“I believe that the best results come from a truly personal connection.”
My approach to skincare, beauty, nutrition and wellness is based on an understanding of my clients’ histories, their unique stories. It’s my belief that the best, most enduring results come from this truly personal connection.
I get great joy from accompanying my clients on their paths of discovery, delving into their backgrounds in order to help them flourish inside and out. They often come to me seeking to eliminate acne, reduce brown spots or deter the aging process, but wind up also learning so much about dealing with their individual vulnerabilities and health issues.
Most spas don’t offer the expertise nor the intimacy I create. Theirs is a kind of generic soothing, with low light and music to lull you, followed by a standardized regimen. My approach is based on a much more in-depth consultation, in which I take the time necessary to get to know you and draw out your story. I am like a detective, piecing together the clues that are your symptoms and all the interrelated factors—diet, stress level, sleep habits—that affect your life. With your input, I can devise a customized plan that really addresses all your issues and concerns.
Everything I use is free of artificial ingredients and added parabens, yet my treatments are extremely active and results-oriented. With a mix of organic products, ancient herbal remedies, aromatherapy, advanced skincare technology and body/energy work, I practice my modern alchemy to restore balance, optimism, health and radiance.
Overlooking the Empire State building, the studio is a calm, quiet room designed to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. It features low-VOC paints, furniture created with wood from certified forests, antiques and recycled elements. I carry this practice of sustainability through daily operational choices, including purchasing recycled or organic products for office use, stocking organic and cruelty-free products, reducing waste by using glass instead of paper and 100% post-consumer recycled paper wherever possible.
Ingredients with Integrity
More than 80% of all beauty products available today are made with harmful ingredients that have health or environmental impacts, whether because they are synthetic, made from/or with petroleum, and/or are derived from harming animals. The simple truth is that many beauty products are advertised as natural or organic when their ingredients are far from it. Many companies produce what they call “natural” or “organic” products by adding a few herbal extracts to a synthetic soup of polymers (plastics), silicones, petroleum (and its derivatives), artificial fragrances and colors, and other potentially harmful substances. They then market the product by focusing on the few clean ingredients, while disregarding the rest, hoping the consumer will do the same. The public is becoming more aware of this unethical marketing strategy (known as “greenwashing”), but unfortunately the practice is still widespread.
At Fábula, I use only the finest skincare available and continuously seek out companies that share my beliefs. I believe in purity, not in putting pollutants on the skin, or in our water and soil. Finding cosmetics and personal care products free of suspect ingredients is notoriously difficult, but I evaluate every ingredient so you don’t have to. I focus on organics, minerals and plant-derived products, and all the products I carry are made with pure ingredients that have therapeutic value for your skin. The companies I partner with don’t use artificial fragrances, preservatives, talc, dyes, parabens, propylene glycol or sodium lauryl sulfate. Many of their products are vegan, vegetarian, organic, bio-dynamic, chirally correct and loaded with healthy skin-saving antioxidants and vitamins. Most of these raw ingredients are sourced from renewable resources, such as fruits and vegetables.
The Dirty List:
This is a brief summary of commonly used ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products that are best avoided and don’t belong on your skin. They are capable of causing skin damage with prolonged use. To learn more about harmful ingredients visit www.ewg.org.
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea
Used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth although ineffective against fungi. It is known to be relatively common cause of contact dermatitis. Two trade names for these chemicals are German 11 and German 115. German 115 releases formaldehyde, a potentially toxic chemical.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
A harsh caustic detergent common in shampoos and cleansers. Exposure to this causes skin irritation, dryness and other damage. This ingredient is used as a model skin irritant in the experiments where skin protectors are tested. A surfactant that has been found to increase absorption of certain chemicals. Simply put, SLS in your cleanser or shampoo could be increasing the rate of other chemicals in that product you are using , which include preservatives, fragrance and color additives.Even if contact time is short, for example, in a skin cleanser sodium lauryl sulfate should be avoided. * SLS is used in Concrete Floor Cleaners, Engine Degreasers, Car Wash Detergents, along with many hundreds of personal care items including toothpaste.
A mixture of refined liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. This is an inexpensive base and stabilizing ingredient used in many skin formulas. Mineral oil forms a film on the skin, blocking the pores and interfering with normal skin respiration. It not only dries the skin, it can be a contributing cause of blemishes because it is highly comedogenic.
Petroleum products such as Vaseline,etc., do not penetrate the skin, but sit on the surface blocking natural respiration, and absorption of other nutrients.
They serve no useful purpose and are best avoided. They are labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number, e.g. FD&C Red No.6 or D&C Green No.6. They are known to cause allergic reactions in most people.
Chemical fragrances have been known to create allergic reactions and photosensitivity in most people. There are 200 synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics, so there is no way to know which particular ones are present in your product, since the label will simply say “Fragrance”. Safety is an open question and it is just best to avoid using products with fragrance since they also provide no skin benefits.
Many skin care products contain solvent alcohol in the form of propyl, isopropyl (petroleum derivatives) they are extremely drying to the skin.
An oily excretion of sheep, lanolin is a common lubricating ingredient in skin formulas. Extracted from the wool, lanolin has been indicated as a cause of allergic skin reactions in sensitive people.
An animal product, collagen is added to cosmetics as a moisturizing agent. Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin and can therefore clog pores and causes allergic reactions.
A common skincare ingredient used to treat acne conditions. It is a proven free radical promoter that not only cause lipid peroxidation but also wipes out antioxidant activity. It only works temporarily until the inflammation it causes creates a rebound acne effect.
(Monoethanolamine aka MEA, Diethanolamine aka DEA,Triethanolamine aka TEA)
Common ph stabilizers; when exposed to oxygen/air form nitrosoamines, which are irritating and toxic. The amount of nitrosoamines formed during typical use of skin care products with ethanolamines is unclear.
(e.g. Methyl,Ethyl,Propyl and Butyl Paraben)
Used as common preservatives to inhibit microbial growth and extend shelf life of products. They are found in hundreds of everyday health and beauty products, from shampoos to deodorants,cosmetics and even skin creams. They may cause low level skin damage in the long term, particularly methylparaben, it degrades releasing methanol, a potentially toxic chemical. The Journal of Applied Toxicology published a study in 2004 that found parabens in breast tissue, indicating that these compounds are probably being absorbed through the skin and may have a link to breast cancer. Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, and high levels of estrogen have long been associated with increased risk of breast cancer. While the results of the 2004 study are not conclusive, it’s worth checking labels for paraben-free alternatives.
There are six commonly used forms (Methylparaben,Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and Benzylparaben) and it is estimated that they are used in at least 13,200 cosmetics products. According to the lead researcher of the recent study, Philippa Darbre, an oncology expert at the university of Reading, in Edinburgh, the chemical form of the parabens found in 18 of the 20 tumors tested indicated that they originated from something applied to the skin, the most likely candidates being deodorants,antiperspirants, creams, or body sprays.
(PG, Polyethylene Glycol(PEG), and Ethylene Glycol (EG)
These are all petroleum derivatives that act as solvents, surfactants, and wetting agents. They can easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. In fact, it penetrates so quicky, factory workers are warned by the EPA to avoid contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. PG serves as a humectant, this is the reason it’s in cosmetics and other personal care items. PG is a colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid found in anti-freeze, hydraulic fluids, de-icers, paints, floor wax, laundry detergents, tobacco, cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoos, pet food, and many more personal care items.
also used as a solvent for paints and plastics and to create harmless, artificial smoke for training and theatrical purposes.Listed on labels as: PROPYLENE GLYCOL; PROPLENE GLYCOL; PROPYLENE GLCYOL; PROYLENE GLYCOL; PROPTYLENE GLYCOL; 1,2-PROPANEDIOL
Phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity). They are used primarily to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC)Thankfully, Phthalates are being phased out of many products in the United States, Canada, and European Union over health concerns.The chemicals are used to make plastics soft –There are dozens of types of phthalates, which are oily, colorless liquids that have been used for about 50 years to make hard plastics softer and more flexible in such products as vinyl flooring and seat coverings, raincoats, shower curtains, garden hoses and even sex toys, as well as in hospital equipment, nail polish and “new car smell.” In the beauty industry it is commonly used in fragrances — and usually unreported on ingredient lists — that some studies have associated with a range of health problems, from asthma to reproductive and developmental problems.Because these chemicals mimic hormones, they may cause effects at very low levels, just as hormones act naturally as chemical messengers to cause changes in the body at low concentrations.
Phthalates are used in a large variety of products, from enteric coatings of pharmaceutical pills and nutritional supplements to viscosity control agents, gelling agents, film formers, stabilizers, dispersants, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. End-applications include adhesives and glues, electronics, agricultural adjuvants, building materials, personal-care products, medical devices, detergents and surfactants, packaging, children’s toys, modeling clay, waxes, paints, printing inks and coatings, pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles.
Phthalates are easily released into the environment because there is no covalent bond between the phthalates and plastics in which they are mixed. As plastics age and break down, the release of phthalates accelerates. People are commonly exposed to phthalates, and most Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Phthalate exposure can be through direct use or by indirect means through leaching and general environmental contamination. Diet is believed to be the main source of di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) and other phthalates in the general population. Fatty foods such as milk, butter, and meats are a major source.