LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "organic extracts"

Spring Ahead! Why It’s Time to Freshen Up Your Skin-Care Regime

For my mother and grandmother and generations of Romanian women before them, the first day of spring has always signaled an important transition in their natural skin-care regimes. According to our Old World beauty traditions, the season of planting and cultivation is also the perfect time to concentrate on nurturing and renewing our skin.

Spring Training for Your Skin

As members of a culture strongly in tune with the rhythms of natural world, Romanian women believe in shifting the focus of their skin routine in synchrony with the changing seasons. After our wintertime exfoliation program, has sloughed off the accumulation of dead cells on the skin’s surface, we turn or attention to the delicate new skin cells that have emerged. Like the tender young seedlings in our spring garden these new skin cells require a strength-building diet to achieve and maintain robust health.

The Care and Feeding of Skin Cells

According to recent scientific research, a diet rich in superfoods, such as blueberries, nuts and seeds, green and white teas, avocados, and peppers, can help prevent premature aging and restore healthy cellular functioning in all the tissues and organs of the body, including our skin.

Superfoods That Perfect Form and Supercharge Function

The same amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that we consume to boost skin cell health from within can also beautify and strengthen our skin from the outside. Skin care products made from certified organic extracts and natural plant-derived ingredients are a safe, effective solution to the damage that environmental stresses and the passage of time inflict on our complexions. In my upcoming posts, I’ll discuss some the specific nutrients that will help you not only shape up your skin for spring but also keep it in the pink all year-round and at every age.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net







White Tea Part I: The Perfect Winter Pick-Me-Up

For generations of British subjects and ancient Chinese sages alike, there’s only one certain cure for whatever ails you. When all else fails, have a cup of tea. But does tea deserve its reputation as the perfect holistic remedy? I think it does—which is why my own prescriptions for a happy healthy winter include curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot tea. This year, I’ve also been suggesting my clients try a variety of tea that’s relatively new to the American market–white tea.

White Tea in Lavie Organique

Courtesy of dreamstimefree.com

White tea comes from the immature leaves of the same tea bush, Camillia ginensis, that’s used to make green tea. While we’ve all heard a lot about the benefits of green tea, it turns out that white tea may be an even healthier choice. After harvesting, white tea undergoes only minimal processing. Because it’s left closer to its natural state than green or fermented versions, white tea has a more delicate taste—and a significantly higher concentration of antioxidant flavanoids.

The antioxidant activity of  these plant-derived nutrients plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of our body by

·      enhancing immune response
·      improving cell-to-cell communication
·      regulating estrogen metabolism
·      inhibiting tumor growth
·      repairing free radical damage

Flavanoids also have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergenic effects. Scientific studies indicate that their ability to prevent blood clots may help decrease the risk of strokes. Research also suggests that high flavanoid intake may help prevent heart attacks and cancer as well. With all  these beneficial effects, it should come as no surprise that drinking white tea is also good for your skin.

But it’s not just the physical but also the mental effects of white tea that make it such a potent holistic remedy. In China, tea was originally used as a medicine for improving mood and mental prowess, as well as eyesight and digestive and kidney function. Tea’s association with an alert, yet calm and harmonious mental state persisted in Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Monks in China and other countries where these religions are practiced continue to rely on tea as an aid to meditation. In fact, in Taoist tradition, the very act of preparing and drinking tea has been refined and ritualized as a form of meditation. This link between tea drinking and mental clarity is now supported with scientific studies on the antioxidant properties of flavanoids that show these free radical scavengers can help reduce age-related memory problems, as well as the fatigue, irritability, and sadness associated with depression.

Today’s scientists have also discovered that putting white tea extracts on our bodies as well as in them can also help promote radiant, youthful-looking skin. In fact, white tea leaf extract is an important ingredient not only in my organic peels and Lavie Organique™ Exfoliating Mask but also in  my skin creams and serum. I’ll tell you more about how this organic extract can enhance your skin care regimen in my next blog post.

In the meantime make yourself a nice cup of white tea. But instead of gulping your daily dose of anti-aging nutrients on the run, keep in mind the gentle rhythms of the Taoist tea ceremony, and as you enjoy the taste, imagine the warm, fragrant liquid dissolving your mind and body into the eternal universe.

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…

The Lavie Organique Exfoliating Mask: Putting the Heat on Dull Wintertime Skin

Courtesy of Dreamstimefree.com

Did you know that adding a little spice to your wintertime exfoliation program can do wonders for your skin?  One of the active in ingredients in my signature organic peels  and LaVie Organique™ Exfoliating Mask  is paprika. In addition to vitamin A and other plant-derived  antioxidants, paprika contains capsaicin—the secret of the many pepper-based folk remedies used to treat a myriad of maladies from arthritis to psoriasis.

The hot, sweaty faces of customers at a chili stand or Indian restaurant are living proof of the powerful effects on capsaicin on the skin. Capsaicin is a vasodilator. This class of chemicals relaxes the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and by widening the vessels, increases blood flow. When a vasodilator is applied topically, it stimulates blood flow in the capillaries that bring oxygen and nutrients to and remove waste products from our skin. University College of London researchers found that topical application of capsaicin increased cutaneous blood flow by as much as 300%.

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror after a vigorous bout of exercise, you’ve seen the amazing boost that increased blood flow gives to your skin. Best of all, with exfoliation products that contain capsaicin as well as enzymes, your skin enjoys the synergistic revitalizing effects of two potent plant-based ingredients. In combination, the ability of each of these organic extracts to promote cell renewal and overall skin health is enhanced, producing results greater than the sum of the effects of each. In other words, what you get is exactly what you want: the fresh glow of healthy, young-looking skin that comes from a balanced approach to skin care.

Rosemary: The Scent of Ageless Health and Beauty

I designed the elegant scent of my Lavie Organique professional skincare products to capture the essence of my balanced, synergistic approach to radiant health and beauty. Just as my special blend of natural and organic extracts works together to restore equilibrium to overstressed skin, the different fragrance notes that scent my proprietary formulas blend in perfect harmony to soothe and refresh your spirit.

Natural Ingredient in Lavie Organique

A Natural Ingredient Found in Lavie Organique

Rosemary leaf (Rosemarinus officinalis) extract lends a tangy evergreen note to the scent of my plant-based formulas—and the healing properties of a time-honored folk remedy. Aromatherapists still treat stress and fatigue with its fragrant leaves, but its medicinal properties been revered throughout history. Ancient Romans believed rosemary improved memory and traditional herbalists have been cooking up rosemary teas to treat headaches and digestive disorders for centuries. Medieval Europeans relied on rosemary to freshen breath and to keep meat from spoiling. In fact, its effectiveness as a natural preservative is borne out by its presence in the tissues of Egyptian mummies that have lasted for thousands of years.

With a history like that, it’s not surprising that today’s scientists are searching for the facts behind rosemary’s fabled reputation. Researchers have discovered that rosemary is not only a natural antiseptic, but also a diuretic that reduces swelling, as well as a possible cancer fighter and liver stimulant. The same anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, such as carnosol and caffeic acid that make rosemary a potential weapon against disease also explain why many of today’s best natural skincare products include it in their anti-aging arsenal.

In 2008,the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed that rosemary extracts complied with its notoriously stringent safety and effectiveness standards for use as an antioxidant. A 2009 press release that announced certification of rosemary extracts by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), noted the particular suitability of water-soluble rosmarinic acid for water-based products such as creams, as well as its heat stability, which prevents its antioxidant activity from dissipating at high temperatures.

Like Queen of Hungary Water—one of Europe’s first alcohol-based perfumes and astringents—Lavie Organique Toner also contains rosemary. But without the brandy that 14th century monks who invented it added to Elizabeth of Hungary’s signature cologne. Those monks obviously didn’t know much about the irritating effects of alcohols on sensitive skin!

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.

Scented vs. Unscented: Making Sense of Cosmetic Labels

Have you ever been stuck next to someone whose cologne or aftershave made you literally sick? Well, anyone who thinks you’re exaggerating should read the EPA’s 1991 report on the most commonly used ingredients in synthetic fragrances. Even perfumes that smell fresher than a spring day and cost hundreds of dollars an ounce may contain up to 500 different synthetic chemicals.

According to that EPA study, this industrial witch’s brew of cheap, evil-smelling petrochemicals, solvents, and coal tar derivatives is packed with health perils ranging from skin inflammation, fatigue, headaches, and nausea to potentially fatal asthma attacks, immuno-toxicity, and central nervous system disorders.

For those who prefer to minimize their daily dose of toxic industrial waste products, unscented products seem like the logical, healthful alternative. It’s also logical to assume that words like scent-free, unscented, and fragrance-free on a product label signal safety from chemical irritants. But consumers who make this assumption are making the same mistake as Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. In the backwards, baffling world of cosmetic labeling, words can mean exactly what product manufacturers choose them to mean.

The fact is, the FDA has never presented any legal definition of these terms in their compliance guidelines. As a result, manufacturers of fragrance-free products can and do use equally dangerous masking ingredients to hide the nasty chemical smell of their raw materials. So, unless you’ve researched every single ingredient on the product label, you have no way of knowing whether you’re choosing a truly scent-free alternative or merely the lesser of two evils.

Thanks to today’s burgeoning green revolution, however, you can choose a third alternative that’s not only safe for sensitive skin, but also a delight for the senses. In my next post, I’ll explain why all-natural plant-based scents and organic extracts are the best of all possible fragrances.

Organic Hop Extract and Skin Health

If you’re skeptical about the effectiveness of natural plant-based treatments, the latest research findings on traditional herbal remedies may surprise you. Hops are a case in point. Several recent discoveries strongly support folk healers’ intuitive knowledge of this tiny fruit’s many beneficial effects on the skin. For instance, we now know why hops help heal bedsores and other skin infections. As it turns out, the hop plant is rich in several compounds that make it an excellent cleanser and antiseptic.

In addition to two potent antibacterials, hops contain anti-inflammatory tannins as well as natural plant estrogens that promote hormonal balance. Hops are also a source of asparagine, a natural diuretic that helps flush out toxins and excess fluids. Other studies confirm the sedative antispasmodic properties of hops. In combination, these findings add up to convincing evidence that hops can help protect, soothe, and revitalize our skin.

The certified organic hop extract in my LaVie Organique product line is one of the many safe and effective natural ingredients in my personal formula for balanced skin care:

Intuitive Old World wisdom + next-generation science = an intelligent approach to health and beauty.

Antioxidants and What They Do For You

Many of the ingredients chosen for LaVie Organique products are known to have antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, which are damaging compounds that naturally occur in the body.  Free radicals can alter cells, tamper with DNA and can cause cell death.  Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles. Scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants such as polyphenols in the LaVie Organique Proprietary Blend (Organic Extracts of White Tea Leaf, Soap Bark and Sea Buckthorn Seed) can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  Since free radicals not only affect the skin but the whole body as well, in recent years you may have noticed a lot of buzz about antioxidants in the news and at your local grocer.  A summer diet is especially full of antioxidants, so don’t feel guilty enjoying big helpings of these: cherries, strawberries, pineapple, kale, peppers, and fresh beans.