VB: When I was 18 years old my mom asked me what I wanted to do, and I said that I wasn’t sure. I had many interests but my very Jewish practical Mother (insert rolling eyes) said “ you have such great hands, why you don’t you go study to be a massage therapist or an aesthetician”?
I wasn’t totally sure but then eventually I had agreed with her suggestion.
When I had decided on esthetic school she started to think that she might like to learn this profession as well.
We both ended up applying at the same time to the best Cosmetology school in Israel. When the dean saw my age on my application she said that I was way too young and asked to interview me personally.
After the interview she said she would give me a try for three weeks and then would make her decision if I could stay or not. After a week and a half my teacher reported to her that I was the best student in the class. She went on to say that she would not let any of the other students demonstrate on her except me.
I actually opened my first spa in Israel before I finished school. So basically it wasn’t necessarily my first career choice but I was just naturally very good at it.
FS: What did you do before you became an esthetician?
VB: Since I started at such an early age, the question is more what did I do after I became an esthetician. After I opened our very successful spa, I then needed to join the Israeli Army (which is a requirement) for two years.
After my release, I wanted to incorporate more depth into my practice. I started to study a variety of different holistic modalities: such as, Shiatsu, Cupping, and Moxa.
Then finally my two favorite areas of study; Aromatherapy and Herbalism (which is really a life long learning experience!)
However, there was one thing that I felt I needed to conquer, which was my love affair with acting. It was something that I felt I owed to myself. I applied to Lee Strasberg Acting School in NYC. I got accepted and dove into school for the next two years. It was an amazing experience for me to be on stage one moment, and then running back to my private practice and giving facials on very stressed out New Yorkers the next. I found that my holistic approach to my work was definitely appreciated by my clients who really needed a little bit more than just a regular facial.
FS: Have you always been a Holistic or Natural esthetician or was there a time when you used conventional products on yourself and your clients.
VB: Unfortunately 23 years ago I didn’t have the knowledge that I have today but I still had an intuitive knowledge. As I remember taking herbs to heal my colds and flus and had always been attracted to health and healing.
The skin care lines that I used back then were for professional use only and not sold on the retail market. Years later, after my own curiosity, I looked back at the ingredients. Surprisingly, they weren’t AS bad compared to conventional products that are used today here in the States. There were a lot more natural ingredients combined with chemicals, as opposed to what natural means today on the label, which doesn’t really mean much.
However, my main focus even then was working with essential oils, creating my formulas and adapting them to my client’s skin.
I do feel that I as grew personally and my knowledge expanded my work, obviously it was reflected in my product choices. So, really it was all a natural progression that made sense through time, age and experience.
FS: When a client comes to you with skin ailments, do you recommend a specific dietary and or specific supplement protocol as well as skin cares recommendations?
VB: I always give recommendations about diet, supplements and product because I know that it’s a package deal. With some people I am being much more extreme with the diet if their skin is in really bad condition.
People do not want to believe how much our diets are connected to their skin and their health, but I don’t let them get away with it. The clients that follow my nutritional, supplement and herbal suggestions; the difference is night and day. When a client comes to me for a facial treatment, I know exactly how good or bad she/he was with their nutrition just by looking at their skin.
FS: What are the most common skin issues that you see in your practice?
VB: The two main issues that I see the most: acne and dehydrated skin. I see them resolved with the changing of lifestyle, a spiritual practice (such as yoga and meditation), nutrition, and supplements and of course the right product for their skin condition. It’s all about rebalancing the mind, body and spirit. The skin is directly related to our digestive system, so again, it’s all a package deal. You can’t only do one thing and ignore the others if you really want to see good results.
FS: There are already many organic skin care lines out there, why did you launch your own?
VB: The short answer is that my private clients were begging me for YEARS to do it.
The long answer is that after my own health scare, I dove deeper into my herbalism study. Having my own personal experience and witnessing how powerful and healing herbs are, it was then that I was ready to think about creating my line.
My herbs were the missing link and once I figured that out, it happened very quickly.
I created a very interesting way to infuse my herbal formulas into my carefully selected plant oils, along with my aromatherapy formulas that I have been cultivating for 23 years. So, I believe the culmination of my study and experience has allowed me to offer something special and unique that I haven’t seen on the market to that extent. Not to mention that I have been asked several times from industry veterans, who is my ‘nose’. I was pretty stunned by this question, since it never even dawned on me that it’s an option to allow someone to create my scents.
It gives me a great sense of happiness to offer a product that is not causing any harm to our health, the environment, the animals, and the planet.
Lastly, I do believe that everything should be organic. That organic should be the ‘norm’ and not the other way around. So I am really pleased that there are already many organic skin care lines out there and I am excited to make my own contribution.
FS: What skin type is your product best suited for?
VB: There is something for everyone in my line: from ‘normal’ to ‘ problematic’ to “mature’. I believe that problematic skin doesn’t need much. The Herb-Infused Toner and the Anti-wrinkle eye treatment oil are suitable for all skin conditions. The two products that are incredibly beneficial for problematic skin are the Herb-Infused Toner and the Therapeutic Balancing Oil (to balance and to give nutrition back to the skin). The Anti-aging Face Treatment Oil is specifically formulated for mature and dehydrated skin. The Le Chocolat Citrus Foaming Face Scrub is basically the only product in my line that is best suited for ‘normal’ and ‘dry’ skin.
The Body oils and Perfumes are good for everybody, but will just be a matter of preference as far as the fragrances go. The Muscle Soothing Massage Oil I created is therapeutic, good for aches, pains and sore muscles - this product is suitable for everybody.
FS: Your toner contains organic grape alcohol and I know some stay away from alcohol in their skincare because they are worried it will dry out their skin. Why did you chose to include alcohol and what is it's benefit and purpose?
VB: I had never been a big fan of soap-based cleansers. My whole life I had used a Toner from Israel that contained alcohol. This is what I used to remove my make-up and in my practice on my own clients.
Years later when I started to make my own herbal extracts to take internally I did more research about alcohol. What I found was the organic alcohol is not only drinkable but its PH is, as close to our skin as possible, so it’s not that drying and also it’s a lot more skin friendly than denatured alcohol.
It made sense to me that if I could take this internally that I could definitely apply it externally. I am also infusing it with my combination of herbs and essential oils that bring balance and nutrition back to the skin.
FS: What is your favorite beauty product, not yours?
VB: My favorite product is The Soothing Gel by Dr. Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skin Food.
FS: What is a favorite beauty product of yours?
VB: This is a really hard one to answer since I am obsessed with my Herb-Infused Toner, Anti-aging oil, and Therapeutic Balancing oil and of course my Signature Scent perfume!
Obviously these are all very different from one another, BUT if you had to put me on a deserted island with one product only, I guess I would choose my Anti-aging oil and wash my face in the ocean and scrub my face with the sand :)
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