Special Skin Creams and Treatments
  • Sun, 08/13/2017 - 14:03



Many treatment creams are available for special problems or special areas. These treatments should be used in conjunction with other day and night treatments. These include performance-oriented products like alpha hydroxy acid formulations, antioxidant serums, and melanin-suppressing OTC formulations for hyper- pigmented skin as well as products for care and treatment of acne.


Product Profile: Alpha Hydroxy Treatment for Dry, Sun-Damaged Skin

Client and Skin Type:   This product is designed for dry, dehydrated mature skin that is wrinkled or sun  damaged.

Product Characteristics:    This is a very emollient, thicker cream containing multiple alpha hydroxy acids. It is in a jar and should be applied after cleansing and toning and before using sunscreen or night hydration cream. SPF 15 or higher sunscreen should be used daily with this product.

Chemical Action and Design:     Alpha hydroxy acids—glycolic and lactic—and beta hydroxy—citric acid—combined with fruit-derived hydroxy acids from sugarcane, orange, and apple extracts work to exfoliate dead cells and smooth sur- face wrinkles and lines. Long-term use helps with barrier function and moisture retention. Emollients include hydrogenated polyisobutene, cetyl alcohol, dimethi- cone, and polyacrylamide, an appropriate combination for a drier skin type. Green tea extract is present in a fairly large concentration to soothe potential irri- tation caused by this 10 percent acid blend. Even with a large emollient base, this product has been determined to be noncomedogenic through independent testing, and has been dermatologist tested for irritancy. These results may be helpful when deciding which client is best suited for this product. The pH of this product is 3.5, in compliance with the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) recommendations discussed in Chapter 10, Performance Ingredients and Active Ingredients.


Product Profile: Alpha Hydroxy Treatment Gel for Oily–Combination, Clogged Skin

Client and Skin Type:   This product is designed for any skin with clogged pores and oily or oily–combination skin. This product is appropriate for patients with acne and acne-prone  skin.

Product Characteristics:    A liquid gel in a bottle, this 10 percent alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy blend should be used on oily to combination skin once or twice a day to help improve clogged pores and affected areas. Sunscreen with   an SPF of 15 or higher should be used daily with this product.

Chemical Action and Design:     A 10 percent mixture of alpha hydroxy acids— glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and malic—with beta hydroxy acids—salicylic and citric—help  exfoliate  the  surface  as  well  as  the  follicle,  removing dead-cell build up and loosening pore accumulations. The gel base contains SD alcohol 40, aloe vera gel, and hydroxycellulose, which give the product its gel-like feel.The pH of this product is 3.5.




Product Profile: Lightening Treatment Gel for Hyperpigmented Skin


Client and Skin Type:   This treatment gel is intended for clients who have splotchy hyperpigmentation, melasma, or chloasma on the face or hands.

Product Characteristics:    A liquid gel in an amber bottle, this product should be applied every day for best results. Clients using this product must always wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30, because the symptoms being treated are caused by sun exposure. This product oxidizes very quickly; it easily turns brown, indicating  decreased effectiveness.

Chemical Action and Design:     An OTC drug, the active ingredient in this prod- uct is 2 percent hydroquinone, which suppresses production of melanin by the melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. The gel also contains 10 percent glycolic acid, which helps remove stained surface cells and helps clear the skin for better absorption of the hydroquinone. It also contains magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a vitamin C derivative antioxidant performance ingredient known for its melanin-suppressing activity. Hydroquinone is a frequent allergen, and the product should be patch-tested before using it on larger areas.



Product Profile: Benzoyl Peroxide Gel for Acneic Skin


Client and Skin Type:   This product is designed for mild to moderate acneic skin, Grades I and II. Both adults and teenagers can use this product.

Product Characteristics:    A lotion in a tube bottle, this 5 percent benzoyl peroxide lotion is used only at night on skin with acne papules and pustules. A light application to all areas should be followed by dabbing a small amount on any raised lesions. Do not use in the eye area.

Chemical Action and Design:     This is an OTC drug. A 5 percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient, which helps ?ush and exfoliate debris from the follicle. The oxygen released from the benzoyl peroxide kills anaerobic Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. The lightweight, glycerin-based lotion is a simple emulsion that serves as a spreading agent for the benzoyl peroxide. Ben- zoyl peroxide acts as a bleach to fabric and hair. It can be irritating if overused, and some clients are allergic to  it.

Eye creams are specially designed for the skin around the eye area. This area of the skin is usually more oil-dry and more sensitive than other areas of  the skin. Therefore, creams designed for these areas are generally higher in emollient and lower in humectant content. Because the skin around the eyes     is very thin, if you “plump it up” by using lots of hydrating agents, you end up making the eyelid look puffy. More emollient is added to these creams to help supplement the lack of oil production associated with the eye area. Eye creams sometimes cause irritation and allergic reactions. Because this area is very  thin  and sensitive,  eye  creams  must  be carefully  designed not to irritate.

They  are  often  tested  by  independent  ophthalmologists  to  ensure  that  they are unlikely to cause irritant or allergic reactions. Eye creams should be used twice daily. Newer formulations of eye creams often contain peptides, antioxidants, or complexes of ingredients to treat common eye-area esthetic issues such as dark circles, puffiness, and lack of elasticity.





Product Profile: Serum for Puffy Eyes


Client and Skin Type:   This high-tech product is designed to treat puffiness around the eyes and reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. It can be used   on any skin type. The serum has been independently ophthalmologist-tested to determine that it is safe for use around the eyes and is unlikely to cause irritation or  allergic reactions.

Product Characteristics:    This serum, in a plastic tincture bottle, has a watery texture. It is applied lightly to lower and/or upper eyelids to reduce the appear- ance of puffiness. It should dry in just a few seconds, and it should be com- pletely dry before applying any makeup to the area.

Chemical Action and Design:     This water-based serum contains glycerin and butylene glycol as hydrators, and a small amount of xanthan gum thickens the product slightly. It is fragrance-free and color-free, thus eliminating two factors that often cause allergic or irritant reactions. The performance ingredients in this product are hesperidin methyl chalcone (a ?avonoid that helps condition lymph vessels to reduce fluid leaking into tissue) and  peptides  dipeptide-2,  which helps reduce puffiness  , and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, which helps reduce inflam- and improve elasticity.




Product Profile: Eye Cream for Wrinkles and Dark Circles


Client and Skin Type:   This modern eye cream is designed to reduce dryness and smooth the appearance of wrinkles in the eye area, improve the appearance of elasticity, and reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. It can be used on any skin type but works best on mature skin. The product has been independently ophthalmologist-tested to determine that it is safe for use around the eyes and is unlikely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Product Characteristics:    This cream is packaged in a small jar. It is a soft cream that spreads easily across skin in the eye area. It should be applied lightly, twice daily, using a gentle tapping movement with the finger-tips, to both lower and upper eyelid areas. Not all eye creams can be applied to the upper lids. The skin around the eyes immediately looks smoother upon application.

Chemical Action and Design:     This multifunction eye cream is a water-based emulsion with silicone-derivative cyclopentasiloxane and emollient caprylic/ capric triglycerides as the primary vehicles. Performance ingredients include ceramide-2 (sphingolipids), phospholipids, and cholesterol to supplement the barrier function, sodium PCA, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid are included for hydration. Chrysin and hydroxysuccinimide are performance ingredient chelat- ing agents that help disperse the pigments that cause dark circles. Peptides are incorporated for improved elasticity.

Neck creams are also made with more emollients and less humectant. The neck area has thinner skin that dries easily. Neck creams should be massaged into the skin twice daily. They are available in a variety of formulations and may include  peptides, lipids, or  antioxidant  performance ingredients.


Masks are designed to treat a variety of skin problems, from oil dryness to acne. They are formulated with less water than creams, lotions, and fluids and   are considerably heavier than any of these products.


Masks for oily skin generally contain bentonite and kaolin; these clays are helpful in absorbing excess oil and drying the skin. These clays cause the drying of masks designed for cleansing oilier and combination skin types. These masks may contain other conditioning ingredients. For example, for acne-prone skin   the mask might contain sulfur, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. For oily and combination skin, it might contain camphor for soothing and antiseptic action   or corn starch for soothing  action.


Masks for dry skin often do not dry tightly and contain large amounts of emol- lients. To give substance  to the mask, the chemist  may  include  titanium  dioxide or may use a gelling agent or thickener to give the mask a thicker texture. These  dry skin masks may contain a variety of plant extracts, conditioning agents, emollients, and humectants. They work by adding water to surface layers as well as emollients, helping to temporarily fill in or plump up small lines and wrinkles.  They  can have  a lasting  effect  on the skin, particularly  if preceded  by the use of a good humectant or other active agent. The effects may last up to several days.




Product Profile: Clay-Based cleansing Mask for Clogged Skin


Client and Skin Type:   This product is for use on clients with oily or oily–combination skin with clogged  pores.

Product Characteristics:    This clay-based mask has a thick, paste-like texture and is packaged in a tube. It is applied to any areas with enlarged or clogged pores and allowed to “set” for about 10 minutes. The mask dries during this time, and   it must be removed with wet cloths or sponges. It is best to thoroughly wet the processed mask before attempting to remove it.

Chemical Action and Design:     Bentonite and kaolin are clays used in this formu- lation. They absorb excess sebum and have both a drying and exfoliating effect  on the skin. This mask helps remove sebaceous ?laments that appear as clogged pores. The mask also contains the humectant sorbitol, which is included to keep the mask in a thick liquid state until it is applied. Magnesium aluminum silicate  is a drawing agent that has an astringent effect making the pores look smaller and refined.



Product Profile: Gel Mask for Dehydrated Skin

Client and Skin Type:   This gel mask can be used for any client with dehydrated skin, including sensitive dehydrated skin.

Product Characteristics:    This mask has a medium gel consistency. It is in a tube, and it is designed to be applied over a moisturizer or hydrator. The gel is left on for about 10 minutes, although it can stay on longer. This mask produces a beautiful smoothing and hydrating effect on the skin,

Chemical Action and Design:     This mask is based with water and glycereth-7, a potent hydrator. The gel consistency is achieved through the inclusion of carbomer. Licorice and matricaria extracts are included for their soothing and anti-redness benefits.



Product Profile: Moisturizing Mask for Dry, Alipidic Skin


Client and Skin Type:   This product is for clients with dry, mature, aging, and wrinkled skin.

Product Characteristics:    This moisturizing mask has an extremely creamy texture. It is in a jar. It is applied to the skin in a thick, even layer after applying an appropriate hydrating moisturizer. It does not dry and can be left on indefi nitely, but usually only 10 to 20 minutes. It has a softening effect on wrinkles and is especially helpful for use around the eyes, mouth, and neck.

Chemical Action and Design:     Sunflower oil, borage oil, and shea butter provide important emollient benefits for the very dry skin. This mask also includes a variety of lipid ingredients to improve barrier function including plant sterols, squalane, and glycolipids. Pentylene glycol serves as the primary hydrating ingredient.

Mechanical exfoliants usually come in the form of scrubs. They are usually water-based products containing a humectant mixed with some sort of abrasive agent such as almond meal or polyethylene granules or hydrogenated jojoba oil beads. They are applied after cleansing and massaged over the skin. The granules literally “bump off” dead cells from the skin’s surface. The humectant keeps the product from overdrying the skin. Exfoliants should be used several times a week for best results. They should be followed by a toner and a night or day cream. New treatments are constantly being developed. Improvements in both active agents and vehicle and delivery transport systems for active ingredients constantly help improve the quality of cosmetics and their positive effect on the appearance of the skin.


Product Profile: Granular Exfoliant for Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Client and Skin Type:   This product is designed for clients with dry, mature, aging, and  wrinkled skin.

Product Characteristics:    Packaged in a tube, this fairly thick granular scrub feels creamy and gritty at the same time. It is to be applied on wet skin and gently massaged. It is then rinsed off with tepid water. The creaminess of this scrub prevents any dryness and helps buffer any harsh effects of any granular material in the scrub while leaving a thin emollient film on the skin.

Chemical Action and Design:     This scrub contains hydrogenated jojoba beads, which are supersaturated beads of jojoba oil that solidify in tiny spheres when hydrogenated. Because they are fats, they are very soft and gentle when used as mechanical bead exfoliants. The scrub also contains sunflower  oil and shea butter  to serve as emollients and to suspend and soften the application of the jojoba beads. Decyl  glucoside, a mild  surfactant, helps  make  the product rinseable.




Product Profile: Microdermabrasion Scrub for Oily and Clogged Skin


Client and Skin Type:   This scrub is for use by clients with oily or oily–combina- tion, clogged  skin. This  product  absorbs  oils  and  helps  exfoliate thick, rough- textured skin. It is not designed for sensitive skin.


Product Characteristics:    This scrub feels very sandy and has a thick clay base. It is applied to pre-cleansed wet skin with small, gentle, circular motions. It foams slightly and rinses easily after use. The skin looks much smoother even after  one use.


Chemical Action and Design:     This scrub contains aluminum oxide crystals, the same crystal used in traditional machine microdermabrasion. The crystals are blended into a water-based, semi-thick mixture containing bentonite clay that helps absorb excess oils. Ammonium lauryl sulfate, an anionic surfactant, works to make the product foam and rinse easily. The microcrystals aggressively exfoliate the corneum. Since this skin type is thick and hyperkeratinized, the exfoliation is helpful in achieving a much smoother surface appearance and does help exfoliate the tops of clogged pores and comedones. This product is generally an exfoliant for use on sensitive  skin.


Ampoules are available for a wide variety of skin types and problems. Ampoules are often designed to be used in a series once a month or several times a year. Others are designed to be used nightly. Ampoules are frequently found in European skin care lines. The disadvantages of ampoules are that they are more trouble to use and are often very expensive. Clients who are extremely conscientious about their home care often take the time to use ampoules and do not mind paying extra for them.

In the past decade, serums have replaced ampoules, at least in many American lines. Like ampoules, serums contain concentrated ingredients, often in liposomes or other advanced delivery systems, but they are easier to use. Many serums are designed to be used daily and sometimes twice a day.
Serums are usually in pump bottles or tincture bottles. Many contain anti- oxidants, peptides, lipids, or other intensive ingredients. Like ampoules, they are applied under a day or night cream or fluid.

Product Profile: Firming Serum for Mature Skin with Lack of Elasticity

Client and Skin Type: This product is for dehydrated, sun-damaged skin of any skin  type  that  needs  more elasticity.

Product Characteristics: This water-based serum is in a pump bottle. It has a liquid-gel consistency. Because it contains no fats or oils, it can be used on any skin type. It has no color or fragrance; these are helpful features for sensitive skin. The product has been tested for irritancy potential and comedogenicity.

Chemical Action and Design: This advanced serum combines palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, a peptide known for firming skin and improving the appearance of skin that is mature, sun damaged, and wrinkled. The base of the serum contains hyaluronic acid, boosting water levels; the peptides improve elasticity. Additionally, this serum contains four different antioxidants in liposomes, and a botanical complex of cone- flower and hydrocotyl extracts, which are known for their firming effects.

Product Profile: Lipid Serum for Wrinkles and Dry Skin

Client and Skin Type: This product is for dry, dehydrated, mature skin and wrinkle  areas.

Product Characteristics: This serum is in a pump bottle. It feels slippery, but when applied to the skin it seems to absorb quickly, leaving the skin feeling velvety. Applying this serum to wrinkled areas shows almost immediate smoothing effects. The serum does not contain color or fragrance; these are helpful features for sensitive skin. The product has been tested for irritancy potential and comedogenicity.

Chemical Action and Design: This serum for very dry skin is anhydrous, which means  it  contains  no water. Because  it  contains  no  water, no  preservatives are needed. The vehicle of this serum is a complex of three silicone derivatives: cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and phenyl trimethicone. A specific lipid complex has been added to mimic the natural proportions of lipids present in the normal








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