LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "enzyme peels"

Three Fall Skincare Fundamentals for Rejuvenating Your Skin

Why You Need a Balanced Fall Skincare Routine

Like every change of season, the arrival of fall places new demands on our skin while also presenting fresh opportunities to optimize its health and appearance. To help you prepare for the rigors of colder weather and take full advantage of the seasonal foods and renewed energy that fall brings, I recommend making the following seasonal adjustments to your integrated beauty and wellness regime.

Fall is the perfect time to revive radiance by shedding old skin cells. image courtesy of James Barker - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shed your old skin, bring on the new: Get your skin in shape for winter with a fall exfoliation program. A series of professional organic peels will not only help you slough off sun-damaged skin of summer, but also increase your skin’s capacity to absorb moisture. In addition to alpha hydroxy acids from the fall harvest of apples and quince, a traditional European organic peel contains Hungarian paprika to stimulate circulation. This combination of ingredients restores a youthful glow by bringing new cells the surface, while strengthening the skin’s ability to repair and renew itself. To calm, soothe, and protect the delicate new layer of skin revealed by the peel, your aesthetician should apply a mask that’s rich in organic moisturizers and plant-derived anti-inflammatories. Ingredients like aloe vera and white tea not only minimize redness but also help heal UV damage with generous doses of antioxidants. For your homecare routine, choose an organic scrub that contains gentle natural exfoliants such as ground walnuts, fruits, and lactic acid and follow it up with a super-rich night cream. Be sure to consult a qualified aesthetician about the pacing of your exfoliation treatments. A gentle, gradual approach to exfoliation is the key to achieving beautiful results without unattractive side effects. And don’t forget to wear a natural mineral sun block even on gray, cloudy days. Freshly exfoliated skin is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet rays.

Remember your roots: The earth provides the perfect remedy when the colder weather is about to drive us indoors, where our skin will be exposed to dry air and an increased risk of infection. The root vegetables that thrive in fall are packed with minerals and other nutrients from the soil. Increasing consumption of these nutrients now prepares our skin for winter by improving the resilience of the skin’s protective barrier and strengthening its resistance to inflammatory conditions, bacteria, and funguses. High in fiber, root vegetables satisfy hearty fall appetites without adding a lot of calories to a meal. Choose a colorful assortment of seasonal vegetables and roast them with olive oil and herbs for a delicious, restorative dinner. Some of the most nutritious choices are listed below:

  • Beets – High in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and enzymes that bind and neutralize toxic cellular wastes.
  • Yams – A natural source of rejuvenating plant hormones.
  • Onions – Rich in flavonoids that act as anti-bacterials.
  • Parsnips – A good of vitamin C, folate, and other vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin function.
  • Sweet potatoes – High in vitamin A, one of the core active ingredients in anti-aging skin treatments.
  • Carrots – Full of beta-carotene, which helps prevent environmental damage and adds golden tones to the complexion.
  • Garlic – High in allicins with antibiotic and anti-fungal properties; sulfur compounds also benefits skin by promoting circulatory health.

Pump up your exercise routine with fresh air: Recent scientific studies confirm intuitive wisdom. Exercising outdoors is good for both body and soul. According to a New York Times article, new research has revealed that people who take their workout outside not only exercise longer and harder, but also enjoy the experience more. Best of all, people who walked in the fresh air improved their overall sense of wellbeing. On psychological tests, they scored higher in enthusiasm, pleasure, vitality, and self-esteem than people who exercised indoors. They also reported less tension, depression, and fatigue. The energizing effects of cool weather make fall a particularly inviting time to exercise outdoors. Observing nature’s splendors as you walk, run, or do yoga poses on a brisk fall day is a great way to enjoy a natural high and reinforce your commitment to a disciplined fitness routine. From boosting blood flow to relaxing the mind, the benefits of regular exercise translate into a healthier, younger-looking complexion and a rejuvenated spirit.

Exfoliation: Start Winter with a Fresh Face

Although no single product or technique can erase decades of skin damage overnight, professional exfoliation treatments can jump-start the recovery process. By sloughing off rough, dry surface skin and stimulating cell turnover, a series of organic peels or micro-dermabrasion sessions will gradually and safely achieve dramatic improvements in your skin’s texture, tone, and elasticity.

Organic enzyme masks safely remove dead skin cells.

A Quick Refresher Course

As I’ve noted in earlier posts, the best time to intensify your exfoliation routine is in the fall and early winter months when the strength and duration of sunlight declines. The tender young epidermal cells exposed by exfoliation are especially vulnerable sun damage. In addition to extra protection against environmental stresses, these emerging skin cells require proper nourishment and gentle restorative care. For detailed guidance on this topic, read the exfoliation series in the blog’s October 2009 archives.

In the meantime, here are a few basic tips:

Exfoliation Dos and Don’ts

* DO educate yourself about the best organic exfoliants. Check out my posts on the skin benefits of seasonal fruit peels and other food enzymes to learn more.

* DO consult a knowledgeable aesthetician about the frequency and methods best suited to your skin type.

* DON’T overdo it. Caustic synthetic chemical peels and abrasive scrubs can cause excessive inflammation and irritation. By overstripping, scratching, or otherwise weakening the outer epidermis, overexfoliation also makes it easier for infections and environmental toxins to penetrate the surface and damage delicate new skin cells. To prevent this, be sure to research the safety of the ingredients in the exfoliation treatments you choose.  Even some natural exfoliants such as coarsely ground apricot pits and nutshells pose serious risks. And remember: even the gentlest exfoliation treatments can cause dryness and irritation unless you replenish newly exposed skin cells with moisture and vital nutrients.

My next several posts will take us deeper into my multilevel approach to beautifully balanced wintertime skin.

Fall Renewal: Shed Sun-Stressed Skin with Seasonal Fruit Peel

Now that September is here, you’re facing new challenges…and so is your skin.In my native Romania, changing your skincare routine as the seasons shift is as natural as adjusting your wardrobe to the weather. This time-tested skincare tradition is rooted in the holistic practices of Romania’s health spas and reflects our culture’s emphasis on living in harmony with nature.

Exfoliating with Apples: A Traditional Practice That Makes Scientific Sense

At the first hint of fall, my mother and grandmother always began preparing their skin for the long hard winter with homemade masks and scrubs. Like women in other traditional cultures, they relied on seasonal fruits and herbs for ingredients.  So when apple-picking time arrived, they chopped up the extra fruit and used it to make facial masks and scrubs to exfoliate and nourish their sun-damaged skin.

The effectiveness of apples as a topical exfoliant lies in their high malic acid content. This natural fruit acid gently and safely sloughs off dead skin cells, stimulates circulation, and helps open and clear out clogged pores. Apples are also rich in antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients that help repair free radical damage, brighten skin tone, and accelerate cell turnover and collagen renewal.

A Perfectly Balanced Recipe for Optimal Conditioning

Today’s best all-natural exfoliating treatments intensify the rejuvenating effects of apples by combining them with other plant-derived exfoliants, such ground walnuts and lactic acid, quince and other vitamin-rich fruits, and circulation boosters like paprika and white tea. To soothe, protect, and hydrate freshly exfoliated skin, masks and peels should also include a balanced mixture of medicinal herbs, humectants, and emollients, such as horsetail, aloe vera, and squalane. For the most dramatic results, I recommend supplementing your homecare treatments with a series of organic enzyme peels in a salon that specializes in natural holistic skin care.

Others agree, by focusing on an exfoliation program in the fall, you’ll not only improve the overall health of your skin but also significantly expand its capacity to absorb moisture. So when the serious cold weather sets in, your skin will be in the prime condition to benefit from a wintertime program of hydration and lubrication.

Image: Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Beauty of a Holistic Skin Renewal Regime

The Enjoyable Fragrances of Lavie Organique

The Citrus Scents of Lavie Organique Exfoliating Mask

Like all my skin care products and salon treatments, my signature organic peels and LaVie Organique™ Exfoliating Mask are based on my holistic philosophy. I believe that every skin treatment should address the needs of your skin as a whole. For example, if the SPF 15 sunscreen you use causes acne breakouts, or your toner irritates or dries out your skin, you’re simply trading one skin problem for another one instead of actively promoting healthy, beautiful skin.

A Balanced Formula for Peak Functioning

An exfoliation treatment that does the job of stripping away damaged skin cells but nothing more defeats the purpose of your wintertime skin care regime. When skin is subjected to raw, windy weather and low indoor humidity, the last thing you want is dry, irritated skin. That’s why my exfoliation treatments contain a combination of active ingredients that work in harmony to stimulate cell renewal while restoring the moisture and nutrients needed for optimal functioning. The synergy of this special combination of fruits, herbs, teas, and other plant-derived ingredients is the key to the perfect balance of effectiveness and gentleness my Lavinia Borcau proprietary formulas offer. Each of these botanical extracts delivers important benefits, but used in combination their effects complement and enhance each other. The result is whole that’s more than the sum of its parts—in other words, a total solution to all the environmental and physical stresses that can damage and age our skin.

A Total Skin Care Solution

But a truly holistic skin care regimen doesn’t end with what we put on our bodies; it’s also about what goes in our bodies and what goes on in our mind and our hearts. In the coming weeks, I’ll be telling you more about my holistic approach to looking your best all through the winter and beyond…

Fruit and Milk Enzymes: A Balanced Diet for Your Skin

The transformative power of my salon organic peels and LaVie Organique™ exfoliating mask comes from the ability of enzymes to stimulate cellular activity. But not all enzymes are created equal. The special revitalizing power of the food-derived enzymes malic acid and lactic acid is a case in point.

With the malic acid from the fresh apples and quince in my enzyme peels and LaVie Organic mask, you get far more than safe, effective exfoliation. This remarkable alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism, the cycle of energy production that fuels healthy respiration and circulation. In addition to regulating cell function, malic acid refreshes parched, tired skin with a potent antioxidant cocktail and long-lasting hydration.

To create the ideal balance of nutrients for your skin, I complement the fruit acids in my organic peels with lactic acid  from fermented milk. The ability of this AHA-rich food to smooth rough, wrinkled skin  has been famed since Cleopatra made milk baths the favorite skin pick-me-up of the ancient world’s beautiful people. In addition sloughing off dead skin cells, lactic acid both moisturizes and tones the skin. Its astringent and antibacterial characteristics help prevent acne breakouts by fighting infection and controlling excess sebum production.

In combination, these two enzymes provide a holistic exfoliation treatment that not only removes the worn-out layer of outer skin, but also restores the proper balance of moisture and nutrients to stimulate the growth of fresh, resilient skin cells. Although a series of these peels may be required to achieve optimal results, the investment in time is worth it. You have nothing to lose but the risks of a quick beauty fix, and all the benefits of time-honored all-natural anti-aging solution to gain!

The Three Faces of Exfoliation, Part 3: Enzymes

Enzymes: A Uniquely Effective Approach to Exfoliation

Organic Peel at Lavinia Borcau SalonIf you’re wishing someone would invent an effective anti-aging exfoliation treatment without the side effects of harsh synthetic acid peels, you’ll be glad that nature has already provided the perfect solution—enzymes. The enzymes used in exfoliation treatments come foods we eat such as fruits, vegetables, and milk and contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that speed up cell turnover. While the enzyme approach achieves its effects more gradually than invasive chemical peels, the additional benefits it confers on your skin are more than worth it.

What’s so different about enzymes? Unlike synthetic chemicals, enzymes are familiar to our bodies. Many enzymes are regularly introduced to our bodies through our diet. Some of them are also produced by our own cells and play a major role in the digestion of nutrients, detoxification, and energy production. As a result of this ability to stimulate healthy cellular activity, enzymes are a highly effective way to achieve significant positive changes in our skin.

In the article “Skin Exfoliation,” scientist Diana L.Howard Ph.D., of the International Dermal Institute explains that the AHAs in enzymes exfoliate the skin in a unique way. According to Dr. Howard,  “Some researchers believe the mechanism of action for AHAs cannot be tied solely to stimulation of the skin as measured by traditional cell renewal techniques.” She notes that studies suggest that AHAs may disrupt the “glue-like bonds” between dead skin cells, “causing a burst in skin exfoliation.” Howard points out that “it is often said that AHAs affect the skin from the inside out because of the suggestion that they influence corneocyte [dead skin cell] cohesion at the lower layers of the stratum corneum [outermost skin]. The result is a thinner stratum corneum, which is more flexible and compact, reflects more light and overall gives the skin a more youthful appearance.”

But the unmatched revitalizing power of enzyme peels and masks doesn’t end there. The special properties of some enzymes also contribute greatly to healthy functioning of the skin. In my next post I’ll explain the unique benefits of the natural enzymes used in my salon organic peel program, as well as in my LaVie Organique™ exfoliating mask.

Exfoliation: Why Less Is Sometimes More

What started decades ago with a humble plastic sponge has become the watchword in skincare. Exfoliation remains the key to the fresh, peach glow of a youthful complexion. But as the range of professional and at-home acid and enzyme peels, scrubs, and mechanical exfoliation devices continues to expand, skincare professionals are seeing the ugly side of the these facial treatments: the raw tomato-red of serious irritation.

The results of over-exfoliation aren’t just painful and unattractive—overaggressive skin stripping can actually do real damage. In addition to acne breakouts, people who get carried away can suffer broken capillaries, excessiveness dryness and scaling, and pigmentation changes—in other words exactly what you’re trying so hard to avoid: the visible signs of aging. The causes for these symptoms are rooted in the skin’s natural defense system—the inflammatory response.

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. Removal of the superficial layer of skin (the stratum corneum) exposes the sensitive new skin underneath to a variety of assaults including bacteria, environmental pollutants, and solar radiation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean exfoliation is bad for your skin—in fact, done correctly, it’s one of best things you can do to revitalize your appearance. I’ll explain more of the hows and whys of exfoliation in future posts, but for now, enjoy the video below about exfoliation.