The story of Juvance Cosmetics began when I was a girl staying every summer in rural Haiti with my grandmother, aunts and cousins in Mirebalais. Beauty wasn’t something that could be bought at a store there. It was a secret passed down from generation to generation, using old recipes and natural ingredients. There they were, proud, wise, beautiful women and wanted to be just like them.
The young women in our family used to gather around my grandmother’s house and rub her fresh papaya cream on our faces. She would make it with ripe fruit right off the tree and it would make our skin firm and radiant. Grandmother also showed us how to use Aloe Vera (l’alua in Creole), to sooth and heal burns and sun damage. Sometimes, we would gather the ripe avocados and mash their flesh in huge bowls and rub the oily poultice all over our hair and our skin. We felt and looked funny as we drank ginseng tea and waited for avocado to soak and leave us soft, and protected. We would soak leaves she brought from the surrounding grove and leave them on our faces. Grandmother had a natural recipe for everything using fruits, herbs, vegetables and roots. My favorites were the ones we did just to look beautiful and feel great.
It was not until many years later when I became an aesthetician that I understood the science behind many of these heirloom beauty recipes. Through my studies and research, I found that papaya has an enzyme that dissolves dead skin while rejuvenating and lifting the live cells. Avocado has natural oils that protect and fortify the proteins in the hair and skin; Aloe Vera is a master skin repairer, and that ginseng has natural anti-aging properties. I can imagine my grandmother laughing at these new “discoveries,” about ingredients she had been using for decades and learned from her mother.
When I opened Juvance Spa almost ten years ago, I worked with many products and closely monitored my clients’ skin. Although I used the best products available, I found too many still had synthetic or chemical ingredients that produced mixed results. Inspired by my clients’ needs and my childhood in Haiti, I started Juvance Cosmetics using a completely natural approach. The line eschews chemicals and aggressive elements and embraces a light daily routine. My clients may not be able to gather near my grandmother’s papaya orchard, but they look glowing and fresh when they use Juvance Cosmetics.
The name, Juvance Cosmetics, is a reference to how one says,” The fountain of youth”, in French. For me, La Fontaine de Jouvence, is the clear spring fed river called Cap Palli. My cousins and I used to go there and rub the clay from the river over our bodies, dry in the sun and diving into the cold, pure water. That exhilarating, fresh and pure feeling is what I endeavor to capture in every Juvance Cosmetics product.