LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "sun protection"

5 Foods for Cultivating Healthier, More Beautiful Skin This Summer

There’s more to summertime skincare than sun block and moisturizer. To prevent and repair free radical damage and inflammation caused by ultraviolet radiation, we need to choose the foods we eat as carefully as our skincare products. Luckily, summer fruits and vegetable are packed with the antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and other plant chemicals we need to help minimize the development of wrinkles and reduce our chances of skin cancer.

Here are five of the best sources of these skin-saving nutrients:

The red pigment in these colorful peppers act as an internal sunscreen.

The red pigment in these colorful peppers act as an internal sunscreen.

 

Lycopene-loaded fruits and vegetables - The plant pigment that gives produce like tomatoes, watermelon, raspberries, and red peppers their inviting color, lycopene give us the advantage of an internal sunscreen. Results of a 2008 study showed that subjects who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste a day for 12 weeks enjoyed 30 percent more protection against sunburn than those who did not.

Eggplant - Thanks to its generous supply of phenolic acids, eggplant ranks in the top 10 of foods that counteract free radical damage.

Cantaloupe - The beta-carotene in this juicy, delicately flavored summer fruit not only neutralizes free, radicals, but may also help reduce sun sensitivity.

Cucumbers - In addition to protecting our skin with a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, cucumbers serve as a tasty, refreshing way to avoid the dehydrating effects of hot, sunny days. Their ample water content is complemented by a combination of minerals that help regulate fluid balance. These characteristics make cucumber juice substantially more hydrating than an equal volume of drinking water.

• Tart cherries - High in flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin C, tart cherries help protect against cancer, inflammation, and aging. Greatly prized in my native Romania, where they’re known as sour cherries, these tangy treats are a smart alternative to their sweeter cousins. In addition to containing a greater concentration of anti-inflammatories, tart cherries have a much less significant impact on blood sugar levels than sweet varieties like Bings. Their lively flavor can help retrain sugar-saturated palates to appreciate the zippy taste of a full range of healthful tart foods from pickled beets and cabbage to unsweetened yoghurt. Rich in melatonin, tart cherries also help our body get more of restorative beauty sleep that it needs for cell repair and regeneration.

Eating Sun-Smart Foods the Romanian Way

Served on their own or as part of rainbow-hued salads, these flavorful nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables appeal to our summertime appetite for light yet sensually satisfying foods. For a truly mouth-watering experience, arrange your selection artistically on a simple white plate and add an appropriate garnish. Try a sprig of mint on cantaloupe. Or sprinkle some fresh oregano or basil on sliced tomatoes for eye-catching contrast and a more intense and complex taste and aroma. The zesty Romanian salads outlined below are two of my favorite summertime recipes. The healthful oils they contain add a silky texture as well as an extra dose of sun protection. If you want to escape from the kitchen, roast the vegetables on an outdoor grill.

The olive oil in this mouth-watering summer salad adds extra does of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.

The olive oil in this mouth-watering summer salad adds extra does of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.

Roasted Peppers

2 peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

Salt to taste

Wash the peppers. Turn the burner on high, and place the peppers directly on the flame. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes turning on all sides. Once roasted (the skin turns black), place in a colander and place the colander on top of a large bowl. Let the peppers cool and the juices drain. Gently peel the skin off the peppers. Remove the stem and seeds. Cut each pepper in thin lengthwise slices. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, vinegar and salt and add to the peppers. Mix together. Serve immediately or later. This dish can be done a day ahead.

 

Eggplant Salad

4 small Italian eggplants

1 small onion thinly chopped

1/4 cup grape seed oil

Salt to taste

Instructions for gas stove or grill: Turn the burner on high and place the eggplant on the flame. Turn every couple of minutes until roasted. An Italian eggplant needs about 15 minutes to roast as it is thin, but thicker eggplant will need additional time. Place the roasted eggplants in a colander, and place the colander on top of a large bowl. Let the eggplants cool and the juices drain out of eggplants for a minute or two. Once cool, peel the skin off the eggplants. Place on a chopping board and give the eggplant a rough chop. Chop the onion finely.

Supercharge Your Anti-aging Skincare Routine with 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Make 2016 the year you resolve to start growing younger! The key to taking years off your appearance is to make a conscious decision to consistently include healthy skincare habits in your daily routine. Here are 5 New Year’s skincare resolutions that can help you look and feel more vibrant and beautiful.

In the hands of a rigorously trained aesthetician, a monthly deep-cleaning facial lays the foundation for clearer, more radiant skin.

In the hands of a rigorously trained aesthetician, a monthly deep-cleaning facial lays the foundation for clearer, more radiant skin.

Set your intention to achieve a glowing, youthful complexion by adopting the essentials of a disciplined skincare regimen:

1. Always wash your makeup off before going to bed-Even “all-natural” mineral makeup contains other ingredients that can clog pores and irritate sensitive skin.

2. Never wash your face with soap or harsh synthetic cleansers-A gentle cleanser made with plant-derived ingredients protects the integrity of the skin’s acid mantle, preventing bacteria and other contaminants from penetrating the surface. Look for mild cleansing agents like coco-glucoside, as well as for glycerin and other vegetable emollients and soothing anti-inflammatories such as olive leaf and aloe vera.

3. Use a full-spectrum sun protection every day-Even though the UVB rays that cause sunburn are weaker in the winter and on cloudy days, UVA radiation keeps going strong regardless of the weather. UVA rays reach the deeper layers of the skin, causing the bulk of the damage that results in visible aging. For full spectrum coverage without potentially irritating or unsafe chemicals, use a mineral sun block made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Opt for a cream rather than a spray or powder to avoid the risk of inhaling the tiny mineral particles.

4. Get plenty of antioxidants-inside and out-To resist and recover from free radical damage, skin cells need more help than even the best mix of topical antioxidants can provide. Internal support from antioxidant-rich whole foods is absolutely vital. Be sure to include regular servings of foods such as berries, walnuts, red beans and pinto beans, kale, spinach, grapes, and plums in your diet. These anti-aging superfoods help optimize functioning of not only the skin, but also all the other organs that support skin health. Skincare products that contain plant-based ingredients like white tea, red algae, sea buckthorn, and the antioxidant vitamins C and E provide a rejuvenating “meal” for your complexion.

5. Invest in professional organic facials-Sparkling clean skin is a major beauty asset for women of every age. A skilled aesthetician knows how to gently extract the contents of pores and remove whiteheads without causing scarring or infection. Trusting these delicate procedures to an experienced professional is a must! A facialist who’s trained in traditional European aesthetics is a particularly valuable resource. She can advise you on the best salon treatments, homecare regimen, skincare products, and dietary practices for your skin type. You can also rely on her to use safe, effective organic ingredients in your facial treatments. The fresh rosy glow she can bring to your complexion with an expert facial massage is yet another plus. For women in their twenties, a pore-cleansing facial once a season is usually sufficient. Women over thirty should shoot for once a month. Regular visits to an aesthetician who’s truly passionate about healthy skin and consistently dedicated to your beauty goals is a smart long-term investment. With the right combination of services, advice, and support, you’ll see increasingly significant improvements in your complexion over time.

 

How to Optimize Sun Protection Through Seasonal Eating

As summer approaches, I’ll be focusing my diet on helping my body cope with this season’s biggest environmental challenge: sun exposure.
Ultraviolet radiation causes free radical damage, a series of cellular changes associated with premature aging and serious diseases, including cancer. By eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, we can help prevent these damaging changes from occurring. While this dietary strategy isn’t meant to replace external sun protection like hats and a natural mineral sun block, it should be added to your summertime health practices to ensure a complete approach to sun safety.
The following list highlights five of the best foods for protecting yourself against the risks of sun exposure this summer.

Tomatoes are one of the summer foods that offer natural sun protection. Image: graur razvan ionut; FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomatoes – A British study suggests that the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes acts as an internal sunscreen. Study subjects who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste a day for 12 weeks were found to have 30% more protection against sunburn than those who did not. A plate of fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkled with fresh basil is a delicious source of this natural sun protection.
Mushrooms – Several species of mushrooms are high in selenium, an antioxidant mineral that counteracts free radical damage. Selenium also works together with vitamin E to help prevent the aging effects of inflammation. Choose crimini, portabella, or white mushrooms to maximize the selenium content of my favorite summer risotto.
Fatty fish – A piece of grilled, steamed, or broiled fatty fish such as salmon or tuna provides a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids.  According to a recent study at the University of Manchester, these essential fatty acids may help prevent skin cancer by reducing the negative impact of sunlight on the immune system.
Carrots – In addition to neutralizing free radicals, the beta carotene in carrots may also reduce sensitivity to the sun. Raw carrots are the perfect choice when you crave a crunchy summer snack.
Greens – From fresh herbs like parsley and basil to spinach, chard, and other dark green leafy vegetables, this diverse range of foods is another plentiful source of beta carotene. Greens are also packed with polyphenols, which combine antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To find enticing ideas for adding greens to your summertime meals, stay tuned to our Facebook page.

Beauty Challenges: Rejuvenating the Eye Area

Whether you call them crows feet or laugh lines, wrinkles around the eye are something most of us want to prevent or minimize. The right eye cream is an important part of the solution, but the complex challenges of treating this delicate area require a combination of proven anti-aging strategies. Here’s why.

The Problem: Aging Is More Than Skin Deep

As we age, the underlying collagen network, muscles, and bones that support our skin gradually weaken and atrophy. The thin, fragile tissues of the eye area are particularly vulnerable to this process. Its visible effects can include deep wrinkling and creases, sagging, under-eye bags, and the appearance of sunken eyes and prominent dark circles. Invasive procedures can temporarily improve these symptoms, but they don’t address their root causes.

The Solution: A Health-Driven Anti-aging System

An anti-aging program based on traditional European skincare practices offers a vital benefit: It can help slow and even reverse the ongoing tissue changes that make you look older.

To help gradually and safely rejuvenate the eye area, I recommend two wellness-based strategies for nurturing naturally youthful-looking skin:

Strategy # 1: Preventative Maintenance

  • Seek serious sun protection – Zinc oxide serves a powerful but gentle shield from UVA rays. Wear a hat and sunglasses to minimize squinting.
  • Ban chemical irritants – The under-eye area in extremely sensitive to synthetic chemicals, including many popular anti-aging ingredients like Retin-A. Petroleum-derived moisturizers, soaps, and alcohol-based astringents and makeup removers are also common sources of puffiness, inflammation and irritation, and painful allergic reactions.  (Read more about the top three troublemakers for sensitive skin…)
  • Handle with care – Don’t rub your eyes or stretch the surrounding skin.

To restore strength and elasticity, nourish under-eye skin with a balanced diet of pure, gentle botanicals.

Strategy # 2: In-Depth Repair
Use top-quality organic skincare to stimulate collagen renewal and heal inflammation and free radical damage.

  • Professional microdermabrasion and/or fruit acid peels – Make sure the provider you choose has the advanced training required to safely treat the exceptionally sensitive skin around the eyes.
  • An all-natural eye cream – Choose a cream specially formulated for this area. Look for gentle yet potent anti-aging ingredients like white tea, horsetail, rosemary, and natural vitamins A and E. Because the eye region has relatively few oil glands, keep it drenched in botanical oils and humectants. Moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, and jojoba oil penetrate below the skin surface without clogging pores.
  • Practice Facial Fitness – Properly performed resistance techniques increase muscle mass, restoring youthful contours around the eye. By rebuilding the underlying tissues, facial exercises make the skin look tighter and more toned.

Watch this From My Neck Up™ video to learn how facial exercises can firm the eye area.

Adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Eat a diet with plenty of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy oils.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water to help flush excess fluids.
  • Don’t smoke!

Is there a skincare issue you’d like to know more about? My mission as a skincare provider and educator is help people address challenging beauty issues with wellness-based skincare methods. Let me know what’s on your mind by sending your questions and concerns to the Comments  section of the blog.

 

How to Live Happily Ever After with Your Neck

Part 2 of a 3-Part Series: Natural Anti-aging Care for the Neck

Paradoxically, the part of the body that needs the most care and attention to remain youthful-looking generally gets the least. Even people who pamper their face with expensive creams and salon treatments routinely ignore their necks.

natural skincare products for the neck

The delicate skin of our neck demands plenty of TLC.

Start Loving Your Neck: Commit to a  7-Point Rejuvenation Plan

Regardless of your age, it’s never to begin a healthy relationship with your neck – or to start looking younger by cultivating a disciplined in-depth neck-care regimen.

1. Minimize UVA damage.

(a) Stay out of direct sunlight.

(b) Wear a mineral-based sun block.

2. Handle with care

(a) Avoid soap, alcohol-based astringents, and other harsh skincare products.

(b) Never scrub your neck!

(c) Minimize lines and wrinkles by sleeping on your back.

3. Keep skin super-hydrated with plant-derived humectants and emollients.

4. Control inflammation.

(a) Avoid overuse of retinoids.

(b) Apply soothing natural anti-inflammatories such as green tea, chamomile, and aloe vera.

5. Kick harmful lifestyle habits.

(a) Don’t smoke.

(b) Lower your sugar intake.

(c) Shun yo-yo dieting.

facial massage

Accupressure and massage helps keep skin cells nourished by boosting blood flow

6. Promote optimal cell function and stimulate cell renewal.

(a) Eat a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and proteins.

(b) Use green skincare treatments that comprise the same vital nutrients.

(c) Maintain a balanced exfoliation routine - Find the healthy midpoint between too much and not enough.

(i.) Gently slough off old skin with a soft washcloth or sponge.

(ii.) Use safe, non-irritating but highly effective natural exfoliants such as finely ground tree nuts.

7. Slow age-related tissue atrophy, sagging, and wrinkling

(a) Stimulate circulation throughout your body with a vigorous fitness routine.

(b) Use massage and acupressure techniques to improve blood flow and relax wrinkles.

(c) Restore muscle and bone mass with facial and neck exercises.

Although generations of  women have relied on face and neck exercises to delay and help repair the visible signs of aging, this traditional practice remains controversial among mainstream beauty experts.  In my next post, I’ll discuss the facts behind the opinions of this widely misunderstood anti-aging method.

Relax Your Wrinkles Away, Part 2: A Return to the Basics

Although stronger support for the anti-aging benefits of Botox alternatives may emerge over time, one question is hard to dismiss. Is blocking the release of the brain chemicals that drive essential bodily functions a smart approach to a cosmetic problem?

Why New and Improved Isn’t Always Better

Luckily, you don’t need to put your long-term health at risk to look a little younger. Or spend hundreds of dollars. In fact, many critics of topical wrinkle-relaxing creams suspect they have no significant effect on facial muscles, and that any “measurable improvements” observed in clinical trials are actually produced by one of the world’s oldest and simplest anti-wrinkle ingredients: water.

Whether or not synthetic peptides actually prevent muscle contractions strikes me as beside the point. What matters is that you can achieve very similar results without them. Any decent moisturizer will help plump up lines and furrows simply by binding water to thirsty skin cells.

Valid Science + Living Proof=The Highest Standard of Skincare

My own research and professional experience have taught me that one of the simplest and best ways to soften and smooth wrinkles is to hydrate and nourish your skin with plant-derived moisturizers and emollients such as aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, and shea butter.

A growing number of published scientific studies have verified the superior moisture-binding capacity, absorbability, and healing properties of these and other botanical extracts that traditional cultures have relied on for thousands of years. As I see it, when a natural treatment with that kind of track record gains scientific support, it’s won the kind of endorsement you can trust.

And remember: An ounce of wrinkle prevention is worth a ton of expensive bioengineered neuro-peptides. So use sun protection every day, and don’t smoke. Ultimately, the power to delay the effects of aging is your hands. Stay tuned for more tips about intelligent lifestyle choices that can help keep lines and wrinkles under control.

Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Are You Getting Burned by Your Sunscreen?

Sunscreen in Lavie Organique Creams

Suncreen in Lavie Organique Creams

The latest research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that 4 out of 5 of the most popular brands of sunscreen may pose hidden dangers to your health. The Washington-based consumer advocacy organization’s 2010 study cites evidence indicating that a common sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, may increase the risk of hormonal problems and cancer.

Other major issues noted by the EWG researchers are the proliferation of ultra-high SPF sunscreens that provide little UVA protection and the FDA’s long delay in setting new standards for measuring this insidiously deadly form of radiation. Once believed to be harmless, UVA rays are now known to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause greater DNA damage than UVB rays.

State-of-the-Art Damage Control for At-Risk Complexions

According to the EWG, the optimal shield against sun-related skin cancer and premature aging is a physical sun block made from organic minerals, such as zinc oxide. The FDA has rated zinc oxide as a full-spectrum UVA/UVB protectant for category 1 skin types. This category includes the bright white and the pale, freckled complexions of blue- or green-eyed blondes and redheads. Such individuals never tan and require the highest level of sun protection to avoid serious sunburns and long-term health risks.

The benefits of zinc oxide go beyond superior sun protection. This natural mineral’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties are powerful enough to not only reduce acne flares but also scientifically proven speed wound healing.  Yet zinc oxide ointments are so gentle on delicate skin that they’re doctor-recommended for soothing diaper rash, bedsores, and minor burns.

Reinforce Sun-Smart Habits with the First Truly Beautiful Solution to Skin Damage

No one should have to choose between the pasty old-fashioned zinc oxide ointments that only a lifeguard would wear in public and chemical sunscreens that can cause irritation, acne breakouts, and long-term health risks. And now you don’t have to. Today’s 100% natural options combine zinc oxide particles that are invisible to the naked eye with plant-derived moisturizers, organic nutrients, and freshly scented essential oils. These next-generation products offer the first real alternative to last-generation sunscreens—the health benefits of a physical barrier against ultraviolet radiation plus the added value of an elegant, nourishing skin cream you’ll actually want to use every day.

Image:FreeDigitalPhotos.net