Monday, 03 January 2011 16:39

The Unveiling of Masks

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Humans have used a variety of facial masks for centuries. Some of the early accounts of facial treatments include the use of river clay, mud, and fruit being applied to the face for beauty purposes.
The Egyptians were known for placing a lot of importance on their outward appearance and royalty often used various beauty techniques including face masks. It appears that the first face masks were made from different types of clay. Cleopatra is supposed to have used Dead Sea mud from the ocean to treat her skin twice a week.

Dead Sea mud is clean and filled with minerals that are great for the skin. It helps to restore healthy skin cells and draw out toxins. This mud is great for most skin types. Another clay used in facial masks is Kaolin clay, also known as China clay as it comes originally from Kaoling hill in the Kiangsi province. It is especially useful for oily skin as it clears pollutants, dirt, and excess oil.
For very oily skin, blue or red montmorillonite clay draws out oils and toxins, which is great for acne-prone skin conditions but not recommended for sensitive or dry skin conditions.
Along with different clays, women throughout history also used different herbs, plants, and fruits to make facial mask.
One of the most popular plants for skin care masks is aloe vera, which can also be used on burns as it helps rebuild damaged skin cells. This ingredient is most often found in masks formulated for sensitive, dehydrated, and dry skin conditions as it is great to use to soothe, calm, and hydrate the skin.
An avocado face mask is perfect for dry skin as avocados contain an oil that deeply cleanses the skin while it nourishes. This special fruit is high in potassium, also known as the "youth mineral" for its beneficial cell restoring properties.
Organic raw honey kills germs, protects from the sun's rays and moisturizes the skin. It also absorbs impurities making it a powerful acne-prone skin treatment mask.


Yogurt's probiotic properties are very helpful for aging or photo-damaged skin conditions and it is also useful for moisturizing dry skin due to its lactic acid properties. Facial masks are a great way to condition, clean, or treat the skin during a professional skin care treatment and offers a variety of uses for specific skin areas, to include the area around the eyes, the neck, the décolleté, the body, and the hands (which show the first signs of aging). With the variety of professional facial masks available, you can use a specific one to address each skin condition you may be treating. It is also great to recommend home care masks to your clients as this will extend the benefits of your professional treatment and enhance your client's skin health.
The type of mask you choose depends on the skin condition of your client. Oily skin gets a great benefit out of mud or clay masks, because the ingredients cleanse impurities and calm acne. Masks that contain alpha hydroxy acids and/or beta hydroxy acids act to exfoliate, cleaning away dead skin cells; and hydrating masks, in cream or gel form, are made with anything from aloe vera to herbs, fruits, and aromatherapy oils. Masks containing green tea can help to calm irritated skin, especially after a deep cleansing facial.

Freeze Dried Collagen Sheet Masks
"Native" collagen fiber ("Native" meaning "no heat, chemicals, or solvents" and it has the same properties as live collagen) needs no preservatives because no germs grow in its dry state, and because the material is discarded after use. It has maximum water-binding action as compared to standard denatured collagen. When moistened, the mask turns into a gel-like material which can easily be molded onto the skin. It is basically a reproduction of the skin's actual connective tissue structure, and is often referred to as "second skin." Collagen sheets are 100 percent pure native collagen immersed in the finest-grade soluble collagen and freeze-dried to form a velvet-like tissue, which can be cut into strips. Immediate visible results include: diminishes fine lines; expression lines from nose to mouth are smoothed; puffiness under the eyes and discoloration are minimized; skin is hydrated and firm after treatment.

Paraffin Masks
Paraffin mask facials were developed in the 1960s but paraffin has been used in holistic medicine since the time of the Roman Empire. They are beneficial for their ability to clean the follicles, lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, moisturize the skin, and have a relaxing action to the facial muscles. A protective gauze sheet is applied over the face and then the warm paraffin wax is brushed over the gauze. The gauze will hold the paraffin in place and allow the nutrients applied on the skin to be more readily absorbed by the heat of the paraffin. When the wax sets the gauze is lifted away and any wax remnants are removed.

Pre-Digested Powdered Masks
These masks are biologically active and made from pre-digested ingredients increasing their therapeutic potential. By adding moisture to the mask, these unique ingredients are brought to life and in turn allow the skin to absorb fully their nutrients. Combine one teaspoon of powdered mask with approximately one teaspoon of water in a small bowl and mix into thin paste. This mask is applied to the face, neck, and décolleté and must be kept moist by spritzing with water. After 10 to 20 minutes, the mask is gently removed using a soft damp cloth or sponges, rinsing the face with lukewarm water. For additional rejuvenation and hydration benefits the mask can be mixed with goats milk yogurt and/or a teaspoon of raw organic honey.

Seaweed Masks
Seaweed products have long been used by humans for food and healing. They have become increasingly popular for use as spa and thalassotherapy products. "Thalassa" is Greek for "sea" and lends its name to this unique method of preventative and curative treatment which uses the renowned therapeutic virtues of seawater and seaweed to oxygenate, tone, moisturize, and revitalize the body and the skin.
Scientists report that seaweeds are rich in vitamins A1, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, and niacin. They are an important supply of 60 trace elements and an excellent source of over 12 minerals, especially sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and manganese. In fact, seaweeds contain much larger concentrations of what is present in seawater, and in a form, which can easily be assimilated. The potassium-sodium content of sea vegetables is usually quite close to that occurring naturally in the human body. Many marine algae are a source of vitamin B12, which is rarely found in land vegetables.

Exothermic, Self Heating Masks
Self-heating face masks cleanse the skin and are specially developed to instantly warm the skin to help relax follicles and deeply cleanse. The unique heating action purifies skin while it absorbs excess oils, and removes pore-clogging debris. The mask is rinsed or lifted away to reveal smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin. Ingredients may include: Zeolite mineral, Kaolin clay, and Bisabolol. Zeolite mineral gives off heat when it comes in contact with water. When applied to a damp face, it feels warm. This heating action helps to relax follicles and cleanse away impurities. Kaolin clay helps lift impurities from the pores. The clay goes into the surface of the follicle, lifting debris and impurities from the pores and away from the skin. Bisabolol a versatile plant derived anti-irritant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory that smoothes and soothes skin.

Nina Curtis is the founder and president of the Nile Institute, 'A Source Vitál,' located in West Hollywood, Calif. and Curtis Communications. Known as the "Aesthetician's aesthetician," Curtis has a 25 plus year history in the professional skin care industry, where she is respected as an innovative skin care specialist, educator, lecturer, and businesswoman. Originally licensed as a cosmetologist, Curtis has obtained certification in aromatherapy, reflexology, acupressure, energy modalities, reiki, and color light therapy. Curtis has trained throughout the U.S, France, Germany, Australia, and England. She received her Bachelor degree of Science in Management and her MBA from Pepperdine University and is also a graduate of the Lynwood Business Institute. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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