Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beauty Q&A: Lotions, Astringents, and More

We've Moved!!! Click here to find the all-new Beauty Brains

Michelle at
Vidafrugal emailed this three part question:

1. Lotions: if I already wash my face, why do I need lotion?
2. Astringent: they smell like alcohol, could I just rub alcohol on my face to remove impurities?
3. Why are men's deodorants less expensive than women's? It makes no sense to me!

The Right Beauty Brain Responds: Michelle - You ask several good questions. Let's get right to them!

1) Why should you need a lotion if you're already washing your face?

Because while washing removes oil, dirt, and makeup residue it can also dry out your skin. That's because the surfactants, or cleansing agents, in most standard facial washes do strip some of the natural moisturizing oils from your skin. (We'll have to do a future post to fully explain the difference between good and bad facial washes.)
Lotions, on the other hand are designed to put oil and other materials back on your skin to moisturize it. So you may need to use a cleaner AND a lotion, depending on how dry your skin is.

2.) Can you just used alcohol instead of an astringent?

The simple answer is yes you can, but you probably shouldn't.

Historically, astringents are composed of alcohol solutions of witch hazel, a natural extract that can make your skin feel tight and firm.

For example, look at Olay Refreshing Toner. It consists primarily of water, alcohol and witch hazel distillate. But modern astringents have moved away from this approach due to the drying effects of the alcohol.

Take a look at
NIVEAs Visage Moisturizing Toner - it's an alochol free toner that uses glycerine, a castor oil derivative, and a polymer to do give your skin the same kind of refreshed feeling. We're not saying that one kind of formula is better than the other, we're just trying to inform you about your choices. You'll have to expermient to find out which kind of formuation works for you, but hopefully we've helped you understand how astringents are different from just using plain alcohol.

In response to your third and final question: there is no technical reason that mens' and women's antiperspirants should be priced differntly. Let's chalk that up to the vaguries of marketing!

We hope this helps. Does anyone else have any questions?


(By the way, check out Michelle's blog at Vidafruga for a latina point of view on beauty care.)


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home