Advanced facial masks reverse photoaging, fight blemishes, and rejuvenate skin.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
One of the most effective and pleasurable ways to maintain the health of your skin is through the use of skin masks targeted for specific benefits. There are a variety of nutrient-rich masks for home use that will help nourish and restore the skin's healthy appearance. Following are some of the most advanced ingredients in today's scientifically-based home facial masks.
ANCIENT TRADITIONS, MODERN ADVANCES
The science of natural skin care dates back as far as the 4th millennium BC. The ancient Egyptians were the first to develop natural skin care treatments based on a variety of general skin conditions. In the writings of the first century Roman historian Pliny the Elder Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus) (plĭ`nē), c.A.D. 23–A.D. 79, Roman naturalist, b. Cisalpine Gaul. He was a friend and fellow soldier of Vespasian, and he dedicated his great work to Titus. , we even find a reference to an actual beauty regimen once used by Cleopatra herself. This recorded royal treatment began with a mask of black asphalt mud from the banks of the Dead Sea, followed by an invigorating scrub of Dead Sea salt (still used in skin care products today), and finished with a scented massage of fragrant oil to hide the pungent smell of the pitch and mineral salts.
Like long ago, the science of natural skin care today still involves using botanically-sourced ingredients (such as herbs, roots, essential oils, and flowers), combining them with naturally occurring carrier agents and manufacturing them in a way that preserves the integrity of the ingredients. Unlike our ancient predecessors, who relied heavily on guesswork and mystical incantation incantation, set formula, spoken or sung, for the purpose of working magic. An incantation is normally an invocation to beneficent supernatural spirits for aid, protection, or inspiration. It may also serve as a charm or spell to ward off the effects of evil spirits. , we now have the benefit of scientific technology that is able to verify the efficacy of new plant nutrients and assess the value of their therapeutic properties. Modern extraction techniques also provide raw materials that are extremely concentrated and free of impurities, for vastly improved results over a shorter period of time. These advancements in natural science and technology have enabled the creation of powerful, targeted formulas that specifically address certain skin conditions.
ANTI-AGING MASK: RESTORING A YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, environmental toxins, stress, and other factors readily generates free radicals that can age your skin. The damage caused by these free radicals results in your collagen protein molecules breaking down and then linking back up again in a different way. This process, known as cross-linking, causes the normally mobile collagen fibers beneath your skin to become stiff and less yielding, resulting in the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Over time, free radical assault can also do damage to the sensitive lipid bilayers of your skin cell membranes, allowing them to lose water and become dry and dehydrated de·hy·drate
v. de·hy·drat·ed, de·hy·drat·ing, de·hy·drates
1. To remove water from; make anhydrous.
2. To preserve by removing water from (vegetables, for example). . Skin trauma caused by other oxidative agents also releases pro-inflammatory messengers like nuclear factor-kappa B that can destroy your skin's elasticity and thickness.
Since ancient times and now in today's most advanced medical spas, therapeutic masks applied to the face are used to correct many of the factors of aging. To help restore your skin's youthful elasticity, tone, and texture, a new Anti-Aging Mask has been developed that features a unique combination of scientifically proven ingredients that not only reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but hydrate hydrate (hī`drāt), chemical compound that contains water. A common hydrate is the familiar blue vitriol, a crystalline form of cupric sulfate. Chemically, it is cupric sulfate pentahydrate, CuSO4·5H2O. , moisturize, and protect your skin from age-accelerating free radicals.
One of the rejuvenating ingredients in the Anti-Aging Mask is hyaluronic acid. This large, sugar-like molecule is found in every tissue of your body. It plays a particularly significant role in your skin's extracellular matrix, the vital jelly-like mixture which transports essential nutrients from your bloodstream, via the capillary network, to the living cells of your skin. The ability of hyaluronic acid to attract and retain 1000 times its own weight in water is unmatched by any other substance in nature. This makes hyaluronic acid absolutely crucial for maintaining your skin's moisture and softness. Hyaluronic acid's volumizing effect on the gel-like matrix surrounding the network of collagen fibers below your skin adds vital fullness that minimizes facial wrinkles. Although hyaluronic acid is found in great abundance in young skin, the damage caused by free radicals over time drastically depletes your hyaluronic acid reserves. Therefore, the addition of hyaluronic acid to this anti-aging formula is vital to increased cell renewal and rejuvenation, and can help restore healthy texture, color, and moisture to your aging skin. (1-7)
Another ingredient in the Anti-Aging Mask that helps amplify the wrinkle-reducing, "plumping" action of hyaluronic acid is Matrixyl[TM]. (8,9) This synthetic amino-peptide complex effectively stimulates collagen synthesis by interacting with receptors that turn on genes responsible for cell proliferation and renewal. This patented pentapeptide pen·ta·pep·tide
A polypeptide composed of five amino acids. significantly enhances the production of collagen and elastin elastin /elas·tin/ (e-las´tin) a yellow scleroprotein, the essential constituent of elastic connective tissue; it is brittle when dry, but when moist is flexible and elastic.
n. within your extracellular matrix. This increased production complements the volumizing action of hyaluronic acid, thereby resulting in visibly reduced wrinkle depth, density, and number. Studies show that this patented ingredient is as effective as the vitamin A derivative retinol retinol: see Vitamin A under vitamin. in reducing the signs of photoaging pho·to·ag·ing
1. The process by which skin is changed or damaged as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight and other sources.
2. , yet it does not cause the skin irritation associated with retinol.
The argireline or (acetyl acetyl /ac·e·tyl/ (as´e-til) (as´e-tel?) (ah-se´til) the monovalent radical CH3COsbond, a combining form of acetic acid.
n. hexapeptide-3) in the Anti-Aging Mask is a relatively new, topical anti-wrinkle ingredient that reduces preexisting pre·ex·ist or pre-ex·ist
v. pre·ex·ist·ed, pre·ex·ist·ing, pre·ex·ists
To exist before (something); precede: Dinosaurs preexisted humans.
v.intr. wrinkle depth through a novel mechanism. This active peptide works by significantly down-regulating muscle contraction, interfering with the neurotransmitters that make your muscles contract, thereby preventing the formation of unwanted lines and wrinkles. (10-12) This safe, inexpensive, and natural alternative to Botox[R] injections is especially beneficial for visibly reducing wrinkle depth around your eyes and forehead.
JOJOBA OIL Jojoba oil (pronounced "ho-HO-bah") is the liquid wax produced in the seed of the Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant, a shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.
To effectively lubricate lu·bri·cate
v. lu·bri·cat·ed, lu·bri·cat·ing, lu·bri·cates
1. To apply a lubricant to.
2. To make slippery or smooth.
To act as a lubricant. dry skin, the new Anti-Aging Mask includes the outstanding moisturizing benefits of natural jojoba oil. Produced by the seeds of the jojoba jojoba (h·hōˑ·b plant, a shrub native to Arizona, California, and Mexico, jojoba oil's unique chemical composition is very similar to human sebum--the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of your skin that protects, moisturizes, soothes, and gives your skin its healthy glow by restoring its natural pH balance. An excellent emollient emollient /emol·li·ent/ (e-mol´yent)
1. softening or soothing.
2. an agent that softens or soothes the skin, or soothes an irritated internal surface.
adj. , jojoba oil is widely known for its ability to penetrate deeply and undergo quick absorption to soften dry, rough, and wrinkled skin. (13)
CONCENTRATED ANTIOXIDANT TEA BLEND
Finally, the concentrated antioxidant tea blend in this potent anti-aging formula contains red tea extract that is up to 50 times more effective at quenching age-accelerating free radicals than green tea, due to its high concentrations of superoxide dismutase (SOD). (14-17) In addition, red tea also contains significant amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids, which not only act as natural exfoliants to remove dead skin cells, but are also healthy stimulators of collagen production and cell growth. (18-21) Several other natural antioxidants derived from red tea, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids flavonoids,
n.pl common plant pigment compounds that act as antioxidants, enhance the effects of vitamin C, and strengthen connective tissue around capillaries. , help your skin repair, renew, and revitalize itself after the removal of dead skin cells. (22-31) Continued use of red tea lessens the appearance of many types of skin imperfections--including fine lines and wrinkles--to give you radiant, healthier, younger-looking skin.
Peel Off Cleansing Mask: Purifying and Beautifying Benefits
Even regular and careful washing with soap and water cannot remove all the makeup, dead skin cells, and other cellular debris from the surface of your skin. Over time, these accumulate, causing your skin to look dull and lifeless. In conjunction with this, sebum sebum: see sebaceous gland. can collect and harden in your pores. Further, toxins from the blood and lymph fluid are expelled through your skin, where they can combine with your sebum into a pasty glue that congests your skin and blocks your pores. When the exposed tip of this plug becomes oxidized oxidized
having been modified by the process of oxidation.
see absorbable cellulose. and black, the result is a blackhead blackhead, yellowish or blackish plug of material accumulated in the duct of a sebaceous gland. The material consists of keratin (horny cells of the epidermis) and modified sebum (oily secretions of the sebaceous gland). Blackheads are the primary lesions in acne. (also known as a comedone). Individuals with oily and combination skin types are particularly susceptible to these problems.
Ideal for people with oily or combination type skin, the new Peel Off Cleansing Mask is specifically designed to carefully lift away dull, dead cells from the surface of your skin and clarify your complexion by drawing out imbedded impurities from beneath the top layers of the epidermis. This exfoliating action allows the special herbal extracts in this rejuvenating formula to penetrate deeply into your unclogged pores to increase skin clarity and moisture. By stimulating blood circulation, this invigorating mask gives your skin a soft, healthy glow and leaves it feeling noticeably softer and smoother. Not only does this mask dramatically improve your skin's appearance, but it also helps maximize the benefits of other skin care products you may also use for toning, hydrating, or protecting your skin.
Zinc, an essential trace mineral found in virtually every cell of your body, is highly therapeutic because it supports your immune system and provides important antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals. Not only does zinc possess an inhibitory effect on the cells involved in inflammatory activity, it also has the ability to decrease the impact of topical toxins and other irritants on your skin. (32-34)
One of the major constituents of the Peel Off Cleansing Mask is a zinc oxide compound that is suspended within a polyvinyl alcohol base. As the alcohol base evaporates on your skin, a rubbery paste is formed. As the mask congeals, it imprisons dead skin cells and other debris lying on the surface of your face, while drawing out impurities trapped within your pores. Also combined in this gel-like suspension are a number of other therapeutic ingredients that effectively nourish and renew your skin.
CHAMOMILE chamomile or camomile (both: kăm`əmīl', –mēl') [Gr.,=ground apple], name for various related plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family), especially the perennial Anthemis nobilis,
The healing and soothing properties of the Peel Off Cleansing Mask come from chamomile, an herbal ingredient that has been prized for thousands of years for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Ancient Egyptian noblewomen used a preparation containing the crushed petals of this sweet-smelling medicinal herb to soften and refresh their skin. (35)
The flowers of chamomile contain a flavonoid called apigenin that prevents the production of proteins which allow malignant cells to anchor to new sites, and also counters the inflammatory reactions necessary for new growths to gain blood supplies. (36-38) Complementing the action of this highly bioactive compound are other constituents such as bisabolol and chamazulene which also contribute to chamomile's potent anti-inflammatory capacity. The pronounced healing virtue of chamomile is due mainly to the highly antiseptic qualities of its phenolic derivatives that effectively neutralize certain germs and prevent infection while they relieve pore congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. and soften your skin.
Chamomile contains more than 100 active components, including essential oils, beta-carotene, tannic acid, coumarin coumarin /cou·ma·rin/ (koo´mah-rin)
1. a principle extracted from the tonka bean; it contains a factor, dicumarol, that inhibits hepatic synthesis of vitamin K–dependent coagulation factors, and a number of its derivatives are , luteolin, thymol thy·mol
A white crystalline aromatic compound derived from thyme oil and other oils or made synthetically and used as an antiseptic, a fungicide, and a preservative. , boron, calcium, choline choline: see vitamin.
Organic compound related to vitamins in its activity. It is important in metabolism as a component of the lipids that make up cell membranes and of acetylcholine. , essential fatty acids Essential fatty acids
Sources of fat in the diet, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Mentioned in: Nutritional Supplements , folate folate /fo·late/ (fo´lat)
1. the anionic form of folic acid.
2. more generally, any of a group of substances containing a form of pteroic acid conjugated with l-glutamic acid and having a variety of substitutions. , inositol inositol (ĭnō`sĭtōl): see vitamin.
The generic name for hexahydroxycyclohexanes, which are classified as carbohydrates. , iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, B-vitamins, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. The healing, calming and soothing effect of the chamomile in this scientifically advanced formula will refresh and dramatically improve the health of your skin.
The Peel Off Cleansing Mask also contains aloe vera, an ingredient highly regarded for its moisturizing and healing benefits. Used medicinally for at least 4000 years, aloe aloe (ăl`ō) [Gr.], any species of the genus Aloe, succulent perennials of the family Lilaceae (lily family), native chiefly to the warm dry areas of S Africa and also to tropical Africa, but cultivated elsewhere. vera's first known mention occurs in a Sumerian clay tablet written in approximately 2200 BC, where it is listed as one of the "plants of great healing power." In fact, the amazing therapeutic properties of this succulent plant have been held in universal esteem by cultures such as the ancient Greeks and the Native Americans, who referred to it simply as "the wand of heaven."
Aloe vera is known to contain a diverse mixture of more than 70 active ingredients, including essential oils, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and glycoproteins that offer valuable antibiotic, astringent astringent (əstrĭn`jənt), substance that shrinks body tissues. Astringent medicines cause shrinkage of mucous membranes or exposed tissues and are often used internally to check discharge of serum or mucous secretions in sore throat, , pain-reducing, growth-supporting, and scarinhibiting properties. (39-42)
Possessing the same natural pH as human skin, the cucumber extract in this Peel Off Cleansing Mask helps restore your skin's protective acidic mantle. Composed of 90% water (which accounts for its outstanding hydrating and cooling action), cucumber extract also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that help soothe and calm skin irritation while reducing swelling.
Also contained in cucumber are a variety of other highly beneficial minerals such as silica, potassium, and magnesium. Silica is an essential component of healthy connective tissue and aids in the tightening of collagen to help reduce facial lines and wrinkles and improve your complexion. (43,44) Cucumber's hydrating, nourishing, and astringent properties contribute greatly to the overall health-promoting effects of this purifying and cleansing formula for healthier, younger-looking skin.
Citrus oils, such as the grapefruit extract found in this formula, have a high content of vitamin C and bioflavonoids bioflavonoids (bī´ōflav´noidz´),
n. . These powerful antioxidants neutralize the highly unstable and extremely reactive molecules that attack your cells and contribute to skin aging. In addition, studies have also shown that vitamin C helps build collagen in your skin, reducing wrinkles and enhancing your skin's natural strength and elasticity. Grapefruit is also high in limonene lim·o·nene
A liquid, C10H16, with a characteristic lemonlike fragrance, used as a solvent, wetting agent, and dispersing agent and in the manufacture of resins. , another potent antioxidant that inhibits inflammatory activity to help your skin achieve a youthful, healthy glow. (45)
Healing Mask: Supporting Skin Recuperation
Following aggressive cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, laser treatments, or microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion (often referred to as Microderm) is a cosmetic procedure popular in day spas, doctors' practices, and medical spas, in which the stratum corneum (dead outermost surface of the skin) is partially or completely removed by light abrasion. , the gel-based Healing Mask formula can provide fast, effective relief for irritated skin. This soothing, healing formulation is also ideal for extremely sensitive or allergic skin. The regenerative, rebalancing, and protective qualities of the Healing Mask come from its unique blend of natural ingredients that calm, soothe, and reduce redness while hydrating and moisturizing your skin.
One notable ingredient with potent healing powers included in the Healing Mask is arnica, which contains active components called sesquiterpene lactones, known for their ability to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. (46,47) Other active principals found in arnica are thymol (an essential oil), flavonoids, carotenoids Carotenoids
Carotenoids are yellow to deep-red pigments.
Mentioned in: Vitamin A Deficiency
carotenoids (k , and tannins tannins,
n.pl polyphenolic phytochemicals whose name derives from their use in tanning animal skins. Used as astringents, antioxidants, and styptics; treats burns, relieves diarrhea. .
The arnica in this preparation works by improving blood circulation to promote the healing of injured tissue. Arnica's ability to speed wound recuperation and reduce pain, as well as its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, make it a valuable part of this healing formula.
SQUALENE squalene (skwäˑ·lēn),
n a popular traditional Asian remedy derived from the liver oil of sharks.
Obtained from natural olive oil, the squalene in the Healing Mask has a very similar chemical structure to vitamin A. The value of squalene stems directly from the fact that it is the principal hydrocarbon found in your sebum, where it amounts to approximately 12% of the total fat content.
A natural emollient that imparts suppleness to your skin without an unpleasant greasy feel, squalene readily forms emulsions with fixed oils and fat-soluble substances, yet it does not oxidize oxidize /ox·i·dize/ (ok´si-diz) to cause to combine with oxygen or to remove hydrogen.
1. To combine with oxygen; change into an oxide.
2. or turn rancid. Squalene is quickly absorbed into your skin, penetrating deeply to assist in the acceleration of new cell growth. It also helps to discourage the growth of microorganisms that can block normal healthy cell development by forming a protective anti-bacterial and fungicidal coating on your skin.
Squalene also has a stimulatory effect on the healing process. Not only does squalene boosts your body's natural ability to regenerate, nourish, and hydrate the skin tissue, but it is also uniquely valuable for its ability to increase the rate, depth, and penetration of other topical healing agents. (48-50)
The seaweed extract found in the Healing Mask is stimulating, revitalizing, and nourishing to your skin due to its content of iodine and sulfur, which also give it soothing, anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant abilities. (51)
COPPER PEPTIDE COMPLEX
Copper's ability to help stimulate collagen formation makes it an effective agent in the skin rejuvenation process. The copper peptide complex that is part of the Healing Mask aids healing by supporting the enzymatic function of superoxide dismutase. (52-54)
Corrective Clearing Mask: Balancing Acne-Prone Skin
For individuals who suffer from oily, congested con·gest·ed
Affected with or characterized by congestion.
congested ENT adjective Referring to a boggy blood-filled tissue. See Nasal congestion. , acne-prone, or blemished skin, a facial remedy is now available. The Corrective Clearing Mask features a combination of ingredients to purify your skin; remove excess oil; exfoliate ex·fo·li·ate
v. ex·fo·li·at·ed, ex·fo·li·at·ing, ex·fo·li·ates
1. To remove (a layer of bark or skin, for example) in flakes or scales; peel.
2. and cleanse the pores; clear up blackheads; and even help prevent further breakouts. A perfect "spot treatment" for breakouts, this outstanding product contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe and calm your skin, helping return it to a normal, healthy homeostasis homeostasis
Any self-regulating process by which a biological or mechanical system maintains stability while adjusting to changing conditions. Systems in dynamic equilibrium reach a balance in which internal change continuously compensates for external change in a feedback .
The zinc oxide that forms the basis of this acne treatment helps heal blemishes by reducing sebum production, eliminating toxins, accelerating healing, and relieving inflammation. (32-34)
When applied topically to your skin, the sulfur ingredient contained in the Corrective Clearing Mask interacts with the cysteine cysteine (sĭs`tēn), organic compound, one of the 20 amino acids commonly found in animal proteins. Only the l-stereoisomer participates in the biosynthesis of mammalian protein. present in the outermost layer of your epidermis to form hydrogen sulfide. This hydrogen sulfide effectively breaks down the tough, keratin-containing dead skin cells that comprise this outer layer and gently removes them. In addition to this exfoliating action, sulfur also has an inhibitory effect on the growth of bacteria involved in acne, possibly from its ability to inactivate in·ac·ti·vate
1. To render nonfunctional.
2. To make quiescent.
in·acti·va bacterial enzyme systems. Sulfur is an excellent anti-inflammatory that also effectively down-regulates the production of histamines by macrophage macrophage /mac·ro·phage/ (mak´ro-faj) any of the large, mononuclear, highly phagocytic cells derived from monocytes that occur in the walls of blood vessels (adventitial cells) and in loose connective tissue (histiocytes, phagocytic cells that cause infected skin to become red, swollen, and painful. (55)
ANTIOXIDANT TEA BLEND
Combined with these potent ingredients is the concentrated antioxidant tea blend, which helps reduce the production of inflammatory agents that promote new acne infections. (56)
Nutrient-rich facial masks offer advanced solutions for today's most common skin problems. Using time-honored botanical extracts combined with cutting-edge nutritional agents, you can achieve a radiant, youthful complexion.
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NUTRIENT-RICH SKIN CARE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* Since ancient times, men and women have used topical natural agents to beautify and improve the health of their skin.
* The advanced benefits of modern natural skin care agents are now available for convenient use at home. One of the best ways to capture the benefits of novel skin care ingredients is through nutrient-rich facial masks.
* For those seeking to offset the signs of aging, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Matrixyl[TM], argireline, jojoba oil, and red tea help reduce photoaging and fine lines.
* Individuals with dull, lifeless skin can refresh their complexions using deep-cleansing agents such as zinc oxide, chamomile, aloe vera, cucumber, and grapefruit.
* Those with sensitive, irritated skin can soothe and heal their skin using arnica, squalene, seaweed, and copper peptide.
* To prevent and fight acne breakouts, utilize facial masks with zinc oxide, sulfur, and red tea.
By Gary Goldfaden, MD