Skin Cleansers and Facial Masks

November 30, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Skin cleansers may be an important adjunct to the regimen of those who use cosmetics, have sensitive or compromised skin, or utilize topical therapies. Cleansers emulsify dirt, oil and microorganisms on the skin surface so that they can be easily removed. During cleansing, there is a complex interaction between the cleanser, the moisture skin barrier, and skin pH. Cleansing, with water, soap or a liquid cleanser, will affect the moisture skin barrier. Soap will bring about the greatest changes to the barrier and increase skin pH. Liquid facial cleansers are gentler, effecting less disruption of the barrier, with minimal change to skin pH, and can provide people with a cleanser that is a combination of surfactant classes, moisturizers and acidic pH in order to minimize disruption to the skin barrier.

Skin cleansers are surface-active substances (i.e., emulsifiers/detergents/surfactants/soaps) that lower the surface tension on the skin and remove dirt, sebum, microorganisms and exfoliated corneum cells in an emulsified form. The ideal cleanser should do this without irritating, damaging or disrupting the skin and the moisture skin barrier. Water alone removes approximately 65% of oil and dirt from the skin, but is less effective at removing oils of cosmetic import and some environmental insults. Soaps are the oldest surfactants, and are chemically defined as the alkali salt of fatty acids with a pH of 9.5-10. Synthetic detergents vary in composition and surfactant types (i.e., anionic, amphoteric, cationic, non-ionic, and silicone) and pH. In modern usage, the term “soap” generally refers to any cleansing agent regardless of chemistry.1

Skin cleansers consist of the following:
• Water
• Surfactants (to emulsify the debris)
• Moisturizers (to hydrate the skin and maintain the skin barrier)
• Binders (to stabilize the formulation)
• Lather enhancers (found in some products)
• Fillers (generally used to harden bar soaps and cleansers)
• Preservatives (to prevent the growth of microorganisms)
• Fragrance (generally used to mask the odour of surfactants)
• Dyes or pigments (found in some products)

Skin cleansing may disrupt or disturb the moisture skin barrier, affect the skin surface pH, and irritate the skin. The moisture skin barrier protects against transepidermal water loss, chemical insult and xenobiotic penetration while preserving water to moisturize and maintain the smoothness and flexibility of the skin. A compromised barrier has been correlated with psoriasis, ichthyoses, and atopic dermatitis.2 Moisturizers, both emollients and humectants, within cleansers can maintain skin hydration as well as maintaining and restoring barrier function.3 Emollients impair evaporation of skin moisture by forming a film on the skin surface to impede water loss. Humectants attract and bind water, drawing it up from the dermis into the epidermis. The acid mantle of the skin plays an integral role in skin barrier function as well as regulating bacterial flora.4 Studies have shown that skin barrier regeneration/repair proceeds more slowly at neutral pH (7.2) than at physiological pH 5.5.5 Cleansers may also cause irritant or allergic contact dermatitis and this effect is enhanced if the skin barrier is compromised.

Facial masks:

Facial masks are applied to the skin in a thick layer and are left on for 15-30 minutes, they are otherwise known as facials. It is said that these will produce skin tightening as well as deep cleaning of the hair follicles and pores. They may be used as a preventative treatment for acne. These products cleanse and moisturize the skin as well, they have a cleansing action through superficial peeling of the skin. They will leave the skin feeling moisturized, there is a general feeling of well being for some time after this is done, although it is not possible to fundamentally change the skin longterm with these products.

Some masks are applied and rinsed off with water, these are absorbent masks that are made of insoluble powders, clay, and mud, or gel masks that contain substances such as tragacanth. A mask that is peeled off will be vinyl or rubber based, and will harden, and form into a transparent sheet that will have to be removed. Facial masks that are used for acne will absorb oil from the skin, and some of them can be integrated with sulpha and benzoyl peroxide.

Excessive cleansing with a mask can certainly cause irritation and occasionally there may be a secondary infection. Once these masks are removed, moisturizer should be applied to the skin to minimize the superficial peeling that follows.

Conclusion

The choice of facial cleanser or facial mask is important for people with normal skin, as well as for those people with sensitive skin and skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, acne vulgaris. Liquid facial cleansers are the best choice for facial cleansing as they have an acidic pH, moisturizers and high rinsibility. Within the liquid cleanser category, the least irritating cleanser will contain non-ionic/silicone-based surfactants combined with moisturizers, as they will cause the least disruption to the moisture skin barrier and the normal skin flora.

Skin Cleansers, Facial Masks and Astringents

November 19, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Soaps, as we know them, were first used about 600 BC by the Phoenicians who combined goat fat, water, and potassium carbonate ash to form a solid soap. More recently, in 1878, Harley Procter developed a soap in collaboration with his cousin, James Gamble. They produced a soap by whipping air into a soap solution, this resulted in Ivory Soap, which is still used today.

Cleansing of the skin helps the skin to maintain a healthy, attractive looking, surface. It removes dust, perspiration, and some of the breakdown products of sebum. Makeup can also be removed. Foreign substances such as dirt will mix with the oil of the skin and become embedded. Water is inadequate to remove this. Soaps will be used to decrease the oil on the surface of the skin removing the dirt at the same time.

Soaps are essentially made of salts of fatty acids. The most commonly used fats come from animal and vegetable sources and include stearic acid, palmitic, oleic, as well as lauric. Soap particles will coat the fat droplets in which dirt is embedded and then will allow these to be removed by water.

Types Of Cleansers:

1. Bar soaps
2. Lipid free cleansers
3. Cleansing creams
4. Astringents and toners
5. Abrasive scrubs
6. Facial masks

Soaps can be irritating to the skin, the removal of the protective fat layer can lead to drying. A high pH of skin can also be irritating. Soaps can also combine with the calcium and magnesium found on the surface of the skin to form fatty acid salts which of themselves become irritating. The skin’s acidity may be affected. The acidity of the skin is important to inhibit bacterial and fungal infections.

1) Bar soaps:

Bar soaps are essentially salts of fatty acids, they are the most commonly used cleansers. They can be irritating, particularly to sensitive skin. A number of components can be added to soaps including the following:

* Moisturizers
* Fragrances & perfumes
* Preservatives
* Colouring agents
* Anti-bacterial compounds
Moisturizers:
Moisturizers will counteract the drying effect of soaps. The loss of the protective oil layer increases the chances of irritation. This can be counteracted by the use of moisturizing products such as glycerin, vegetable fats, or lanolin. The amount of moisturizer that is incorporated into soap is very small. Individuals who have a tendency to have dry skin should apply specific moisturizers after washing with soap rather than relying on the moisturizing component of soaps. Transparent soaps will have a high glycerin content and this tends to absorb water out of the skin, potentially causing more irritation.

Fragrances:
Fragrances are commonly used to conceal the odours of the raw ingredients of soaps. Some individuals will be sensitive and become allergic to these products. Anti-bacterial soaps will contain triclosan or triclocarban. A small residue will remain on the skin, which may inhibit bacteria. These can be useful in inhibiting unpleasant odours such as those found in areas where there are a significant number of apocrine sweat glands. These are found in the armpits and groin.

Mild soaps:
Mild soaps are designed to minimize irritations. They will not have colouring agents or perfumes. These do not tend to cause stinging of the skin or the eyes. Irritation or allergic reactions, while less likely to occur, may still be a problem for small children or for those who have very sensitive skin.

2) Lipid-free cleansers:

These are liquid cleansers that do not contain any fat. They will be applied to the skin and then wiped away or rinsed off with water. Many of these will contain glycerin, cetyl alcohol, sodium or sulphate, and sometimes propylene glycol. They will leave a very fine moisturizing film on the skin. These are particularly effective in removing cosmetics and are useful for individuals who have a tendency towards eczema. These may also be more helpful in older, drier skin.

3) Cleansing creams:

These creams can be used to both wash the skin and to moisturize it, they contain a mixture of mineral oil, petroleum, water, and some waxes. These are known also as cold creams, they are applied to the skin and washed off. They are useful for removing makeup and are usually made of heavy oils. These creams are helpful in removing sebum from the skin. They are gentler than other cleansers, and are recommended for dry skin, but are not that useful for those with oily skin or individuals with acne. Cleansing creams are best not used as moisturizers, as they are likely to cause irritation if left on for some time.

4) Astringents and toners:

These are perfumed or fragranced alcohol-based solutions designed to remove oil from the skin and will produce a tight feeling to the skin. Many multi-stat cleansing regimens will incorporate astringents that are used after a regular bar soap is used, they certainly have some benefit in removing alkaline soaps that tend to stick to the skin. Astringents are available for oily, normal, and dry skin. The high concentration of alcohol certainly removes sebum especially in those with oily skin for example, individuals with acne. They are the products used to control T zone oiliness.

5) Abrasive scrubbers:

These substances cause the rubbing off or exfoliation of the surface of the skin, they are available either as an abrasive sponge, or an abrasive scrub which has small granules within a cream base. These are used to remove skin scales, they work through mechanical means rather than through chemical action. They should be used infrequently, and cannot be tolerated on a daily basis, if used excessively they can cause damage of the stratum corneum, which is the surface of the epidermis producing redness and scaling.

6) Facial masks:

Facial masks are applied to the skin in a thick layer and are left on for 15-30 minutes, they are otherwise known as facials. It is said that these will produce skin tightening as well as deep cleaning of the hair follicles and pores. They may be used as a preventative treatment for acne. These products cleanse and moisturize the skin as well, they have a cleansing action through superficial peeling of the skin. They will leave the skin feeling moisturized, there is a general feeling of well being for some time after this is done, although it is not possible to fundamentally change the skin longterm with these products.

Some masks are applied and rinsed off with water, these are absorbent masks that are made of insoluble powders, clay, and mud, or gel masks that contain substances such as tragacanth. A mask that is peeled off will be vinyl or rubber based, and will harden, and form into a transparent sheet that will have to be removed. Facial masks that are used for acne will absorb oil from the skin, and some of them can be integrated with sulpha and benzoyl peroxide.

Excessive cleansing with a mask can certainly cause irritation and occasionally there may be a secondary infection. Once these masks are removed, moisturizer should be applied to the skin to minimize the superficial peeling that follows.

Natural Facial Masks for All Skin Types

November 9, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

You can actually make your own organic skin care products at home and get great results. So if you are into the more natural way of
maintaining your hair and skin, you should try some of these recipes and enjoy not only making them, but also using them.

Yogurt
If you want a great cleanser that moisturizes as well, you should opt for plain yogurt. You can add a little honey to the mixture and
spread it right onto your face. Avoid your eyes, just in case they are sensitive to the mixture. Leave it on your face for about ten minutes and then wash off with water. You will love the silky way your skin feels after using your yogurt cleanser. You can even use this several times a day. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator.

Eggs
Raw eggs are wonderful for fast face masks. Simply beat two eggs, a little water, and some honey into a bowl. Rub it onto your face
and let it dry for fifteen minutes. After it dries, wash it off well. Be sure to keep it away from your eyes and mouth. Raw eggs can contain bacteria and you don’t want to eat them. This is a great way to lightly exfoliate your skin as well.

As you can see, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get great facial products. Just look in your kitchen and see what you can make
with the ingredients you already have. You just might be shocked at how well these natural products work.

Facial Mask for All Skin Types

Ingredients:
almond-2 tsp
rose petals or powder-1tsp
fuller’s earth-4tsp
crushed nutmeg-1tsp
Mix all ingredients with rose water and keep them aside for 10 minutes.
Steam your face for about 5-10 minutes.Apply the above mixed face pack and leave it for about 20 minutes.
Do this twice a month to have a clear and beautiful skin.

Face Scrub

Just use a simple combination of Olive oil and Sugar. Cover you face and neck with olive oil. Then dapp your wet fingers onto the sugar and place over your face. Do the same all over your face. Then, begin massaging your face, importantly corner of nose,forhead. For 3 min. Then wash of with soap. Feel the difference.. Soft!!

Oatmeal Face Cleanser
Oatmeal is nourishing to the skin and is used in many parts of the world as a beauty aid.
3 tablespoons oatmeal
2 teaspoons witch hazel
And a few drops of water

You want to dampen the oatmeal first then add the witch hazel. Then add the water to make it moist. Apply to your face with an upward and outward circuler motion. Rinse with lots of warm water. This recipe is good for all kinds of skin. If you have dry skin add a little oil. You can also add a mashed bannana for more nourishment.

Lemon Face Mask
This lemon astringand exfoliant properties, making it a natural choice for oily skin

4 tablespoons clay
2 teaspoons lemon pulp
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons water
2 drops of jojoba oil (optional)

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and apply to face. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Then apply your
moisturizer and do not forget the sunscreen.  If you are in a hurry just use lemon juice and water in equal parts and then let dry. Wash off with cool water.

Natural Eye Care and Eye Washes

Your eyes reflect your physical as well as your emotional health. If you are tired and run down they look dull and red; if your liver is upset they have a yellow look to them.

When making preparations for the eyes always sterilize your utensils. Use fresh decoctions of herbs, not infusions when making eye baths. The herbs should ideally be simmered for about 20 minutes.

Two great herbs for eyes are Fennel and Chamomile. Fennel is an ancient remedy for strengthening the sight, and used as an eyewash for soreness, tiredness, infections of the eyes. Chamomile also makes a good antiseptic eyewash. When it is allergy season, take the time to make up these washes.

Natural Facial Masks & Skin Type Treatments

November 2, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Facial Masks are used to help hydrate, purify, exfoliate and promote a youthful complexion. Natural facial masks treat skin with nourishing vitamins and minerals. Skin Care experts recommend using a mask once a week, but even monthly use can be beneficial for your skin.

No matter your skin type, there is a facial mask suited for you. Facial masks can deep down clean your face, tighten your pores, or brighten and exfoliate your face. Masks are not a “one size fits all” product though. There are clay masks, fruit extract masks, yogurt masks, and gel masks, just to name a few. So, take some time to understand your skin type, before you invest in a facial product that won’t work for you.

DULL SKIN

If you’re looking for a boost of radiance, try an exfoliating mask, but be careful to make sure the grain is not too coarse or you could cause skin tissue damage. You could try a peel off mask, which are actually kind of fun – like peeling off glue – this will help exfoliate your skin by removing the dead layers of cells, but again, be careful not to pull too harshly and tear tissue. Many exfoliating masks use fruit extracts such as papaya or pumpkin to naturally exfoliate. These tend to have a slight acidic range to them and may sting your skin just a little when you apply them. The scents are always quite pleasing though. You should see noticeable results within a few applications.

DRY SKIN

People with dry skin use a mask for a very different reason than those with oily skin. You are not looking to reduce oil, but add moisture. Using a moisture mask will rejuvenate and plump your skin. Many masks for dry skin include at least a bit of “sink-in” effect. You leave the mask on your skin for up to 10 minute and then rub it in a bit more before wiping off the excess. You’ll notice immediately smoother, softer skin.

OILY / COMBINATION SKIN

Oily or Combination skin can be particularly challenging and may require the use of two ( yes two) different masks to address the different areas. If you have oily skin alone, you will do best with regular use of a clay mask. Clay is great for removing excess oil, deep cleaning your pores and preventing and clearing up blackheads. Natural clay is a great detoxifying treatment for your face without leaving your skin extra dry. Most clay masks work fine with sensitive skin. Combination skin users can apply the clay mask to the T-zone (where oil accumulates the most) and perhaps use a hydrating or normal cream mask on the rest of your face and neck.

NORMAL SKIN

If dryness or breakouts are of no real concern for you, you have many options when it comes to masks. You can use one that will give you radiance, one for deep cleaning or a gentle one for sensitive skin. Regardless of how “normal” your skin may be, you’ll see benefits from using a weekly mask.

MATURE SKIN

If you’re looking to firm up the skin on your face and neck, chances are good you have dry skin. You can either use a mask meant for dry skin or a mask specified “firming”. A firming mask will boost your skins moisture content which will reduce fine lines caused by your skins dehydration. This will give the appearance of a more youthful, firmer face. Massage onto your face and leave for about 10 minutes before you rinse off.