LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "skin care products"

The Three Faces of Exfoliation, Part 2: Chemical Exfoliation

The Unappealing Side of Chemical Exfoliation

Twenty-five years ago, the discovery of the bonus benefits of the acne treatment tretinoin (Retin-A) launched a revolution in skin care. Since then the use of synthetic vitamin A derivatives and other chemical exfoliants as anti-aging treatments has swept the beauty industry. At last, there were products and procedures that could dramatically improve the appearance of aging skin. In addition to Retin-A and related skin care products, more extreme versions of chemical seemed to promise a quick fix for every skin problem from acne and oily skin to age spots, warts, and wrinkles. But as with so many “miracle” products, the powerful effects of these chemical treatments come with risks.

Vitamin A Derivatives: A Word of Caution

The active ingredient in tretinoin and its over-the-counter cousins, the various retinol facial treatments retinol, is a vitamin A byproduct that induces a light chemical peel by introducing high doses of vitamin A into the skin. These products can cause severe irritation when used improperly. Women who are pregnant or nursing are warned not to use them because of the link between high doses of vitamin A and birth defects. Many women with sensitive skin find the redness and flakiness caused by these products too unpleasant to tolerate.

A Choice for an Organic Life

The Lavie Organique Product Line

At the right dosage level for your skin type, however, this powerful antioxidant does help restore a more youthful appearance by exfoliating worn-out surface skin cells and promoting cellular renewal in the underlying epidermal layer. With a natural form of vitamin A such as the retinyl palmitate in my LaVie Organique™ Original Formulas, you’re assured of the anti-aging effects of a plant-derived free radical scavenger without the risk of looking and feeling like you have a major case of sunburn.

Synthetic Chemical Peels: What Price Beauty?

Synthetic chemical peels are sometimes referred to as “lunchtime facelifts.” The implication is that you can radically change your appearance quickly, painlessly, and without any downtime. But even light peels with alpha hydroxyl acid (the active ingredient in many acne medications) or synthetic glycolic acid may cause flakiness, redness, and scabbing that can mar your appearance for days or weeks—and the deeper your go beneath the skin’s surface the higher the cost in pain and suffering. A medium trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can cause blistering and severe redness that may make you want to hide your face longer than you’d anticipated. With a deeper peel, the potential are more serious. In fact, the risks of this type of peel are equivalent to the dangers of surgery. This invasive procedure uses phenolic acid, a coal tar-derived industrial solvent and known carcinogen, also known as carbolic acid. Sedation and heart monitoring with an electrocardiograph are required. Recovery time usually takes three or four months and patients generally require strong medication to endure the deep throbbing pain.

The fact is, both TCA and phenol achieve their effects by inflicting a second-degree burn on your face. The severity of this injury to your skin poses serious risks including heart arrhythmias, shock, and infection. And in some cases the final result of all this painful damage can leave you with a ghostly white or brownish complexion.

As a European, I was schooled in a different approach to beauty. We prefer to incorporate a program of gradual, milder exfoliation into our holistic skin care regimen to achieve lasting results over time. I’ll explain more about this approach in Part 3 of “The Three Faces of Exfoliation.”

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.

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.


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

Days before the launch of LaVie Organique, the web site, 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!