

Raging Hormones and Out-of-Control Complexions

Scientists quoted in the Times article believe that the stress of being overweight and having  acne may trigger overproduction of cortisol. Heavy daily doses of this hormone take a major  toll on the body. In addition to increasing appetite, sugar cravings, and the buildup of belly fat, elevated cortisol levels can cause a variety of skin problems. A chronic cortisol imbalance not only raises the risk of acne, but also interferes with skin’s ability to heal and renew itself. That sets up your complexion for double trouble: acne breakouts and wrinkles.

Hormonal acne is a frequent and frustrating problem for many women nearing menopause. While there’s no overnight cure for distressing condition, there’s a lot you can do calm the hormonal storms that fuel acne. I’ll share some acne-fighting tips in my next post.

Saving Your Skin: A 12 Step Approach to Overcoming Pore Paranoia

Do you wish your pores would shrink? Or better still, disappear? If so, then you’re not alone. Judging from media reports, the booming market in ”pore-minimizing” products, and my own experience as a skincare professional, the new obsession that dermatologists have dubbed “porexia” increasingly afflicts people of every age, gender, and complexion type.

Is There a Cure?

Some of the most popular pore treatments may help minimize the visibility of your problem temporarily. But no single topical treatment or invasive procedure has consistently proven safer, more effective, or more lasting than a lifetime program of disciplined natural skincare.

Even the cleanest faces can suffer from clogged pores.

Committed Pore Maintenance: A Lifelong Beauty Recovery Program

The following 12 classic skincare principles offer a comprehensive, commonsense approach to managing anxiety about your pores, while gradually optimizing your complexion’s texture, clarity, and youthfulness.

1. Know the difference between fact and fiction. Pores are nothing more than tiny openings in the skin surface. Their size is a fixed quantity related to the size of the underlying oil glands. These glands are the source of the mixture of sebum (oil) and skin cells that gets trapped inside pores and forms blackheads. The dark side of blackheads has nothing to do with dirt or poor hygiene. It’s the result of oxidation: a chemical reaction between the melanin in the dead skin cells on the blackhead’s exposed surface and the oxygen in the atmosphere.

2. Accept what you can’t change. The size of your pores is largely determined by genetics and your age. At puberty, pores go through their first growth spurt. From that point on, the combined forces of aging, hormonal changes, and environmental stresses on the skin take an increasingly heavy toll. This cumulative damage eventually results in larger, looser pores as the  supportive network of collagen fibers in the surrounding skin weakens and sags.

3. Be careful what you wish for. You’d be in big trouble if your dreams of a pore-less complexion came true. As the skin’s distribution channels, pores allow the healthy flow of two vital bodily fluids: (1) sebum, the natural lubricant that keeps skin moist and supple and (2) sweat, the liquid coolant that regulates body temperature and protects us from potentially fatal heat stroke when the mercury soars.

4.  Kick the quick-fix habit for good. Stop wasting money on miracle ”pore-reducers.” No topical skincare product can permanently constrict pores. The “pore-tightening” effect of alcohol-based astringents and anti-blackhead creams is actually a fleeting optical illusion. Equally deceptive is the bracing “clean” sensation you get from these products. In fact, both the brisk sting you feel and the shiny taut look you see in the mirror and are symptoms of potentially damaging irritation. By stripping off your complexion’s protective acid mantle, these harsh chemical solutions cause a variety of painful reactions, including minor swelling around your pores. This effect, which merely hides what you’re trying to erase, quickly fades. But the price you pay in inflammation, dryness, and increased vulnerability to acne-causing bacteria amounts to beating up your complexion to spite your pores.

5. Slough off the old; bring out the new. By gently sloughing of dead surface cells, a disciplined exfoliation routine accelerates the emergence of fresh skin cells and stimulates collagen production. Daily exfoliation with a washcloth or sponge and weekly or monthly applications of scrubs or masks that contain finely ground walnuts, organic fruit acids, or other natural exfoliators will gradually minimize the visibility of your pores by reducing the buildup of oily clogs and improving the strength and resilience of the surrounding skin. The autumn months are the ideal time to jump-start your pore recovery program. (Read more about the benefits of a seasonal exfoliation program…)

Regular exfoliation is the foundation of a healthy pore maintenance plan.

6. Keep it clean. Never go to bed without washing off your makeup—no exceptions. Although their manufacturers claim mineral-based make-ups are safe and gentle enough to wear overnight, the majority of these so-called “all-natural” products include ingredients like bismuth oxychloride, a synthetic derivative of natural minerals that tends to collect in oily pores. These impacted particles can aggravate acne symptoms and irritate sensitive or allergic skin. Other ingredients, including certain types of natural minerals, pose additional risks. For instance, those glittering particles of mica in highlighters may light up your cheekbones, but they can also cause tiny abrasions in thin, fragile skin.

7. Easy does it. Too much of a good thing can make a bad situation worse. Avoid over-washing, over-exfoliating, and overzealous use of retinoids, acne medications, and other pore-minimizing solutions. In addition to causing serious inflammation and increasing susceptibility to infection, treatments that over-strip the skin surface can upset the delicate moisture balance of healthy skin. To compensate for their drying effects, oil glands often go into overdrive, adding the insult of acne symptoms to the characteristic redness and flaking of a seriously injured complexion. The temptation to over-treat the target of a painful fixation is understandable.  But the temporary relief of your anxiety about a minor flaw isn’t worth the price you’ll pay in serious and highly visible skin problems. Try to remember, your skin is not the enemy. Like every bodily organ, your skin needs intelligent care and handling to perform its vital role in your health and appearance.

7. Don’t try this at home. The urge to take the problem of clogged pores into your own hands is particularly dangerous. Do-it-yourself blackhead removal can lead to infections, scarring, and permanently enlarged pores.

8. Get professional help. Aestheticians are specially trained to remove blackheads without causing infections or scarring. To prepare your skin for pore extraction, aestheticians typically lightly exfoliate and steam your face. Contrary to popular belief, the practice of steaming has nothing to do with opening the pores. Because the tissue surrounding the pores consists of skin rather than muscle cells, it’s impossible for pores to expand or contract in response to temperature changes. The actual purpose of steaming is to loosen the contents of clogged pores. To extract the clog, the aesthetician then presses gently on the surrounding skin with tissue-wrapped fingers. A good skincare salon can also advance your pore-minimizing goals with a customized program of exfoliating masks or microdermabrasion.

Shea butter and other organic moisturizers hydrate skin without clogging pores. Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos

9. Go natural. Like synthetic alcohols and harsh detergents, petroleum-based moisturizers not only irritate sensitive skin, but also magnify pore problems. The greasy film these products form on the skin’s outer surface can block pores and actually repel moisture. Our skin tends to absorb plant-derived oils and humectants more readily because their chemistry and molecular structure closely resemble those of human sebum. This natural kinship is the reason that organic skincare products are the best option for maintaining healthy pores. Plant-derived moisturizers such as aloe vera, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid are not only deeply hydrating, but  also non-comedogenic (i.e., they don’t clog pores or increase acne and blemishes).

10. Use protection. Free radical damage from sun exposure is one of the prime suspects in premature pore enlargement.

11. Perform a searching a lifestyle inventory. Your diet, exercise routine, sleep habits, and stress level all play a crucial role in maintaining the clarity and refined texture that characterizes healthy, youthful skin.

12. Maintain a balanced perspective. According to professional makeup artists and well-known dermatologists, porexia is particularly common among models and movie stars. This seemingly counterintuitive phenomenon makes sense in a crazy kind of way. The fewer serious skin problems you have, the more likely you are to fret about the ones nobody else can see. If your pores look like massive craters—especially if you’re staring at your nose in a magnifying mirror—the problem may lie not in your skin but in your distorted self-image. Instead of comparing yourself to the illusion of perfection we see in the media, try to remember that you don’t need makeup tricks, special camera lenses, or digital wizardry to minimize any flaw, regardless of its size. The natural radiance of a vibrant spirit and confident smile puts every face in its best light.


Are You Getting Burned by Your Sunscreen?

Sunscreen in Lavie Organique Creams

Suncreen in Lavie Organique Creams

The latest research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that 4 out of 5 of the most popular brands of sunscreen may pose hidden dangers to your health. The Washington-based consumer advocacy organization’s 2010 study cites evidence indicating that a common sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, may increase the risk of hormonal problems and cancer.

Other major issues noted by the EWG researchers are the proliferation of ultra-high SPF sunscreens that provide little UVA protection and the FDA’s long delay in setting new standards for measuring this insidiously deadly form of radiation. Once believed to be harmless, UVA rays are now known to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause greater DNA damage than UVB rays.

State-of-the-Art Damage Control for At-Risk Complexions

According to the EWG, the optimal shield against sun-related skin cancer and premature aging is a physical sun block made from organic minerals, such as zinc oxide. The FDA has rated zinc oxide as a full-spectrum UVA/UVB protectant for category 1 skin types. This category includes the bright white and the pale, freckled complexions of blue- or green-eyed blondes and redheads. Such individuals never tan and require the highest level of sun protection to avoid serious sunburns and long-term health risks.

The benefits of zinc oxide go beyond superior sun protection. This natural mineral’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties are powerful enough to not only reduce acne flares but also scientifically proven speed wound healing.  Yet zinc oxide ointments are so gentle on delicate skin that they’re doctor-recommended for soothing diaper rash, bedsores, and minor burns.

Reinforce Sun-Smart Habits with the First Truly Beautiful Solution to Skin Damage

No one should have to choose between the pasty old-fashioned zinc oxide ointments that only a lifeguard would wear in public and chemical sunscreens that can cause irritation, acne breakouts, and long-term health risks. And now you don’t have to. Today’s 100% natural options combine zinc oxide particles that are invisible to the naked eye with plant-derived moisturizers, organic nutrients, and freshly scented essential oils. These next-generation products offer the first real alternative to last-generation sunscreens—the health benefits of a physical barrier against ultraviolet radiation plus the added value of an elegant, nourishing skin cream you’ll actually want to use every day.

Image:FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Restoring Radiance to Dull, Dry Complexions

Although the fundamentals of a disciplined skin-care routine are the same for every skin type, their specific application should be tailored to your individual complexion challenges.

TLC for Thirsty Skin

Like an oily, acne-prone complexion, dry, itchy, flaky skin requires a holistic wellness regime to restore and maintain the proper level and efficient flow of sebum. In addition to supporting skin health from the inside, you should cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize, and nourish your complexion on the outside with safe, effective all-natural skincare products to normalize cell function, encourage collagen and elastin renewal, and protect against environmental damage. Above all, your daily and weekly skin-care program should focus on your dry complexion’s two most urgent needs: hydration and lubrication.

To optimize the health and appearance of dry skin make sure you…

Handle with care. Use lukewarm or cool water and a gentle touch to wash your face. Dry skin also tends to be sensitive, so stay away from products that contain synthetic fragrances, alcohols, moisturizers, and preservatives.

Apply liberal amounts plant-derived humectants and emollients to your skin while it’s still damp to lock in moisture. Botanical humectants and. lubricants, such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and squalene, that closely resemble the components of human skin will keep your complexion soft, moist, and supple throughout the day.

Drink enough water—but don’t overdo it. As a general rule, eight 8-ounce glasses are sufficient to flush out toxins and ensure healthy cell function. According to the latest research, drinking water will not cure dry skin and consuming excessive amounts can be dangerous.

Use a humidifier in the winter. Low humidity is a major contributor to parched, cracked skin.

Consume enough healthy fats. Monosaturated fats from sources such as olive oil and avocados, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, and seeds are vital skin foods. Rich in vitamin E, anti-inflammatories, flavenoids and other age-fighting nutrients, these beneficial oils are one of the keys to radiant, youthful skin.

Use an extra-rich face cream at night. Gently massage your face with a luxuriant face cream enriched with botanical oils, healing herbs, and natural antioxidants, and silk amino acids before bed to soothe, revitalize, and restore resilience to your skin as you sleep.

Talk with your doctor if your dry skin is persistent and severe. Dry skin may be a sign of a medical problems, including eczema, psoriasis, a vitamin B or A deficiency, a genetic syndrome, allergies, or an underactive thyroid. Reduced oil production is also a side effect of certain medications.

Combination Skin: Help for Confused Complexions

If you’re troubled by dry, flaky patches and breakouts give your skin the extra help it needs to recover and thrive. For an informed approach to your complexion’s erratic behavior, see my “Crazy, Mixed-Up Skin” post. For a personal consultation, please feel free to send your questions to the blog or contact me by email at info@laviniaborcau.com, or phone at (617) 734-5523. I look forward to hearing from you!

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Few Words About a Disciplined Approach to Skin Care

Lavie Organique Daily Skin RoutineMany of my first-time clients seem mystified by their troubled skin. They claim their skin-care routine is highly disciplined—but for some unknown reason their unruly complexion just won’t cooperate.

When Skin Is Behaving Badly… Try a Little Tenderness

The trouble usually lies in their idea of discipline. To my way of thinking, a disciplined skin-care routine is as much about the quality of the time and attention you devote to your skin as the quantity. Treat your problem skin as you would a naughty two-year-old child—as a delicate living thing that requires constant loving care to thrive. When your complexion acts up, don’t punish its natural ups and downs with harsh treatments. Be gentle and consistent in your approach and sensitive to your skin’s unique needs. The kinder and more nurturing you are toward your skin the more lovable your complexion will become.

Caring for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin: Easy Does It

Follow these 10 rules of natural skin care for a complexion that gets better and better every day in every way.

1.    Don’t go to bed with makeup on. And no matter how exhausted you are, always remove all traces of foundation, blush, and eye makeup so your skin can breathe easily as it repairs environmental damage and restores healthy cell function during the night.

2.    Do wash your face morning and evening. Twice a day is sufficient—any more than that can actually contribute to breakouts by increasing inflammation and irritation, Wash with organic products made from natural cleansing agents including soap bark and phytosterols such as sea buckthorn, as well as rosemary, horsetail extracts. and other plant-derived anti-microbials and anti-inflammatories.

3.    Don’t use synthetic alcohol-based toners that can dry and irritate your skin.

4.    Do tone your skin with gentle plant-based ingredients. Restore your skin’s protective acid mantle after washing with products that contain mild astringents such as white willow, while fighting infection with natural anti-bacterial herbs and botanicals. Use toners that contain natural emollients and humectants such as vegetable glycerin and aloe vera to help control oily shine between washings without stripping away moisture.

5.    Don’t over-exfoliate or scrub your skin. Avoid the irritation and redness caused synthetic chemical peels. Be aware that even some natural scrubbing grains, such as ground apricot kernels, are too abrasive for fragile facial skin.

6.    Do use exfoliating products with gentle natural ingredients such as food enzymes, finely ground nuts, and honey that not only accelerate cell turnover and clean pores, but also provide a potent blend of nutrients that fight infection and promote balanced hormonal functioning. Remember: freshly exfoliated skin is drier and more sensitive to sun damage. Make sure you satisfy its craving for extra sun protection, emollients, and hydration.

7.    Don’t use greasy petrolatum-based moisturizers.
Products that contain petroleum jelly and mineral oil will not only clog your pores but also form a greasy film on the skin surface that can prevent the deeper layers from absorbing the nutrition and hydration required for healthy cell function.

8.   Do use a 100% green moisturizer. To restrain unsightly skin eruptions while maintaining a dewy, supple complexion, use a cream  with a balanced combination of ingredients. Botanical moisturizers and emollients such as jojoba seed oil that closely resemble human sebum penetrate the skin without clogging pores. A deeply hydrating product that combines plant-derived anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients with mineral-rich sea salts is ideal for both day and nighttime use. Dead Sea salts, in particular, contain high levels of zinc oxide—a mineral that not only serves as a highly effective sun block but also helps heal acne and control sebum production.

9.    Don’t fuel your skin’s “’roid rage.” Meat and poultry, as well as milk and other dairy products that contain synthetic hormones can push moody skin into a full-blown zit-fit.

10.   Do keep your skin on an even keel with a healthy holistic lifestyle. Combine vigorous exercise, stress reduction techniques, and balanced nutrition to help your complexion stay clear, calm, and collected. Work out 3 to 5 times a week, integrate relaxation time into your daily schedule, and get 7-10 hours of sleep every night.  Be sure to consume plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. Stick with healthy oils such as contain omega 3s from nuts, seeds, and avocados, olives, and other plant sources and rely on beans and other legumes or organically raised meat, poultry, and fish for essential amino acids.

In my next post, I discuss the rules for managing dry skin.

Image: Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pearl-Powered Skin Rejuvenation: Ancient Magic or Modern Scientific Wonder?

One of civilization’s oldest anti-aging secrets is making a comeback in today’s international beauty industry. The growing number of advanced skin-care treatments that now incorporate pearl powder offer modern women an  age-fighting weapon once reserved for the ancient world’s royals and aristocrats.

The Treatment of Choice for History’s Beautiful People
Palace physicians in Ancient Egypt, Mezo-America, China, and Japan prescribed elixirs made from crushed  pearls to ensure the health and longevity of their rulers. The most famous medical book of Ming-dynasty China, Ben Cao Gang Mu, recommends pearl powder as a cure for sunburn, rashes, and fungal infections. Geishas in 18th-century Japan came to rely on pearl powder’s fabled restorative powers to prevent irritation and scarring from their lead-based face paint and to nurture a flawless porcelain complexion.

In  21st Asia, pearl-powder health tonics and cosmetics still represent the highest standard of care and luxury. Like their ancient counterparts, today’s herbalists, holistic healers, and traditional Chinese physicians continue to prescribe both the ingestion and topical application of finely milled pearls to reduce inflammation and scarring, heal acne, repair wrinkles, and promote hormonal balance.

The Organic Gem: Precious to Human Health?

To modern skeptics, the long-ago belief that the lustrous perfection of a marine mineral could be directly transferred to human skin sounds like primitive magical thinking. But is it?

Ancient Wisdom Confirmed by Modern Science

Not according to the latest scientific research. Advances in molecular biologists have revealed  a “bone-deep” kinship between pearls and people. Neither an animal, a vegetable, nor a true mineral, pearls are an organic substance produced by a piece of genetic coding that virtually mirrors the DNA sequence that regulates calcium metabolism in our own bodies.

This genetic link may explain the superior bioavailability of pearl nutrients. Studies show that the minerals, antioxidants, and proteins in pearls are even more readily absorbed and used by human tissues than those in plants.

European and Chinese medical research suggests that pearl powder can accelerate collagen and elastin renewal by providing essential amino acids, repairing damaged cells, and improving the overall health of our circulatory, endocrine, and immune systems. Emerging evidence also supports pearl powder’s reputation as a remedy for dull, uneven skin tone. Scientific studies attribute these effects to an enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), that supercharges our body’s power to reverse free radical damage.

The Magic Endures

That adds up to a wealth of value from one source, but it’s all not your skin will get from today’s best pearl powder skin-care products. In skin creams, the exceptionally fine texture and soothing, restorative action of pearls provide the perfect level of gentle, effective exfoliation your skin needs every day to maintain the pearl-like luminosity of youth.

For the full benefit of this elegant organic ingredient, make sure everything in your pearl-enhanced skin cream is equally pure and natural.

Image: Dino De Luca / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Pomegranate Seed Extract: The Essence of Beautifully Balanced Skin

Pomegranate seeds and Lavie OrganiqueAmong the many reasons pomegranate seed extract (Punica granatum linn) is now hailed as  an “elixir of youth” is its high content of the remarkable nutrient that bears this exotic super-fruit’s Latin genus name: punicic acid.

A Feast of Phytonutrients in Every Drop

An omega 5 conjugated fatty acid, punicic acid is one of the key elements of a healthy diets. Like gamma-linolenic acid and other plant-derived long-chain fatty acids, punicic acid has demonstrated a variety of positive health effects in laboratory studies, including reducing inflammation, promoting hormonal balance, and decreasing the incidence of skin cancer. Researchers at the University of Michigan have shown that punicic acid also helps regenerate epidermal cells and stimulate collagen and elastin renewal.

Pomegranate seeds are also a rich source of tocopherols: a group of fat-soluble alcohols that exhibit antioxidant properties similar to those of vitamin E. These potent age fighters help strengthen blood vessel walls and cellular membranes, improve circulation, and repair free radical damage. In addition to keeping cells well oxygenated and nourished, tocopherols help skin retain moisture and stabilize the slightly acidic pH of our outmost skin. This invisible natural barrier, or “acid mantle,” helps repel bacteria and other toxic invaders that contribute to acne, fungal infections, and a variety of skin diseases.

Holistic Skin Care: Healthy Practices for Balanced Functioning

Treat your skin to a double dose of natural rejuvenators: Add the fleshy ruby-red seeds of this luscious tropical fruit to your diet and their concentrated extract to your skin care routine, with daily application of LaVie Organique™ Face Cream.
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Image: djcodrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net