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Monday, June 29, 2009

Wrinkles and the Diet

Wrinkles and sags are caused by problems in the skin's dermal layer. This is where collagen, skin's support system, is found. Collagen is very sensitive to nutrition, so a diet full of phytonutrients (plant nutrients), for example vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids, is critical to maintain the fullness and firmness of youthful skin. If you haven't changed your eating habits over the years, you may notice the development of wrinkles and blemishes as you age. If you're following the same diet that you did twenty years ago, your skin will not look as it did then. This is because, as the result of a poor diet, over time the intesines become unable to effectively absorb nutrients. The lack of nutrient absorbtion is then reflected in the face as wrinkles, age spots, or sagging skin. Even the term "freckles," seemingly harmless spots, reflect toxins under the skin, visible by light filtering through the translucent epidermal layer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Soap and Your Skin- A Note From Lavinia

My grandmother used to tell me when I was a child, "You never use soap on your face." She never told me why, but today, we know that most soaps are alkaline. When you use soap, the skin loses the acid mantle (which we mentioned in the post on Skin). The cells shrivel up due to dehydration, and they don't line up nicely. When light hits the surface of a dried-up skin, you see wrinkles. Generally, dehydration is a big factor, secondary to soap use. That is, increasing water intake alone does not give dramatic relief for wrinkles. It is also necessary to stop water loss by restoring the waterproof layer. This holds water in the cells and stops new wrinkles from forming.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skin Pigmentation

What is a blemish, or freckle, or age spot?
Underneath the skin's first epidermal layer is the blood supply. When the body has large amounts of waste in the blood, it deposits the waste under the top layers of skin cells. These deposits are visible to the eye, and are in fact what we call "age spots," "freckles," or "blemishes."

Waste deposits under the skin can build up, leading over time to lumps in the skin or sagging. The body does this because the organs involved in waste removal are overworked and undernourished, leading to decreased effectiveness of waste removal by the intestine. Waste begins to accumulate in the blood, and eventually gets deposited in an organ. When that organ is the skin, we recognize it as an "age spot."

A main cause of waste in the blood is a challenged liver. The liver is affected by artificial sweeteners and preservatives, artificial flavors, pesticides and other toxic chemicals. If the liver is unable to deal with the burden of these toxins, they remain in the blood and are carried in the bloodstream to the skin. To prevent age spots, minimize the amount of artificial and chemical food ingredients that you ingest. One easy way to do this is to make the switch to organic produce. To combat numerous age spots, a "liver flush" is recommended.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Introduction to Skin

Your Skin.
It is one of the largest organs in your body, covering 12-20 square feet. Your skin reflects beauty and sensuality, and provides the sense of touch and pleasure. Your skin even shows emotions as you grow pale with fear of red with embarrassment. Your skin provides protection from the environment, and helps to regulate body temperature either by using the contraction of fine muscles in the deep layers of the skin to retain heat – we’ve all had “goose bumps” – or by using sweat to cool.

We can enjoy all these important functions of the skin as long as it is nourished well and maintained properly. Just like any other organ, the skin derives nourishment from food and may be damaged by toxins. Toxins result as the byproducts of normal biological activity, but they may also be ingested as chemicals. Your skin is a reflection of how efficiently nutrients are being supplied to the body and how efficiently waste is being removed. Your skin reflects your diet, and waste products that are retained in the body. Your skin not only conveys your physical health, but also your emotional, mental, and spiritual states. Because the skin exfoliates and replaces itself about every 27 days, a healthy skin can be obtained fairly quickly with care and attention. Local work. Professional skin care treatments include facials, organic peels, microdermabrasion combined with an effective in-home skin care regimen – a daily and weekly routine which includes masks, serums, creams, etc.

To begin to understand the method of obtaining beautiful skin, we need to understand more about the skin’s properties. We hear a lot in natural healing circles about how it is good to maintain an alkaline environment in the body. While this is true of the blood, the skin is naturally acidic on the surface. One way the body maintains its internal alkaline environment is by displacing acid to the skin. The acid forms a waterproof protective barrier for the skin.

In addition, much of your skin has hair follicles nurtured by sebaceous glands, which secrete a fatty substance called “sebum.” It is the combination of oily sebum and acidic perspiration from sweat glands that make up the acid mantle. The acid mantle protects in several ways:

- It serves as a protective layer.
- It prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi on the skin.
- It protects from harsh elements such as sun and wind.
- It creates a healthy glow by retaining moisture in the skin.
- It waterproofs the skin and hair.

A key idea to understand is that your skin is naturally acidic. The acid mantle provides protection from the elements and retains moisture.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Antioxidants and What They Do For You

Many of the ingredients chosen for LaVie Organique products are known to have antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, which are damaging compounds that naturally occur in the body.  Free radicals can alter cells, tamper with DNA and can cause cell death.  Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles. Scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants such as polyphenols in the LaVie Organique Proprietary Blend (Organic Extracts of White Tea Leaf, Soap Bark and Sea Buckthorn Seed) can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  Since free radicals not only affect the skin but the whole body as well, in recent years you may have noticed a lot of buzz about antioxidants in the news and at your local grocer.  A summer diet is especially full of antioxidants, so don't feel guilty enjoying big helpings of these: cherries, strawberries, pineapple, kale, peppers, and fresh beans.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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. 

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Your Sun Protection Questions Answered

We at Lavinia Borcau Skin Care want to provide you with all you need to know to enjoy the summer sun safely!  Our facial treatments and exfoliating body treatments are a great way to reverse sun damage to your skin, but prevention is even better.  Read on to get your questions about sunscreen answered:


When should sunscreen be used?


Sunscreen should be applied to the face and neck every day, and on exposed areas of the body if you’re planning to be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes.

Sunscreens can be applied under makeup and are available in moisturizers; for example, LaVie Organique Day Cream, which provides SPF 15 and helps combat the signs of aging skin by combining zinc oxide, a natural sunblock, with tons of antioxidants, known to slow and even reverse skin damage.  Sunscreens used on a regular basis actually allow some repair of damaged skin. Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.


How much sunscreen do I need?


A dime-sized amount is recommended to cover the face and neck.  When covering the whole body with sunscreen before hitting the beach, use no less than an ounce (enough to fill up a shot glass).  Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your scalp along the part, and use a lip balm with SPF.  Sunscreen needs to be reapplied after swimming or perspiring heavily.  You can monitor yourself to make sure you’re using enough sunscreen by comparing how much you use to how many ounces are in the tube.  If you’ve applied sunscreen to your whole body three times and there’s still some left in your 3-ounce tube, you know you’re not applying enough.


Is using sunscreen all I need to protect my skin?


Sunscreen provides the majority of sun protection, but it is wise to use additional sun barriers such as wide-brimmed hats, beach cover-ups, or maybe even avoiding the sun altogether between the peak hours of 10am-4pm if you know you’re prone to sunburn.


Is tanning safe as long as I’m using sunscreen?


Ladies, we all appreciate the toned, bronzed look of a tan, but the truth is, there is no safe way to tan from sun exposure (and tanning beds are even worse!).  A suntan is your body’s self-preservation reaction to damaging sun exposure.  Over the years, tanning, and especially repeated sunburns, can lead to early aging of skin, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and even melanoma.  If it’s just not summer to you without a bronzed body, we recommend spray-on tans or self-tanning creams.  

 Thanks for reading our notes on sun protection! We hope you enjoy the fantastic summer weather safely and happily!


LaVie Organique Day Cream contains zinc oxide, an effective sunscreen, which provides SPF 15.  This level of sun protection is sufficient for most skin types, although those with very fair skin may wish to add another method of sun protection such as mineral makeup or a wide-brimmed hat.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lavie Organique featured on The Green Connoisseur!

The Green Connoisseur Blog, which discusses "high-end goods and services that are green and sustainable," graciously gave LaVie Organique a glowing review recently. View the full article below, and don't forget to also check out The Green Connoisseur Blog,, for more thoughts on eco-friendly living!

La Vie En Rose And More: Organic European Spa Products Come Home

Lavinia Borcau - her name invokes luxurious European spa treatments while snow falls on the Alps. As if that isn’t enough, Borcau’s background in natural skin care is combined with new scientific insights into increasing skin’s resilience and packaged in beautiful bottles. While you can get the full experience of her expertise by visiting the salon in Boston, you can save the trip and have some of her best products, sold asLaVie Organique, shipped directly to your door.

When using the skin creams and body lotions, imagine yourself with a life as interesting as Lavinia’s: studying economics in Romania, becoming a national rock climbing champion, and receiving a CIDESCO certificate in skin care from the Swiss institute. Now Borcau’s salon incorporates isometric exercises, a European exercise style called barre, vinyasa yoga, and of course, these wonderful organic products for a lifetime regime of skin health. Massages, pedicures, and manicures are all available on site.

LaVie Organique is serious about science as well as nature: the spa and product website contains an A to Z encyclopedia of cosmetics, herbs, minerals, and all the terminology, products, and ingredients used in the full Borcau skin regimen.

Balance is the key to good health, sustainable living, and excellent skin care. Borcau’s approach encourages that skin care be a practice, just like yoga or other healthful approaches to wellness. She has created a line of seven revitalizing formulas that work together to extend skin’s suppleness at every layer. The products are based both on Borcau’s Swiss scientific training and generational knowledge passed down from her grandmother. Recently Borcau has expanded her knowledge to include Asian tea therapies. The teas and herbs are made from certified organic plants grown in Siberia, Japan, and of course, Romania. They are certified by the Natural Product Association as cruelty-free, organic, and sustainable (in fact, they exceed the guidelines). The daily regimen includes cleanser, toner, eye cream, and day cream, while evening adds a protective serum.

The Face Mask sounds as delicious as it does rejuvenating: Borcau designed it to restore elasticity and lessen the appearance of fine wrinkles and other signs of aging. Made with organic apples and organic quince, Hungarian chili peppers, white willow bark, and ground walnuts, it exfoliates and firms the skin. Just imagine the penetrating heat, the cool willow and apple, with the spark of quince and pumice of walnut. Your skin will look good enough to eat.

Available at Lavinia Borcau Skin Care, 29 Harvard Street, Brookline (617-734-5523); online at