Saturday, April 26, 2008

Skin Lightening Secrets

The dilemma of individuals affected by hyperpigmentation problems lies not only in choosing a good product, but the proper way to lighten skin. A successful skin lightening or whitening regimen does not rely on the products alone. Let me tell you why.

Skin lightening products have grown in demand as the answer for uneven pigmentation such as melasma, age spots, freckles, dark underarms, knees, elbows, acne scars or inner thighs. Regardless of race or skin color, it concerns a lot of people caused by the skins melanin content. Melanin, in its simplest definition, defines the color of our skin.

Here are four vital factors to lighten skin effectively:

1. A good skin lightening product should be safe and potent. Ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury and steroids are harmful substances, and banned for use in Europe and Asia. Studies showed that hydroquinone is carcinogenic and can cause skin cancer. Although some contain an approved 2% content, cautious people choose not to buy. Mercury, on the other hand, poisons the bloodstream, while steroids cause skin thinning and produces stretch marks. The safer ingredients are natural plant extracts known to deliver good skin lightening results, such as kojic acid from mushroom‚, licorice plant extract‚, and papain papaya fruit‚. Potency is another issue because most commercial products show little or no results, ineffective or just a waste of money.

2. Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, because not all sunscreens block both rays. The UVA rays are responsible for skin cancer, aging and tanning of our skin. The UVB rays burn out skin. Good ingredients are Parsol1789 at least 3%‚, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide or Mexoryl-Sx. The higher the SPF, the better. Wearing sunscreen is a must, whether youre using skin lightening products or not. Avoid overexposure to the sun particularly between 10am-3pm. Remember, sunscreen does not block all UVA or UVB rays. Even in the shade, the suns rays can penetrate, so its best to protect your skin physically through hats/sunglasses and long sleeved shirts for extended sun exposure.

3. Take 500mg Vitamin C supplement daily. A daily dose of at least 500mg ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant helps promote healthy skin and inhibits the production of melanin. Others take it with whitening pills, but will take months to see results. Your best bet is an intake of this supplement plus the use of good skin lightening products.

4. Use your favorite moisturizers with skin lighteners. Exfoliated skin that is resurfaced as a result of the skin lightening procedure needs hydration to give a rosy, whiter effect. Simply use your moisturizers 5-10 minutes after the application of the skin lightening products.

Another alternative to treat dark skin spots is laser treatment but the price tag can cost over a thousand dollars. The same with glutathione intravenous injectables that can prove to be effective, but requires high maintenance. Others resort to glutathione or metathione whitening pills, i.e., if youre willing to wait for months to get results. But the skin whitening market has been flooded by fake whitening pills, and has since confused the consumer on which pill is genuine.

On the other hand, there are expensive skin lightening soaps, lotions or creams that dont necessarily imply better efficiency over the more economical ones. There are safer, cheaper and better ways to do it as described above. You just have to know where a reliable source is.

In most Asian, African and Latin American countries, fair skin radiates an aura of sophistication. On the contrary, skin tanning is the opposite trend in the United States. Although skin lightening or bleaching is more criticized in the US, both skin lightening and skin tanning are inclined on the same solutions even skin tone, higher self esteem, or just aesthetic preferences. Fair women would still stand out than bronzed whites visiting Asian countries. The only real difference lies in ones cultural identity and tradition.

About the Author: The author has a passion for skin care, especially skin lightening. After suffering from hyperpigmentation for years, she offers a lot of information about safe and effective skin lightening products here.

How To Choose A Cleanser For Oily Skin

By Katharine Silvia

People go to great lengths to rid their faces of oily residue, but harsh cleansers can do more harm than good. Your best bet is to chose a gentle cleanser. Fortunately, there are a number of these on the market.

Step One

Ask your dermatologist for a recommendation. Your doctor is an expert in skin care and may have found that one cleanser is better for oily skin than others. Cetaphil cleanser is often recommended by dermatologists, but yours might have seen better results with another brand or a prescription formula.

Step Two

Decide whether your skin is simply oily, if you have combination skin with an oily T-zone but dryness elsewhere or if you have acne. There are different cleansers available for different types of oily skin. For severe acne, talk to a dermatologist about medications such as Accutane.

Step Three

Set a budget. There are many effective cleansers on the market, but the price range is huge. It's hard to say whether a cheaper product is actually lower-quality than an expensive one. Brand name and packaging play a big role in pricing.

Step Four

Choose from popular oily skin cleansers based on your budget. Brands available in drugstores include Cetaphil, Ponds, Clean and Clear and Neutrogena. If you're willing to spend more, Clarins, DermaNew, Elizabeth Arden Ahava, Clinique, Lancome, Dr. Brandt and Shisiedo are among top sellers. A good plan is start with the least expensive brands and switch to increasingly pricey brands until you see desired results.

Step Five

Use cleanser as directed, unless a dermatologist tells you otherwise. In between cleansing, use blotting tissues to absorb oil rather than washing, which can lead to dried out skin.

Cleanser for oily skin

Thank you

Katharine Silvia

Beauty Expert Since 2001
Click Here

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Home Remedies for Skin Disorders

by Juliet Cohen

Skin is one of the most vulnerable organs of the body. Skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system.

Skin also helps maintain a constant body temperature. Skin is composed of three primary layers: the epidermis, which provides waterproofing and serves as a barrier to infection; the dermis, which serves as a location for the appendages of skin; and the hypodermis subcutaneous adipose layer‚, which is called the basement membrane.

Skin has pigmentation, or melanin, provided by melanocytes, which absorb some of the potentially dangerous ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. It also contains DNA repair enzymes which help to reverse UV damage, and people who lack the genes for these enzymes suffer high rates of skin cancer.

One form predominantly produced by UV light, malignant melanoma, is particularly invasive, causing it to spread quickly, and can often be deadly. Human skin pigmentation varies among populations in a striking manner. This has sometimes led to the classification of people on the basis of skin color. Epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It forms the waterproof, protective wrap over the body's surface and is made up of stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying basal lamina.

The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and is nourished by diffusion from the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkels cells. The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain.

The skin provides a remarkably good barrier against bacterial infections. Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness.

Skin disorders can be uncomfortable and may cause chronic disabilities. In addition, because the skin is so visible, skin disorders can lead to psychological stress. Many types of bacteria can infect the skin. The most common are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Skin infections caused by less common bacteria may develop in hospitals or nursing homes or while gardening or swimming in a pond, lake, or ocean.

Some people are at particular risk of contracting skin infectionsfor example, people with diabetes because they are likely to have poor blood flow, especially to the hands and feet, and because high levels of sugar in the blood decrease the ability of white blood cells to fight infections. There are more than 2,000 known skin disorders.

There are many disorders of the skin ,such as acne, Acrochordons ,Albinism , Alopecia Baldness‚ ,Athlete's Foot ,Behcet Disease ,Blisters ,Dry Skin Xerosis‚ ,Ectodermal Dysplasia ,Eczma Atopic Dermatitis‚ ,Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Itching. People with AIDS or other immune disorders and those undergoing chemotherapy are at higher risk as well, because they have a weakened immune system.

Skin that is inflamed or damaged by sunburn, scratching, or other trauma is more likely to be infected. In fact, any break in the skin predisposes a person to infection. Prevention involves keeping the skin undamaged and clean.

Home Remedies of Skin Disorders
1.Mix 1 tsp of milk powder, 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of lemon juice, and ½ tsp of almond oil. Apply on face and wash off after 10-15 minutes. This pack helps bring shine to the skin and also removes tan.
2.Mix oatmeal with curd and tomato juice and apply on the face. Keep it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. It helps remove the tan and lightens the skin.
3.Place sliced raw potato on the face. It helps reduce blemishes and other marks.
4.Dried orange peels mixed with curd also help reduce blemishes and scars. Wash off this mixture with cold water after 15 minutes.
5.Soak 4 almonds overnight. Grind into a fine paste using milk. Apply on face and neck and leave it overnight. Wash with cold water in the morning. Do this daily for 15 days, followed by twice a week.
6.A tbsp of gram flour mixed with 2 tsp of raw milk and 2-3 drops of lime juice works well for lightening dark skin. Apply this mixture and leave it for 15 minutes before washing off. Repeat for 4 weeks and follow up with once a week.
7.Apply a paste of fresh ground mint leaves and leave it for about 20 minutes. Wash with cold water, continue for 15 days.
8.Apply a mixture of grated tomato with 2-3 drops of lime juice on the face. Leave it for 20 minutes before washing off. Do this twice a day for 15-20 days for best results.
9.Grated cucumber applied over the affected areas for 15-20 minutes has been found to be effective especially for the skin on the face.
10.Applying the juice of fresh mint every night on affected areas of the skin can help prevent dryness. It is also a suggested remedy for eczema and dermatitis.
11.Honey, olive oil and a mixture of turmeric and sandalwood paste are very effective in rejuvenating dry, parched skin.
12.Make a paste by mixing gram flour, curd, turmeric and lemon juice. Apply this on your scars to get rid of it.
13.Mix one egg with a few drops of limejuice and witch hazel. Apply it on the face and let it dry. Wash it first with warm water and then by cold water.
14.Mix oatmeal with hot water and make a paste out of it. Apply it on the skin. Oatmeal acts as an exfoliation agent that will absorb all the oils form your skin.
15.Tomatoes are also good to cure acne from oily skin. So mash a tomato and apply it on face directly.
16.Egg white is another tried and true home remedy for clear skin
17.Add 3 teaspoons of dried basil leaves to 1 cup boiling water and let steep for 10-20 minutes. After it cools, apply to affected area with a cotton ball.
18.Drink a glass of water with two tablespoons of cider vinegar.
19.Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption should be avoided.
20.Grind 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds with 1-teaspoon water and add 1-teaspoon limejuice. Apply to affected area for relief from itching and redness.

About the Author: Juliet Cohen writes articles on rare skin disorders and homemade recipes. She also writes articles on makeup tips.