Seven Common Beauty Problems
Unilever principal scientist, Ellen Shepard, weighs in on common beauty concerns and offers solutions.
Perfecting your beauty routine is rarely an exact science. Everybody and every body is different — sometimes you will land the perfect product on the first try, while other times you may need to experiment a little first.
Fortunately, there is an exact beauty science behind the beauty problems most of us experience. Ellen Shepard, principal scientist for Unilever, works hard every day to develop beauty products that address customers’ most pressing beauty concerns. Here, she weighs in on seven of the most common beauty complaints, the reasons they happen, and the best remedies.
The Beauty Problem: Dry Skin
“Dry skin is a manifestation of the breakdown of the normal biochemical processes that occur in the skin to maintain its proper moisture balance,” Shepard says. Harsh cleansing, the environment (humidity, sun, wind, temperature) and physiological changes like aging and disease are at fault.
Winter weather is a particular offender, Shepard notes, due to the change in relative humidity that comes with colder temperatures. “Water is constantly being driven from the deep layers of the skin to the outside environment,” she adds. “This rate is increased when the air is drier or less moist.”
The Solution: Use a mild cleanser like Dove® Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash and apply a lotion or cream to the affected area one or two times a day. Try Vaseline® Intensive Rescue® Repairing Moisture Fragrance Free Body Lotion.
The Beauty Problem: Frizzy Hair/Split End
Imagine the protective cuticles that sheathe each of your hair strands as flat, layered roof shingles. Frizzy hair and split ends happen when those shingles are lifted, Shepard explains.
What lifts those shingles? Chemicals used in hair color, highlights, perms and relaxers for one, all of which can cause damage to your hair by penetrating the cuticle (those protective shingles) and reshaping its chemistry from within. The sun is also a chemical culprit, breaking down hair proteins just like bleach. Everyday wear and tear from brushing, styling and heat can do additional damage.
The Solution: Condition your hair each time you shampoo it, using a rinse-out conditioner, Shepard recommends. Anti-frizz cream applied before blow-drying and heat-styling helps smooth and flatten the cuticle in the same way. Try Nexxus® ProMend Split End Binding Targeted Leave-In Treatment Crème, specifically targeted for split ends.
Learn more about Nexxus® ProMend products! Learn exclusive care tips, view the product line and more.
The Beauty Problem: Sweat
Sweating is a way for our body to keep its cool through the process of evaporative cooling, says Shepard. This process is similar to the effect you experience when rubbing alcohol is applied to the skin.
The body has two types of glands, which are responsible for sweat. Heat and exercise are triggers for the eccrine glands, which are found on almost all parts of the body.
Strong emotions like fear and anxiety are triggers for the apocrine glands, which are found in select regions of the body like the underarm and groin. Because of the occluded nature of the underarm, the sweat from this area tends not to evaporate well and can increase the presence of bacteria that leads to body odor.
The Solution: Try Dove® Clinical Protection Clear Tone™ Skin Renew Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant that moisturizes with its unique formula of calendula and sunflower seed extracts while providing prescription-strength wetness protection.
The Beauty Problem: Body Odor
One of life’s universally pesky problems is body odor. Body odor is caused by bacteria that live on our skin and feeds on the lipids and amino acids found in our apocrine glands. “There can be tens of millions of bacteria per square centimeter of the underarm with coryneoform bacteria being particularly troublesome,” says Shepard. To address the issue, you need a product that minimizes the growth of bacteria and delivers a long-lasting freshness throughout the day.
The Solution: Regularly cleanse your skin and use an antiperspirant-deodorant on a daily basis. Try Degree® for Women Expert Protection with MOTIONSENSE™ technology or, for the men in your life, Degree® for Men Adrenaline Series with MOTIONSENSE™ technology. The products contain ingredients that keep you feeling dry and help eliminate bacteria, keeping you fresh and clean throughout the day by delivering bursts of protection as you move.
The Beauty Problem: Age Spots
Age spots occur when the body produces an excess of melanin, which causes the skin to darken in certain places. This usually occurs after the skin has been damaged in some way, Shepard notes, by factors both genetic and environmental. Sun exposure — especially to UVA rays — will exacerbate this pigmentation.
The Solution: Stay out of the sun, she cautions. Also, exfoliate regularly and use a moisturizer with sunscreen that’s designed to even skin tone. You may want to try Simple® Exfoliating Facial Wipes, which gently lift dead skin cells; they include pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E along with aloe vera — known to soothe and condition skin.
The Beauty Problem: Blemishes/Breakouts
Bacteria is also to blame for acne when it teams up with dead skin cells to clog pores. The trapped bacteria cause inflammation that results in what we see as pimples. “Acne is more prevalent in teenagers,” Shepard says, “but men and women of all ages can get it.”
The Solution: To reduce breakouts, wash twice a day with an anti-blemish or antibacterial cleanser, followed by a non-comedogenic moisturizer. Shepard also suggests seeing a dermatologist for more serious cases of acne. Give the St. Ives® Naturally Clear product line a try.
The Beauty Problem: Chapped Lips
Your lips are susceptible to dryness because the top layer of skin on your lips is thinner than other parts of your body — especially when you’re braving freezing temperatures and winter winds.
The Solution: Try Vaseline® Lip Therapy® to protect your lips.