LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts tagged "toner"

5 Reasons to Add Pink Grapefruit to Your Wintertime Health and Beauty Regime

As colder weather sets in, our natural urge to curl up on the sofa with a big dish of our favorite comfort food can often become overwhelming. One of the easiest and most delightful ways to fight off a case of the winter blahs is to add a healthy serving of pink grapefruit  (Citrus grandis) to your diet and your skincare regime.

Pink Grapefruit: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Get a jump on seasonal stresses this November with the perfect fruit.

Pink grapefruit is a delicious way to consume essential vitamins and minerals and to increase your intake of flavonoids, cartenoids, and other potent disease-fighting phytonutrients. To get these nutrients into your bloodstream without delay, you should eat pink grapefruit (and other fruits, too) at least two hours before or after a meal. While eating this wonderful fruit first thing in the morning is optimal, its healing powers aren’t confined to the breakfast table.

Both the fruit and the essential oil derived from the pink grapefruit’s peel offer a range of therapeutic benefits, including:

  1. A mood-lifting scent—The refreshing fragrance of pink grapefruit peel essential oil helps banish the seasonal blues.
  2. An immune system booster—The high vitamin C content of this nourishing citrus fruit strengthens resistance against colds and flu.
  3. Anti-aging and health benefits—Grapefruit’s antioxidant properties help repair free radical damage, detoxify cells, and improve cardiovascular health. In addition to its potassium soluble and fiber (pectin) content, the pink variety contains lycopene, a vitamin A precursor that according to a Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study may not only help protect artery walls from the damaging effects of cholesterol, but also reduce the risk of stomach, throat, and several other cancers.
  4. A safe, gentle skin toner and blemish fighter—A plant-derived antiseptic, pink grapefruit oil helps control the bacteria and excess oil that promote acne breakouts.
  5. Cellulite relief—In your diet and as a topical skincare treatment, pink grapefruit stimulates lymphatic drainage, reducing the orange peel look of congested tissues.

The Perfect November Pick-Me-Up—Any Way You Slice It

This month is the ideal time to start enjoying the multiple mental and physical benefits of pink grapefruit. As a health food, skincare ingredient, and aromatherapy treatment, it’s an all-natural prescription for a happier and healthier winter.

Add pink grapefruit essential oil to your facial care regime to control sebum without drying your skin.

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fact or Fiction? 4 Common Myths About Skin Care

Dry skin causes lines and wrinkles.

Dry Skin Does NOT Cause Wrinkles

Does Dry Skin Cause Wrinkles? Courtesy dreamstimefree.com

False: Sun exposure and other sources of free radical damage, as well as habitual facial expressions, are the primary causes of wrinkles and fine lines. However, dryness does accentuate their appearance. High-quality anti-aging skin creams and serums with ingredients such as jojoba, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, CoQ10, and rich supply of antioxidants not only improve the appearance of the skin by plumping up dehydrated skin cells, but actually help repair free radical damage. The best moisturizers also contain a natural sunscreens such as zinc oxide to help prevent wrinkles from developing.

Good old petroleum jelly is the best moisturizer of all.

False: Petroleum jelly, as well as its liquid form, mineral oil, forms a greasy film on the skin that not only clogs pores, but actually repels moisture. This cheap ubiquitous skin care ingredient contains a variety of potential irritants, as well as  impurities that have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Natural moisturizers, such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, actually penetrate beneath the surface and bind water to skin cells, providing deep, lasting hydration that promotes healthy cellular functioning, as well as a more youthful appearance.

People with oily, acne-prone skin should use alcohol-based cleansers and toners.

Lavie Organique Natural Cleanser

Lavie Organique Facial Cleanser

False: Alcohol can actually make acne worse! It contributes to breakouts by stripping the natural moisture from skin, causing irritation and inflammation. Choose cleansers and toners that address the underlying causes of acne. Natural exfoliators such as white willow bark, herbal antibacterials like rosemary, and ingredients such as white tea that promote hormonal balance to keep your skin clear and glowing.

All products with the word natural or organic are free of synthetic chemicals.

False: Many popular brands with an earth-friendly image contain all kinds of nasty substances, including synthetic colors and fragrances, alcohol, parabens, propylene glycol, and coal tar derivatives. Read the fine print on the back of the label, and if you’re not sure what the words mean, do some research on the manufacturer. The purest, safest products are made by companies with a true commitment to green living.

What Exercise Can Do for Your Skin

One of the best ways to multiply the benefits of your all-natural skin care regimen is to maintain a balanced exercise routine. A program that combines aerobic exercise with strength training and stretching promotes beautiful, youthful-looking skin in the following ways:

  • Increasing circulation Improved blood flow to skin cells ensures the delivery of oxygen and nutrients needed  for collagen renewal and flushes away environmental toxins and excess fluids. These actions improve skin elasticity and firmness, reduce puffiness, and give your complexion a healthy pink glow.
  • Reducing stress By decreasing your level of tension and anxiety, exercise helps your facial muscles to relax, softening crow’s and expression lines and slowing the development of new ones.
  • Restoring hormonal balance Exercise helps control acne by keeping the levels of androgens produced by our adrenal glands in check. High levels of these male hormones can over-stimulate the oil glands in our skin, resulting in clogged pores and breakouts.
  • Toning muscles Weight training, Pilates, and yoga  increase of the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue that support our skin, reducing the visibility of cellulite and creating a toned, taut appearance.

By optimizing the cellular functioning of the skin and its underlying tissues, exercise revitalizes our skin. The fresh radiant complexion that results is not only beautiful to look at, but also visible proof of our skin’s health. This inextricable link between the appearance of our skin and its physiological functioning is at the heart of my holistic approach to skin care.

To be truly effective, the ingredients in your skin care products must go beyond temporarily smoothing and hydrating the skin surface. Unless their active ingredients are also nourishing cells and stimulating their renewal, the most expensive cleansers, toners, and creams in the world will fail to make any significant improvement in the appearance of your skin.

In many respects, the rejuvenating effects of skin care ingredients such as the plant-derived caffeine, hops, horsetail, and other natural circulatory stimulants, AHAs, anti-inflammatories, relaxants, and antioxidants in my LaVie Organique™ product line mirror those of exercise. Both play an essential role in keeping our skin fit, toned, and beautiful for a lifetime.

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…

FAQs: The When, Where, Why, and How of Exfoliation

The When, Where, Why, and How of Exfoliation : FAQ

How often should skin be exfoliated?

Lavie Organique Exfoliating Mask

Use Lavie's Exfoliating Mask for your Weekly Routine.

That depends on a variety of different factors, including your skin type, your age, and the method of exfoliation method you’re using. Your best bet is to consult an experienced skincare professional. As a general rule, however, you can safely exfoliate with an at-home mask once a week. For salon peels and microdermabrasion, I typically recommend a once-a-week program of 5-6 treatments.

When should exfoliation be avoided?

If you have sunburn or an open wound, you should wait to exfoliate until healing is complete. Individuals with serious skin diseases should check with their dermatologist before beginning an exfoliation program.

At what age should a regular exfoliation program become part of my skincare regimen?

The rate of skin cell turnover is the major deciding factor. In very young, healthy skin, cell turnover is usually quite rapid. But by the time we reach the age of 30, the outer layer of our skin has begun to thicken from a buildup of dead skin cells, resulting in a dull, lifeless complexion. In some people, including smokers and individuals with a lot of sun damage, this process can start much earlier. Young people with acne can also benefit greatly from routine exfoliation.

What is the best time of year to have professional exfoliation treatments?

Autumn Skincare

Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

Fall is the optimal time to shed brown spots, rough scaly patches, fine lines, and other signs of aging, sun damage, and stress with a series of head-to-toe exfoliation treatments. Too much sun can irritate tender, freshly exfoliated skin, so you should wait till summer is over to begin an intensive program.

What kind of products should I use to protect my skin after at-home and salon exfoliation?

Proper aftercare is the key to reaping the full benefits of exfoliation. To keep fragile new skin moist, nourished, and free from irritation, you need powerful sun protection such as zinc oxide, and a daily cleanser,  toner, day cream, and nightly face cream  of the highest quality. Read the label of all your skincare products! Harsh synthetic chemicals, parabens, and other petroleum and mineral oil derivatives can seriously irritate your skin. Products made from certified organic and natural plant-derived ingredients ensure the right combination of potent antioxidants, rich moisture, and gentleness and safety you need for optimal results.

Which methods of at-home and salon exfoliation are the safest and most effective?

This question deserves a detailed answer. I’ll discuss various methods of exfoliation in my next post.

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!

Organic Skincare for Sensitive Skin Part 2: What’s in a Name?

When I advise clients with sensitive skin to avoid face creams and other beauty products with harsh chemical ingredients, they sometimes ask me to identify the major offenders. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. In fact, anyone who’s committed to healthy eating already has a head start. If you check the labels of food products for harmful additives, you can probably spot synthetic chemicals immediately. Names like FD&C Yellow #6, sodium benzoate, BHA, BHT, and diacetyl tend to raise alarm bells in people who care about their diet. Basically, if the ingredient name looks like it belongs in a chemistry book, it probably doesn’t belong inside your body.

This same logic applies to the ingredients we put on our skin. For instance, ingredient names with –ly endings—ethyl, benzyl, methyl, and so forth—automatically spell trouble for sensitive skin. These alcohol derivatives are found in many high-priced cleansers, toners, and moisturizers—yet they can seriously damage your skin. Alcohols not only cause dryness and irritation, but also interfere with vitamin A absorption. The resulting deficiency may contribute to the premature development of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Obviously there’s nothing beautiful about beauty products that can make you look old before your time! You won’t find any alcohols in Lavinia Borcau natural skin care products. In fact, any ingredient that isn’t 100% natural is specifically excluded from the Lavie Organique™ product line by my official Quality Standards. And as my clients will tell you, that’s a promise, you can trust!

Stay tuned—I’ll be naming more of the prime suspects in cases of red, irritated skin in Part 3.

Organic Skincare for Sensitive Skin—Part 1

Do you have sensitive skin? A great many of my clients—with all different skin types and a wide variety of symptoms—complain of this condition. The fact is, skin sensitivity is a popular, loosely defined term used to describe various forms of dermatitis. What all forms of dermatitis have in common is inflammation—our body’s natural defensive response to a disease or an injury or irritant.

The symptoms of dermatitis can range from mild redness and stinging or itching to painful hives and other severe rashes. The causes of this condition also vary. In some cases, the client may require medical treatment for a potentially serious skin disease such as eczema or psoriasis or specific skin allergies. In most cases, however, the client’s symptoms indicate dermatitis, a rash caused by exposure to harsh chemicals.

So what’s the best way to care for your sensitive skin? Gently and safely! Start by reading the label on every product that comes in contact with your skin. That includes detergents and fabric softeners, as well as shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, shower gels, and body lotions. If a product contains any alcohol, alcohol derivatives, or other synthetic chemicals, keep it away from your skin! I’ll be going into more detail about the most common and harmful of these irritants in later posts.

Above all, be especially vigilant about the ingredients in the products you put on your face. Many popular sun blocks, cleansers, toners, and moisturizers can cause rashes, breakouts, and other complexion problems.

I also recommend my clients choose products with certified organic and natural plant derived ingredients for their daily and weekly skin care regimen. With my LaVie Organique™ product line you’re assured that only the purest and safest of natural and organic herbal and botanical ingredients touch your skin. But playing it safe, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice effectiveness. Lavinia Borcau natural skincare products combine the gentleness of nature with the power of 21st century science to provide the dramatic results that many synthetic skin care products promise—without any of the painful aftereffects they so often deliver.

Toners and Serums Explained

You’ve probably heard of toners and serums (LaVie Organique offers both!), but what exactly do they do? Do you need one? Read on to find out:

Toner is the step in the skin care regimen following cleanser.  A good cleanser, such as LaVie Organique’s, will remove makeup and all buildup accumulated during your day.  Those of us with large or frequently blocked pores may find a toner particularly helpful, as it follows behind the cleanser, catching any missed particles or makeup residue and making sure the skin is absolutely clean. Toners are available with different properties; for example, a drying toner (astringent) is helpful for acne-prone skin.   LaVie Organique toner is suitable for all skin types but especially helps those with aging skin, because it includes hyaluronic acid, which holds in moisture. Regular users of toner observe smaller pores and a more even skin tone.

Toner is applied to the face and neck as a spray, using a cotton pad to gently swab the skin. Another popular and more precise method is to spray the cotton pad directly with toner and apply.

The next step is serum.  Serums penetrate deeper into the skin than moisturizers, delivering hydration and anti-aging benefits.  LaVie Organique serum is specifically designed to rejuvenate tired skin and combat the signs of aging.  Those with dry and/or aging skin will appreciate the added moisture that a serum provides.

Serum is applied after toner and underneath your usual day cream.  Dab several drops of serum onto the fingertips and apply to the face and neck in a circular motion.  Serum is the foundation of your daily skin protection; beneath moisturizer and makeup, it is actively protecting your skin from the drying effects of the sun and the summer heat.