The finding of ways to improve the appearance of the skin has been one of the major preoccupations of mankind since the ancient times. The activity of developing different formulas and techniques of producing and maintaining a beautiful skin has evolved to become the powerful skin care industry that it is now.
While the ingredients of skin care concoctions in the past were invariably taken from plants or from fish, fowl or animal sources, nowadays these are mostly manufactured synthetically. Costs, production volume requirements and the demand for speed in delivery of the products to the market, in other words the dictates of commercialization and profit considerations, compel skin care manufacturers to rely on chemicals that can be formulated quickly and at lower cost. Many of these chemicals used in the formulation of skin care products are actually toxic and not originally meant to be used on the human body. To come up with a product that is usable the manufacturers carefully produce them in formulations that contain toxic ingredients only up to a certain volume of content that the human body supposedly can safely tolerate. Aggressive advertising campaign also succeeded in making thousands of these synthetic skin care products so acceptable to millions of people that most are not even thinking that these products actually contain ingredients that are by themselves originally poisonous to man. While it is true that the formulations are scrutinized and carefully regulated according to the standards of safety established by government regulatory authorities, the long term and accumulated effect of constant application of toxic materials on the skin and its eventual absorption into the body worry a growing number of people.
The number of people who are giving a second, and wary, look at synthetic skin care products is actually increasing, and, of course, this fact did not escape the notice of skin care industry. The result: herb-based skin care products. This development is probably a boon to the cause of safe natural skin care except that, many point out, that even these herb-based products has to be loaded with chemical preservatives so that their shelf-life may be lengthened, otherwise they will spoil before they can be sold in profitable quantities.
Can anyone really still find an honest to goodness herbal skin care preparation that is totally devoid of any synthetic parts? The answer is actually yes, but for that, one must go directly to nature; to the plants, where skin care ingredients were originally sourced. There are many different herbs, the extracts of which have been included in excellent skin care preparations. Aloe Vera is one of the most popular. The gelatinous substance freshly extracted from the aloe vera can used as emollient and for the treatment of burns. The dandelion, chamomile, lime flowers and rosemary herbs have cleansing effect on the skin. Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel have antiseptic properties that can be used to wash the face clean of microbes that can infect the skin. Lavender water and rose water are also known as good skin toners. Oils prepared from herbal extracts are also used in natural skin care preparations. For example, tea tree oil, lavender oil, borage oil, primrose oil, and some fruit oils such as extracts from banana, apple and melon.
Choosing pure herbal skin substance or preparation does not mean totally rejecting all skin care products of synthetic formulation. There are skin care requirements that may not be met adequately by the supply of the right herbs in your locality but which synthetically manufactured products, used properly and within the correct duration, may satisfy very well. It is wise to talk to a competent dermatologist who can help determine the applicability of a pure herbal concoction or of a synthetic product to a particular skin care requirement, as there are some skin disorders that can be effectively treated only with one or the other. The strongest advantage of a skin care substance or preparation that is purely sourced from herbs over its synthetic counterpart, which can be particularly pointed out in relation to toxicity, is probably the fact that with herb-based preparations the possibility of harmful side-effects is almost non-existent.
Organic skin care preparations, on the other hand, use fruits, vegetables and naturally produced edible products, such as honey, eggs, milk and wheat germ. They are applied topically to the skin in their pure unprocessed form. The most popularly used are cucumber, papaya, apple, ginger and turmeric. Any type of skin will benefit from these organic products. When applied they give very refreshing and revitalizing feeling. They can prevent many skin disorders, remove wrinkles and encourage skin cell regeneration. And, they are not expensive.
Milk is known to have excellent skin cleansing properties since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Manufacturers include milk in the formulation of their commercialized skin care products to cash in on its universally recognized and time proven skin care efficacy. One of the best organic cleansers is a combination of milk and ground oatmeal. This combination is especially suitable for cleaning oily skin. Incidentally, ground oatmeal is one of the most popular elements in organic skin care preparations. It can also be used in combination with egg, honey, milk and fruits for the preparation of organic facial masks. Along the milk category, yogurt and sour cream are also popular organic skin care elements. They are known for their exfoliation and moisturizing properties.
Wheat germ is another popular element in organic skin care preparations. A preparation of wheat germ can be used as skin scrub. It can be combined with a number of other organic materials and used to prepare facial masks. Wheat germ oil is also a very popular organic skin care product. It has plenty of Vitamin E which is important to skin cell regeneration.
Many skin care books always include a section on organic skin care. Many organic skin products can be chosen from among the many that are recommend for various particular requirements. It is best to experiment on what applies best. When testing different organic elements, or their combinations, remember to use only fresh fruit and vegetables. Never use anything that has started to rot. The biggest advantage that organic skin care elements offer is their versatility. Each tip can be used to advantage in various combinations with one another, wherein they complement or boost each other’s effectiveness.
Following are the basics of what you need to know for implementing a proper facial skin care routine that you can employ several times a day:
There are several steps that comprise an effective and essential facial skin care routine. Basically, there are four of them, which are, namely, 1) cleansing, 2) toning, 3) exfoliating and 4) moisturizing. None of them is more important than another. Each one has to be completed if a good result is desired.
Cleansing is the first step. It will remove dust, grease, extra oil and other impurities from the skin. To cleanse face and neck, spot it with a good cleansing lotion or cream and gently massage it into the skin. Use a soft face tissue or cotton wool in wiping face to prevent any micro-scratching. Cleansing is actually a form of gentle peeling. It should be done twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. By cleansing, skin damage is prevented.
Toning is the second step. Toning removes dead skin cells and other impurities that have remained after cleansing, so it is a very important part of the facial skin care routine.
Exfoliation is the third step. It can be done once or twice a week but should never be skipped. It should not be done more than twice a week as too frequent exfoliation can also damage the skin.
Moisturizing is the last step. This can be considered as the most important part of the program. Moisturizing skin prevents it from becoming dry and developing new wrinkles.
There are other useful techniques that can be applied to improve skin condition other than the daily skin care routine, as follows:
With these steps, you will be on your way to better skin!
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