The uses of cosmetics
The uses of cosmetics
The ideal skincare depends very much on age, sex and skin type. Even the season has to be reckoned with as, generally, we perspire more in summer than in winter to name but one deciding factor. Were it not for dry air, cold, wind and sun, the average skin wouldn't need any lotions or creams at all. Indeed the byword here is that "less is more". Oily or dry skins, or a mixture of both, should only require one cream or lotion. The problem is to find the correct product. Application of an unsuitable choice over a prolonged period can lead to spots or dryness, itching, rashes and even infection. The right choice is not so easy to make and advice from a beautician or skin specialist can be invaluable.
Oily or dry?
In principle an oily skin requires a water rich ointment, a so called "oil in water" emulsion which is rapidly absorbed into the skin. A dry skin requires the opposite, an oil rich "water in oil" emulsion resulting in a more viscous fluid that is less readily absorbed. A mixed skin requires both: forehead, nose, chin and breast tend to need less oil, the cheeks and body more.
Older skin is almost always dry and an oil rich lotion is a safe rule of thumb. But laying out good money, for 'anti aging' preparations is pointless. They are rarely any more effective than the standard products, as a test in the April 1997 edition of "Öko Test" has proven.
Many supposed miracle ingredients such as collagen and liposome’s can, according to current research, barely penetrate the cuticle because their molecules are simply too large. Collagen can only be stored in the cuticle where it aids moisture retention. But this quality is only preserved in its natural form, as extracted from the connective tissue of calves for example. Furthermore, should collagen penetrate to the subcutis then it could provoke an undesirable reaction from our immune system, similar to the symptoms of many allergies.
The effectiveness of liposome’s it’s a transport for vitamins and other beneficial agents to lower skin layers is a topic of ongoing and controversial debate.
Few vitamins can actually pierce our "outer shell" but, directly applied, they also display protective qualities. Vitamin E Acetate is described as improving moisture retention in the cuticle, warding off the risk of infection and dealing with "free radicals"'. It can also help to mitigate sun related allergies. Vitamin A is renowned for smoothing wrinkles and lines. But be warned: vitamin A is also an acid that can erode the outermost cell layers and diminish their protective function. Redness and infection follow hard on one another, resulting in a prolonged period without exposure to the sun. Therefore, vitamin A preparations are best applied to the conditions for which they were developed - acne and psoriasis. In cosmetics, it is usually the more innocuous form of vitamin A Palmitate, a salt which, like the vitamin itself, is highly perishable with a shelf life of just a few days.