Wednesday, November 26, 2014

COLD creams

     When I think of the benefits of what cold does to the skin, I flashback to the opening scene of Mommy Dearest where Faye Dunaway's character pulls out a big bowl of ice water from the mini fridge (conveniently stored in her bathroom), and drowns her face in the icy liquid.  As a child I used to witness my Middle Eastern aunts slather their faces with a thick white layer of the Ponds Cold Cream that they stored in the refrigerator. At the time I never understood why they didn't just reserve the fridge for produce, but the fact that they always looked at least 20 years younger than their age, tells me that they were onto something. 

    This notion of the skin benefiting from cold products has stuck with me all these years since watching that movie scene and my aunt's refrigerated cream, and now that I'm a skin care professional I understand why:

     If you've ever had a professional facial, you will know that the eyes are always kept cool, despite warmth and steam manipulation applied to the face. With regard to make-up, pigments work best when warmed by the body's heat (my favorite trick is to use a lighter to warm my kohl eyeliner prior to application, it glides on better and cools to a semi-permanent finish). However, when PREPPING the skin for make up application (particularly the eyes), applying something cold to the skin will reduce inflammation and give your skin a sense of vigor. Applying coolness to the face restricts the blood vessels and causes the skin (and pores) to tighten. Cold stimulates the nerves and energizes the skin which is pretty important on those early-morning wake-up calls. Objects (like an ice-pack), or products applied to puffy eyes, work in reducing inflammation in the same way that water eliminates a flame. The immediate shock from warm to cold allows fluid stored in the eye ducts to drain and de-puff. 

     A trick that I've been doing for years is to keep two kitchen spoons in my freezer and press them firmly onto my eyes for about 5 minutes. This trick is great when I need a quick fix to combat puffy morning eyes. Another weapon for inflammation around the eyes (thank you aunties) is to saturate green tea bags in water and freeze them. Resting the frozen tea bags on your eyelids as the green tea thaws onto the eye skin is an eye de-puffing marvel! Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the skin, how fabulous is that!

     Beauty products can also benefit from your fridge. Facial serums, face creams and eye creams, for example, have a shelf life and should be kept in cool, dark environments. Notice the container that your cream or serum comes in. If the bottle or jar is amber in color or if you cannot see the product through the bottle, it usually means that it's photo sensitive, such as products containing vitamin C. Keeping serums and creams in the fridge serve multiple functions: it preserves the shelf life of the product, it ensures that the chemical composition of your products are not altered by heat and humidity, and it adds the benefit of coolness to the skin and eyes. 

     Rinsing the hair with cold water after a hot shower will seal the hair cuticle, this helps hair with the shine factor. Have you ever noticed how hair is shinier in frigid cold weather? It's for this reason that I like to keep my silicone based hair serums and keratin creams in the refrigerator. When applied to dry hair, these chilled hair products will give you a that uber shine factor.

     Exposure to cold will stimulate the Nervous System and increase the level of Beta-Endorphins and Noradrenaline in the blood. Beta-Endorphins are the neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel happy and invigorated; their function is similar to adrenaline whereby constricting the blood vessels and normalizing breathing during stressful situations. Noradrenaline deficiency can lead to fatigue, lethargy and a feeling of overall tiredness, so stay cold for more happy!

ATTENTION MEN                         
Can cold increase a man's testosterone levels? Indeed it can (whooo hoooo!). One way is to apply cold compresses to the gonads twice a day, but an easier way is to take a 10 minute cold shower upon waking-up in the morning and then before bed. The cold water will not only boost a man’s libido, but his overall strength; his energy levels will increase as well. A man's gonads physically change as a direct result of temperature. When it's hot, they hang lower in order to escape the heat in an effort to cool down; when it's cold, the sack rises. Heat is a real testosterone killer, so before you warm up the sheets, cool down in the shower first. So, what does a man's testosterone level have to do with the theme of "female beauty" in this article, you may ask? Simply put, a woman's healthy, rosy, gorgeous glow will benefit immensely and can be a direct result of her partner's testosterone levels. So, keep your man cold (below the belt) whenever possible ;)
--CIAO for now xo

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