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Skin Creams

All skin care creams are emulsions. That is a mixture of oil and water. Normally mixtures of oil and water separate over time but when an emulsifying agent is added it makes the emulsion more or less stable.

Which skin creams best protect you

Moisturize with Water: If you want to moisturize your skin the simplest way of doing so is, of course, to put water on it. If you put an emulsion on the skin the water in the emulsion is absorbed quickly and the oil to a lesser extent (depending on which oil - sesame being the most easily absorbed).

Most skin care creams have a large proportion of water and are therefore quickly absorbed and do moisturize the skin nicely. However, paying £10-30 for about 50 ml of water does not seem to be very good value for money.

Protect with Oils: The oils of course also have their value to the skin but most oils are not absorbed beyond the top layer of the skin. The oils have their effect by covering the surface and filling the pores and thus reducing the moisture loss. As a result the tissue swells and wrinkles are reduced temporarily. The oils also protect the skin to some extent from irritants and radiation and the longer they stay on the skin the greater this protection.

Herbal Content: The main advantage of herbal skin creams is from the herbal content. All herbs used have therapeutic value. Other herbal skin creams seem to have a low herbal content. Herbal skin creams have at least 9.5% of a herbal extract and other creams have 3-5% herbs. The low herbal content of other creams can often be gauged by their white color. The effect of the oils is only as explained above but at least the oils are natural and not harmful to the skin.

Natural emulsifiers: Human skin produces an emulsifying agent and the moisture in the skin is in the form of an emulsion. For this reason it seems to make sense to apply an emulsion. Also the moisture in the emulsion helps to carry the herbal content to the deeper layers of the skin.

Alternately one can apply water and then rub in the oil to create an emulsion. This is what is recommended for our facial revitalizing oil, which contains therapeutic essential oils in a fixed oil base. The common skin creams are designed to fulfill the demand for something that is absorbed quickly and produces a quick moisturizing effect. In contrast herbal products are designed to produce benefits to the deep layers of the skin and well as short-term moisturizing and medium term protective effects.

Types of skin creams

Every day we are barraged with new skin care lines and products with claims of younger and healthier skin, rejuvenation, age reversing, etc… According to the FDA, “Many of these products claims are entirely unjustified and, in some cases, outright lies.” So how is one to weed through the junk and scams to find what really works in skin care? Ask the experts. Dermatologists, plastic surgeons and estheticians have all received thousands of hours of training, certifications and licenses on skin techniques and skin care products that work. They are the skin care experts and here is what they recommend and use on both themselves and their patients:

Cleansers: Soaps can dry out your skin and cause aging which will exacerbate any sun damage. A good cleanser will thoroughly clean the skin and leave you feeling refreshed. Cetaphil is highly recommended by the experts we interviewed.

Eye creams and treatments: The skin under and around your eyes is quite susceptible to wrinkles, crows feet, and is a very delicate and sensitive area. Some effective skin care products and skin treatments that are very effective for the eye area are made by Hydroderm. Their products moisturize and plump up the area around the eyes and noticeable differences can be seen in just a few days or weeks. Eye creams and treatments are a great addition to any skin care or treatment.

Retinoid or retinol creams and lotions: The latest in anti-wrinkle and anti aging skin care products are retinol creams and lotions. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and it has been in use by dermatologists for years as a natural anti aging skin care treatment. Instructions vary dependent upon the product and its unique concentration of active ingredients. It is best to refer to the manufacturers instructions and your doctors recommendations if prescribed. Retinol creams and lotions are very effective against color and pigmentation problems and also wrinkles and sun damage. They are very effective and would make a good addition to any skin care treatment or program.

Alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy and TCA acids: A cleanser with these ingredients will freshen your skin, alter your skin pH so it is non-favorable to bacteria and acne, and remove dead and damaged skin. Alpha-hydroxy (glycolic acid) and Beta-hydroxy (salicylic acid) are effective on oily prone skin. TCA is a deeper medium strength acid and is by far the most effective for skin care and treatment.

Ideal skin cream requirements

Human skin produces an emulsifying agent and the moisture in the skin is in the form of an emulsion. For this reason it seems to make sense to apply an emulsion. Also the moisture in the emulsion helps to carry the herbal content to the deeper layers of the skin.
Alternately one can apply water and then rub in the oil to create an emulsion. This is what is recommended for facial revitalizing oils, which contain therapeutic essential oils in a fixed oil base.

The common skin cream market is designed to fulfill the demand for something that is absorbed quickly and produces a quick moisturizing effect. In contrast herbal products are designed to produce benefits to the deep layers of the skin and well as short-term moisturizing and medium term. If you're in the market for creams, here's what to look for:

Retinoids: Derived from vitamin A, these are more commonly known by their brand names and require a prescription. First used as acne drugs, they also work to repair sun damage and reduce fine lines.

Antioxidants: Topical creams containing antioxidants like vitamin C or coenzyme Q10 rebuild collagen and stop free radicals from interfering with the body's own natural repair process.

Exfoliants: These compounds--glycolic, alpha hydroxy and salicylic acids--slough off aged, dead skin to make room for new, healthy skin.

Lightening agents: Containing hydroquinione or kojic acid, these agents block pigment cells from producing freckles, age spots and melanoma. Please note that Hydroquinione requires a prescription.

Advanced sun blocks: These contain aggressive blockers that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. According to dermatologists, they are "very effective in repairing the damage to DNA done by ultraviolet light.

Some facts you should know about skin creams

  1. Any over-the-counter products do little except moisturize the skin. The FDA does not allow medically-active products to be sold in department stores. In addition, cosmetics companies are not rash enough to allow a product which actually changes the fundamental structure of the skin to be sold by someone not trained in skin care. It would be a liability nightmare.
  2. Sunscreen is the most important skin care product, followed by a retinol product. Retin-A is the only skin care product I know of that is actually scientifically proven to decrease fine lines and reverse early pre-skin cancers. Hydroquinone can actually remove age spots and pigmented lesions over the span of several weeks.
  3. There are products that people use which work for them, but many of the really expensive cosmetics, whether sold by a department store, TV show, or pyramid scheme salesperson, do little overall.

So don't fret about frown lines. Instead, give your skin a boost – and yourself a confident smile in the mirror.


 

 
   
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