Henk

Herbal skin care

Skin care is not a topic of recent times; it has been in practice since ancient times, when herbal skin care was probably the only way to take care of skin. However, skin care has transformed in a big way. Herbal skin care routines have been replaced by synthetic/chemical-based skin care routines. The herbal skin care recipes which once used to be common place are not so popular today (and even unknown to a large population). This transformation from herbal skin care to synthetic, can probably be attributed to two things – our laziness (or just the fast pace of lives) and the commercialisation of skin care. Even herbal skin care products have been commercialised. These commercial herbal skin care products have to be mixed with preservatives in order to increase their shelf-life, hence making them less effective than the fresh ones made at home. However, it seems that things are changing fast and more people are now opting for natural and herbal skin care routines. But still, none want to make them at home and hence the commercial market of herbal skin care products is on the rise.

So what are these herbs or herbal skin care mechanisms?

Aloe vera, which is an extract from Aloe plant, is one of the best examples of herbal skin care product. Freshly extracted aloe vera is a natural hydrant that helps in soothing skin. It also helps in healing cuts and treating sun burns.

A number of herbs are known to possess cleansing properties. Dandelion, chamomile, lime flowers and rosemary herbs, are a few examples of such cleansers. Their herbal skin care properties get invoked when they are combined with other herbs like tea.

Antiseptics are another important part of Herbal skin care. Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel are good examples of herbs that are known to possess antiseptic properties. Lavender water and rose water also form good toners.

Tea plays an important part in herbal skin care. Tea extracts are used for treatment of skin that has been damaged by UV radiation.

Oils prepared from herbal extracts present another means of herbal skin care. Tea tree oil, Lavender oil, borage oil and primrose oil are some popular oils used in herbal skin care. Some fruit oils (e.g. extracts from fruits like banana, apple and melon) find use in shower gels (as a hydrating mix)

Homeopathic treatments and aromatherapies also come under the umbrella of herbal skin care remedies.

Herbal skin care is good not only for the routine nourishing of skin but also for treatment of skin disorders like eczema and psorasis. Most herbal skin care products don’t have any side effects (the most important reason for preferring them over synthetic products) Moreover, herbal skin care products can be easily made at home, hence making them even more attractive. So, herbal skin care is the way to go. However, this does not mean that you totally discard the synthetic products. Some people go to the extent of debating with their dermatologist, if he/she suggests a synthetic product. You should accept the fact that some skin orders might need usage of clinically proven non-herbal skin care products.

Vitamin C skin care – The challenge

Vitamin C is often regarded as a wrinkle fighter or an anti-aging agent. The main objective of ‘Vitamin C skin care’, in scientific terms, is to increase the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein that is found in skin). The additional benefit of ‘Vitamin C skin care’ is related to its capability of countering free radicals which cause damage to the skin.

Vitamin C skin care, however, faces a major challenge today. This is related to the oxidation tendency of Vitamin C skin care products. On coming in contact with any oxidising agent (e.g. air), the Vitamin C in the Vitamin C skin care products, gets oxidised; thus making the Vitamin C skin care product useless (in fact counter-effective). The oxidised Vitamin C imparts a yellowish-brown colour to the Vitamin C skin care product. This is something that you need to check before buying a Vitamin C skin care product. Even after you buy a Vitamin C skin care product, you need to store it properly and keep checking that it’s still good to use (i.e. it hasn’t attained a yellowish-brown texture).

The manufacturers of Vitamin C skin care products have tried to deal with this (oxidation) problem in multiple ways (and research on Vitamin C skin care products is on the top of their list). One such method of retaining effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products for a long term is to keep a high concentration (say 10%) of Vitamin C. However, this makes the Vitamin C skin care products even more expensive. The Vitamin C skin care products are already pretty inexpensive and making them even more expensive will throw the product manufacturers out of business. The other way is to use Vitamin C derivatives (like ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). These are not only more stable but also inexpensive. Even though the derivatives based products are not as effective as the Vitamin C skin care products, their stability against oxidation is a very desirable feature that makes them very attractive. Moreover, these are known to be less irritating too.

Talking of effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products, it’s important to mention that not everyone responds to Vitamin C treatments. So it’s not a magic potion in any way. If you don’t see a noticeable difference in your skin, it might be because of your skin not responding to Vitamin C treatment (and the Vitamin C skin care products might not be at fault, at all).

As more research goes on, one can only keep our fingers crossed and wait for a complete solution to the challenges faced by ‘Vitamin C skin care’ today.

The Basics about Facial skin care

All about Facial skin care

‘Facial skin care’ is more a matter of discipline than anything else. A facial skin care routine is what you need (and you need to follow the facial skin care routine with complete seriousness). So let’s check what comprises an effective facial skin care routine. Well, very simply, a facial skin care routine can follow the following 4 steps:
* Cleansing
* Toning
* Exfoliating
* Moisturising

Cleansing is the first thing in facial skin care routine. Cleansing helps in removing dust, pollutants, grease and extra oil from your skin, thereby preventing damage to your skin. Just spot your face and neck with a good cleansing lotion or cream and gently massage it into your skin using upward strokes. Use a soft face tissue or cotton wool to wipe your face in a gentle patting fashion (do not rub). Cleansing should be done at least twice a day i.e. morning (as part of complete facial skin care routine) and evening (on a standalone basis). Water soluble cleansers are the best for inclusion in your facial skin care routine.

Toning is the next in a facial skin care routine. However, this is the optional part of the facial skin care routine. Mostly, proper cleansing can compensate for toning. Toning helps remove all traces of dirt, grease and excess cleanser. Instead of making it part of your daily facial skin care routine, you can using toning occasionally i.e. when you have been exposed to particularly harsh environment/pollution.

Exfoliation is again, kind of, optional step in everyday routine for facial skin care. However, exfoliation is necessary at least once a week (or twice, depending on the skin type and the environmental conditions). Exfoliation finds its place in facial skin care routine because of the natural tendency of skin to replenish the skin cells every 3 or 4 weeks. As a facial skin care technique, exfoliation helps in removing the dead skin cells that block the pores, thus assisting the skin in the natural process. However, excessive or harsh exfoliation can cause damage to your skin; so you need to balance it out.

The next thing in facial skin care is moisturising. In fact, moisturising is the most important part of facial skin care routine. Moisturisers prevent your skin from getting dry. Dry skin is really undesirable since it cause the upper layer skin to break, leading to dead skin cells. Again, use light upward strokes to make the moisturiser more effective. Moisturisers work the best when applied on warm and damp skin. So do not try to remove all the moisture in the previous steps of facial skin care routine.

Besides the normal facial skin care routine, you should also exercise the following for facial skin care:

* Use proper make-up remover instead of just washing it away
* Pay heed to your skin type and the environment, when choosing facial skin care products.
* Before you start using a new facial skin care product, test it by applying it on a short patch of skin e.g. ear lobes.
* Never rub your skin too hard.
* Use sunscreen lotions for protection against sun.

What Part of the Respiratory System is Affected by Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 10’s of thousands of people across the world. Although it isn’t curable it is controllable. ‘Asthma’ is the Greek word for pant or to breath hard. The Greek’s named it ‘asthma’ because of the wheezing sound which is diagnostic of the condition.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that arises from allergies or allergic responses in the lungs and is characterized by sudden attacks of laboured breathing, chest constriction and coughing. So what part of the respiratory system does asthma affect?

Diagram of the Lung and HeartThe respiratory system supports the oxygen needs of the body by taking in air, removing the oxygen at the level of the alveoli (air sacs) and delivering the oxygen to the blood, which then transports the life supporting oxygen around the body. This is a continual system. The air is exchanged constantly – not just when you take air in. There are thousands of tiny air sacs that store the air and oxygen for use. The air is exchanged with each pass of the blood through the pulmonary system.

During an asthmatic event the muscles surrounding the air tubules (bronchioles) constrict. This constriction doesn’t allow the air in the alveoli (air sacs) to be released and the lungs become over inflated. This over inflation forces the sufferer to cough in an attempt to get rid of the trapped air. If coughing doesn’t relieve the situation, or if the swelling and constriction becomes more severe, the sufferer begins to use their accessory breathing muscles. This causes the shoulders to hunch over and rise with each breath.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect when the asthma sufferer is wheezing? The wheezing sound that is common to asthmatics is caused by the contraction of the bronchioles as the air passes through tubes that are almost completely blocked.

During an asthmatic attack mediators from mast cells are released that causes the airway muscles to contract, which increases the mucus production and narrows the airways. This causes white blood cells to flood the area that keeps the attack going. This constriction of the airway, and the air forced through those tiny paths, is what causes the wheezing sound that can be heard either audibly or through a stethoscope.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect before an asthmatic attack? Triggers for the physical changes are varied and many. They range from environmental allergens, occupational chemicals, weather changes, cold, scented items such as deodorants and perfumes. Some asthmatics are induced by exercise.

The respiratory system is a complicated organ system that supports the body by delivering oxygen at the cellular level to help heal and provide life support. Taking care of the respiratory system helps to improve your health and take care of you.