One of the many wonders of immersing in the world is getting to know animals in new ways. To see or bond with an animal – in real life – that you know may go extinct, or whose home is burning down, is truly heartbreaking. But it is also the best way to ignite change. We’re vegan and cruelty free, but we also seek out first hand experiences with animals to fuel our passion for change.
First-hand experiences are inspiring. They have the remarkable ability to light a fire in our hearts to use our power for good… to take action… to make a difference. They show us both our opportunity and our responsibility to blaze trails that will yield a brighter future for the diverse population of this great planet.
Consistent progress, one step at a time, adds up to big results.
At LAVOAGE, we go beyond banning animal testing to working on animal sanctuaries and sending loved ones to do the same. We believe that full immersion is the best way to develop a clear and lasting drive to protect endangered species from extinction.
LAVOAGE creates bioactive skincare from nature, without harm. Shop the Serum on BEB Organic or Amazon.
Refreshing Serum by LAVOAGE is 95% organic and 100% clean, made with wild botanicals, superfoods plants, and clean skincare ingredients from all around the world. The Replenishing Serum formula is vegan, cruelty free, and GOOD FACE Approved with top Rated EWG Ingredients.
Read on to learn the source and story of every one of our ingredients, or scroll to the bottom to see them all in one, short list.
Organic Aloe Barbedensis (Aloe Vera) Juice
Thriving in the arid climate of Zimbabwe, our organic aloe is a cooling, soothing superstar. Packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential aminos with a five-star reputation for protecting and moisturizing delicate skin.
Organic Arnica Montana (Arnica) Oil
Grown in rolling meadows of the Swiss Alps, we use organic Arnica because of its impressive history repairing skin damage, especially for swelling and pain management.
This silky soft texturizing ingredient promotes an ideal sensory experience, ensuring there is no tacky residue, dryness or tight feeling on the skin, and providing for the full absorption of accompanying superfood ingredients. Created in the USA.
Organic Thuja Occidentalis (Arborvitae) Tincture
Our organic Mediterranean Cypress is sourced from a family estate in Monterey, California. Cypress has proven antimicrobial benefits that help speed rash and wound healing while reducing the appearance of scars and blemishes on delicate skin.
Organic Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Tincture
On an Irish family farm founded in the 1800”s, we discovered high-potency, wild foraged elderberries, and selected them for their wealth of toxin-fighting anthocyanins. We use organic elderberry to speed healing of damaged skin.
COCONUT – EMOLIENT
Fair trade sourced from Indonesia, these non-GMO coconut derivatives provide an emollient boost to our organic ingredients by smoothing dry, damaged skin. From pure coconut bases, not palm oil.
Also known as vitamin B3, our niacinamide is sourced from green peas and helps to visibly improve a weakened skin surface. We use it to improve skin moisture content and speed up ceramide synthesis for long-lasting health benefits.
HUMECTANT – COCONUT
Organic Glycerin, Caprylyl Glycol
Our organic glycerin and its derivatives are made from pure coconut, free from impurities like soy or wheat. We use these humectants for their special ability to draw water from the air, delivering long-lasting moisture to delicate skin.
Our organic marigold is a time-tested healer nourished by the underground rivers of Guatemala. First discovered by the ancient Aztecs, marigold brings extra soothing, calming and conditioning benefits while building skin strength.
Our own skin produces hyaluronic acid to support hydration and wound healing. By supplementing the skin with vegan-sourced sodium hyaluronate, we can help the skin heal faster.
Organic Commiphora Myrrha Resin (Myrrh) Extract
Discovered by ancient pharaohs, Myrrh is said to have brought great wealth to the Arabian Peninsula because of its medicinal value. Today we source our organic Myrrh from Somalia, relying on its proven ability to treat spots from acne to damaged skin.
Grown right here in sunny California, we use organic citrus for its delectable smell and healing properties. As a superior antioxidant, it helps prevent damage from free radicals, inflammation and skin imbalance.
Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Ferment Filtrate
We source vegan probiotics from microbiota to support optimal skin balance. Inflammation, which makes acne, eczema and skin problems worse, is best managed with a healthy balance of skin flora from probiotic skincare.
Organic Rosa Canina (Rose) Oil
From stunningly beautiful South Africa, our organic and wild harvested rosehip oil is proven to protect against inflammation. With ample vitamins, phenolic compounds and healthy fatty acids, rosehip promotes skin healing and development.
Derived from organic Bulgarian rose petals, phenethyl alcohol smells amazing and has the added benefit of keeping our organic ingredients fresh and effective.
SUGARS – CORN
Butylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Propanediol
Starting with non-GMO corn from the great American Midwest, we use corn sugar derivatives instead of petroleum or animal based ingredients to ensure the stability and maximum effectiveness of our organic ingredients.
SUGARS – FRUIT
We use fruit sugar derivatives to stabilize our luxurious organic ingredient bases. These stabilizers prevent product separation to ensure rich, fluid textures that melt perfectly into your skin.
I became obsessed with seaweed while on a month-long trip through Africa. We spent a week in Zanzibar where I saw women transforming their lives, along with the local economy, by creating seaweed farms. Seaweed liberated them, altering the balance of power that had previously kept women locked away from exploring the world, or even from leaving their homes unless it was to visit the doctor or sick relatives.
I’ve since used seaweed in many of my formulas, like the Kelsen Pomade. One of my favorite brands that is totally dedicated to seaweed is Osea. They use vitamin and mineral enriched seaweed in almost all their products, and I just love the Black Algae Flash Mask for a deeply exfoliating and delightfully luxurious facial treatment at home.
The Furtuna Skin Transformation Set features an extremely powerful plant called Anchusa azurea, wild foraged from La Furtuna Estate in Sicily. You’ll find a treasure trove of over 80 medicinal plants growing on the farm. The plants are packed with wildly potent phytonutrients and processed through an exclusive soundbath extraction technology to deliver the highest-level of performance. As a potent active ingredient, the Anchusa turns back time on my face every time I use it (and that’s daily).
My favorite of the Anchusa-enriched products is the Porte Per La Vitalita Face & Eye Serum. One of the most rewarding things about using Furtuna Skin products is knowing these products are supporting a community of people who previously didn’t have enough work to thrive, and that they are preserving species of plants and animals that are nearly extinct.
There’s even an archeological dig happening on the land, in collaboration with Italian Universities, to further explore the history of the people who lived there thousands of years ago. They’ve found some of the oldest remains ever discovered in Sicily to help reconstruct the past and inform future generations through ethnobotanical and ethnomedical discoveries.
As a California Native, I’ve traveled frequently to various places in Mexico. I even stayed once (when I was 19) for an unplanned year teaching horseback riding at a Club Med. That was because I visited for a holiday and didn’t want to leave. The property managers said I could stay beyond the 2 week holiday for free if I could make myself useful to other guests. And so I did.
I taught horseback riding by day and took guests scuba diving by night. I fell in love with Mexico, especially the Baja Peninsula region. Riding out on horseback everyday, we became intimately familiar with the land and healing properties of plants. Jojoba, for example, is native to that region. We would pick and crush the seeds to make healing skin ointments for riders whose skin became abraded on our outings.
As my life progressed I continued to travel regularly to South America – especially from Belize out to the Yucatan Peninsula – for scuba diving trips and skincare ingredient reconnaissance. When it comes to being out in the sun and ocean for extended periods, the best sunscreen ever is EiR NYC Surf Mud, inspired by none other than the Mayan chocolate mask.
As my obsession with ingredients imbued with a rich ethnobotanical heritage evolved, I worked more and more closely with a medical aromatherapist named Rodney Schwan. The course of Rodney’s life led him to immerse in the Mayan heritage of the family he married into, and to create a Maya Healing Balm made of mango butter, payaya, hibiscus extracts, and calendula along with other healing ingredients grown on his Abuela’s land outside of Mérida, Yucatan. Rodney makes the Maya Healing Balm to order. The only way to get it is to email him and request it. Then you’ll have to wait a long time while he works his magic, and pay a small fortune. The Maya Healing Balm is worth every penny of the $585 price tag for a 6oz jar.
When I use the Maya Healing Balm and Mayan inspired Surf Mud, I’m sitting right back on the balcony of our villa in Tulum watching lightning slash feverishly across the Caribbean Sea.
I’ve always loved Hawaii. My father took me there for wellness retreats over the years growing up. It was the first place I tried yoga, experienced a macrobiotic diet, and learned to scuba dive. The thought of Hawaii fills me with happy memories. While my father eventually retired to Kauii, and passed on there, my aunt and uncle still live in Kona. My favorite thing about visiting them (other than their hugs and getting to spend time with them) is that they greet me with a lai of fragrant flowers built with plumeria, ylang ylang, jasmine, and tuberose – all fantastic skincare ingredients.
Given my father was also a skincare creator, we searched the islands for interesting ingredients in our time together. Hawaii is where I learned about the benefits of plants like kukui nut, taro, and macadamia for skincare inspired by Hawaiian heritage.
While probably best known as a classic Hawaiian chocolate topper, the oil of Macadamia nut is a fabulous skin healer, rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
The skincare product I most rely on to transport me directly to the Hawaiian islands and some of my happiest travel memories is a cleansing oil from May Lindstrom called The Pendulum Potion.
One of my most prized product creations is the LAVOAGE Refreshing Serum. It was born (or really re-born) on a 3 week trip through Northern India initiated by the wedding of one of my best friends. I had originally designed that particular skincare formula years earlier to help newborn skin transition from the amniotic fluid-filled environment of the womb to the airy environment we are born into.
It never occurred to me to use this formula regularly on myself until shortly after landing in New Delhi, the most polluted city in the world. My skin panicked and went into a blemish-ridden tailspin. While that behavior was quite out of character for my skin, the causes were clear: unfamiliar bacteria in the water supply, my own exhaustion and dehydration from being on the move, rapidly changing climates, air pollution, air conditioning, and so on.
As I thought about how to fix my skin problems, a long list of solution-oriented ingredients filled my head… yarrow… probiotics… elderberry…. cypress…. arnica… aloe… hyaluronate. Then it hit me. I had actually already made the product that would solve my “out-of-whack” skin problems. I just hadn’t realized it before.
My already existing BEB Organic Soothing Serum formula was exactly what my skin needed. It would balance my skin’s pH and microbiome, and protect from environmental pollution and contaminants, all while preventing and clearing away redness, irritation and blemishes. Perfection. The only problem was that I didn’t have it with me.
I did my best to recreate that formula on the road with the ingredients I could get my hands on – from the Aloe vera farms in Rajasthan where we stopped while driving from Jodhpur to Jaipur, to the probiotic supplements we sourced from a local pharmacy.
Right when we got home, I tweaked the skincare formula to make it grown-up specific, and relaunched it as the first product ever for a new brand called LAVOAGE. I use this product daily, and think of our journey across India every single time.
From a social perspective, Dubai is definitely the most astounding place I’ve ever been. The idea that a city of that scale and grandeur with such enormous political and economic significance could emerge from a tiny fishing village to such massive scale in under 20 years is nearly unfathomable. While most people visit Dubai to do business, go shopping, or to stand atop the Burj Khalifa (all of which I did) my biggest pleasure was learning about Myrrh at the souks and mosques.
Ancient pharaohs had the resin collected, transformed into a crystalized form, and exported it from Ethiopia and the surrounding areas of Eastern Africa, Arabia, and India to the rest of the world. Used as a holy plant in many religions, and with important uses in nearly every great civilization – from East to West – Myrrh was valued for medicine, incense, perfumes, and embalming.
The Middle East has been important in the Myrrh trade since the ages, since long before petrol had value. While Myrrh is no longer a primary source of income for the Middle East, that region still exerts great control over Myrrh passing from its native growth places like Ethiopia and Somalia to the rest of the world. The medicinal and spiritual powers of Myrrh are documented since before the common era (BC). From a scientific perspective, the phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Myrrh for medicinal uses are also well verified.
After visiting Dubai and immersing so fully in the ethnobotanical history of Myrrh, I started using it in many of my skincare formulas. My favorite Myrrh-rich formula is Soothing Serum from BEB Organic, a company I founded many years ago to make pregnancy and baby skincare. I especially love Soothing Serum in tandem with the other products in our Baby Bump Sensory Set. Like the ethnobotanical uses of Myrrh, the bond between mother and child is sacred.
Between a trip to our labs in Milan (working on new skincare formulas for Furtuna Skin), and a trip to Ireland to visit my mom (she’s an expat), I met a couple girlfriends in Morocco for an extended spa weekend. That was the first time I experienced a Hammam body treatment. When I tell you my mind was blown, I mean it. My body has never (and I do mean never-ever) felt as good as it did that day and for at least two weeks following.
After a thorough, multi-staged scrubbing process using a mitt, black soap, and rhassoul clay, the therapists leave you to steam while covered in argan oil blended with Moroccan rose petal and neroli essential oils. The Kahina Giving Beauty body products make me feel like I never left.
The best part about Kahina (in addition to their gorgeous products) is that they support women’s cooperatives in the Berber mountains. I met with several of the women from those co-ops on our trip, and learned a great deal about how they grind kernels, press oils, and prevent oxidation before they transform their oils into delightfully effective products. I also met with some of the more commercial farmers who supply argan oil in mass to the global conglomerate brands. My preference is definitely to support the multi-generational argan oil processing methods that help Berber communities thrive in Morocco’s Atlas mountains. Thank you Kahina!