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The packaging might be pretty, but it won't do a thing to alleviate troubled acne, reduce fine lines, smooth wrinkles, or replenish moisture and oils to dazzle your complexion. When it comes to cosmetics as with most other things, it's what's inside that counts. If you feel overwhelmed by the scores of product choices available today, and the "miracles" each repute to do, becoming more familiar with terms used in cosmetology and their true meanings might be helpful in distinguishing which products are and are not right for you.
Cosmetic companies are required to accurately divulge all the contents in their products, listing them in the order of concentration, from the most to the least. Certain cosmetic terms, however, can be confusing and misleading to the average consumer; terms such as "all natural" and "fragrance-free," for instance.
It is noteworthy that according to author and cosmetic expert Paula Begoun, in her book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," there is no scientific evidence that "natural ingredients" are any more beneficial for skin than synthetic. Products that advertise they are fragrance-free may still use fragrant plant extracts to mask offensive odor resulting from unrefined materials used. These extracts can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Fragrance-free, then, can mean only that the product is devoid of any "noticeable" aroma. "Irritant-free" is a more reliable term to look for in a product.
Alcohol-free products may be free of "grain alcohol," which is drying. However, other forms of alcohol such as lanolin alcohol or cetearyl alcohol may still be used. For persons with sensitive skin, Ms. Begoun suggests using products that list any alcohol component just before or just after the list of preservatives.
The wise cosmetic consumer will select products based upon ingredient content and performance, not upon packaging or brand. Higher-end cosmetics will not necessarily work better than those that cost less, and one brand's product may be excellent, while another product by the same brand ineffective. Therefore, "brand loyalty" will not necessarily benefit the consumer. Many department-store cosmetic companies have been merged together. In all probability, cosmetic purchases bearing three different "brand names" might in actuality all be distributed by the same cosmetic company. In fact, over 75% of department store cosmetic lines are presently owned either by Estee Lauder or L'Oreal.
The short and sweet of it is to forget the hype. Everyone's skin is different. Find out what works for you, and stick with it. Following a daily skin-care regimen tailored for your skin type, using tried and true products, will give your face a healthy glow like none other.
Visit Susan's website A 2 Z of Health and Beauty for information on health and beauty, nutrition, fitness, skin care, weight loss and more.
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Finding Effective Skin Care Products
To know what to look for in an antiaging skin care product, it's important to understand what causes deterioration in the skin over time. All aspects of aging, including slack skin, wrinkles and uneven skin tone are the result of free radical damage at the molecular level. Oxygen molecules are the bad boys of the antiaging world. When involved in a chemical reaction, they frequently lose one of their electrons and then dash madly about trying to steal an electron from another molecule. This can start a destructive chain reaction of unstable molecules, called free radicals, dashing around creating more unstable molecules.
Phentermine Diet Pills - Last week, when I sent out my newsletter, I got 6 emails almost immediately thanking me for the information and letting me know how much my newsletter is appreciated (ahhh . . . the power of the internet).
On metal, it appears in the form of rust.
Think of it like a radical mob building to riot force. Free radical damage is also known as oxidation. So when we say we are getting rusty, it's not really far from the truth!
Fortunately skin has amazing regenerative abilities that help it repair damage up to a point. As well, nature has provided an anti-riot squad called The Antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in the human body and elsewhere in nature. They effectively block free radicals from getting to other healthy stable molecules.
But there are factors that can accelerate free radical damage to the point that the balance of power shifts in favor of the free radical mob. Current thinking categorizes the factors into: lifestyle (meaning where and how you live); the natural aging process; and genetics.
Some of these skin risk factors can be changed and some can't. As time and science march on, the list of factors which can be mitigated grows longer and longer. Lifestyle changes are frequently possible if you know what to do and are motivated to make the changes.
Thanks to fairly recent scientific findings, the natural aging process of skin can be slowed and even reversed to some extent. That leaves only the genetic factors of skin aging that we are stuck with. At least for now. UV protection, in the form of SPF creams, is the first topical step to take for your skin's health. The second is moisturizing. The third step is assisting the fight against free radical damage with antioxidants. Steps four and five are skin care products that help remove old/dead/abnormal skin cells and those that promote normal skin regeneration. Many ingredients shown to accomplish this demolition and renovation are found in the latest generation of face creams.
In addition to antiaging treatments that support physical health and beauty, there are also antiaging skin care creams that address cosmetic concerns like adult acne, uneven skin pigmentation and lines of expression. While no one dies from these conditions, it is widely accepted that if we look better, we feel better. So though treatments for these skin conditions are termed cosmetic , they frequently have a mental health benefit in that they support a healthy self-image and increased self confidence.
This article is for informational purposes only. It does not purport to offer medical advice. Consult a qualified physician before using any of these products. For a list of the most effective skin care ingredients and what they do, visit http://www.ageless-beauty.com/skin-care.html
Jean Bowler was a teacher, ballet dancer and instructor, personal trainer, cosmetics consultant and more. She is the editor of Ageless Beauty - http://www.ageless-beauty.com
The market in beauty products has grown significantly in the last 25 years but in the last 10 years there has been an increasing interest in the ingredients contained within the lotions, creams and potions we apply so liberally to our skin - the largest organ of our human bodies.
Many main stream manufacturers still include a range of not so natural ingredients in their products:
- waste products from the petrochemical industry
- lead and other heavy metals
- products extracted from animal carcasses
While the cynic may say this is a deliberate attempt to confuse the consumer, a more charitable view is that this is done in pursuit of accurate labeling. As a result of the heightened awareness of health matters and the confusion concerning ingredients and labelling, a new sector of this lucrative market has arisen. The need for natural skin care and cosmetics.
But just how natural is natural?
Many consumers require natural ingredients but are not prepared to accept the necessary compromise in product performance. A classic example is with the ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This is a synthetic detergent derived from coconut oil and it appears in a wide range of shampoos, bath products, toothpastes and liquid soaps. It is what gives these products the luxurious bubbles and lather to which we have all become accustomed. A number of studies have suggested that this ingredient is harmful and many consumers now seek products containing an alternative.
Manufacturers then developed Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which is considered less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. When this was condemned, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate were substituted. Once again these are synthetic detergents developed from coconut oil and they are still considered to be an irritant. Some studies have also suggested they may be carcinogenic.
Unless consumers have a knowledge of bio-chemistry it is almost impossible to discern what ingredients are natural and what are not. The SLS saga is but one example of this confusion. It is ironic that a number of "natural" manufacturers aggressively promote their products by denigrating the products of competing companies - despite the fact that the ingredients they contain are essentially the same. Consumers need to make themselves aware of the real meanings behind the mysterious names on their cosmetic bottles and jars and educate themselves about the various aliases they are likely to encounter.
Depending on the reasons for wanting to purchase natural products, some ingredients may be more acceptable than others. Take Lanolin for example. Lanolin is extracted from the fleece of sheep. It has been shown to contain a large number of chemicals used to kill parasites that may live on the sheep. Many eczema sufferers find that treatment with lanolin based products - despite the chemicals - helps to reduce symptoms. The benefits of Lanolin treatment outweigh the disadvantage of potential contaminants. This is a value judgement that individuals will need to make.
Of course, one of the best ways to ensure that your products are natural is to make them yourself. There is a growing number of companies providing organic based ingredients to facilitate home manufacture of products. Natural cosmetics are surprisingly easy to make in the home using nothing more than regular kitchen equipment. This may be an alternative worth checking-out.
When you have an acne outbreak, do you know how to take care of your skin? Unknowingly, many people tend to use acne skin care methods that aggravate their present condition further. Take for example the notion that a patient must seriously scrub his face to take away dirt. Is this the correct way for acne skin care? Not quite. Here's the scoop.
First, it is important to understand the cause of acne before knowing what acne skin care measures to use. Acne is neither a direct resul of dirt or uncleanness. However, your acne problems worsen when dirt mixes with sebum and other skin debris to create a mixture which may settle in the pus of the pustules.
Medically speaking, acne is caused by many internal body factors such as a weak immune and digestive system, impaired internal detoxification system, and stress. Outside influences like weather elements, pollutants, humidity and the bacteria thriving on the human skin contribute to aggravate your acne. Ultimately, all these factors may not have effectively produced acne if it were not for the "P acnes", which digest excess sebum. The effect results in inflammation, swelling and pain.
It is not easy to pin point the cause of acne on your own. It is best to solicit the help of a dermatologist to help you determine the cause of your acne and to recommend an appropriate acne treatment. Notwithstanding, there are a couple of tips on proper acne skin care that you should be aware of. The first step to good acne skin care is to minimize the sebum production to a level to sustain normal skin. However, in most cases, to treat acne, more needs to be done.
If skin oiliness persist, it is best to keep the pores open. The principle behind this acne care is to release the clogs in the pores and wash them out. The only way to achieve this is to wash the face with extremely hot water. Repeat this procedure to help repel skin bacteria. It is also recommended that you do not zealously wash your face with harsh scrubs or cleansers. By doing this, you may only aggravate the severity of your acne. Actually, washing your face gently two times a day is enough.
In terms of acne skin care products, choose the ones that work best best for you. Select the acne care product that gently clears away the oil and dirt without leaving your skin dry and irritated. In fact, ,mild acne care works best for all skin types. This will require some trials and consequently, some errors. It is best to trust your dermatologist recommendation first. If his recommended product does not work, then shift to other acne skin care products. This way, you are experimenting with acne care products that may suit you best. It is important to note that during your first applications, use small amounts on a small area so that any damage is at best limited.
Also, avoid alcohol-based cleansers as these may only dry out your skin. Dry skin is more vulnerable to serious acne outbreaks. On the other hand, minimize the use of oil-based products as these in themselves may add up to the pre-existing oil content of the skin. At any rate, an acne patient must avoid applying cosmetics, however oil-free they may appear to be. Proper acne skin care methods can go a long way to help you in your acne problems. Good diet and lifestyle habits are other measures that you can also adopt for better glowing skin. Good luck!
Kathelene Capelle writes on acne treatment, natural acne remedy, eczema, dry skin care and also on skin massage oils. Learn skin care recipes that you can easily prepare from your kitchen! Read them all at http://www.acne-and-skin-care.com.
If you are like a lot of women over 30, you are possibly starting to worry about the dreaded w-word - wrinkles. With the abundance of anti aging skin care products on the market, you have to ask yourself if there is any truth to what these products say they can do. Customer testimonials and a myriad of clinical studies have shown that yes, indeed, anti aging products can work, but ultimately you must decide for yourself. What are they purported to do, exactly?
Some cosmetic companies not concerned with accuracy or with reputation often mislead consumers by applying the term to their product.
Anti aging products come in several different formulas - creams and lotions being the most popular. In addition to revitalizing your skin and reducing the signs of aging, a lot of products purportedly stimulate the renewal of skin cells, reduce under eye circles, hydrate skin, and smooth rough texture all while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles! Revitol Complete is but one of many products that boats the ability to dramatically reduce the signs of aging, revealing a radiant, younger you! Royal Gold Anti-Wrinkle Serum in another product claiming to reduce wrinkles while leaving your skin fresh and hydrated. These are but a few of the many products available for older skin, so go ahead and look around to see what works best for you.
Once upon a time, these products were available only by prescription from a licensed dermatologist. Now, that's obviously not the case and what was once prescription-only has now become mass-market; the reason being now they are made with all natural and safe ingredients. Typically, it can take up to 30 days for one to see results with these products. Some boast results in as little as two weeks, but in general you should wait about a month before you see any significant improvement.
Most skin care products designed for older skin have some basics in common. They all have one, or a combination of, the following ingredients. Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, argireline, Shea butter, and Edelweiss extract. Vitamin A, primrose oil and others can also be included, designed to give your skin the youthful and radiant glow it once had. Generally, after four to six weeks of continued use, you can see a dramatic improvement in your skin, possibly looking up to ten years younger than you did before! Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it? Of course, results are not typical and will vary depending on the individual. The bottom line is many people have seen promising results with these products, and the potential is there for you to, as well.
Avoiding the sun, quitting smoking, moisturizing daily, exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet are all ways to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. In combination with these methods, using an anti-wrinkle cream will surely help to combat the signs of aging, and will be more effective when used with the methods listed above. Everyone wants younger looking skin, and there's no reason why you can't have it!
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