LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "plant-based"

An Eye-Opener on Coffee: It’s Not Just for Drinking Anymore

The latest scientific research on coffee not only gives latté lovers reason to celebrate—it’s uncovered a potent new plant-based skincare ingredient.

You may already know about coffee’s high antioxidant levels—which are equal or higher than most fruits. Researchers believe the power of antioxidants to repair damaged cells is why coffee drinkers appear to have a lower risk of heart disease and skin, liver, and colon cancer. According to a study by Harvard Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of coffee’s antioxidants, quinine, can also help fight diabetes by increasing the body’s insulin resistance and regulating glucose metabolism.

But if you think a cup of decaf is a safer, healthier way to raise your daily dose of antioxidants, recent research on caffeine may surprise you. Studies have shown that in moderate doses, America’s favorite pick-me-up isn’t just harmless—it’s actually good for you. In fact, one of coffee’s cancer-fighting antioxidants, caffeic acid, comes from caffeine. That’s why caffeine is starting to pop up on sun block labels. In addition to repairing cellular damage, caffeine also appears to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, control asthma attacks, cure headaches, and even prevent cavities!

Many of these health bonuses are linked to caffeine’s effect on inflamed arteries and veins. By constricting blood vessels, caffeine decreases inflammation. A diuretic, caffeine also reduces swelling by flushing excess blood and lymph from skin tissue. This multi-action combination of properties explains the growing use of caffeine in cellulite and facial treatments to boost performance.

Mounting scientific data and years of hands-on experience have convinced me that caffeine helps repair and rejuvenate the thin, delicate skin around our eyes. This area is the first place to show the damage that age, environmental toxins, and poor health habits can do to our appearance. For the red, puffy eyelids and dark circles that can afflict young and old alike, this powerhouse ingredient provides the perfect all-in-one solution. Derived from pure Colombian coffee, the caffeine in myLaVie Organique™ Eye Cream meets my exacting Quality Standards. This pure plant-derived extract works in synergy with my proprietary blend of certified organic and natural botanical ingredients to nurture and revitalize the eye area. It’s a balanced health drink for your skin that will bring a smile to your face when you see the results.

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.

Aloe Vera Part 2: Can Aloe Vera Help Your Skin Look Younger?

Ancient herbalists and physicians believed in aloe vera ’s medicinal and rejuvenating qualities—and Mahatma Gandhi swore it was the secret of his strength and endurance. But even centuries of intuition and experience lack the persuasive power of the latest scientific knowledge. As today’s dermatologists and researchers continue rigorously investigating the science behind these claims, they’re discovering that the medical instincts of these long-ago healers were way ahead of their times.

The websites of prestigious institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, now cite evidence that aloe vera helps heal a variety of skin conditions. A number of studies indicate that topical aloe vera treatments help improve psoriasis, seborrhea, and herpes. Preliminary research on aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties and role in promoting hormonal balance also look promising.

But how exactly does this plant extract help turn back the clock for aging skin? According to a study by Dr. Ivan E. Danhof, M.D./Ph.D., president of North Texas Research Laboratories, and a retired University of Texas Professor of Physiology, the key appears to lie just below the surface in the skin’s collagen layer. Collagen’s network of protein fibers support the skin’s surface and helps repair blood vessels and tissues. When sun exposure and normal aging gradually weaken this support system, our skin starts to sag and develop lines and wrinkles. Danho’s research shows that aloe vera extract boosts the turnover rate of the fibroblast cells that produce collagen. In his study, fibroblast cells reproduced six to eight times faster than the normal rate. The result? Stronger, more resilient collagen fibers and firmer, younger-looking skin!

The most convincing proof, however, ultimately lies in the product. The Aloe vera 200X in my Lavie Organique™ care system is just one of the plant-based ingredients that work synergistically to balance and support skin health. Try it and see for yourself what my signature blend of traditional wisdom, 21st century science, and European luxury can do for your 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.