LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "daily cleanser"

The Three Faces of Exfoliation: Part 1

With so many exfoliating treatments on the market, how should you go about choosing one? The answer depends on a variety of factors—particularly your skin type. Although the number of products is endless, most of them fall into one of three categories. Let’s start with a look at the pros and cons of the hands-on approach:

Manual or Mechanical Exfoliation

For routine exfoliation, I recommend a gentle daily cleanser with a mild exfoliant such as white willow bark. A natural alternative to salicylic acid—an ingredient in many acne medications—this powerful but safe botanical extract is also an anti-inflammatory that stimulates and purifies the skin while also calming irritation.

You can use your fingers to massage your cleanser into the skin. If your complexion is very robust, you may want to use a washcloth or sponge to increase the exfoliating effect. But remember to be gentle—the last thing you want to do it over-abrade your skin. And remember to wash your washcloth or sponge with hot, soapy water after each use. Stay away from stiff complexion brushes or loofahs—which are not only too rough, but also tend to trap bacteria and product residue that can cause breakouts and infections.

At the high-tech end of this approach, there are a number of vibrating complexion brushes. These vary in quality and can be as expensive as $200. The best ones can help keep a healthy complexion glowing, but individuals with acne, rosacea, or fragile skin with broken capillaries, should steer clear of this type of device. Your complexion should be handled with the utmost care.

What about facial scrubs?

First of all, check out the ingredients. The good, the bad, and the ugly sides of exfoliation ultimately reside in the various type of scrubbing grains used in these products. Many types of granules are so large and jagged that they can cause microscopic lacerations on the skin surface. Surprisingly, the grains used in some types of all-natural scrubs are the worst offenders. Ground apricot pits as well as crushed nutshells, for instance have been cited by the Environmental Working Group  as potential skin-health hazards. As a natural alternative, finely ground nutmeats such as almonds or walnuts combine gentleness and safety with the restorative benefits of antioxidants.

To supplement these daily and weekly methods of hands-on exfoliation as you’re preparing your skin for winter, you might want to try a course of professional microdermabrasion treatments. Performed by an experienced professional with state-of-the-art equipment, microdermabrasion is far safer and more effective than at-home methods. A good esthetician understands exfoliation is not an end in itself—the delicate layer of new skin that’s revealed needs to be soothed, moisturized, and replenished with nutrients. And don’t forget to protect your baby-fresh skin! A good sunscreen with at least SPF 15 will help keep your complexion rosy instead of red.

Here’s a great video from Dr. Schultz’s Dermtv.com on how often you should exfoliate. Enjoy.


FAQs: The When, Where, Why, and How of Exfoliation

The When, Where, Why, and How of Exfoliation : FAQ

How often should skin be exfoliated?

Lavie Organique Exfoliating Mask

Use Lavie's Exfoliating Mask for your Weekly Routine.

That depends on a variety of different factors, including your skin type, your age, and the method of exfoliation method you’re using. Your best bet is to consult an experienced skincare professional. As a general rule, however, you can safely exfoliate with an at-home mask once a week. For salon peels and microdermabrasion, I typically recommend a once-a-week program of 5-6 treatments.

When should exfoliation be avoided?

If you have sunburn or an open wound, you should wait to exfoliate until healing is complete. Individuals with serious skin diseases should check with their dermatologist before beginning an exfoliation program.

At what age should a regular exfoliation program become part of my skincare regimen?

The rate of skin cell turnover is the major deciding factor. In very young, healthy skin, cell turnover is usually quite rapid. But by the time we reach the age of 30, the outer layer of our skin has begun to thicken from a buildup of dead skin cells, resulting in a dull, lifeless complexion. In some people, including smokers and individuals with a lot of sun damage, this process can start much earlier. Young people with acne can also benefit greatly from routine exfoliation.

What is the best time of year to have professional exfoliation treatments?

Autumn Skincare

Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

Fall is the optimal time to shed brown spots, rough scaly patches, fine lines, and other signs of aging, sun damage, and stress with a series of head-to-toe exfoliation treatments. Too much sun can irritate tender, freshly exfoliated skin, so you should wait till summer is over to begin an intensive program.

What kind of products should I use to protect my skin after at-home and salon exfoliation?

Proper aftercare is the key to reaping the full benefits of exfoliation. To keep fragile new skin moist, nourished, and free from irritation, you need powerful sun protection such as zinc oxide, and a daily cleanser,  toner, day cream, and nightly face cream  of the highest quality. Read the label of all your skincare products! Harsh synthetic chemicals, parabens, and other petroleum and mineral oil derivatives can seriously irritate your skin. Products made from certified organic and natural plant-derived ingredients ensure the right combination of potent antioxidants, rich moisture, and gentleness and safety you need for optimal results.

Which methods of at-home and salon exfoliation are the safest and most effective?

This question deserves a detailed answer. I’ll discuss various methods of exfoliation in my next post.

Can an Apple a Day Keep Age Spots Away?

Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

While freckles or age spots may bother us, in the majority of cases, they’re perfectly harmless. As I explained in my last post, blotchy areas of darkened skin are most often the result of an interaction between solar radiation and the type of melanin cells we’ve inherited. Facial hyperpigmentation may also signal natural hormonal changes. Melasma, “the mask of pregnancy,” is one such benign condition that occurs in approximately 65% of expectant mothers. Nevertheless it’s important to be aware that not all brown spots are normal. Some may indicate serious health problems.

A dark spot with irregular borders could, for instance, be a malignant melanoma. Among the many other serious diseases associated with hyperpigmentation are Addison’s disease, lupus, scleroderma, and diabetes. Any change in skin pigmentation that comes on suddenly or looks unusual warrants a visit to your physician. If your areas of hyperpigmentation are the natural, normal kind, does that mean you just have to live with them? The fact is age spots are a stubborn—but far from hopeless—problem. While increased melanin production is the best-known contributor to the development of age spots, another culprit is implicated as well.

Known as the “age pigment,” lipofuscin is make up of oxidized fat and other dark-colored wastes that accumulate in our cells as we grow older. Sun exposure and an unhealthy lifestyle also contribute to and hasten the buildup of these free radicals in aging cells. Scientific studies, including one on the effects of grape seed extract on lipofuscin formation, suggest that flavonoids, as well as vitamin E, and other antioxidants can help repair this damage.

Contains Apples & Appleseed

So what’s my prescription for age spots? An all-natural skin care regime that includes plant-based antioxidants and exfoliants and a mineral sunblock. With my full range of LaVie Organique™ skin care products—from the gentle daily cleanser to the revitalizing mask you get all that and more: sun protection from the soothing sea salt zinc oxide, the gentle exfoliating action of ground walnuts; pure, unprocessed tocopherol (vitamin E); anti- inflammatory flavonoids, such as eucalyptus leaf oil and white tea—and the most famous folk remedy of all time—apples.

The remarkable organic compound that makes apples the perfect health food for your skin is malic acid, a potent antioxidant that’s also an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). In my salon’s signature organic peels as well as in the LaVie Organique Exfoliating Mask, this double-duty skin rejuvenator helps refine the skin’s texture and restore a more uniform tone by stripping away the damaged outer layer of skin.

Take advantage of the power of a professional skincare regime—at home or in the salon—and see for yourself what an apple a day can do for your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid: Nature’s Perfect Moisturizer

Age may bring wisdom of mind and spirit, but the natural intelligence of maturing bodies often needs a boost. Aging skin, in particular, benefits from treatments that help replenish its diminishing supply of the hormones, antioxidants, and other natural compounds needed to regulate cell functioning and renewal. One of the most beneficial of these compounds is hyaluronic acid.

Our body’s capacity to produce hyaluronic acid peaks when we’re teenagers. The fresh, supple surface of youthful skin reflects the concentrated power of hyaluronic acid to encourage collagen production and bind water to skin cells. A single hyaluronic acid molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water! Long used to lubricate and plump tissues during orthopedic and eye surgery, hyaluronic acid has proven both effective and safe in numerous clinical trials.

The hyaluronic acid in LaVie Organique™ Original Formula skin care products works in synergy with other revitalizing skincare ingredients to visibly reduce the appearance of dryness and fine lines. With a daily and weekly LaVie Organique skin care regimen, every product from your daily cleanser to your face cream protects and nourishes your skin with this potent natural moisturizer.

Toners and Serums Explained

You’ve probably heard of toners and serums (LaVie Organique offers both!), but what exactly do they do? Do you need one? Read on to find out:

Toner is the step in the skin care regimen following cleanser.  A good cleanser, such as LaVie Organique’s, will remove makeup and all buildup accumulated during your day.  Those of us with large or frequently blocked pores may find a toner particularly helpful, as it follows behind the cleanser, catching any missed particles or makeup residue and making sure the skin is absolutely clean. Toners are available with different properties; for example, a drying toner (astringent) is helpful for acne-prone skin.   LaVie Organique toner is suitable for all skin types but especially helps those with aging skin, because it includes hyaluronic acid, which holds in moisture. Regular users of toner observe smaller pores and a more even skin tone.

Toner is applied to the face and neck as a spray, using a cotton pad to gently swab the skin. Another popular and more precise method is to spray the cotton pad directly with toner and apply.

The next step is serum.  Serums penetrate deeper into the skin than moisturizers, delivering hydration and anti-aging benefits.  LaVie Organique serum is specifically designed to rejuvenate tired skin and combat the signs of aging.  Those with dry and/or aging skin will appreciate the added moisture that a serum provides.

Serum is applied after toner and underneath your usual day cream.  Dab several drops of serum onto the fingertips and apply to the face and neck in a circular motion.  Serum is the foundation of your daily skin protection; beneath moisturizer and makeup, it is actively protecting your skin from the drying effects of the sun and the summer heat.