By Mary Barghelame
How have people cared for their skin in the past? In early times, beautification may have been considered secondary to survival. Early hunters painted their skin to blend into the environment to seek food. Later during the height of the Egyptian culture, cleanliness became very important, as did beautification, especially for religious ceremonies and preparing the dead for burial. Henna, a reddish dye, was used in the hair, for body art and on fingernails. The nomadic Hebrews used olive and grape seed oils to moisten and protect the skin. An ointment made from hyssop was used for cleansing. Myrrh and pomegranate were useful in grooming as well. The early Greeks frequently bathed in olive oil and then dusted the body with sand for protection from the sun. Remember the ancient Roman baths? These were public buildings with separate areas for men and women which offered steam therapy, body scrubs, massages and oils applied after treatment to sooth the skin. Until the present time, many products have been used to preserve moisture in the skin and enhance beauty.
Today, the science of cosmetology offers a great variety of products to choose from. First, determine your skin type, then select an appropriate product. In our Colorado climate, skin typically needs a moisturizer. Lotions, hydrators and creams add moisture to the skin and are used twice daily after cleansing to protect and nourish the skin.
A person with oily skin prone to acne still needs moisture, but typically not oil, since oil can further aggravate a break-out. Combination skin often needs moisture with some oil for balance. The dry skin type needs extra oil with the moisture to soothe the dryness.
In today’s world, one should also look at what is in a product. Some ingredients simply should not be used. Natural preservatives keep a product fresh with some added shelf life, but certain preservative types are best avoided. Look for paraben-free products. Parabens may cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and rosacea in some individuals.
Ask a skin care professional to help you determine your skin type and the best products to use. Professional grade products are best to achieve long lasting beautiful results.
Mary Barghelame is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C), state-licensed professional and owner of Avalon Arbor Private Spa. Mary is Avalon Arbor’s master professional specially trained in the art of medical esthetics such as Botox, dermal fillers and other treatments that maintain the overall health and beauty of the skin. www.AvalonArbor.com