Every facial care should begin with proper skin cleansing. Lately there is a lot of talk about “double cleaning” of the skin. Do you know what the purpose of the double cleaning is, and why most use this method? How does micellar water work and how do soaps work?

What is the purpose of cleaning the skin?

Throughout the day, we are exposed to our cosmetic products and various environmental pollutants. With our hands we touch our faces, and in the winter there is a lot of smog and all this accumulates on the surface of our skin and in the pores. Because of all the impurities that accumulate, the skin needs to be cleaned in order to keep it healthy. Under all pollutants, pores become clogged and this may be reflected as an increased excretion of sebum or the formation of comedons.

Skin should also be cleaned in the morning. In the morning, it is necessary to wash the cosmetic products that were applied in the evening, from the face. At the same time, dust is on our head, which is also passed on to our face. So, before the next morning you start to apply morning care, first cleanse your skin.

How do cleaners work?

Surfactants

We know that water and oil do not like eachother. The oil is lighter than water and will therefore always float above the water, and these two substances will not be united by themselves. The reason for this is the excessive surface tension between them. For stabilization, however, a substance is needed, which will reduce the inter-phase voltage, and these are surfactants.

One of the most typical activities for surfactants is cleaning. Surfactants are key ingredients of cosmetic products such as soaps, cleansing gels, shampoos and sparkling baths.

Surface-active substances are substances that, due to their chemical structure, are distributed at the boundary between the two phases. The characteristic of surfactants is the presence of a hydrophilic and hydrophobic part in the chemical structure. Surfactants influence the dissolution of substances with different mechanisms.

Solubilization

Solubilization means increasing the solubility of a poorly water-soluble substance with surfactants. The mechanism involves “catching” (adsorbed or dissolved) molecules in the micelles.

Cleaners work on the principle of solubilization. By solubilizing the substance, the solubility and dissolution rate of the substance is increased. More broadly, solubilization also involves the use of other methods of increasing solubility, such as, for example, use of co-solvent.

How does micellar water work?

The main ingredients of micellar water are water and one or more surfactants.
We can imagine micelles as a leaf that is folded back into itself. The way it folds depends on the media that surrounds it. In the aqueous medium, the micelle has hydrophobic tails on the inner side and the polar head on the outside. If the medium is an organic solvent, then the components of the micelle are turned – the polar heads are inward, and the hydrophobic chain is outwards.

By increasing the amount of surfactant in the aqueous solution, the surface tension drops until the molecules fill the boundary surface between the aqueous and the oil phase. At a given concentration, the surfaces between water and oil are saturated and surfactants begin to aggregate and form aggregates called micelles. The concentration at which micelles begin to form is called critical micelle concentration.

When the micellar water is applied to the face, the micelles capture the oily components into their interior. This happens because they are arranged in such a way that the lipophilic (hydrophobic) tails look at the place where the oil and other impurities are caught.

Why is it necessary to rinse off micellar water?

You must have heard that the micellar water needs to be washed off. Because they contain surfactants they can have a negative effect on the skin. Surface-active substances differ, some are gentle (eg syndrome), some are more aggressive (sodium lauryl sulphate).

It is known that the constant use of surfactants for cleaning has a negative effect on the skin. For decades, scientists have thought that the mechanism for damaged skin barrier is the removal of lipids from the porous layer. Recent studies show that surface-active substances cause denaturalization of skin proteins and interact with keratin.

Types of cleaning agents

Soaps

Soaps are a general term used for preparations containing alkaline (basic) salts from mostly solid fatty acids. Classical soaps are the most alkaline formulations with a pH value of between 9 and 10.

Glycerine soaps are made from glycerol and natural glycerine oils. Glycerin is a humidifier, which is often used for moisturizing and protecting the skin. This helps neutralize the effect of drying alkalis.

Superfatted soaps: contain glycerol, but also a wide range of lipids that help restore the lipid layer in the skin (triglycerides, natural oils and fats).

Antibacterial soaps include antibacterial substances such as carbanil and triclosan.

Soap with the syndets

They are made of surfactants, such as sulfuric acid esters and isoethates of fatty acids. These soaps have a pH of 5 to 6. However, they contain synthetic components.

Liquid cleaning agents

They can contain several natural and synthetic surfactants and various moisturizers and lipids.

Oil-free cleaning agents

Rich in fatty alcohols that allow you to clean your skin without the need for water. These formulations are rapidly dried and include moisturizing agents to prevent possible irritation.

Cleaning creams

These formulations are a mixture of surfactants, lipids and waxes. These have traditionally been used to treat patients with atopic dermatitis due to the high fat content that can form a protective barrier on the skin.

Double skin cleansing

Double cleaning is a method where two different types of cleaning agents are used, one after the other. In the case of two cleaning, first clean your face with clean oil, oil-based cleaning fluid or cleansing milk. Then there is followed by purification with a water soluble cream, gel or foam. Cleaning with oil-based products helps dissolve make-ups and water-resistant juicy creams. Compared to pure oils, modern cleaning oils contain emulsifiers that allow the oil to mix with water and form a milk emulsion. This facilitates skin rinsing.

How to properly clean the sun cream from the face?

A non-waterproof sun cream can be washed with a cleansing gel or oil, and waterproof sunscreen cleans only cleaning oil. The sun protection product can be partly removed with water, but this is a less effective way, compared to cleansing gel and oil. In addition, cleaning oil, in comparison with the cleansing gel, can less irritate the skin and dry it less.

For sure you have been asking yourself if you have to nourish your skin in any other way than usual. While being at the beach skin needs more care because we are exposed to the sun that can burn us and sea salt drains the skin. So how to nourish the skin at sea? How to act in case of sunburns? How to nourish the skin to maintain the tan we have?

How to act in the case of sunburns?

Today, we are already aware of the harmful effects of sunbathing, but the sunburn can happen. Either this is because of the insufficient amount of sunscreen or excessive sunbathing. Burn is an acute skin inflammatory reaction that usually occurs 1-24 hours after sunbathing. The burn depends on the intensity and the wavelength of light. Erythema may occur, which may be accompanied by pain, swelling or even blisters. Of course, the best way is to prevent all this with the appropriate UVA and UVB protective sunscreens.

Not only does exposure to the sun lead to faster aging (photoaging), it can also cause the formation of lentigues, teleangiectasia (spider veins), skin cancer, etc., if we are exposed to the sun without protection.

We can cure sunburns with anti-inflammatory extracts!

In a case of sunburns, we shower with lukewarm or cold water and gentle cleansing agents. After showering, we apply lotions or creams like aftersuns. In case we are burned, cosmetic products should contain the following extracts that soothe the skin.

ExtractsHow they work
Chamomile (bisabolol, hamazulen)anti-inflammatory, wound healing, soothe the skin
Italian strawfloweradstringent, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Oatantimicrobial, antioxidant, soothes the skin, against itching
Pot marigold
anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antiseptic

Shea Butter

Due to the content of terpenoids, it acts anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects us from reactive oxygen radicals. It helps to restore the skin barrier and acts regeneratively.

Aloe vera against erythema

The study tested 97.5% aloe vera gel and 1% hydrocortisone in the cream, and 0.25% predicarbate in the cream, both of which are corticosteroids. The effect of natural extracts is delayed. Corticosteroids reduced the erythema after 24 hours, while the gel of aloe vera reduced the erythema only after 48 hours. Although it seems that the percentage of aloe vera gel is high, it did not show any hypersensitive reactions to the testee. So, the aloe vera gel reduces inflammation, but it is not necessary that the gel could be used for chronic inflammatory diseases. It can be used as an additional care, especially in after-sun products, instead of gels / creams containing hydrocortisone.

Usually, oils rich in omega-3 and / or omega-6 are commonly used to treat sunburns, as they work regenerative and anti-inflammatory. We can also use the right antioxidants that prevent the harmful effect of ROS on our DNA. Some studies have shown that vitamin D also helps to relieve the burns produced in the sun.

Tan preservation

Well, the other option is to succeed in getting a healthy tan, because the sun does not always burn us to red. We want to keep the tan as long as possible. One option for maintaining a tan are self-tanning products, where the difference in colour is noticeable, but is washed within 1 week.

How to prolong the permanence of tanned skin?

Carrot oil, which was present in the formulations at concentrations of 2, 4 and 6%, has been shown to have SPF factor. The measured SPF values ​​ranged between 4 and 7. This, of course, is not sufficient for proper SPF protection. Carrot oil also works antioxidant and rejuvenating, and at the same time it nourishes the skin properly. It is used as an oil that helps to extend the intensity of the tan. It usually leaves traces on clothes, as the right carrot oil has an orange colour, which does not disappear in the formulation, even if it is present only in 3%.

Cocoa butter

It has an SPF of about 3, which is not enough to protect us from sun rays, but it still works photoprotectively. At the same time, it works antioxidant and regenerative, as it contains phytosterols and vitamin E. It helps us preserve the tan that we already have.

How to take care of the hair?

We are sure that you have already noticed how our hair colour, whether natural or dyed, fades away while we are at the seaside. People with darker hair struggle with melanin photoxidation, and others with lighter hair with degradation of amino acids in keratin, which is the main structural protein in the hair. Darker hair is somehow better protected against fading than lighter shades.

UVA rays are mainly responsible for the loss of colour in dyed hair, as they penetrate all the way to the cortex where melanin and colour pigments are located. UVB rays are blamed for the fading of the natural hair colour as they percolate into all layers of hair.

Keratin is via cysteine converted into cysteic acid in the final phase. This, however, reduces the resistance of the hair and its elasticity. Therefore, the hair is drier, less shiny, and more difficult to brush through.

Hair cuticle which is the exterior layer is most exposed. Melanin is located in the cortex and is not capable of protecting  the cuticle against UV radiation. Radiation destroys proteins and lipids in the cuticle. Hair cuticle opens and the hair loses their softness. In UV radiation, ROS also develops and further destroys the hair.

Are cosmetics with UV filters the solution for hair care?

Until now, there was no excessive enquiry for such products on our market. But there are shampoos and balms with UV filters. In fact, an entire hair care line with UV filters. In hair cosmetics the same UV filters can be used as in sunscreens, but there are also quaternary and polysilicones that exhibits UV protection for hair, but not for the skin. Of course, there are natural oils and extracts that also help protect your hair from UV radiation.

UVA is mostly promoting the formation of ROS, while UVB destroys pigment named melanin (destroying it or bleaching it), and for changing mechanical abilities, as it breaks bonds in our hair (cysteine ​​present in keratin), which makes our hair fragile.

How to groom the face?

At sea, you do not usually need ” heavy care”. For most skin types, the use of rich and nourishing creams and oils in summer is simply too much. Overly enriched care can lead to the formation of clogged pores and pimples. Therefore, it is better to reach for moisturizing formulas. In addition to daily sun cream, it is also recommended to use serums with antioxidants, which will additionally support the function of the sun cream.

After we pass 25 our skin starts ageing, not only skin but the whole body. Horror! We are not even close to half of our life but we are already ageing. The process of ageing is very complex. But it is up to us whether we speed it up or slow it down. We vote for slowing it down, how about you?

What is ageing?

Ageing is a genetically caused process, where degenerative (decompositions) changes take over the regenerative (building) changes. Very simply imagine taking apart lego cubes faster than building them back. If we are consistent we will break down all the cubes. And the same goes for the skin if we don’t take care of it properly. Besides the genetics, hormones also play a role in ageing. First there are morphological changes, only after that we start seeing visible changes.

First let’s take a look at morphological changes

Changes happen in more skin layers. In epidermis there are some subtle changes, meanwhile dermis is going through more intense changes. Changes don’t happen overnight, and especially not all at once. When you are in your 30’es some changes are happening in your upper skin layers, and very little is happening in deeper skin layers.

Changes in epidermis

  1. Lower water content in stratum corneum – leads to drier skin
  2. Lower number of the cells, especially melanocytes and corneocytes (cells become bigger and have troubles replicating)
  3. Longer cycle of skin renewal, which is normally 28 days long (bigger keratinocytes are harder to remove, the result is rougher skin)

Changes in dermis

Of Course changes in your 30. are not so drastic as in your 50., but something is still happening.

  1. Thickness of dermis is constantly decreasing (1% per year)
  2. Skin elasticity is decreasing due to lower content of collagen and elastin
  3. Lower amount of glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid
  4. Lower number of sebaceous and sweat glands

Consequnce of thinner dermis, lower amount of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid is occurence of small fine wrinkles. Especially between the eyes and between nose and mouth.

There is more than one type of ageing. Photoageing can be slowed down.

Photo Ageing is the type of ageing that is influenced by external factors, most commonly UV light. Smoking, wind, polluted air aid as well. Photoageing speeds up the chronological ageing. Run for your life, ok kidding.

Photoageing is connected with increased amount of radicals (ROS), that are formed in the body because of the increased production or inability to remove them. Radicals damage proteins, lipids and DNK.

This type of ageing makes more obvious changes

  1. Faster thinning of dermis and lowering the amount of collagen
  2. Damage in stratum corneum and changes in skin barrier
  3. Higher and faster enzyme activity – matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) starts to function. This enzymes affect the integrity of extracellular matrix. MMP decompose components of the matrix (collagen, elastin) and lower the skin firmness and elasticity. This enzymes are activated under the UV light.

The most obvious signs of photoaged skin are deep wrinkles, occurence of hyperpigmentation, changes in skin texture, extended capillaries and teleangiectazii. There is a possibility of cell proliferation and occurrence of tumors.

As we see photoageing affects the chronological ageing and this process can be slowed down.

Active cosmetics for slowing down the skin ageing

Slowing down the ageing can be done in more ways. The most common are:

-acceleration of moisture

-acceleration of peeling

-stimulating synthesis of collagen and elastin

-substituting hyaluronic acid

Here are one of the most important cosmetics active ingredients that we use for slowing down this process. Antioxidants are important as well.

Retinoids

Retinoids are natural or synthetic ingredients. They are derivates of all-trans retinoic acid or vitamin A. They are famous for their anti-ageing effects. Not only they regulate growth of epitel cells and their differenciation, but they also normalize the process of keratinization. Are the effects visible? Yes, the skin is smoother and wrinkles look smaller.

Tretionin (all-trans retinoic acid) is a golden standard. Clinical studies prove it’s effectiveness already at very low concentrations. Tretionin stimulates formation of collagen, reduces hyperpigmentation and reduces skin roughness. BUT, it is prohibited for use in cosmetic products. So, back to the beggining.

In cosmetics manufacturers use retinol that thickens epidermis. Studies show increasing amount of proteins and collagen in the skin. It is safe in concentrations up to 1%. To get the maximum effect on the skin it needs to convert to retinoic acid, but for this effect higher concentrations are needed.

There are also other forms of vitamin A like retinylpalmitate, retinylacetate, retinal and other much less effective forms.

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Boost of moisture

We already discussed all about cosmetic humectants. As moisturizers we can also use hydroxy acids (AHA, BHA, PHA). Fun fact that many people don’t know about is that hydroxy acids don’t only possess a exfoliating effect, but also a moisturising one. In low concentrations they stimulate renewal of epidermis, influence the collagen synthesis and have a moisturising effect.

For moisturizing we can also use hyaluronic acid, that binds the mass of water, that is 1000x bigger than her own mass. Penetration in the skin depends on the molecular mass.

How about lightening pigmentation marks?

The golden standard for treatment of the sunspots is hydroquinone, that is forbidden in Europe. But we can always use the alternatives such as azelaic acid, kojic acid, arbutin and other ingredients that inhibit enzyme tyrosinase, that takes part in melanin synthesis.

The most important step you can take is to protect your skin with everyday use of sunscreen. Even if there are clouds and snow outside. UV rays are always there.