Types of Clay for Skincare!

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay consists of aged volcanic ash also known as Montmorillonite. It contains high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

  • Detoxifying
  • Controls Excess Sebum
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antibacterial

Fuller’s Earth Clay

It is very strong, and for best results combine with a small amount of bentonite or Kaolin clay. It is also known as Bleaching Clay, Whitening Clay, and Multani mitti or mud from Multan.

  • Lightens Skin (helps hyperpigmentation)
  • Controls Sebum (best for oily skin)
  • Improves Circulation

Kaolin Clay

Comes in white, yellow, red, and pink colors each with slightly different characteristics, also known as China Clay. The a fine very light and most versatile and easily applied clay.

  • Gentle (white is the most gentle, then yellow, then pink)
  • Cleanses
  • Exfoliating (white, yellow, pink)
  • Detoxifying (pink, especially red)
  • Softens (pink, especially white all good for dry skin)
  • Controls Sebum (yellow, pink, especially red)
  • Improves Circulation (yellow)
  • Good for Sensitive Skin (especially white and yellow; pink for oily)

French Green Clay

A green clay (should never be any other color), also called Illite Clay or Sea Clay. The color comes from decomposed plant material and iron oxide.

  • Tingling (not recommended for sensitive skin)
  • Improves Circulation
  • Toning
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Controls Excess Sebum

Rhassoul Clay

Comes from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas Mountains in Morocco; also called Ghassoul Clay, Red Clay, and Red Moroccan Clay. Has an elastic texture so not drying. Great for skin and hair. It has a high negative charge and it can help draw out blackheads and other impurities from skin. This also makes it beneficial as a make-up remover or all-purpose face wash.

  • Detoxifying
  • Softening
  • Controls Sebum
  • Exfoliating

Ethnicity and Skin Care: A Guide – Asian Skin Care Edition!

This blog article is a generalization!  Every person’s skin is different!

First – Asian skin tends to have a thinner Stratum Corneum & a thicker, more Compact Dermis(the Dermis is similar to The African Skin Type)

Skin Layers

layers of the skin

Layers of skin, chemical peel

Epidermis (Epidermal layers)
Stratum corneum (top layer of skin)
Stratum lucidum
Stratum granulosum
Stratum spinosum
Stratum mucosum
Stratum germinativum
Dermis ( Dermal layers)
Papillary dermis
Immediate reticular dermis
upper reticular dermis
mid dermis
lower reticular dermis
Hypodermis/Subcutaneous Tissue
Adipose Tissue ( fatty tissue)

Epidermis
The epidermis is completely cellular, meaning it is in a constant cycle of producing new cells while older dead skin cells are pushed to the surface to exfoliate or slough off. The epidermis is made up of keratinocytes, lymphocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkel cells. Approximately 80% -90% of the cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes, with all others interspersed among them.

A thinner Stratum Corneum means that the skins tends to be more prone to irritation making it sensitive to fragrance, environmental factors, chemicals, and abrasive exfoliation (which can disrupt the skin’s PH).  A thinner Stratum Corneum also means that the skin tends to scar more easily than other ethnic skin types.  Asian skin has an increased amount of melanin (the pigment in skin), and the cells that make melanin tend to be more sensitive to any type of inflammation or injury.  The melanin also means that the skin tends to tan more easily than burn, however thae sun exposure can cause sun damage (pigmentation).

Other issues that Asian skin tends to face is inflammatory acne and pigmentation (hyper or hypo).

Because Asian skin becomes more inflamed with deeper acne pustules and papules, patients are often left with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which refers to increased pigmentation or dark spots at the sites of inflammation.  Drinking green tea, an anti-inflammatory, can help with inflammation.  Regular sun protection is to prevent the signs of aging skin, including preserving skin tone and helping minimize pigmentation problems.  Another common skin condition in Asians that can impact the appearance of the skin is melasma. Melasma is characterized by brown patches commonly on the cheeks, upper lip, nose and forehead. While the exact cause of melasma is unknown, it is thought to result from a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, as well as UV exposure. Melasma is more common in women and in Hispanics and Asians.  Treatments for melasma include bleaching agents (can b irritating to skin start off using every other day once a day and work your way up to twice everyday) , hydroquinone, liquorice, topical retinoids and chemical peels. In addition, certain laser and light therapies have been shown to be safe and effective.  Such as, fractionated lasers and intense-pulsed light (IPL) therapies, but  that these procedures need to be administered carefully by dermatologists. *In some cases, laser and light procedures can worsen melasma if they destroy pigment cells – which leave white spots in the treated areas (talk to your Dermatologist!)

Cultural Practices to use with caution:

Cupping and moxibustion are two ancient healing techniques that complement acupuncture therapy by the use of heat to stimulate circulation. However, people who regularly practice cupping and moxibustion can get bruising or scarring that sometimes require dermatologic care to minimize PIH. Similarly, the practice of coin rubbing – which involves using oils on the skin and repetitive rubbing of coins firmly over the area to promote healing – can create deep abrasions and bruising that may need medical attention.  The application of black henna tattoos (could contain high concentrations of a chemical known as para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, used to create longer-lasting black henna tattoos).  PPD is an allergen that could cause allergic contact dermatitis, with symptoms ranging from mild eczema to blistering and scarring.

Dermis
The dermis is a layer of connective tissue, composed mainly of collagen fibers as well as about 5% elastin. The Dermis is subdivided into the superficial papillary dermis and the reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is a thin layer of connective tissue fibers, the reticular dermis is thicker and contains collagen and elastin fibers.

Collagen constitutes 75% of dry skin weight, giving the skin volume. Fibroblast cells lie among collagen fibers and are known to synthesize (produce) collagen. Fully mature collagen fibers have a low turnover rate. Elastin fibers maintain tension in the skin and provide elasticity ( snap back after being stretched). Metabolic turnover for elastin fibers are very slow and only make up about 2% – 4% of dermal volume. Damage or alterations to the elastin fibers network cause skin to become loose, saggy and wrinkled. Fibroblasts are responsible for producing collagen, elastic fibers, and the ground substance of the dermis. Fibroblasts also control the turnover of connective tissue, unfortunately with age they become smaller and less active.

The more compact, thicker dermis means that the skin tends to wrinkle less than other ethnicities due to more collagen.  However, facial fat (adipose tissue) distends more rapidly causing premature skin sagging.  When used early on, treatments like lasers, fillers and creams can help combat sagging skin.

Source: Vitagen.com.sg

The skin also tends to have more sebaceous glands and making the skin oilier (produce more sebum).

A great article on Asian Skin Care by the American Academy of Dermatology, click here.

African-American Skin Care

How to Keep Dark Skin Looking Gorgeous!

 

Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

Michelle Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Darker skin tones do not require special skin-care products, because skin color is not a skin type!  Darker skin tones do have some physiological differences from lighter skin tones; it’s just that those differences don’t impact what products you should be using.

 

Skin Care is Color Blind

 

When it comes to skin care, skin is skin. Think of it like your diet: we all need the same nutritious foods (that supply antioxidants, fatty acids, protein, vitamins, etc.) to be healthy. The exact same concept applies to skin.  Skin is the body’s largest organ which is why everyone’s skin needs the same ingredients depending on their skin type or condition. Everyone’s skin also needs the same basics to care for it:  cleansing, sun protection, and products for their skin type.

Skin Types:

  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination (oily on the forehead, nose and chin; normal to dry cheeks)
  • Normal
  • Sensitive (can also be a condition)

Anything else acne, aging, pigmentation, dehydration, etc. is a skin condition.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

  • Always use a cleanser for your skin type (avoid bar soap they can clog pores and cause skin to look ashy and feel dry).
  • Always choose products that are appropriate for your skin type (i.e. gels and serums for oily or combination skin; creams and lotions for dry skin).
  • Always use a well formulated sunscreen spf 15 or higher that is full or broad spectrum during the day (the most typical cause of uneven skin tone for women of color is sun damage).

 

How is African-American Skin Different from Other Skin Tones?

 

Although basic skin-care needs are the same for everyone, there are some issues that darker skin tones are more likely to experience. Such as skin issues like keloidal (raised) scarring, pronounced hyperpigmentation, and ingrown hairs.

 

The keloid is defined as an abnormal scar that grows beyond the boundaries of the original site of skin injury. Keloids have the appearance of a raised growth and are frequently associated with itching and pain.

 

A45-299-3

A45-299-3 (Photo credit: otisarchives4)
Keloid

 

Hyperpigmentation in skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or Addison’s disease (decreased function of the adrenal gland), may cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to sunlight is a major cause of hyperpigmentaion, and will darken already hyperpigmented areas.  Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by various drugs, including some antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, and antimalarial drugs, and some medical/skin care treatments.

 

 

Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it. An ingrown hair irritates the skin. It produces a raised, red bump (or group of bumps) that looks like a little pimple. Sometimes an ingrown hair can form a painful, boil-like sore.  Ingrown hairs can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you’ve got a lot of them. You may notice pus inside the bumps. Or you may see the hair that’s causing the problem.  Sometimes dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward.

 

 

Research shows that the only real difference between skin tones is the amount, size, and distribution of melanin (the cells which produce our skin’s pigment).

 

Sun Damage

 

Having more melanin gives darker skin tones an added advantage when it comes to how their skin handles sun exposure and how soon the damage becomes visible. Meaning the more melanin your skin has, the more natural defense your skin has against the sun. It doesn’t however mean damage from unprotected sun exposure isn’t happening! Uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and slower healing time (particularly for scars) is primarily a result of sun damage. Even though it takes longer and more intense sun exposure for visible damage to occur on darker skin it does happen unless it is properly protected. All skin, no matter what color, can be damaged by the sun and everyone needs to reapply broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and at regular intervals during long days outdoors, especially after swimming or perspiring.

 

 

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