Friday, March 6, 2015

Skin Friendly Minerals

Minerals create much of the earths pigmentation. As a kid I often found a special rock that I'd stuff in my pocket because it had a gorgeous hue, or a silver and gold sparkle. What I didn't realize is how powerful the minerals are that created the rock formation. Over the years I've studied crystals and minerals and have come to appreciate them so much more. Whether it be in formulating skin care, in mixing mineral foundations or performing crystal chakra treatments, I have worked with minerals in many various ways. It's my bet you have too and just may not be aware of how often minerals make their way into your everyday products. Natural products are trending and it's a fact that many of the ingredients we took for granted in our youth are making a debut again. Here's a flashback, the life guard with the white nose! We weren't thinking that he is wearing the natural and eco-friendly zinc mineral! Or how about Calamine Lotion, that pink poison ivy stuff? Tums? Milk of Magnesia? Did we use these products because they were made from minerals or was it simply because we knew it worked? These days there is a renewed respect for minerals, and now the earths minerals have become the star ingredients. Mineral make-up has made it big with consumers and with a pledge is that its good for you. I've seen mineral make up with slogans like , "good enought to sleep in".
So the question is, are minerals good for the skin? A good rule of thumb is if it's good enough to eat, it's likely to be safe enough for your skin. Calcium, zinc, magnesium, and copper, are some minerals that are commonly found in cosmetics. The most current research indicates that the benefits of zinc are its natural sun protective properities and ability to improve blemished skin. Calamine, used in skin preparations is zinc oxide mixed with ferric oxide that gives it the pink color. Not suprising that what worked on reducing the inflamation from poison ivy, would also help with acne. Cooper has nutritive and conditioning qualities that enhance the skins complexion, and calcium is essential for normal cell activity. Although this all sounds wonderfully good, it is really important to get familiar with ingredients and to read the lable. While it's great that minerals are used in make-up, find out if the cosmetics are just mineral based or traced with minerals...there's a big difference. Beauty journals and blogs are good resources for gaining information about cosmetic ingredients. In my role in research and product development, I decifer what ingredients work well together, how they function on the skin, how best to preserve them to retain their quality, and to make sure the selection doesn't cause skin sensitivity. Mineral Deposit serum was one of the products I developed a few years ago before the minerals were trending. Mineral Deposit is a serum for confused skin, (don't you love it, even skin is confused...) and this is where the minerals made sense. Women over 30 were suddenly breaking out even when their skin felt dry. Sound familiar? This confusion occurs when the skin starts to act-out as the hormones changed. Hormone fluctuation that caused the same kind of skin flare-ups as when one was a teenager, can do the same after 30 but also leave the skin drier as less collagen is produced. In this particular product, minerals like zinc and copper came in handy along with a combination of herbs to stimulate the circulation of the skin (bring some healthy pink glow back). I had researched what the Native Americans used before medicine, and came across some herbs that were used as a poultice for wounds and sprains. These herbs don't have common names that you and I are used to. I can't tell you how many times I was asked what Clintonia Borealis Root was or why Centella Asiatica Extract was added. For this reason, I also recommend that everyone has access to either a cosmetic dictionary, or checks in with the skin care and cosmetic company with questions regarding ingredients. Minerals are also studied for their healing powers. I learned about crystals early on in my spa career and created a Chakra balancing treatment using crystals that were placed strategically on the seven chakras. Each stone had energy and the practitioner used a guided meditation to help the client tap into each crystal and chakra center. Without knowing why, my customers felt relaxed and renewed after the treatment in the same vain as having a massage. There are a few great books I have read on this, one is called Chakras and their Archetypes and another The Healing Power of Crystals. Whether you believe or not in the energy of minerals or if they can restore your skin, just look at the magnificant rock formations, how the colors shape our landscape and take a few breathes in.
Pretty, in amber to observe the forms of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms! The things we now are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there." The Pope
References: The Magic and Scient of Jewels and Stones, Vol.I by Isidore Kozminsky, A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, M.S.