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Facial Masks, Sebum, and pH Levels Part II

Published on Jul 09, 2015 in Bath & Body

 

Introduction

Putting on a facial mask can be tricky the first few times, but after you pick up the habit of wearing one you don’t look back. Facial masks have been used for thousands of years by ancients such as the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks; Old civilizations who knew a thing or two about beauty, and about staying forever young. These cultures appreciated true beauty, and we now know – much like they did – that elements and nutrients that come from the earth cannot be truly replaced. They are the real deal.

pH Levels and Facial Masks Explained

Putting on a facial mask needn't be so difficult

Putting on a facial mask needn’t be so difficult

Facials masks come in a wide variety of types and forms (they can be from the earth or ocean). Some are made of vegetables, while others are made of various kinds of clay. They vary in color and texture, but the one thing they all aim to do is nourish your skin, revitalize any damaged sections, improve blood circulation, and remove toxins and excess oils which may cause spots, blemishes, whiteheads, blackheads, and all manner of annoying skin conditions.

Many facial skin conditions originate from the pH levels being out of balance. pH levels measure acidity, and the pH stands for power of Hydrogen. Many people are not aware of just how crucial pH levels are to the body’s overall health. The face has a natural pH of 4.5 – 5.5. This means that the face is somewhat acidic. Any level beneath pH 7 is considered acidic, and any level above 7 is considered an alkali.

Going to either extreme can have disastrous effects on the areas in which the pH goes too far. The body needs to maintain proper levels of pH in its different organs, in order to function at an optimal level, and keep the body safe. The pH is part of what helps the skin form a barrier between itself and the outside world. It keeps out bacteria and fungus, as well as hazardous substances or chemicals which are floating in the air around us.

In this day in age, we are under constant attack by tenacious invisible enemies, and the body needs our help to keep them out of our system.Sebum, the body’s natural oil, is created by the sebaceous glands. These glands are located under the skin in every part of the body, except for the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. This is done in order to let the feet and palms experience a greater degree of friction with the world around us. Other areas, such as the face, back, and forehead have many glands.

Ingredients to Avoid in Facial Masks

Some of the ingredients in conventional beauty products are absolutely toxic!

The ingredients list of most conventional cosmetics and beauty products can be incredibly challenging to decipher – in most cases you’d need to be a qualified chemical scientist just pronounce them correctly.

Here’s a short list of just some of the ingredients to keep an eye out for in your beauty products and facial masks in specific. While I’m not going to go into detail about the effects of each ingredient, I would recommend doing a simple google search on each to get an idea of why these should be avoided – but take my word for it, they should be avoided.

– Sodium Lauryl sulfate
– Triclosan and Triclocarbon
– Parabens
– Polyethylene glycol
– Formaldehyde
– Alcohols/’Fragrances’
– Mercury
– Lead
– Toluene
– Phthalates
– Hydroquinone
– DEA/TEA/MEA
– Coal Tar
– Carbon Black
– Oxybenzone

This is only a selection of the most harmful ones out there – the list is a lot longer and many of these chemicals can be labelled under different names, so it’s understandable that most of us don’t even tend to bother reading them when we do our shopping.

The irony, though, is that in trying to sustain a youthful appearance or rejuvenate your skin, using these chemical based products achieves the exact opposite effect.

They’re generally one of the main sources of free radicals and these little molecules are the cause of most of the symptoms of the aging process (other than time and hormones) and can ultimately speed up the signs of aging.

To make your life a little easier when it comes to choosing the products you’ll buy for your beauty routine – I’d generally recommend just sticking to a all-natural product list. This means using products that contain roughly fewer that 12 ingredients in total and ensuring that all of those ingredients are in their most natural form (or at least as close to it as possible).

The best option though is to stick with DIY recipes as this is the best way to ensure that you get only the best ingredients and ultimately, the best results.

Just the Right Amount of Exfoliator is Needed

The sebum is rich in fats, and is sometimes tricky to keep in check. Having too much can cause the skin to become overly oily. This isn’t good, since too much oil can block the skin pores and hair follicles. When this happens, sebum is backed up, and bacteria begin breaking it down. Although sebum is odorless, when bacteria is busy breaking it down it may cause an unpleasant scent to emanate from the infected regions.

Sebum secretion can be hard to figure out.

Sebum secretion can be hard to figure out.

On the other hand, having too little may cause the skin to appear cracked and lifeless. It can cause the skin to dry up and feel itchy and uncomfortable.

Facial masks are a great and natural way to control your skin’s production of sebum and its pH level. They are also a relatively quick and easy process, which does not require much of the wearer. Facial masks are a very personal product, and what is a perfect match for one type of face may be a real miss for another person. It is important to get to know your own skin, and then attempt to match the product to you.

The face can be a relatively sensitive area. It is also one of the only areas of the body which is ordinarily exposed, day or night. This is true in any type of weather and climate. Because it is usually not covered, it is very susceptible to outside attacks. If you want to build up your facial skin’s resilience and tolerance, it is best you give it the tools it needs to function properly. The skin needs to keep a balanced pH, and facial masks are one of the best ways to get the job done.

Make sure not to leave the mask on too long, or else you could get the complete opposite of what you wanted. Whether you are interested in clay masks for face or a dead sea mud mask is more your speed, a facial mask should be worn for a maximum of 15 minutes or so. Possibly even less, depending on your skin and the kind of mask you are using. Once the mask starts drying up on your face, it begins to pull moisture out of the body. If you are not careful, you could end up in a worse position than the one you started off with.In order to find out which facial mask is right for you, you will have to do a bit of research. Get to know your own skin. Is it oily, is it not? Is it prone to breakouts, or not? Do what feels good. If one mask claims to be amazing, but it hurts or burns your skin when applied, it just isn’t for you.

You may have to go through a couple of different types of masks, before you settle on one which agrees with you. It is a matter of taste and is very subjective. This is because we all have slightly different types of skin, and they react differently. What works great for one person may be totally wrong for the other. You never know.

Homemade Facial Masks May be the Answer

Another option is to avoid store bought masks altogether, and make a facial mask at your own home using vegetables or other ingredients. There are tons of recipes online, and I am sure you will find one that fits you perfectly.

Looking good doesn’t mean parting with a lot of money. In fact, many times, the natural way is the best one. You know what they say: basic is beautiful, less is more. If you find a mask that has a ton of chemicals written on it, consider moving on and trying something else. Remember that substances and ingredients which you rub into your skin may very well end up in the bloodstream. You are what you use. Thanks to the industrial revolution, hazardous chemicals are already all around us. There is absolutely no reason to add insult to injury by paying someone to put them directly on our face.

If you know you have sensitive skin, which is always dry or breaking out, consider using a facial mask geared towards those with sensitive skin. These masks usually contain some amount of aloe or shea butter, known for their calming and soothing effect on sensitive skin.

Also, if you have a more serious skin condition, you may want to consult with your dermatologist or family doctor before beginning treatment. Facial masks do have the ability to make a difference even after one time, but they are meant for continued use. That way, you utilize their benefits to the maximum, make full use of their potential, and maintain that facial glow for longer periods of time.Masks should be worn once a week, usually. Make sure not to overdo it, and to rinse the mask off as soon as you see its color shift. If you aren’t careful, the mask could begin having an opposite effect, and it will pull moisture out of your system instead of hydrating it.

DIY Facial Mask Recipe and Guide

Honey is an ancient source of beauty.

Because of the fact that the beauty industry largely works in an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ kind of way, it’s hard to trust most of the claims that manufacturers make concerning the nature of their products. While some might claim that their products are ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ and in reality there’s nothing to back-up these claims – and in most cases, they’re plainly false.

So the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best quality ingredients in your beauty products is to stick to DIY recipes because it’s the only way to to be 100% certain of what you’re putting in – and the results will speak for themselves. It’s also worth while ensuring that you try and keep your ingredients list below 10 in total, as this is a good way to prevent any major allergic reactions or to ensure that your recipe doesn’t suffer from any adverse chemical reactions.So here are two of my favorite all-natural facial mask recipes. They’re quick, cheap and really easy to prepare so there’s no need to worry about forking out loads of cash or spending hours trying to get the recipe right.

For acne prone skin:

3 teaspoons Raw Honey
1/2 teaspoon  ground Clove

Simply mix the ground up clove into the honey and stir well so that the two blend nicely. Once they’re blended together, simply spread the honey over your face and leave it on to dry for roughly 20 – 30 minutes.Once the time has elapsed, thoroughly rinse the mask off your face and pat dry with a clean towel. Then follow up with your usual beauty routine.

The honey and clove work as potent natural antibacterial agents and help to rid the skin of germs and bacteria that can lead to inflamed pores while the stickiness of the honey helps to get rid of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, allowing your skin to breathe more and stimulating the growth of new and healthy cells which leads to a brighter complexion over time.

For Dry Skin Types

1 teaspoon mashed Avocado
1 teaspoon Whole Milk Yogurt
1 teasponn Raw Honey

Simply mix the ingredients together and apply the mask to your face after rinsing with warm water or placing a warm, wet facial cloth over your face for 5-10 minutes (to help open your pores).Then, let the mask sit for 20 – 30 minutes and rinse it off once the time has elapsed with cold water and follow up with your usual beauty routine.

I love this recipe in particular because it’s a great way to nourish your skin. This recipe in particular is rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium, which makes it ideal for skin types that have lost their nutrients due to being excessively dry over time.

Conclusion

Want to add something to your Face Mask? How about an Avocado.

Want to add something to your Face Mask? How about an Avocado.

Even if you buy a ready-made mask, don’t be afraid to get creative with it. If you like the way avocado makes your skin feel, add it to the mask. Avocado, papaya, tomato – the list goes on.

Facial masks help lock in the moisture, so don’t use anything else on your face after the mask is rinsed off. Additional moisturizers or creams could counter the effects of the mask, and make the whole process a waste of time. The mask should be the final step of your beauty regimen.

As Walter White once said, “cheer up, beautiful people!”