LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "sebum"

Sea Buckthorn Seed: Age-Fighting Might in a Miniscule Package

Sea Buckthorn Seed. This hardy mountain shrub’s nickname, “Siberian pineapple,” suggests its early fans considered its juicy orange berries one of the plant world’s natural wonders. Its Latin botanical name, Hippophae rhamnoides (“shiny racehorse”), probably derives from legends that the mighty steeds of ancient Greece grew swift and sleek on its leaves. Sea buckthorn’s fabled reputation as a super-food for four-legged thoroughbreds persists even today. But its nutritional value isn’t just for horses—nor do its benefits as a dietary supplement and cosmetic ingredient rest on myth and tradition alone.

Sea Buckthorn Seed in Lavie Organique

Science has uncovered the diverse mix of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and other nutrients that makes virtually every part of this plant a high-energy health food. The benefits of these compounds alone might explain why the rejuvenating power of sea buckthorn has become a hot topic in the natural skin-care industry. But what’s really driving the anti-aging buzz goes straight to the source of this long-revered medicinal plant’s health and vigor: the tiny seeds that store two major classes of skin nutrients.

Fatty acid The high levels of omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 oils derived from sea buckthorn seeds support skin health by stimulating circulation, repairing cell membranes, and retaining moisture. Fatty acids also promote a balanced complexion by regulating sebum production in the epidermis.

Phytosterols Plant-derived alcohols, like plant-based fats, offer major anti-aging benefits with none of the negatives associated with their synthetic versions. Because plant sterols are so similar to the natural sterols in human skin, they quickly penetrate the epidermis without causing dryness and irritation. In fact, plant sterols do just the opposite, boosting moisture retention, while reducing inflammation. Research suggests that plant sterols may also help repair sun damage and stimulate collagen renewal.

When you consider the full gamut of nutrients and phytonutrients from antioxidants through zinc packed inside every sea buckthorn seed, the growing reputation of the concentrated seed extract as an anti-aging powerhouse seems only natural. But as with any botanical skin-care ingredient, the quality standards observed by its growers and manufacturers make all the difference. To ensure you get all the synergistic benefits and none of potentially toxic effects of shoddy production practices, choose only certified organic sea buckthorn extract.

Fair Trade Raw Shea: Butter Up Irritated Winter Skin

As we head into the coldest months of the year, your skin care regimen should focus squarely on keeping surface and underlying skin cells hydrated and nourished. To counteract the dryness and irritation caused by harsh weather and low humidity, I recommend using super-rich moisturizers and emollients whose structure and function mimic those of human skin.

One of the best of best organic oils for protecting and healing the skin in extreme weather is shea butter. Derived from the seed of the West African shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii), this nutrient-packed fat has been valued throughout this region for centuries as a food-oil, cosmetic, and medicine.

Because its natural lubricants closely resemble the sebum produced by the body’s oil glands, shea butter is a safer, more effective alternative to parabens and other petroleum derivatives. The potent mix of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and healing agents in this plant-derived emollient not only softens surface roughness but also penetrates the skin, boosting circulation in the underlying capillaries and stimulating collagen renewal.

In addition to repairing free radical damage, the antioxidant vitamins A and E shea butter act as natural anti-inflammatories and anti-bacterials, soothing itchiness and irritation. When you add the presence of a natural sunscreen, cinnamic acid, to shea butter’s benefits, it’s easy to see why an increasing number of today’s finest anti-aging creams feature this remarkable natural ingredient.

The Fair Trade raw shea butter in my LaVie Organique™ Day Cream, Face Cream, and Eye Cream is 100 percent free of synthetic chemicals and preservatives and produced with environmentally sustainable methods—so it’s as kind to the Earth as it is to your skin.

Lavie Organique is also a proud supporter of Fair Trade Boston. We donated some of our inventory to help support the initiative of making Boston a Fair Trade City. The video below explains what Fair Trade is from local supporters.

Keep It Moving: Circulation and Skin Health

Lavie Organique in Daily Use

Daily Routine with Lavie Organique

One of the most important benefits of many of the plant-derived ingredients in my Lavie Organique™ Original Formulas is increased blood flow to the skin. The reason is simple. Optimal circulation is fundamental to beautiful, young-looking skin.

In many natural and holistic healing systems, healthy circulation has long been regarded as the key to total body wellness. Both Ayuvedic and traditional Chinese medicine use herbs and botanicals that boost circulation to treat not only wounds and skin diseases, but also a full range of health problems from liver and kidney ailments to depression and impaired memory.

As with many of the treatments developed by early practitioners of intuitive, experience-based approaches to healing, the role of stimulating botanicals can be explained by scientific facts. By transporting oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues and flushing out excess fluids and waste products, improved blood flow helps boost cell renewal and restore proper function to the skin and other bodily organs.

Skin care products that contain circulation boosters such as caffeine, cinnamon, paprika, rosemary, and white tea frequently provide additional beneficial effects. For example, many of them act as antioxidants, antiseptics, and anti-inflammatories that work in synergy to not only optimize blood flow to the skin, but also its pH level and balance of moisture and sebum.

In addition to a balanced skin care regimen, there are a number of other behaviors you can adopt to improve blood flow to the skin and maintain the overall health of your circulatory system.

1. Don’t smoke! Nicotine constricts blood vessels, starving the skin and other organs of oxygen and vital nutrients.

2. Exercise. A regular exercise program is a great way to ensure your skin stays properly nourished and to optimize conditions for collagen renewal.

3. Eat foods high in iron. Low iron intake can cause in iron-deficiency anemia. This condition involves a detectable drop in the number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to skin and other tissues in our body. Even the strictest vegans can help protect themselves from this type of anemia  by paying close attention to their dietary habits. In addition to eating plenty of green, leafy vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts, and dried fruits, it’s also important to avoid overconsumption of certain salts, minerals, and other substances, such as calcium, antacids, and caffeine, that when consumed in excess can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb iron. Signs of anemia may include extremely pale, thin skin, as well as cracks at the sides of the mouth and sores on the tongue. Some conditions, such as heavy menstruation, can result in anemia despite a diet rich in iron. It’s a good idea to have your doctor check your blood count from time to time to determine whether you need an iron supplement.

4. Be aware of symptoms and causes of poor circulation. Vascular disease as well as diabetes and hypothyroidism can result in decreased blood flow to the skin. Persistent symptoms of these diseases—including swollen legs and feet, puffiness of the face, chronic sores on the mouth, feet, and legs, acne breakouts, and extremely dry skin—should be checked out by your physician.

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!

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.