Saturday, April 16, 2011

14 days to better skin -- Palmolive, doctors, and hope in a jar/bar of soap

I've noticed and even sampled several anti-aging products that promise younger, smoother, or otherwise prettier skin in periods of 2 weeks to a month. Today's product claims sound credible -- because of new understandings of the benefits of ingredients like retinal and other alphahydroxy acids, as well as new methods of formulation which supposedly allow vitamins to be absorbed into the skin.

Yet, in looking at some vintage ads, such as the one to the right, I found that there were many ads for Palmolive soap through the years which claimed that doctors proved that if you used Palmolive soap, you could have lovelier skin in 14 days. These ads are from days well before the age of modern cosmaseuticals.

Camay evidently had similar ads promising that you could have beautiful skin after using just one bar of Camay.

According to a book containing research from many home economics books, women in the early part of the 20th century had methods for exfoliating the skin (I don't know if they called it that) with a wash cloth and soap.

In young healthy skin, the cells turnover about evey 21 to 28 days. As we age and also are exposed to the weather, the sun, and other things in the enviornment, our skin begins to slow down its cell turnover rate. Older, duller, damaged skin cells stay on the surface longer, causing our skin to appear duller. Many older and many newer skin products do work by stripping away this layer of old dull skin. They also cause very mild skin damage which causes the skin to respond by increasing circulation and skin cell production. The goal is to re-create the healthy skin cell turnover rate seen in the very young. Thus, decades worth of products have held out the promise that we might, indeed, see younger -- or at least prettier -- skin in the mirror after just 2 to 4 weeks.

Whether every product that makes this claim delivers or not, I cannot say for certain. Nor, can I say for sure that our modern products are better than our grandmother's soap or cold cream and wash cloth, though I do think that there is reason to believe they are more advanced. Whatever method or product we might try, it's nice to think that pampering the skin for three weeks or so could produce a visible change in our appearance.

Some women, myself, included, have to be careful about using some of the stronger products in today's skin care offerings. I have been trying out the CVS Skin Effects line to see if it will work with my sensitive skin. Of course, the best skin product is a good sunscreen, and I buy mine from my dermatologist.

The author of the Japanse Skin Care revolution promotes a lovely, gentle, and potentially inexpensive method of giving yourself a skin mask. This is more of a hydrating technique. Check it out if you are interested in skin care.

What skin care products and methods do you use?

Health and Beauty to You!

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