facial masks and scrubs

Scrubs, Masks and Fascials

Facials are a great way to keep your skin glowing, One of the key steps to having radiant, younger looking skin is to get rid of old, dry, dead skin cells. And the best way to do that, or course, is to exfoliate.

Why We Need To Exfoliate

New skin cells are created in the skin’s inner layer (dermis). As they form form, the old, dead skin cells are pushed to the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). These dead cells gradually flake off. But some of them hang on for too long, making your complexion look dull & rough and clogs your pores causing acne & other blemishes. Exfoliating the skin removes these dead cells.

Have you heard about Desquamation?

Desquamation is the shedding of the outermost membrane or layer of a tissue, such as the skin. It is the process by which body naturally exfoliates (aka cell turnover) a new skin cell is born in the deepest layer of the epidermis and during its life span, migrates to the uppermost layer of skin. Yes, you heard it right; our skin naturally sheds the dead skin cells over a period of time. But if this is true, then why exfoliate! The reason is with time and age, the skin’s ability to naturally shed dead skin cells reduces. Plus if you have Acne Prone skin the condition is even bad, as Acne-prone skin produces more dead skin cells than normal and these cells don’t shed properly and they remain stuck on the skin’s surface creating a clog (leading to whiteheads and blackheads). That’s the reason regular exfoliation is so important for acne prone skin types.

There are two good options available for Acne Prone skin – Physical and Chemical Exfoliation.

Physical exfoliation involves manually removing dead skin cells with the help of an abrasive ingredient. It can be something as simple as an over-the-counter scrub, or a professional procedure, such as micro dermabrasion. Physical scrubs definitely leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, but I strongly believe they are not the best choice for acne-prone skin. Reason being, a scrub leads to friction on the skin that can irritate already inflamed skin, increase redness and promote additional breakouts. I would suggest that if you have active inflamed acne, you should avoid physical exfoliators or choose the kind of scrubs that are very mild on the skin (milder the better)

Chemical Exfoliation which is a much better option I believe, if you have acne prone skin. Chemical exfoliation involves dissolving or loosening the bonds that hold dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Some common chemical exfoliants which prove to be good for acne prone skin include:
• Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)- glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acid
• Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) – salicylic acid
• Retinoids – Retin A (tretinoin), Differin (adapalene), Tazorac (tazarotene)
• Chemical peels – trichloroacetic acid (TCA), carbolic or phenol, AHA and BHA peels

Today, Markets are flooded with OTC products which contain these as ingredients.You can always consult your dermatologist before going ahead and picking the right chemical exfoliation products(face wash, toner, moisturizer, masks) depending on how sensitive your skin is, what options would suit you better.

what is the difference between facial scrub and face masks?

It’s a very interesting question as they are both products that help remove dead skin cells; helping your skin renew it’s self quicker. Yet they really not the same thing. I’m going to start off talking about my personal favorite, face scrubs. The main reason is I have dry older skin and it’s not recommended for my skin type to use mud based masks. So before you try it, be sure you are using the best for your skin type.

Facial scrubs come in different forms depending of what maybe in it. Most facial scrubs are recommended to be used no more than up to three times a week. There are some that are gentle enough that you can use them each day if you wanted to. They usually come in a tube due to the fact they are thinner base than a facial masks. They will have beads, walnut shells, salt or sugar or both. Most of the types made with sugar seem to almost melt into your skin leaving softness behind.

There are different kinds of masks (e.g. cactus, cucumber, etc.) for different purposes: deep-cleansing, by penetrating the pores; healing acne scars or hyper-pigmentation; brightening, for a gradual illumination of the skin tone. Some masks are designed to dry or solidify on the face, almost like plaster; others just remain wet. The perceived effects of a facial mask treatment include revitalizing, healing, or refreshing; and, may yield temporary or long-term benefits (depending on environmental, dietary, and other skincare factors).

Masks are removed by either rinsing the face with water, wiping off with a damp cloth, or peeling off of the face. Duration for wearing a mask varies with the type of mask, and manufacturer’s usage instructions. The time can range from a few minutes to overnight. Those with sensitive skin are advised to first test out the mask on a small portion of the skin, in order to check for any irritations.[1] Some facial masks are not suited to frequent use. A glycolic mask can only be used once a month without the risk of burning the skin.

Masks can be found anywhere from drugstores to department stores, and can vary in consistency and form. Setting masks include: clay, which is a thicker consistency, and will draw out impurities (and sometimes, natural oils, too) from the pores, a cream, which stays damp to hydrate the skin; sheet-style, in which a paper mask is dampened with liquid to tone and moisturize the skin; and lastly, a hybrid/clay and cream form that includes small beads for removing dead surface skin cells. Non-setting facial masks include warm oil and paraffin wax masks. These different forms are made to suit different skin types (e.g., oily or dry), and different skincare goals or needs (e.g., moisturizing, cleansing, exfoliating). Clay and mud masks suit oily and some “combination” skin types, while cream-based masks tend to suit dry and sensitive skin types.

Face polishes which are a different type of facial scrubs as they are used after you have cleanse your face. Where as facial scrubs that I am talking about here are the type you use instead of your basic cleanser. One thing about facial scrubs is, they are not meant for oily skin because you are scrubbing away the top layer of your skin and remove your natural oils your face produces. If you have oily skin and you remove too much of the natural oils, you just make your face produce more, and it becomes a catch-22 pretty much. Face masks are mostly recommended for oily/combo skin.

Just what is a facial mask and what are they good for?

For starters not all masks are wet, they come in a jar as dried powder of some kind and then you add whatever you want to make it into a paste. Lots of facial masks are a mud base and come as a powder in a jar. You add whatever you want to make it wet. Water, Milk, Aloe stuff like that. What do they do? Like a facial scrub a facial mask will remove dead skin cells but a mud based mask will go deeper and remove more impurities in your face.

Now there are two types facial masks, the type most would know about are the ones that are mud based. You can apply mud masks from head to toe which happens in spas. If you get a mud mask at a spa they add all kinds of ingredients to purity your skin. They may even wrap you in a soft sheet to help the mud mask really purity your skin. It’s a wonderful feeling and everyone needs to do it once.

Now the other type of facial mask is a creamier base and tends to come ready to be used in a tube. They do the opposite of a mud based mask. You still leave it on your skin for a period of time, but you are in fact putting moisturizer into your skin instead of purifying.

They are also wonderful to do a night to help you relax after you have cleanse your skin. There are even types that come with a ready made mask that all you may do is get it a bit wet then apply it to your face. Again with the type that are gel masks, they can relax you as get ready for bed. They are popular at the end of facials, face peels or while you are at the spa.

In fact if you are at the spa you can have both types of masks. Now that is the way to relax. Please note that most mud masks are not recommended more than once a week.

Women who want to look their best and delay the visual effects of aging for as long as possible have a wealth of skincare products to choose from. Unfortunately, some skincare products may actually do more harm than good.

One prime example is facial scrubs. Sales of facial scrubs are strong, and there is hardly a woman in America who hasn’t tried one. Yet most facial scrubs are known to cause redness, blemishes, skin sensitivity, and inflammation. Quite simply, they can make your skin look old before its time because of how they work on the skin.

The idea behind a facial scrub is that to deeply clean your face you need the rough texture of a scrub to exfoliate the skin—that is, remove dead skin cells. But many best-selling facial scrubs contain jagged particles, such as apricot and walnut seeds, that do not cleanse the skin, but, instead, cause tiny cuts in your face. Even if you cannot see these little cuts, they are more than big enough to allow bacteria to enter. The result is redness, inflammation, and blemishes. Many people who suffer from “adult acne” or sensitive skin are really just victims of popular facial scrubs.

While blemishes are the most immediate and visible result of damaging facial scrubs, inflammation is really much worse. Inflammation is a natural process in the body that can actually be very helpful to your body if you are fighting an infection, providing the inflammation stops once it has done its job of killing the germs. But if you use facial scrubs regularly, you can set off an inflammation cascade with each use, where your skin will be chronically damaged and inflamed. Even if you can’t see the inflammation in the form of rough, red, or super-sensitive skin, it’s still there, promoting the release of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to the skin and ultimately age it.

Some facial scrubs actually contain an acne-fighting ingredient, because their manufacturers know their products cause blemishes. So even if your facial scrub is not prompting breakouts, it is still committing cellular-level destruction.

What To Look For

Examine the ingredient list on your facial scrub to see if it contains ground seeds or shells, which most likely have sharp, jagged edges that will cause all this widespread skin damage. Also, if your scrub contains emulsifiers, it will harm your skin’s natural protective layer, causing your skin to dry out. And dry skin ages faster.

In order to exfoliate properly and safely—since it is indeed important to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells regularly—you need to look for a product without damaging particles, such as shells, mica, apricot or walnut seeds, or emulsifiers, or any of the other harmful ingredients so often found in skincare products. Regular exfoliation with a safe facial wash will accelerate your skin’s natural renewal cycle and give you a healthy, youthful glow.


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