What Is Cleansing?
Skin cleansing is using a facial care product – whether commercially sold or DIY – to wash and cleanse the skin usually after the normal washing of the face using a normal bar soap. Cleansing removes makeup, dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and other types of pollutants from the skin of the face. Skin cleansing also helps to unclog pores and prevent skin conditions such as blackheads and pimples. A cleansing product can be part of a skin care regimen that includes soap, toner, and moisturizer.
Why is Cleansing Important?
Using a skin cleanser is a much better alternative to just washing with bar soap because:
- Bar soaps usually contain a high pH of around 9 to 10, compared to the skin’s surface that is on average around 4.7. This can change the pH balance in the skin that will favor the growth of some types of bacteria including acne.
- Bar soaps contain thickeners so they can be shaped as they are, and these thickeners can clog pores that can lead to acne.
- Bar soaps remove natural oils from the skin that results in water loss.
Other benefits and importance of skin cleansing include:
Removing skin build up. A common benefit of facial cleansing is the removal of dirt, oil, and other unwanted debris from the skin that builds up over time. Throughout the day the skin on your face is continually covered with bacteria, pollutants, viruses, dirt, and old or dead skin cells. Daily facial washing removes these impurities to give the skin a fresh look. Without washing, your skin would be covered with a thick layer of dirt and grime that makes it difficult for other products to penetrate the skin properly.
Boosting hydration. Regular facial cleansing together with a good moisturizer is also a crucial factor in helping the skin maintain a proper level of hydration. Dehydrated skin looks and feels rough, wrinkled, and aged. Cleansing helps manage pH levels of the skin that gives the skin enough water and product retention.
Maintaining clear skin. Tiny glands under the skin produce oil called sebum to protect the skin from the dangers of the environment around. These glands use hair follicles within the skin as a pathway, allowing the oil to reach the skins surface or outer layer to form a barrier that prevents the penetration of bacteria or other harmful agents. However, excessive dirt builds up on the surface can cause blockages of the follicle, trapping sebum, sweat, and dead skin cells. The lack of sebum on the surface of the skin allows bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing inflammation and inviting the growth of acne. Proper skin cleansing clears pores of debris to prevent dirt buildup, allowing the sebum oil to reach the skin surface unimpeded and decreasing the chances of a breakout.
How Often Should You Cleanse Your Face?
Or let’s put it another way aside from how often: What would happen if you stopped washing or cleansing your face? If you completely stopped washing or cleansing your face your pores will become clogged resulting in the development of serious acne. The skin could also experience a combination of severe redness, dryness, and irritation from insufficient hydration. Finally, your skin would appear dirty, oily, greasy, and will show great signs of aging. You would develop an incessant itchiness wherein you would be forced to constantly scratch your face. This could lead to breaks in the skin which serve as entry points for infection.
Wash according to your skin type. While there is no medical proof about the accepted concept of cleansing once in the morning and once in evening or just once at night, all dermatologists agree that too much washing can lead to irritation and a lack of moisture. The rule is to use common sense: Always wash your face after a workout to prevent breakouts, and wash excessively oily skin once in the morning and once at night. For very dry or sensitive skin, cleanse only once daily in the evening.
Different Cleansers You Can Buy
Buy cleanser according to skin type. No matter what kind of skin type you have, make sure the ingredients list on the cleanser does not contain fragrance because this can be irritating. Also, avoid cleansers with parabens (potentially toxic preservatives) or harsh soap that can dry up the skin. Aside from cleansers, if a skin cream, lotion, or foaming formula contains any of the above, you’re better off looking for something to buy. Of course, people with dry skin may prefer formulas with added moisturizers, like glycerin or shea butter, and if you have oily skin, you might want a foaming wash that leaves skin feeling super clean.
If you’re wearing heavy makeup all day, you need to take it off with an oil-based makeup remover. Makeup can’t be removed with just gentle skin cleansers, and makeup that stays all day leads to blocked pores and sits in the future. Whatever cleanser you’re using to remove that makeup, don’t simply buy one because of brand name or covered with marketing promises. Always look for that label, “gentle” or “pH-balanced” and “fragrance-free.” Also look for cleansers that are non-abrasive or that contain microbeads.
For dry skin, cream-based cleansers are heavily suggested, again with gentle ingredients and no fragrance. Moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and shea butter are okay. For normal skin or you’re not sure what skin type you have, a cleanser with gentle pH balance or one with cleansing “water” will do nicely. You want a cleanser that simply removes sebum, grease, dirt, and oil from the skin without being harsh or over-stripping.
For oily skin, foaming cleansers that are gentle and pH balanced will do well, even if you’re naturally oily. If you’re going to choose oil-based cleansers because you don’t want to lose your natural oil, see how your skin reacts to the cleanser you buy before going further. For skin that is prone to acne and spots, again, gentle and pH balanced cleansers will do. Unless your face is heavily pockmarked like the lunar surface, an acne-specific cleanser or other acne medications may leave your skin dry or irritated. You can talk to a dermatologist who can recommend a brand with chemically exfoliating cleansers. You can also look for cleansers with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid with an effectiveness that can rival leave-on treatments for acne.
8 Natural Face Cleansers You Should Try
Coconut Oil Face Cleanser
This one will not strip your skin of its natural oils; coconut oil can cut any shine that appears at the end of the day. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, when you apply coconut oil to your skin it will cut moisture lost through your pores, leaving the skin healthy and smooth. First try by gently massaging a squirt of coconut oil onto your face, about the size of a quarter, for about 30 seconds. Then apply a warm towel onto your face to open your pores. Wait about 15-30 seconds, and then remove the oil by patting with a washcloth.
Apple Cider Vinegar Face Cleanser
Apple cider vinegar will help restore your skin’s pH level balance to help soothe breakouts, prevent clogged pores, and keep skin from becoming too dry or too oily. Its pH of about 5.5 is very close to the ideal pH of human skin. Try it first as a natural skin toner. Mix 1-part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water, and shake well. Apply to a clean face with a cotton ball or pad. Once your skin dries, put on your usual daily moisturizer.
Honey and Lemon Face Cleanser
Honey and lemon combined are a natural moisturizer and antiseptic, a perfect soothing and cleaning combination. The citric acid from the lemon kills acne-causing bacteria, while the enzymes in the citrus help clear away dead skin. Honey is naturally antibacterial and full of antioxidants, which have been proven to prevent acne and slow down your skin’s aging process. Honey is also great if you’re looking for a smooth complexion boost. First try it by combining 2 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Warm it between your fingers and then smooth a thin layer onto your face and neck. Leave the mixture on until it is dry and then rinse with warm water.
Yogurt is a perfect natural face cleanser because it is rich in protein and lactic acid. Those compounds work together to help detoxify skin. Applying lactic acid regularly encourages your skin to get rid of the dead cells through exfoliation, and protein helps tighten pores, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and hydrating the skin. Gently massage a thin layer of plain yogurt into your clean face using your fingertips. This motion and action will help loosen any dirt or makeup. Leave yogurt on for a couple of minutes and then wash off with warm water and a towel.
Olive Oil Face Cleanser
This star ingredient can also give your face some skin food. Olive oil is a great natural moisturizer for dry skin, and its antioxidants and good fats may also help reduce free radicals, which can relieve irritated or sun burnt skin. First try it by creating a natural, effective night cream with 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup water and simply mixing everything together thoroughly. It will work to lighten dark spots, kill bacteria, and make your skin smooth and clear.
Other Fruity or Nutty Cleansers
Is your face prone to breakouts like acne or blackheads? Mix a face cleanser made from oils with a high percentage of linoleic acid that helps reduce blemishes by protecting your skin’s surface. You can also try hemp, safflower, or rosehip oils. Safflower and grapeseed oil can help regulate your natural oil production. If you’re suffering from dry skin, you can try macadamia, almond, wheat germ, or avocado oils that are rich in fatty acids and polyphenols. They are very nourishing and help fight aging. Just apply enough oil to cover your face with your fingertips using a circular motion, and hold a warm washcloth over your oil-covered face for a few minutes to open the pores. Then gently wash away using warm water.
Chickpea Powder and Turmeric
Gram flour or chickpea powder has been extensively used as a facial cleanser in the past. It contains natural skin lightening properties. It helps lighten tan and dark patches. It controls excess oil, leaves the skin fresh, softens it, and also fights pimples. Simply take 2 tablespoons of chickpea powder, and then add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, and milk. Use a clean spoon and mix all the ingredients well to form a thin or thick paste depending upon your preference. The consistency of the mixture should not be very thick or runny as it might slip off your skin after application. Once you create a smooth face mask-like consistency, apply it all over your face with a flat face pack brush or clean hands. Leave it for 10 to 20 seconds and then work it into your skin like you would do with ordinary soap or a cleanser. This recipe is good for oily to a combination of skin types.
Oatmeal is a gentle exfoliant. It works by drawing out all the skin impurities and helps in cleansing the pores. It also works as a mild astringent that deeply cleanses the skin without damaging it. It is perfect even for the most sensitive skin. Oatmeal contains a good polymer chain which is made up of oats. It heals the skin quickly. It works as an anti-inflammatory agent and stimulates collagen production in the skin. Simply make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of milk – you can also use buttermilk or regular milk – 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, and a few drops of honey. Add a little water and mix the ingredients into a fine paste. Apply the paste all over your face and neck. Gently create circular motions to make the mixture work as a cleanser and scrub.
What is Laser Treatment?
Laser skin treatment or laser skin resurfacing as it is also called removes skin layer by layer with precision. The new skin cells that form during the healing process gives the skin a tighter, younger looking surface. The procedure can be done alone or with other cosmetic surgeries on the face.
Laser skin treatment or resurfacing is done by a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. It’s an outpatient procedure, meaning that you won’t have to stay overnight.
So in actuality, laser skin treatments or resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes an intense light beam to treat your skin. It’s used to help treat wrinkles, acne scars, age spots, face blemishes, stretch marks, scars, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation.
All lasers fall into two categories: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are invasive, like plastic surgery, and remove the top layer of your skin. Your skin surface will appear red after as it repairs itself. Non-ablative lasers are less invasive, using heat to stimulate cells to thicken the underlying collagen resulting in improved skin tone and elasticity. Since non-ablative lasers do not remove a layer of your skin, there is minimal swelling, redness, and recovery time.
Fractional lasers are used in a variety of laser skin resurfacing treatments. The notable difference between fractional laser treatments and other laser skin treatments and resurfacing is that fractional lasers target very small and specific areas. By doing so, they do not damage surrounding areas. As a result, fractional laser treatments tend to require less recovery.
A common misconception is that laser resurfacing is only safe for light skin types or those with fairer or Caucasian-like complexions. While it is true that certain lasers pose a higher risk for cell damage or discoloration in darker skin, there are safe and effective resurfacing options. For lighter-toned African-American, Hispanic or Asian skin tones, Erbium lasers can sometimes be a good option, posing less risk of discoloration. Patients with darker brown or black skin may need to consider other skin resurfacing options, such as radio-frequency treatments or microneedling.
Again, the best way to ensure a safe and effective treatment for your skin type is to consult with a provider who has extensive training and knowledge in laser treatment and resurfacing procedures and experience working with darker skinned patients.
What Do Laser Treatments Do to the Skin?
The doctor may treat wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead individually, or treat your entire face. For small areas, the doctor will numb the areas to be treated with a local anesthetic and may also sedate you. You may require general anesthesia if your whole face is being treated. Treating just parts of the face takes about 30 to 45 minutes. A full-face treatment will take up to two hours.
Surgeons and doctors commonly compare the sensation felt during skin laser treatments to a rubber band snapping against the skin. However, what laser resurfacing feels like depends on the laser, the depth and area of treatment, and an individual’s tolerance for pain. In all honesty, deeper ablative – wherein some outer layers of skin are removed – laser treatments may require local anesthetic injections or intravenous sedation to keep a patient comfortable.
Some non-ablative laser treatments – the laser passes through the skin without removing layers – cause little or no pain at all and require only a topical numbing cream to offset discomfort. Following the procedure, some degree of tenderness in the treatment area can be expected. Your provider will recommend safe ways to control discomfort after laser resurfacing when necessary.
What Types of Laser Treatments are Available?
Aside from the skin laser treatments mentioned above, the reason there are so many different laser options is that no one laser can treat all patients and all skin concerns. Here are the more common laser treatments available:
- CO2 Lasers are generally ablative lasers used to treat scars, warts, wrinkles and other deeper skin flaws.
- Erbium Lasers can be ablative or non-ablative. They promote collagen remodeling, making them popular options for treating fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and age spots.
- Pulsed-Dye Lasers are typically non-ablative lasers that heat the skin and absorb pigments to reduce redness, hyper pigmentation, broken capillaries, and rosacea.
- Fractional Lasers (already mentioned briefly above) breaks up the laser energy into thousands of tiny beams to treat only a fraction of the skin in the area and this reduces downtime. Fractional lasers can be ablative or non-ablative and are used to treat many age-related blemishes.
- IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments are not lasers but are often used to treat similar concerns as lasers, such as sun damage, acne, rosacea, and hyper pigmentation.
Rather than get caught up in brand names and laser wavelengths, focus on what your individual goals are and what you really want or need. What skin problems do you want to address, and what results do you want or need? The good news is that you don’t have to determine this on your own because a board certified and licensed cosmetic surgeon or qualified skin care professional trained in laser treatment or resurfacing will be able to recommend the best treatment for you based on your skin type.
And since we are on the topic of a professional skin care professional, remember that in the hands of a highly trained and knowledgeable professional, skin laser treatment and resurfacing is a safe way to dramatically improve your skin’s appearance. In the hands of a poorly trained individual, lasers can be ineffective or even dangerous. Thus, choose a laser resurfacing provider based on an individual’s experience, training, and qualification. Don’t make your pick based solely on who offers the best deal or has a brand name laser platform. At this point, we do caution you against those advertisements from Chinese and other Asian so-called “medical tourism” areas that offer cheap skin laser treatments. Cheap often means sub-standard and mostly “made in China” treatments that will only harm your skin, or even give you worse.
Choose a skin laser treatment and resurfacing provider based on experience, training, and qualification. Don’t simply look for the best deal or the newest laser platform. Your best bet is to research and choose a cosmetic surgeon board certified and licensed by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Every ABCS certified surgeon has undergone a rigorous training fellowship that includes non-surgical treatments such as laser skin resurfacing. Getting a licensed professional from the ABCS is your assurance of safety.
Do take note that while in some cases a single laser treatment will take care of a patient’s concerns, most non-ablative lasers call for a series of treatments to produce the most satisfying results. This is a trade-off that comes with a no-downtime treatment, but once the treatment series is complete, results are long-lasting.
How to Prepare for a Laser Treatment
You always start by consulting a plastic surgeon or dermatologist to find out if you can be a candidate for the skin laser treatment. Tell your doctor if you get cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth. Laser skin resurfacing can trigger breakouts in people who are at risk.
If you decide to go ahead with laser skin treatment or resurfacing, your doctor will ask you not to take any medications or supplements, including aspirin, ibuprofen, or vitamin E, that can affect clotting for 10 days before surgery. If you smoke, you should stop for two weeks before and after the procedure. Smoking can prolong healing. In actuality, smoking isn’t even good for your skin so your smoking habit will render your skin treatment null and void. Now is a good time to stop smoking.
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic medication beforehand to prevent bacterial infections and also an antiviral medication if you are prone to cold sores or fever blisters. Always be upfront and honest with your provider about your medical history and any medications or supplements you are taking. For instance, aside from cold sores and fever blisters, acne medications that contain isotretinoin such as Accutane can lead to poor healing or scarring from laser resurfacing, while common over-the-counter products like aspirin can increase the risk of post-procedure bleeding. Other medicines can also lead to poor healing or scarring after laser treatments. Diabetes and other chronic conditions can also impact safety and results with laser resurfacing.
Laser Treatment Aftercare
You may feel itching or stinging for 12 to 72 hours after the procedure. Five to seven days after the skin laser treatment or resurfacing, your skin will become dry and peel. Depending on the problem that was treated, healing typically takes 10 to 21 days. Once the skin heals, you can wear makeup that is oil-free to minimize redness. This redness usually fades in two to three months.
You will also probably notice that your skin is lighter for a while after surgery. It is particularly important that you use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that screens ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays to protect your skin during the time of healing. When selecting a sunscreen, look for one specially formulated for use on the face with a 7% or higher zinc oxide content and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 in the morning a.m. and 2 in the afternoon when the sun is at its zenith and the hottest, and wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat.
It is also important to keep your new skin well moisturized. If you use Retin A or glycolic acid products, you should be able to start using them again after about six weeks or when the doctor says you can.
Because the aftercare is just as important as the laser treatment itself, it is advisable to have the skin laser resurfacing during the autumn months. Since laser-treated skin is hypersensitive to sun exposure for up to a year following some procedures, many cosmetic surgeons recommend undergoing laser resurfacing during the autumn months so that the healing process falls during the autumn and winter months. Of course, we all know that daytime hours during these seasons are shorter and you are spending most of your time indoors.
But again, regardless of what time of year you have your laser procedure, wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily and reapply as needed. This not only helps to keep your results looking their best, it also provides protection against skin cancer and helps prevent additional premature aging.
However, depending on the treatment, you may need some downtime –
Although skin laser treatments are generally considered non-surgical, not all are downtime-free. Laser treatment and resurfacing recovery time varies depending on the type of laser used as well as an individual’s health and healing rate.
Non-ablative lasers often require no downtime at all, while ablative lasers can require a 2 to 3-week healing process, depending on depth, before the new skin has healed completely and final results are evident.
This does not mean you have to stay at home for a month, but simply that it means that your skin will be raw, red and will scab over as it heals. You may not feel comfortable in certain social situations, and you will need to modify your activities to avoid situations where the infection is possible and thus, you will need to avoid strenuously and skin affecting activities such as swimming, gym workouts, and other heavy contact sports.
There are so many skin care products on the market that it can be hard to know which one to buy. These products range from the popular brands to organic face creams and facial cleansers with multi-vitamins. But you need to realize that it has been proven repeatedly that most (if not all) commercial skin care products are made from chemicals while natural skin care products contain, well, mostly natural ingredients.
Many Commercial Skin Care Products Have Allergens
Many popular skin care products contain allergens that can cause problems for those who have sensitive skin or non-Caucasian skin. Alcohol based products, parabens, fragrances, and other non-natural ingredients are known to cause skin problems and allergic reactions. Furthermore, these substances get inside the body through the skin and some of them are medically proven to be harmful to a person’s long-term health.
Choose Natural Products
It is usually best to choose all-natural skin care products instead of commercial ones. Even so, some natural products are better than others. It is still important to read the ingredient list on the product label carefully. Note that the ingredients are listed according to quantity, and so, an ingredient near the top of the list will be found in abundance while an ingredient listed near the bottom will be just a fraction in the product in question. A person who needs facial wipes, cream or a moisturizer for sensitive skin will want to choose products that have as few ingredients as possible. Even so, it is a wise idea to try the product out on a small, not highly visible patch of skin before using it on the face.
Finding the Best Natural Product for Your Skin Type
Those who are looking for high-quality natural skin care products should also take the time to read the product reviews first. There are both professional reviews and customer reviews online, but customer reviews are usually the best source of unbiased information about any type of product. Most good products do not even get 100% positive reviews but they should have a high overall review rating. Natural skin care products are usually better than their commercially made counterparts. All natural ingredients do not harm the body or cause negative reactions such as allergies or overly dry skin. If you are still in doubt about buying all natural skincare products, you can also make your own skincare products using natural ingredients that you yourself can mix. You could say this will be your DIY beauty product project.
And the Best Reason of All Is the Cost
The cost of commercial products is often high because the manufacturing costs and creation of the ingredients already carry a high cost because of the synthetic materials and chemicals used. Naturally, the popular brand puts in a huge amount of time and effort that they deserve to be rewarded for. Plus of course, they will have many business overheads and expenses to pay such as marketing. If you choose to make your own products you don’t have to pay for all these business expenses. All you need to pay for are the ingredients you use and something to package the product in for your use unless you make your products every time you apply them. Making your own products is therefore much more cost effective. A high-quality popular face cream brand that retails for $30 or $40 can easily be made for just $5-$10. Most branded skin care products typically contain 60-70% water so this is one of the reasons they can be inexpensive to make.
The only ingredients you need are:
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp sour cream (not fat-free)
First, beat the egg white in a glass bowl until it is fluffy. Then mix the sour cream with the grapefruit and lemon juice together. Add the mixture to the egg white then apply it to a clean face. Leave the concoction for 15 minutes and then rinse off and dry your face. This natural facial mixture works because lemon and grapefruit are rich in citric acid (AHA) that a natural exfoliates and also contains powerful antioxidants. They both promote a smoother, brighter looking skin. This mask is also ideal for oily skin.
The only ingredients you need are:
- 1 pc. organic tomato
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp honey
First, cut up and then squeeze the tomato in a glass bowl and then mix in the brown sugar and honey. Gently massage the mixture on your face and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse and dry your face. This natural facial mixture works because the lycopene in tomato is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, while brown sugar is great for exfoliating.
The only ingredients you need are:
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp powder milk
- 1 Tbsp freshly brewed chamomile tea
- ¼ tsp organic honey
First, mix the ingredients in a glass bowl to make a soft paste. Gently massage the paste onto wet skin. Leave it on for 2 to 3 minutes and then rinse and dry your face. This natural facial mixture works because the combination of milk with lactic acid for exfoliating with chamomile for soothing, and the cinnamon that stimulates the skin.
DIY All-Natural Clarifying and Toning Foaming Face Wash
You will need:
- 1 cup filtered or previously boiled water.
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap, an all-natural, extremely concentrated soap made from 100% plant oils.
- 5 teaspoons jojoba oil or another facial oil of choice.
- 2 tablespoons raw honey, a wonderful antibacterial that helps to gently eliminate any facial bacteria responsible for breakouts, and also helps calm the skin. This gives the wash its honey color.
- 1 teaspoon tea tree oil, another great, all-natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal that will not only keep acne-causing bacteria in check but also help preserve the wash.
- 15 drops lavender essential oil, great for all skin types as it helps calm inflammation and eliminates bacteria.
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil, another great, all-natural antibacterial.
This combination of ingredients works well for most skin types, but the combination can be adjusted depending on your skin type and color. For example, if you have drier skin, you may need less Castile and more water or more oil. Everybody is different and DIYs can sometimes be a game of trial and error. Luckily, once you have a base such as this one, you can easily add ingredients if necessary for your skin type.
First, add the ingredients in the order listed; take note that if you add the soap before the water, it will become a sudsy explosion. Stir the mixture gently, mixing everything together. The castile soap and honey will cause the mixture to look cloudy. Put the mixture into your foaming soap dispenser and your face wash is complete and ready to use. 1 or 2 pumps is all you need as the castile soap is very concentrated. Use once or twice daily, probably either in the morning or before you go to bed, or both. Discard the contents after a month or if you notice any unfavorable changes. The mixture will separate, so give it a little shake before each use.
Better Than Botox Facial Scrub
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon baking soda.
- ½ tablespoon raw Manuka honey; this type of honey has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties for the skin.
- 1 drop of pure lavender essential oil.
- 1 drop pure frankincense essential oil.
Combine the baking soda and honey together until it looks like a paste. Add one drop each of lavender and frankincense essential oils. Then, place a warm washcloth over your face and hold on the skin for a minute or so to open up your pores. Now, gently rub your face with the facial scrub using small circular motions, making sure to be gentle and not rub in the scrub vigorously on your skin. Keep massaging skin with scrub for 3-5 minutes to fully remove dead skin from the face and to let the essential oils work their magic. Rinse off with warm water. Your face may be red for a bit but this will soon wear off. This is the skin’s natural reaction to the ingredients. Use this scrub no more than once or twice a week. This scrub is high in alkaline to the skin, so to even out your pH balance it is a good idea to splash your face with rose water afterward. This will naturally balance out your skin. As an additional Botox hint, glowing skin originates from inside the body so in addition to this scrub for healthy, firm skin, add some high-quality collagen to your diet. Collagen protein is too large to be absorbed by the skin so those anti-aging lotions and potions are selling you false advertising. To truly get the benefits of collagen you must take it internally.
Nourishing Homemade Body Wash
While this recipe is extremely gentle and luxurious, it must be used very quickly due to the coconut milk. This is a fun DIY to make and freeze, and pull out in small batches to use in the moment. You will only need these ingredients:
- 1/2 cup full-fat unsweetened canned coconut milk.
- 2/3 cup castile soap, preferably lavender or the baby mild.
- 3tsp vitamin E oil.
- 5 drops lavender essential oil.
- 2tsp vegetable glycerin
All you need to do is to combine all ingredients in a bottle. Shake and then use on a washcloth. This body wash has a very short lifespan since it lacks preservatives since it contains coconut milk, so it’s best to keep this body wash in the fridge and use it within a week. If you don’t think you’ll use this body wash quickly, reduce the recipe, or freeze the extra in an ice cube tray to defrost in small batches. The glycerin may be left out if you don’t have any on hand. As an alternative for glycerin, you can use a nourishing oil, like jojoba, almond, or olive oil.
DIY Coffee Body Scrub
You will only need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup coconut oil
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh coffee grounds
- 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 to 5 4 oz. jelly jars
In a medium size bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, coffee grounds, olive oil, and then mix very well. Add the scrub to your 4 oz. jelly jars for storage purposes. This mixture can make 4 to 5 4 oz. Jelly jars. The recipe can also be made smaller or larger depending on how much you need for a few days or up to a week. Do not use beyond a week due to the presence of coconut oil and the absence of preservatives.
Lavender and Oatmeal Tea Scrub
You will need:
- 2 cups Epsom salts
- 2 heaping tablespoons dried lavender
- 15-20 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup powdered milk
- Mixing bowl
First, mix the Epsom salts, dried lavender, and essential oils in a large bowl and then add in the powdered milk. Grid the oats in a food processor or blender to get a coarse powder before adding it to the bowl as well. Mix well and you are ready to use your facial or body scrub.
Use the spoon to scoop the bath mix into a basin of warm (not hot) water. Use 2-3 heaping tablespoons of bath mix for each facial or body scrub. Simply soak a washcloth in the water with the mixture and gently wipe down your face and body, concentrating on the sensitive parts.
What Are Facial Lotions?
First up, a little lesson in the skin before delving into facial lotions.
There are three layers of the skin: the epidermis on the outside, the dermis in the middle, and the hypodermis underneath. Blood vessels deliver moisture to the dermis, which then travels up through the epidermis and evaporates. This is called transepidermal water loss (TEWL), so if there is too much TEWL going on, your skin will dry out.
Moisturizing or moisturizer is actually both a misconception and a misnomer. Water is the only thing that can hydrate skin. The job of these so-called moisturizing lotions is to trap that water in, deliver water to the epidermis, or do a little of both.
Because of this, never choose facial lotions or ointments with ingredients that are so thick and impenetrable that water cannot pass through them. That’s where emollients come in. They have a chemical structure with long chains of carbon atoms and work to block water from evaporating, but their technique is a little different. The epidermis is constructed like a brick wall, with dead skin cells playing the bricks and fatty lipids and proteins playing the mortar. When temperatures drop, those proteins break down. Emollients penetrate the epidermis and fill in the holes those proteins leave, keeping TEWL under control. Filling in those holes also makes your skin feel soft and smooth.
Humectants in facial lotions are the exact opposite. Hydroxyl groups in their chemical structure attract water, so as it soaks into the epidermis, the young, moist cells hanging out in the dermis travel towards the surface of the skin. Humectants also stimulate the production of ceramides, which are waxy molecules in our skin that also reduce TEWL.
How to Properly Use Face Lotions
Some moisturizers on their labels say you should only apply them to your body, face, hands, and even your feet. But skin is skin, right? Well, no because the skin on your hands is very different from the skin on your face. In short, the skin on your face isn’t the same as the skin on your body.
The skin on different parts of your body varies very much. Your face tends to have thinner skin, more oil glands, and more hair follicles than the skin on other parts of your body, like the thicker skin on your feet, for example. Even different areas on your face, like around your eyes, are thinner than others. This all just means your facial skin can be more sensitive, and therefore your face is more prone to breakouts like acne and other facial troubles.
Most companies would have you believe that body lotion should never be used on your face. But the key here is the ingredients that matter rather than the so-called “type” of lotion. In short, no matter what lotion you’re using, it’s fine so long as it doesn’t irritate your face. So again, pay attention to the ingredients. Many body lotions have strong fragrances and contain a wide variety of irritating ingredients like isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, cocoa butter, pigments, and dyes. These ingredients can cause problems for all types of skin, most especially the sensitive kind. A “bland” or gentle moisturizer typically doesn’t have added perfumes and minimizes irritants. If you deal with breakouts on a regular basis, body lotions might be too much and you should try something gentler instead such as a specialized facial lotion. The viscosity of your moisturizer also matters. There are creams, lotions, gels, and oils, all of which feel very different when you apply them.
When to Use Face Lotions
If you always go out on an almost daily basis for work or school, then you should be applying a face lotion at least once a day, though it would be better if you applied twice a day, once in the morning before going out and once before going to bed. The morning application acts as a sort of sunscreen especially if your work or schooling will take you outdoors in the course of the day.
Experts are right in preferring face lotions and moisturizers with an SPF rating between 30 and 50, and broad spectrum protection. The sun protection factor (SPF) in face lotions is what protects you from UVB rays. The number denotes how much longer it takes skin to sunburn than when unprotected: 30 times longer for SPF 30, 50 times longer for SPF 50, and so on. Don’t be fooled by the numbers, though. At their strongest, the difference in how much UVB radiation they block is around 1 percentage point, with SPF 30 blocking about 97 percent of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocking 98 percent. In fact, the FDA has proposed capping SPF at 50, arguing that any number higher is misleading to consumers who might believe there is such a thing as sunscreen that can block 100 percent of UVB rays, and this is a virtual impossibility. SPF 30 or 50 is realistic enough.
Broad spectrum sunscreen in face lotion blocks both UVB rays that cause sunburns and UVA rays that penetrate the skin deeper and are closely linked to skin cancer. The real key to sunscreen in face lotions, however, is coverage. The regular recommendation by dermatologists is a nickel-size dollop for a full face treatment along with regular reapplication.
How to Choose a Face Lotion for Dry Skin
Explore any underlying problems because the dry skin may be related to these underlying skin problems. You might want to see a dermatologist for a prescription cream if your skin dryness is accompanied by certain symptoms. Eczema and psoriasis can also lead to dry skin. If you have one of these conditions, you will also break out in scaly rashes and may frequently experience dead skin coming off in flakes.
Too much sun exposure can cause dry skin. If you live in a sunny area, you should talk to a dermatologist on how to best prevent your skin from sun damage. Too much sunlight can cause certain cancers like melanoma so it’s important you learn how to stay protected. If you’re unsure about what kind of face lotion works for your dry skin, do consult a doctor, pharmacist, dermatologist, or someone working at a health food or skin care store. Oftentimes, people are unsure what kind of face lotion they need if their skin is dry in some places and oily in others or if they have certain conditions, like eczema, and are unsure if products could potentially make symptoms worse. If you’re struggling with decision making, ask a professional for help.
To start, you should read the labels of the face lotions you plan to buy. Depending on your skin type, you should be on the lookout for different ingredients. People with dry skin should look for heavier moisturizers. A face lotion containing antioxidants, dimethicone, and grapeseed oil or petrolatum that prevents water loss from the skin, can be helpful.
If you tend to have oily skin around your dry face and neck, you can always use a water-based moisturizer on your face and an oil-based one on the dry areas. It should be labeled “oil-free” and list water as one of the first ingredients. Face lotions and moisturizers containing retinol can cause your skin to dry out, so choose a gentle preparation and use it very sparingly at first, every other night at the most.
How to Choose a Face Lotion for Oily Skin
Face lotions and moisturizers designed for oily skin will often include key words like water-based, noncomedogenic – or won’t clog the pores, non-acnegenic – or won’t cause acne, and oil-free. Oil-free products are more complicated than you think, however, as they may contain other ingredients that can clog your pores, like waxes, or irritate your skin, like alcohol.
Always examine the ingredients because people with oily skin should be on the lookout for the ingredients that can both help and harm their skin. Water-based face lotions should have a word that ends in “-icone” such as silicone, as one of the first few ingredients. Dimethicone is often used as a replacement for petrolatum, which is oil-derived. Dimethicone is both moisturizing and mattifying, which means that it can help control grease and shine.
Look for exfoliating ingredients. Oily skin can often be dull and thick, so choose products with ingredients that will help in overall cell turnover. These include lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acid. Avoid products that include paraffin, cocoa butter, and oils.
How to Choose a Face Lotion for Combination Skin
Combination skin is simply having oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Typically, there’s a mix of oily and dry areas on different parts of your face, with the forehead, nose, and chin (the T-zone) being slight to very oily. Whether you have oily areas only around the nose and center of the forehead and dry areas over the cheeks, jaw area, and along the hairline, what you do to lessen those problems is the same.
A variety of factors can contribute to combination skin, but more often than not, it just comes down to what you inherited from your parents. However, the types of skincare products you’re using can absolutely make it worse or even cause the problem.
The important thing with combination skin is that there’s no one-size-fits solution. It depends on how dry your dry areas are naturally and how oily your oily areas are. It comes down to this: You’ll have to divide and conquer by caring for different parts of your face using different face lotions, one for dry and one for oily skin. This means you will need to apply a more emollient moisturizer over the dry areas, but if you apply that all over your face, the oily areas will become oilier. That’s why keeping things separate is important, and the same for the face lotion that absorbs oil, so keep them off the dry areas.
For the oily areas, you will need to use the lightest and most effective formulas possible. Potent, concentrated amounts of beneficial ingredients in face lotions with a gel, thin lotion, or liquid texture will work great over the entire face. You would then only need to use an emollient booster, serum, or moisturizer over the dry areas, including around the eyes.
How to Choose a Face Lotion for Acne-Prone Skin
Acne is usually caused by excess oil and clogged pores. Because healthy moisture and unhealthy dirt and oil are different things, and because not all face lotions will clog your pores, the important thing is to choose a product that’s meant for your skin type and incorporate it correctly into your existing skincare routine. Not all people who are prone to acne have very oily skin, but the two do tend to go hand in hand. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to choose a face lotion or moisturizer that’s oil-free and not too thick or creamy. Again look for face lotions that say “oil-free” on the label or look for ingredients that end in “-icone,” like silicone, a hint that the product is mostly water-based. Use a very light formula face lotion immediately after washing your face or bathing.
How to Choose a Face Lotion for Mature Skin
Look for the antioxidants because face lotions with antioxidants are the most beneficial for older skin. They help absorb free radicals that can cause damage to your skin. Antioxidants to look for include vitamin C, vitamin B3, and vitamin E. These vitamins are particularly effective in a face lotion because they are able to be absorbed into the skin more readily than others. Basically, a free radical is just oxygen that isn’t stable, and so retaining more moisture helps get rid of these toxins.
Check for face lotions with polypeptides or oligopeptides. These ingredients mimic peptides in your skin. Specifically, they can mimic collagen or elastin, the fibers that help regulate elasticity. They encourage your skin to produce more of these molecules that also helps reduce wrinkles on your skin.
Reminders About Facial Lotions
Determine your skin type. Your skin type will help you decide what kinds of facial lotions are best suited for you. Different types of skin respond better to different products.
A heavier, oil-based face lotion generally works best for dry skin. You may even want to consider petroleum based products if your skin is cracking; however, if your skin tends to have other issues in addition to dryness you might want to consider adding a couple different types of facial moisturizer to your skin care regimen.
If your skin is oily, making it prone to acne breakouts, try applying a light moisturizer to your face after washing. Areas that tend to be oily as well such as the neck and chest will not need the same treatments as the face.
If your skin is easily irritated and you’re prone to redness and rashes, ingredients like aloe and chamomile in face lotions can help. These soothing components smooth over cracked and dry skin. You should also avoid anything containing fragrances and dyes. But if you’re older, an oil-based moisturizer is best as oil-producing glands in the body become less active.
Are you aware that the anti-aging and skin cleansing market has been booming since the start of this decade, to the tune of almost $121 billion each year? This makes sense considering society’s complicated relationship with vanity, particularly with skin care and anti-aging. People seem to gobble up everything that is being touted to make the skin look smoother, and mind you, it isn’t just the baby boomers getting into it but millions of millennials and the much younger consumers.
Unfortunately, in spite of the improvements in the skincare industry, many people are still practicing bad things that will only damage the skin. Worse, the most gullible are getting into bad skin care stuff that has nothing to do with getting smoother skin. We want you to know the worse things you are doing when it comes to your skin. If even just one of the things below hits you, we advise you stop doing it now.
Spending Too Much Time Under the Sun or Not Using Sunscreen on a Hot Day
Any form of prolonged UV (ultra-violet, as in, direct sunlight) exposure is bad for you. Consider that tanning, alongside smoking, is one of the most harmful things you could be doing to your skin and body. Overexposure to the sun can make skin age and wrinkle faster, and not to mention the threat of skin cancer. If you really want good and healthy skin, avoid this as best you can. But if you will be exposing yourself to the sun on the beach, don’t forget to slather on that 50+ sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen because many people tend to forget to slather on protection when at the beach. Make sure that you use a water-resistant and sweat-proof sunscreen if you’re at the beach or exercising outside.
Research First Before Believing Those Ridiculous Skin Cleansing Treatments
If you’ve been gullible to believe those ridiculous vampire skin treatments, snail skin treatments, sheep placenta treatments, and bird poop in-your-face, then we plead for you to think again because all these treatments are just plain harmful to your skin. Also, over-exfoliation and steam facials are some of the worst trends that could be harming your face. These treatments, though well intentioned, can result in broken capillaries and skin sensitivity for a number of patients. Over-exfoliating for example can strip your skin of its necessary oils. In actuality, the simpler your skin regimen, the better, and please do know the ingredients in your products.
Too Long Hot Showers
Just as it’s bad to be overexposed to the sun because of the extreme heat, the heat from those too long showers is making your skin extra dry because it’s washing off your skin’s natural oils. Remember that extreme temperatures can mess with the delicate balance in your skin, and push it to a state of stress.
This extreme heat can cause cellular damage, ‘burning’ skin, and broken capillaries. Excess heat can also strip away your outer layer of skin tissue, causing inflammation and itchiness. Try to shorten your hot showers as much as possible or adjust the heater to just produce lukewarm showers.
Picking Those Pimples
Some call it cathartic, others call it gross, but often, it will result in hefty scars and poor skin health you have easily avoided. Dermatologists have seen their fair share of acne scars and, consequently, they know that picking your pimples is a real no-no. You should start to think of your pimples as big ugly sacks of oil, dirt, and bacteria, and that is what they really are. So by popping them, you’re running the risk of that gunk spurting out and creating a dozen or so more pimples all over your skin, or simply spreading more bacteria that will be detrimental to your skin’s health.
Going to Bed Without Removing Makeup
Though it may seem harmless, it’s not. Not taking your makeup off before you go to sleep is another bad habit that every woman should avoid. Not only will it be clogging your pores while you sleep, but will also cause premature aging. Makeup effectively masks the skin, so if you forget to take it off, you’re preventing it from breathing and recovering from the onslaught of debris you encounter on a daily basis especially when you’re wearing makeup the whole day. This debris onslaught is usually pollution, bacteria, and straight-up dirt that makes its way to your face and sticks to it. Be sure to cleanse and moisturize your face and neck before you hit the pillow. And in this relation…
Not Washing Your Face Before Going to Bed
Even if you don’t wear makeup the whole day, washing your face before going to sleep with water and face wash or a gentle soap or a cleanser removes dirt and oils and keeps your skin clean and healthy. Avoid strong, scouring soaps though.
Going to sleep without washing your face is just as bad as leaving your makeup on when you sleep because it can clog pores and leads to acne. Using a face wash is best, but in a pinch, you can use face wipes with gentle solutions and with no fragrance. Washing your face before you go to sleep will remove all debris and excess oils, while still leaving your skin hydrated.
Thinking That the Skin Is Just on the Outside
This really comes down to looking after your overall health and staying healthy also means having healthy skin. It takes a holistic approach to skincare and this all starts from within. To achieve great skin, you also need to eat well, get enough sleep, avoid stress and don’t over indulge in unhealthy habits like smoking, along with using good skin care cleansing and treatments. Eating well is the ethos that every healthy person should take. You need to believe that beauty begins in the belly and the advice even from dermatologists is not to eat unhealthy carbohydrates and sugar. Instead, eat lots of fermented foods full of nutrients and natural probiotics and where possible avoid processed food and unhealthy chemicals that compromise gut health. Basically, you want to get enough nutrients to keep your skin nourished. Also, the usual advice is to cut out diuretics like alcohol, caffeine, and colas and instead, fill up on foods rich in antioxidants, and this is where your vegetables and fruits come in. This way you’re promoting a healthy digestive system, boosting antioxidant intake and promoting good skin health. As the skin ages it needs more nutrients, proteins, and antioxidants to function at its best, so load up on your colorful veggies and fruits, down at least six glasses of water a day, and make smart choices from the inside out because it will help you in the long run. And speaking of water…
Not Drinking Enough Water
Water plumps up your skin cells and makes your skin look fresh and bright. When you are dehydrated, your skin starts to dry out. Drink at least six glasses of water each day to keep your skin healthy.
Never Leave Dry Skin Untreated
Dry skin is bound to do a lot of damage if left untreated. Never forget to apply a moisturizer right after you step out of the shower or bath. With your skin still damp, apply the moisturizer so your skin will keep that moisture in. You can also apply after you wash your face before you sleep or before going outdoors for extended periods in wintry weather or during summer.
Having Bad Shaving Habits
You may be in a hurry and need to shave quickly, but your skin cannot sustain rough treatment with the blade, especially if it’s done often. Shave carefully and gently using a lubricating gel or foam, and pat dry with a towel after cleaning instead of wiping as this will keep some moisture on your skin. Skipping shaving cream or gel is a near-guarantee for skin irritation and it increases your chances of getting annoying shaving bumps. You can also look for a razor with a moisturizing serum built in as well that moisturizes up to two hours after shaving. Another unhygienic shaving habit is using old, dirty blades on your razor, and this means you can get a not-so-good shave. Old and dirty blades will damage your skin and even cut you if you force the shave.
Rushing Your Skin Care Routine and Getting Overzealous With Face Wash
Credit yourself with having a skincare routine or at least using a face wash, but when you’re late for class or work and breeze through the motions, this is a capital crime to your face. You can easily end up skipping important steps, tugging on your skin, or unevenly applying products, and this also applies at night when you rush things because you’re so sleepy. This means breakouts, dry skin patches, or acne. This will make you spend more time in caring for your skin and whatever has broken out. Just as sinful is to keep washing your face often because you think it’s going to clear up your skin. Washing more or scrubbing harder won’t give you a flawless complexion. On the contrary, cleansing or exfoliating your skin until it peels, stings, or flakes can cause irritation and inflammation, which aggravates acne, prevents you from using the products that do help, and makes your skin look worse. In other words, stick to washing gently twice a day and using scrubs just once or twice a week, and don’t ever rush your skin routine.
Not Washing Your Neck and Chest (or Ignoring Both)
Your face is your obvious focus, but those cute off-the-shoulder tops show off your neck, chest, and shoulders in your selfies as well. So, skin care game should include your neck and chest as well because it’s useless to have a flawless face and your selfie reveals a lot of acne and impurities below. Treat the face, neck, and chest as one cosmetic unit because they are exposed to similar UV radiation, pollution, and weather elements. So whatever you’re using on your face, take it on down to the top of your torso. This way you have one gorgeous dewy glow and no weird tan lines.
We did say 12 things, right? But we did mention about smoking earlier, right? So we would just like to add smoking at the end because this does nothing to make your skin smooth or healthier.
With all the skin treatments out there, it’s easy to overlook the simple things you can do to renew your skin or make it unhealthy. The absolute first step you should take is to quit smoking if you’re into this habit. No matter what treatments you try for your skin, if you’re constantly smoking then this will undo all your skincare regimens. It’s like, “don’t do a skin laser to reverse the effects of aging and then smoke cigarettes.” You’re undoing any benefits you’re getting from the laser treatment, and you’re impairing your body’s ability to heal, and the same goes if you’re regularly treating your face with skincare products. You can always spot a smoker from the wrinkles around their mouth. Other than being strict about using sunscreen, stopping your smoking habit is the best thing you can do to stop the signs of aging and to make your skin healthier. Though we did mention coffee earlier, there is no factual evidence that coffee has a negative effect on the skin since the drink contains antioxidants that are good for the skin. However, consuming more than 3 cups of coffee daily will be bad for your skin because of too much consumption of caffeine.
The beauty world is awash with high skin care tech treatments, lotions, potions, and gadgets all promising to whip our stress-worn faces back into its former youthful shape all in the name of vanity.
This pursuit of beauty is no modern phenomenon since it all started when the Assyrians and eventually the Egyptians invented cosmetics. But while some of us are content to simply give a new face cream a try, plenty of others test out some seriously weird and whacky treatments.
Here are some of the more unusual and weird beauty treatments from all over the world that are still trending today.
Sheep Placenta Treatment
Is your skin beginning to lose its firmness because of age? Perhaps all that is needed is a little sheep’s placenta that might help you tighten up your skin. At this stage, readers should get used to the fact that what comes out in this article are not typographical errors. You read it correctly: sheep’s placenta as a skin treatment. And celebrities like Victoria Beckham have experienced it and say that it was effective. Skin treatment spas in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York City are offering the sheep’s placenta treatment to those searching for a youthful look. Apparently, sheep placenta contains high levels of iron, proteins, amino acids, and enzymes that combat skin aging (but do take note that all mammal placentas have all these as well). During the sheep placenta treatment, all the usual steps of a facial are followed with the addition of a placenta mask.
This skin treatment is fast becoming popular in the whole of Asia and Europe, particularly in Southeast Asia where it started. Pedicures consist of a lot of scraping and filing of the soles of your feet, that is unless you’re getting a fish pedicure. With this treatment, your feet are just chewed on by tiny fish that enjoy the taste of dead skin. The fish is actually called a garra rufa fish, or a kind of “doctor fish.” In the wild, the tiny fish survive by sucking the dead scales off from other fish. In a spa, the fish survive by sucking and nibbling the dead skin off from the feet of the spa customers. The fish are kept in a large tank. When you request a fish pedicure, the fish are moved to an individual and sanitized tank. You then place your feet in the tank and the fish begin nibbling off your dead skin. Though the fish pedicure has not completely caught on in the United States, some are actually insisting that it has cured their foot ailments such as athlete’s foot and dry skin.
Snake Skin Massage
Massages are supposed to improve blood flow and aid in stress relief, but for those of you who do not like snakes, Israel’s latest snake skin massage probably will probably get your blood boiling or increase your stress levels even more. If you don’t mind the slithering reptiles, you can get a snake skin massage at the Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa in Northern Israel. This skin massage was supposedly created by the court of the ancient King David when he ruled all of Israel. Just as you would any other massage, you lie face down on a massage table. From there, the massage therapist will cover your back with six or seven nonpoisonous snakes (do take note they are non-poisonous, but all snakes do bite if they are suddenly frightened). The medium sized reptiles will slither across your back and around your head and neck for the entirety of the skin massage. Those who have been brave enough to last the full length of the massage say that it helps with muscle tension and migraines. We kind of find that hard to believe.
Hay Skin Bath
Hay is for horses, or so we thought, and anyone who’s been a kid and played in hay knows just how itchy it can get later on. It can also be used as a luxurious skin treatment. In Italy, visitors of the Heuband Spa take part in hay skin baths, which are said to reduce rheumatic issues and revitalize the body. Since when did hay have medicinal value? The hay used in the skin treatments is filled with oils that grow naturally within the fields from which the hay is picked at precisely the right moment in the early morning or late evening. The use of hay for therapeutic treatment dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries when farmers used to sleep in the hay after a long day’s work. They noticed that despite their laborious work they felt rested and free from physical pain after a rest in the hay. The use of hay as a relaxant caught on and remains a treatment in Italy to this day. After the hay skin bath, spa customers are wrapped in a towel so that the oils can continue to penetrate the body.
Beer Skin Bath
In the former Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, the Chodovar brewery has an exciting new skin beauty treatment called the dark beer bath. The carbonation in the beer is supposed to help drop blood pressure, and the hops and the yeast are said to calm many skin issues, like psoriasis, cellulite, and acne. It also claims to be anti-stress and this is quite believable given that aside from the beer skin bath you’re also given beer to drink. Yes, every beer bath comes with your own beer to drink, so you can be chilled from the inside and out as well. We’re betting that after reading this part you’re probably booking your next flight to Prague.
According to many customers, soaking in beer enriches the skin, cuts toxins and exfoliates. And not just in the Czech Republic but also all over Germany and Austria. Case in point, the Landhotel Moorhof in Franking, Austria, offers a beer facial and bath with hops, malt, honey and cream cheese. According to proprietor Hedwig Bauer, bathing in beer fights rheumatism, gout, poor circulation, eczema, kidney stones, heart attacks, strokes, and stress. We figure that the disappearance of stress might have more to do with the pints of Schnaitl’s offered along with the baths rather than the baths themselves.
Japanese Wine Skin Bath
Similar to this is the wine skin bath that is fast becoming popular in Japan. Bathing in the fermented grape juice is supposed to have a rejuvenating effect on the body similar to what beer can do. This we can all believe given the effect wine has on us when we’re only drinking it. This practice goes way, way back in times of antiquity, according to the Japanese. But the Egyptians also thought of this and in fact, it is recorded that Cleopatra loved this bizarre treatment. We can imagine you’re having a hard time to decide whether to book your flight to Tokyo or Prague.
Snail Skin Facial
If you don’t like even to look at slime-coated gastropods then you might want to skip this strange skin facial. The Labo Salon in Tokyo, Japan is now offering snail facials. Yes, you read that right: snails! A few snails are placed on your face and left to slither around for awhile, or for as long as you can stand it. When the gastropods have covered every inch of your face they are removed, leaving behind a thick coating of their slime (yes that’s right, slime, and this includes any waste they happened to spew out while crawling on your face). Apparently, their residue assists in removing old skin cells and moisturizes skin. Given how smooth and fair Japanese skin is, we find this hard to argue with.
Black Pepper Body Rub
Some people like a little black pepper on their food, but this skin treatment will have it rubbed all over their body. Customers to the Pho Tree Thai Spa in New York City can order a tingling black pepper body scrub at a very affordable price. The body scrub consists of an initial slathering of green tea moisturizer. Then black pepper is rubbed all over the body, creating a tingling effect. Finally, the body is covered in extracts of live silkworms. What does this strange mixture of spices and extracts do for the body? The black pepper gets the blood moving, making you sweat, which in turn detoxifies your body and helps you shed water weight. Well, don’t we all sweat when we eat spicy foods?
Feces Skin Facial
Well, there are facials made from plant extracts, then there’s that one with snails. Now, there are feces facials. Yes, feces, as in poop. But not just any poop, because it has to be bird poop. And not just any bird poop because it has to be special Nightingale poop to be exact. Manhattan’s Shizuka New York Day Spa was the first to advertise their latest, and probably most cringe worthy skin facial. It’s new to the United States but bird poop facials, in fact, come from ancient Japan. Geishas used powdered nightingale droppings to remove the white makeup that they wore on their faces. They found that the bird poop concoction not only cleaned their skin, it also left their skin brighter and smoother. The Shizuka Spa asserts that the bird droppings are sanitized and powdered under a UV light, which apparently makes putting feces on your face acceptable. The entire Geisha skin poop facial last 50 minutes.
Chocolate Skin Treatment
Now, this is one health treatment that more than a few of you are bound to try having a taste for. It’s a skin treatment that is filled with chocolate. Soak in a whipped cocoa bath, have a warm chocolate fondue wrap, and partake in an edible dark chocolate face mask as part of your slightly pricey experience at the Hotel Hershey Spa in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Yes, that’s the name of the place where the skin spa is, and we kid you not. If you don’t really like chocolate, don’t worry because the spa also offers a Cuban Experience, which includes mojito sugar scrubs, seaweed soak, and even Cuban coffee wraps skin treatments. What are the purported benefits of chocolate? Beyond the yummy flavor and decadence aspect, it is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Feasibly, it could help soften the skin. Beyond that, true health benefits have yet to be determined, though they do taste heavenly.
The Diet and Skin Treatment Soap
How would it feel if you can have a skin treatment that also helps you lose weight, so the claim says? Made from a mysterious “species of deep seaweed plants” the Aoqili diet soap is a skin treatment soap that keeps the skin smooth and healthy while apparently being credited for a 20 percent reduction in body fat. But, upon further inspection, all it contains is a fatty tissue of animals, fatty acid salts from coconut oil, seaweed powder, and aloe gel, not exactly the miracle product it purports to be. Besides the fact that it may seem creepy with the idea of rubbing animal tallow all over the body, we can only guess that unless you doing an intense shower work out while washing with this soap, it wouldn’t contribute to any amount of weight loss, though the ingredients could contribute to keeping the skin smooth and healthy. But what do you expect for a product that is made in China?
Every sunrise when you wake and look at your tired, puffy eyes in the mirror, you may feel sad. Is it a good way to start your day? Absolutely no, so if the puffy eyes are dragging your spirit down, you can banish them with these useful easy to prepare facial masks.
As you age your eye tissues, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. The natural fat that helps support your eyes moves into your lower eyelids causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also gets accumulated in the space below your eyes adding to the swelling.
Bags under eyes may include mild swelling, saggy or loose skin and dark circles. They are usually harmless, and they don’t need any medical care. But you may not like the look of it. The usual causes for puffiness of eyes include
- Poor sleep
- Allergies or dermatitis mainly if redness and itching accompany your puffiness.
- Fluid retention due to changes in the weather, eating salty foods or hormone levels.
- Crying for longer periods of time
To be healthy, waters within your body that are the lymph fluid must be flowing continuously like rivers, inside your lymph vessels. The continuous water movement optimizes the renewal of the lymph fluid.
Moving lymph prevents body decay and fluid stagnancy. It enhances the better metabolic exchange of liquids between cells and capillaries. It cleanses, nourishes and protects your body’s cells. As a result, you will enjoy vibrant health and beauty.
Puffy Eyes and Edema
If the rivers within you-the lymph fluids are not continuously moving, then it leads to edema. Your puffy and baggy eyes may be the first clue. Edema slows down the metabolic exchange of liquids. Slowly but consistently the toxins are retained in your tissues, and the lymph rich protein content begins to harden.
Hardening of the tissue or fibrosis can occur six months after edema starts. Fibrotic tissues get advanced to tissue calcification. Calcified tissues do not have circulation. So, it becomes essential to prevent those puffy eyes. Puffy eyes indicate fluid stagnation in the body and future problems.
General tips to reduce puffiness of eyes:
- Breathe slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes a day
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Reduce salt intake
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep
- Sleep with few pillows under your head to prevent fluid setting around your eyes
- Get treated for your allergies
- Eat more potassium
Essential Oils Under-Eye Mask
You will need:
- Half ounce Rosehip seed oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- ½ ounce pure aloe vera gel
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
In a glass spray bottle combine all the above-said ingredients. Before going to bed, cleanse your face and remove all the makeup. Close your eyes and spray the solution onto your face. Gently massage the solution around and under your eyes. Allow it to dry. Sleep with your head supported by pillows.
Lemon oil is rich in antioxidants and relieves stress.
Lavender oil has a soothing and calming effect on the nerves and skin under your eyes.
Rosehip oil protects your skin and increases cell turnover. It is rich in vitamins C, D and E and beta carotene. Rosehip oil is rich in essential fatty acids which convert to prostaglandins and are involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration.
Cucumber Milk Face Mask
- One small cucumber
- One tablespoon milk
Blend the cucumber and the milk in a blender to form a thick paste. For extra puffy eye relief chill the mask in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Apply the mask onto your face, taking care to give a gentle massage under your eyes. Just take rest for 30 minutes and wash off the mask with lukewarm water.
Cucumbers contain antioxidants and flavonoids that help to reduce redness, swelling and irritation. A combination of caffeic acid and vitamin C helps soothe your skin and reduce puffiness.
Milk produces a cooling effect to your eyes which reduce stress levels. The lauric acid and nutrients present in milk calm your swollen eyes. The astringent properties reduce puffiness and brighten skin. Milk reduces the water retention around the eyes.
Potato and Egg White Face Mask
You will need:
- One small potato
- One egg white
Separate the egg white from the yolk. Clean and peel the potato. Blend the potato and egg white to a thick paste in the blender. Place the potato poultice in layers of cheesecloth and keep it over your eyes. Leave it for 20-30 minutes, remove the cheesecloth from your eyes and wash with lukewarm water.
The catecholase present in potatoes reduces water retention under your eyes. The combination of coldness and starch of potatoes develop an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to reduce the swelling. The astringent properties of potatoes tighten your skin. The antioxidant and nutrients present in it keep your skin smooth.
Egg whites enhance blood circulation which in turn minimizes the puffiness under your eyes. It has astringent properties which tighten the pores of your undereye skin.
Green Tea and Aloe Gel Face Mask
- ½ cup green tea
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
Boil ½ cup water and let the green tea steep in the water for 10 minutes. Mix the aloe gel and the green tea to the consistency of a paste. Give a gentle massage while using on the under-eye area. Store the remaining mixture in a container and refrigerate for up to three days.
Green tea reduces swelling and tightens the skin around your eyes. It contains caffeine that constricts tiny blood vessels, around your eyes. Caffeinated tea contains tannins that stimulate blood circulation. The astringent nature of the tannins constricts the blood vessels and capillaries under your eyes.
Aloe gel contains 18 essential amino acids and has several antifungals, antibacterial, and other healing properties. The antioxidants present in aloe reduces the puffiness around your eyes. Aloe vera moistures and hydrates the delicate skin under your eyes. Because of its humectant properties, aloe makes your skin soft and supple. It fights free radicals ad flushes out accumulated toxins around your eyes.
Ground Coffee Face Mask
You will need:
- ½ tsp ground coffee beans
- One teaspoon coconut oil
- A pinch of black pepper powder
- Cotton or face wipe
Mix all the ingredients and carefully apply under your eyes. Be extra careful not to get any of the ingredients into your eyes. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes. Gently wipe away with wet cotton or face wipe.
Coffee beans tighten the skin under your eyes because of the presence of caffeine that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The Caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor which deflates blood vessels and reduces swelling, redness, and puffiness.
The coffee bean is also a diuretic which draws water from your skin to shrink cell size for a tightened appearance. The antioxidants present in coffee fights free radicals and tightens skin by reducing fine lines and bagginess.
The black pepper powder enhances blood circulation and makes your under eyes cells healthier.
Coconut Oil and Carrot Face Mask
You will need:
- Two tsp Extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 carrot
Roughly chop the carrots into five chunks. Boil the carrot for 5 minutes and put it in a food processor or blender, Blend the carrot and coconut oil to form a thick paste. Apply the mixture to your under-eye area gently with circular motions. Leave the mask for ten to 15 minutes and wash it off in lukewarm water. Repeat this once a day.
Coconut oil moisturizes the skin around your eyes and prevents dryness and wrinkling. The vitamin E and antioxidants heal and repair the damaged skin cells. Lauric acid and other components present in coconut oil possess anti-inflammatory properties, so it reduces redness and swelling. The lauric acid in coconut oil tightens pores to make your skin smooth and firm.
Carrots are full of beta-carotene and iron. They provide nourishment to your delicate under-eye skin and strengthens the eye muscles thus preventing puffiness. Carrots help to tone and clarify your skin.
Strawberries Rosewater Face Mask
- Three tsp homemade rose water
- 2-3 strawberries
Simmer a handful of rose petals in just enough distilled water. When the petals have lost their color, strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Pour into a jar or bottle.
Add strawberries and rosewater to the blender. Blend to make a fine paste. Keep it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Apply the mask onto your face. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash in fresh water.
Rosewater contains vitamins C and A as well as flavonoids. It is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties. Rosewater is incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating. It keeps fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
Strawberries are rich in polysaccharides that have anti-inflammatory properties. The alpha hydroxy acids in these berries reduce swelling and dark circles while smoothening out your skin. Strawberries contain antioxidants that make your skin looks years younger and beautiful.
Banana and Lemon Juice Face Mask
- 1 banana
- One tsp lemon juice
Mash the banana. Squeeze the lemon juice. Mix the mashed banana and lemon juice to make a fine paste. Apply to your face and give a gentle massage to your eye bags. Let it sit for 15 minutes and wipe off the mask with warm wash cloth.
Bananas contain many beneficial vitamins including vitamin C, manganese, biotin, potassium and copper. Bananas are high in potassium, which is excellent for your lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is what helps skin clear itself, and it provides nutrients to every cell in the body. The puffy eye is a clue that your lymphatic fluid is getting sluggish. Applying banana face pack boosts your lymphatic health and thus reduces puffiness of eyes.
Lemon juice: vitamin C from lemon juice helps to remove all the toxins that cause puffy eyes. Lemon juice contains skin lightening properties that reduce dark circles. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness.
Turmeric and Oatmeal Face Mask
- One tablespoon oatmeal
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Two tablespoon pineapple juice
Blend the oatmeal, turmeric and pineapple juice in a blender to a fine paste. Apply the paste to your eye area gently. Leave the paste to dry for 20 minutes. Remove with a soft damp cloth. Massage your undereye area with a moisturizer after this treatment.
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants. This spice banishes dark circles and hydrates the delicate skin under your eyes.
Oatmeal detoxifies and firms your skin. It has a very drying effect on the skin and will draw out puffiness.
Pineapple juice is a storehouse of vitamin C, antioxidants and bromelain. These nutrients are extremely useful in treating fine lines, acne, the sun damaged and uneven skin tone. Bromelain softens your skin and fights skin inflammation and puffiness.
Witch Hazel and French Clay Mask
- One tablespoon French green clay
- Two teaspoon witch hazel extract
- One tablespoon aloe vera
Mix the green clay, witch hazel extract, and aloe vera to form a thick paste. Dab it onto your face and gently apply it under your eyes with a slight massage. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash your face in the lukewarm water. This face pack is good for oily skin.
The clay is rich in silica, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It absorbs excess fluid from your face. Witch hazel has astringent properties that cause constriction of body tissues. It removes excess moisture from your skin and shrinks down pores. Aloe vera is an excellent moisturizer. It rejuvenates your skin and has antimicrobial properties.
Though puffiness of eyes is harmless, you should be careful if the swelling is severe and persistent, affects other parts of your body such as the legs and is accompanied by redness, itching or pain. In this case, it’s better to see your doctor.
A quick way to reduce puffiness of your eyes is to use a cool compress. Dip a washcloth in water, and place it over your eyes for 1o minutes. If you’re not a fan of cold water try putting a spoon in the refrigerator, take it out in the morning and place it over your eyes. It is as effective as cold water.
You can also try the face masks we’ve discussed above; these masks not only reduce your eye bags but also enhances your facial beauty.