Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Mighty Egg!

Dear Reader,

A few days ago, I decided to do blackhead extraction—the proper and painful way, that takes forever and a lot of patience. Of course doing this in conjunction with plucking my eyebrows, I was relieved to be finished poking and prodding of myself.

But then, I woke up the next morning, I washed my face, to felt a pimple just beginning under the surface of my skin. The redness wasn’t there yet, but that tell-a-tale stiffness to the skin—right on the tip of my nose. With the Vampire ball in a week and a half, I knew I needed to do something more than wait around for it to spring up on me. And even though I had already gone through the masochistic routine of removing blackheads, for all my efforts, the pores I had extracted from don’t heal too fast. So, it was time to try something new.

Right before my wedding in August, I’d researched home remedies for facials, but I’d never got around trying most of them. But one stayed in my mind. The egg white mask. Simple, and the benefits—in theory that is—are endless. The egg is chock full of vitamins and minerals, and absent of the chemical ingredients I normally have reactions to. So, why not…I went back to the computer and looked it up.

The egg white mask can be used two different ways, but both methods I chose to take note of start off the same way. (Since I have only done this once myself, I do not endorse these methods, just passing long the bits and pieces of what I’ve read and the endless reviews of experimenters I poured over yesterday)

To start: crack one egg, and separate the yolk from the white into two containers (the articles I read said to throw out the yolk, but DON’T! I researched an idea to use the whole egg, and I’ll get into that later…) Beat the egg white with a fork until very light and frothy.  

***To brighten, tighten pores and induce collagen production. (I did read somewhere that prolonged use of egg white will whiten/lighten the skin. Keep this in mind, should you try to use these methods)

Wash face with your favorite face wash.

Apply egg white to face (and neck if you want) in an even thin layer, avoiding eyes and mouth. Leave on for 15-20 minutes **do not exceed 30 minutes**

Wash face again with face wash to remove residue. Moisturizer is optional, though I didn’t apply any, so I could assess the effect on its own.

Your skin should feel smoother, tighter and your pores less noticeable.

*** Black head extraction method

Cut/tear up tissue paper into squares and/or strips (enough to cover face). Apply egg white to the face (and neck if you want) in an even layer (not necessary thin). Apply tissue paper over this layer, ensuring there is enough egg white to make the tissue stick to the face. Get into the corners of your nose. DO NOT cover your eyes and mouth, and avoid the more sensitive skin around these areas. Sometimes this takes practice. Once you look like a mummy, gently dab more egg white to the tissue, careful not to lift the tissue off your skin. Leave on about 15 minutes, or until the mask is completely dry. Then from the neck/chin upward to your forehead, gently peel the mask from your skin.

Wash face again with face wash to remove tissue and egg residue. Moisturizer is optional, though I didn’t apply any, so I could assess the effect on its own.

Your skin should feel smoother and your pores less noticeable. Some blackheads will be removed, you might even see them on the tissue. Others will be raised to the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove with an extractor, or with the next treatment, should you chose to try this again.

One thing I did not read in any of the articles, is you could try steaming your face first, by placing a hot-wash cloth (not too hot) on your face for 10 minutes before applying the egg white. Or having a hot shower, and allowing the steam to open your pores and pre-soften the dirt for easier extraction or application of other masks and treatments.

Why would egg white work? The components of a drying egg white acts like a suction cup, regardless of which of the above methods you choose. As it dries, it not only infuses your skin with some of the benefits of the vitamins, it draws the dirt, oil, dead skin cells (the first few layer of your dermis) and toxins up to the skin’s surface, and some of it right out of your pores. Though the blackhead extraction method seems to work better as an exfoliation than the brightening method.

Now, after trying to blackhead removal, the pimple on the tip of my nose rose to the surface and reddened overnight. I am not alarmed, as my esthetic training gives me enough understanding of the “life-cycle” of a pimple from the beginning piece of dirt lodging in a pore, to the infection/inflammation to extraction. I have hurried the process by bringing the trapped toxins of the papule (a pimple without a head) closer to the surface. Soon enough the head will form to allow removal, and the healing can begin. This natural treatment, like most treatments will not work overnight. It is not a miracle cure. Nothing is, regardless of what commercial companies want you to believe or the price tag. Patience is needed. Tonight, I am going to try the mask again, and see what happens. Though for others, I don’t recommend this as part of a daily regimen. Egg white could be drying to the skin if used too much. Twice a week should be sufficient.

Also keep in mind pimples, blackheads and whiteheads come from a variety of sources: stress, lack of sleep, touching your face too much, bad diet and lack of exercise. To bring about change to your complexion, watch the stress, stay active, avoid fatty foods and dairy, take multi-vitamins, do not touch your face during the day, and make sure your sheets are frequently cleaned, in addition to developing a routine that is beneficial for your specific skin type.

And now, onto the leftover yolk! I looked this up to find a natural deep conditioner for your hair. Again, I’ve never tried it, and I don’t indorse it. Depending on the length of your hair, you might need one or two egg yolks. Beat the yolk(s) in a bowl. Add one tablespoon cold-pressed organic olive oil (1 tablespoon of baby oil can be substituted, apparently this will also make it smell better than olive oil) Add one cup of warm water to the mixture to make it easier to spread through the hair.

Wash your air with gentle shampoo. With your head tipped back, take half have the egg/oil mixture and pour over your roots. With the second half work into the ends with your hands. Comb through with your fingers (NEVER use a comb or brush on your hair when it’s wet, it causes damage to the weakened follicle. Only use a brush when it’s about 60% dry) Leave on for three minutes, and rinse in cold water.

OR you can apply two straight egg yolks to your hair, put a plastic cap on your hair, leave on for up to 30 minutes. Rinse in cool water.

Now you have used all the egg! Happy experimenting. If you decide to try any of these home treatments, let me know how it turns out J


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