LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "Lavinia Borcau"

The European Difference in Organic Skincare

Lavie Organique Product Line

Lavie Organique, an All Natural Products Line

Today’s growing trend toward on-the-go day spa services says a lot about the current American approach to beauty. Exposed to a continuous media hype about lunchtime face lifts, instant makeovers, and overnight results, people here have become conditioned to believe that faster is always better. While an express manicure or 10-minute waxing certainly comes in handy in a pinch, some things—like anti-aging skin care—just can’t be rushed.

In Europe, where the pace of life is slower, skin care is considered a lifetime discipline. This mindset is reflected in the European spa experience as well as in the time and effort European women dedicate to maintaining a beautiful, youthful-looking complexion.

A Time-Honored Tradition
My education as an aesthetician in Romania was grounded in the traditions of my country’s renowned health resorts. Travelers from all over Europe have been flocking to Romania’s health spas to bathe in its fabled hot springs and mineral-rich black sea mud, breathe fresh mountain air, and relax and restore themselves to optimal health since ancient times.

Over the centuries, as the custom of “taking the waters” became increasingly popular among Europe’s leisure classes, the spa experience continued to evolve. As the lavish hotels and resorts built to cater to wealthy patrons began integrating emerging medical technologies, new wellness philosophies, and elegant cultural and social activities into their treatment routines, the spa experience came to be regarded as the ultimate holistic cure: a combination of a highly personalized rehabilitation program, spiritual retreat, and luxury vacation.

Relax, Refresh, Restore
This tradition of providing a restorative experience for the body, mind, and soul lives on in today’s luxurious European day spas. Their serene and elegant interiors, like the customized organic skin care and complementary health and fitness services they offer, recall the glory days of Old World health spas.

In 1993, three years after coming to the U.S., I opened Lavinia Borcau Skin Care to provide my new clients with an authentic European day spa experience. Since then I’ve remained dedicated to educating clients about the holistic approach to wellness that I learned in my native country and to helping them integrate European-style skin-care regimes into their busy lifestyles.

Like my menu of spa services, the all-natural products in my complete Lavie Organique ™skin-care system are designed to nourish and pamper the skin, refresh the spirit, and delight the senses. As I see it, our skin is precious gift. Throughout our lives, it serves as an exquisitely sensitive interface between our inner being and the world around us. Surely, this essential part of ourselves deserves more than the potentially risky quick-and-dirty skin-care remedies that continue to flood the market. In return for all it does for you, why not give your skin what it needs to stay healthy and beautiful?  The gift of time.

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…

Fragrance Overload: Too Much of a Good Thing

Rainwater Fresh fabric softer, Persian Lilac body scrub, Mint Mojito candles, Raspberry-Chocolate moisturizer… At some point, our natural urge to make ourselves and our environment smell yummy went into overdrive. Everywhere we go  now—subways and buses, the workplace, restaurants, homes—our senses are assaulted by a multitude of competing scents. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like I’m trapped inside a giant jar of potpourri!

No Perfumes in Lavie Organique

Even so, the allure of perfumes and fragrances has persisted for thousands of years. The perfume lovers of the world still cherish the power of a signature scent to set a mood and make a unique statement about their image and identity. During the creation my LaVie Organique product line I thought long and hard about not only about the health issues surrounding the fragrance debate but also the complexities of personal preferences. My goal was to create a skin care regimen that was not only safe for sensitive skin, but also a calming, soothing experience for the mind. But a question remained? How can I do all that and still create top-quality natural skincare products that would appeal to a multitude of tastes?

Once again, the good things of nature provided all the answers I needed. The all-natural plant-based ingredients and organic extracts in my Lavinia Borcau formulas lend a trace of subtly elegant fragrance to every step of your daily skin care regimen.

One of the sources of the clean, delicate scent of my prodcuts is citrus grandis (pink grapefruit) peel essential oil. In keeping with my holistic philosophy this ingredient is not merely a pleasant extra—it’s a vital contributor to the quality and functionality of my all-natural skin care products.

This fruit extract’s powers as an antiseptic and a detoxifier make this all-natural essential oil a vital component of my all my Lavinia Borcau proprietary formulas. A natural antibacterial, this nontoxic alternative to risky preservatives like methylparaben and other petroleum derivatives also protects your health and helps ensure the quality and safety of my products.

With all these benefits plus a light, refreshing scent that doesn’t linger, pink grapefruit oil offers a luxurious experience for men and women of every taste. But there’s more than one note to to the sensual delights of natural scents…I’ll tell you more next time.

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.

Cruel Isn’t Beautiful

Many consumers still believe that animal cruelty is the price of human health and safety. However, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act refutes the popular misconception that cosmetics must be tested on animals to comply with FDA safety regulations. In fact, the FDA strongly supports the development of cruelty-free alternatives to animal experimentation.

Lavinia Borcau Quality Standards specifically forbid the use of animal testing to demonstrate product safety or effectiveness. To ensure this cruelty-free development strategy never interferes with the safety and quality of my all-natural skincare line, my exacting product standards require that the Lavie Organique Proprietary Blend of natural and certified organic ingredients comply with both Environmental Working Group and Natural Product Association guidelines.

My belief in the gentleness and effectiveness of natural skincare is rooted in my traditional European heritage. Over the years as I’ve read the results of scientific studies on botanical ingredients and gained hands-on experience with plant-based professional skincare, my instinctive trust in the Old World beauty secrets of my Romanian grandmother has evolved into a firm conviction.

By designing a personal skin care regimen that’s kind to your skin without hurting other living creatures, I’ve also stayed true to my holistic philosophy. As part of the natural world, we’re inextricably connected to the plants and animals that share our environment. By showing respect and caring for every part of this environment, we can achieve a more balanced lifestyle. The result is healthier body and mind—and the natural glow of genuine, lasting beauty.

Avocado Oil in Organic Skincare: Delicious Food for Your Skin

The rich, buttery flesh of the avocado is one of nature’s most perfect foods. The nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in this luscious fruit include vitamins E and C, as well as beta carotene—powerful antioxidants that help repair free radical damage from sun exposure and environmental toxins. Even the fats and sugars in avocados are the kinds that are good for you!

Early Spanish missionaries in Central America used avocados to treat wounds and improve the skin, a trick they most likely learned from the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans who lived in the avocado’s native rainforest habitat. In fact, many stories claim that the Indians’ ancient ancestors were the first to use the avocado as a cosmetic. Like so many herbalists and healers before the dawn of modern science, these ancient researchers undoubtedly relied and their on keen intuition and powers of observation to make a logical deduction: External application of a succulent, creamy food that nourished the body from the inside would also feed and enhance their skin and hair.

Now 21st century science is showing why and how this nutritional treasure lives up to its legendary reputation. In addition to repairing cell damage, avocados help revitalize our skin in several other ways. Research suggests that the D-manno-heptulose sugars in avocado help prevent infection by forming an antimicrobial shield on the skin surface. Even more important, these complex natural sugars appear to increase the strength and resilience of the skin’s underlying collagen network.

Avocado oil is also a superior softener and moisturizer. In fact, this natural emollient outperforms every synthetic moisturizer on the market. Petroleum-based moisturizers, for instance, sit on the surface and slow cell turnover—exactly what you don’t want! The avocado’s plant-based lipids, essential fatty acids, and sterolins, on the other hand, do all the right things: These rich, yet non-greasy, oils penetrate the skin, lock in moisture, and deliver vital nutrients that accelerate cell regeneration. All these healing and restorative properties help support and explain avocado oil’s effectiveness as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

The all-natural avocado oil in Lavie-Organique™ Face Cream and Day Cream is elegant food for your for your skin. Like all the ingredients in the Lavinia Borcau personal care system, this plant-derived oil is a simple, powerful, and luxurious way to nurture healthy, beautiful skin.

Organic Skincare for Sensitive Skin Part 4: Do Synthetic Moisturizers Deliver on Their Promises?

Once you’ve evaluated the risk factors, there’s another important question about synthetic skin care additives that remains to be answered. How effective are they?

Let’s start with a closer look at the world’ favorite moisturizer and all-purpose skin remedy: petrolatum jelly. Generations of consumers have relied on this sticky ointment to moisturize, soothe, and protect sensitive skin. Although petrolatum is often promoted as a remedy for sunburn, diaper rash, and dry, irritated skin, its physical properties actually worsen these conditions. In fact, this semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons actually repels moisture. Furthermore, physicians have shown that our skin can’t absorb petrolatum. The thick barrier this gooey substance forms on the skin may help keep germs out of wounds, but it also seals in the heat generated by any type of burn. Petrolatum jelly’s promise as a moisturizer is equally deceiving. Instead of the soft, dewy skin this product supposedly ensures, petrolatum leaves you with a greasy film. Other petroleum derivatives such as mineral oil—the main ingredient in baby oil—produce a similar effect.

What about propylene glycol? Unlike petrolatum, this additive can penetrate the skin surface. Propylene glycol is a humectant, a type of chemical whose molecules attract and easily bond with water molecules. Theoretically, then, propylene glycol should be a good skin moisturizer. But these two facts don’t tell the whole story of this widely used wetting agent and solvent. When humidity drops, propylene glycol tends to draw moisture from the lower layers of the skin instead of from the surrounding air. The ultimate result to your skin is increased dryness as well as irritation.

So why do cosmetic companies love these ingredients so much? The most likely reason is economic: Both petrolatum and propylene glycol are cheap.

The superiority of plant-based oils as skin moisturizers comes from a simple fact of nature: Botanical oils resemble sebum, the natural moisturizer found in our skin. One of the most effective of these plant-derived moisturizers, Aloe vera 200x, is an extract of a well-known succulent plant species. The water-retaining tissue of succulents enable these plants to thrive in the parched atmosphere of desert climates. Anyone who’s ever seen and touched an aloe vera plant’s sleek, juicy leaves has firsthand evidence of it’s amazing emollient and revitalizing properties.

To meet Lavinia Borcau Quality Standards, the Aloe vera 200x used in La Vie Organique™ Original Formulas must meet or exceed the Natural Product Association safety guidelines, as well as my own exacting criteria for professional skincare performance. So you’re assured of the highest levels of quality, purity, and safety.

In my next post, I’ll explain more about aloe vera’s power to enhance the health and beauty of your skin.

Organic Skincare for Sensitive Skin Part 2: What’s in a Name?

When I advise clients with sensitive skin to avoid face creams and other beauty products with harsh chemical ingredients, they sometimes ask me to identify the major offenders. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. In fact, anyone who’s committed to healthy eating already has a head start. If you check the labels of food products for harmful additives, you can probably spot synthetic chemicals immediately. Names like FD&C Yellow #6, sodium benzoate, BHA, BHT, and diacetyl tend to raise alarm bells in people who care about their diet. Basically, if the ingredient name looks like it belongs in a chemistry book, it probably doesn’t belong inside your body.

This same logic applies to the ingredients we put on our skin. For instance, ingredient names with –ly endings—ethyl, benzyl, methyl, and so forth—automatically spell trouble for sensitive skin. These alcohol derivatives are found in many high-priced cleansers, toners, and moisturizers—yet they can seriously damage your skin. Alcohols not only cause dryness and irritation, but also interfere with vitamin A absorption. The resulting deficiency may contribute to the premature development of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Obviously there’s nothing beautiful about beauty products that can make you look old before your time! You won’t find any alcohols in Lavinia Borcau natural skin care products. In fact, any ingredient that isn’t 100% natural is specifically excluded from the Lavie Organique™ product line by my official Quality Standards. And as my clients will tell you, that’s a promise, you can trust!

Stay tuned—I’ll be naming more of the prime suspects in cases of red, irritated skin in Part 3.

Organic Skincare for Sensitive Skin—Part 1

Do you have sensitive skin? A great many of my clients—with all different skin types and a wide variety of symptoms—complain of this condition. The fact is, skin sensitivity is a popular, loosely defined term used to describe various forms of dermatitis. What all forms of dermatitis have in common is inflammation—our body’s natural defensive response to a disease or an injury or irritant.

The symptoms of dermatitis can range from mild redness and stinging or itching to painful hives and other severe rashes. The causes of this condition also vary. In some cases, the client may require medical treatment for a potentially serious skin disease such as eczema or psoriasis or specific skin allergies. In most cases, however, the client’s symptoms indicate dermatitis, a rash caused by exposure to harsh chemicals.

So what’s the best way to care for your sensitive skin? Gently and safely! Start by reading the label on every product that comes in contact with your skin. That includes detergents and fabric softeners, as well as shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, shower gels, and body lotions. If a product contains any alcohol, alcohol derivatives, or other synthetic chemicals, keep it away from your skin! I’ll be going into more detail about the most common and harmful of these irritants in later posts.

Above all, be especially vigilant about the ingredients in the products you put on your face. Many popular sun blocks, cleansers, toners, and moisturizers can cause rashes, breakouts, and other complexion problems.

I also recommend my clients choose products with certified organic and natural plant derived ingredients for their daily and weekly skin care regimen. With my LaVie Organique™ product line you’re assured that only the purest and safest of natural and organic herbal and botanical ingredients touch your skin. But playing it safe, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice effectiveness. Lavinia Borcau natural skincare products combine the gentleness of nature with the power of 21st century science to provide the dramatic results that many synthetic skin care products promise—without any of the painful aftereffects they so often deliver.

Welcome!

Welcome to LaVie Organique’s blog! Here, you’ll find information and updates about LaVie Organique products, Lavinia Borcau Skin Care, and general tips on improving your skin’s health and beauty.

Read on for the story behind the LaVie Organique line:

Lavinia Borcau believes that skin care is a lifetime discipline, and that an effective skin care routine achieves and maintains balance, supporting the health and beauty of your skin.

With over 20 years in the business, a successful salon, and her desire to increase the effectiveness of daily personal skin care and overall wellness, she has spent the last 4 years perfecting a line which brings together the natural wisdom of our grandmothers’ heritage with the secrets of European skin care and modern scientific technology.

Lavinia Borcau has done what few skin care professionals have done: she has launched a product line that has its roots in time-tested approach from her native Romania, a region renowned for centuries for its spas, treatments, and skin care.

Lavinia Borcau’s new LaVie Organique product line is the expression of a lifetime’s experience of hands-on professional skin care, and of Lavinia’s sophisticated knowledge of what wonderful skin care products can achieve for her clients.

Lavinia Borcau obtained the CIDESCO International Diploma in 1994 – the highest earned professional skin care title in the world. She has dedicated more than 20 years of experience to the field, and is passionately committed to providing the highest quality of skin care. She owns and operates Lavinia Borcau Skin Care in Boston.

Lavinia can be contacted at info@lavie-organique.com.

Days before the launch of LaVie Organique, the web site, www.lavie-organique.com went live. The creation of the LaVie Organique web page has been a project in itself, as Lavinia’s desire for full disclosure of all the ingredients in her proprietary formula led to the creation of a “Science Library,” the section of the site where all the herbal, mineral, and other natural ingredients are discussed.

On Wednesday, February 11, the launch of LaVie Organique was celebrated with a party at Lavinia Borcau Skin Care, 29 Harvard St. in Brookline. We enjoyed seeing all our friends gathered to celebrate the occasion with wine and hors d’oeuvres, and even live musical accompaniment. While our estheticians gave free mini-facials using the new LaVie Organique products, Lavinia shared with guests her long path leading to the creation of LaVie Organique, driven by her desire not to compromise the efficacy of her products while also maintaining the highest standards of natural skin care, without the use of parabens or synthetic preservatives.

Please visit the LaVie Organique blog often – we’re excited to share our products and knowledge with you!