The word inflammation comes from the Latin “inflammo”, meaning “I set alight, I ignite”. Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens – and begin the healing process.
Acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, razor burn, psoriasis, and various rashes, wounds, and swellings are either symptom of underlying inflammation (chronic) or the result of inflammation on the surface (acute). Here is what an ideal Calming Mask should have-soothing and regenerative ingredients that help your skin feel supple, youthful protecting and alleviating symptoms of redness and inflammation. While buying a calming mask, look for these key ingredients:
1) Aloe Vera: There are over 150 nutritional ingredients in the aloe vera plant, including minerals, vitamins, salicylic and amino acids, and sterols. Aloe vera has very strong anti-inflammatory benefits, with three different anti-inflammatory compounds found naturally in the plant.
Aloe vera is particularly effective at treating and soothing burns including sunburned skin. It can facilitate healing in other skin abrasions. Because it is both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, Aloe vera will help to ward off acne-causing bacteria and reduce redness and inflammation.
Aloe vera has great moisturizing properties. It also has the added benefit of being a natural anti-oxidant; it stops free radicals from breaching its barrier and prematurely ageing the skin. It contains A, C and E vitamins which help the body to expel toxins. (The Calming Mask contains a blend of 5 soothing herbs that help calm and soothe irritated skin)
2) Algae Extract: Marine algae’s inherent moisturizing, healing and strengthening properties have been recognized since ancient times. They are high in trace elements, including copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Marine algae are also well-known for being rich in vitamins, particularly A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, C, D, E and K. Other constituents (vary from species to species) moisturize, promote the strengthening of skin tissue, particularly elastin and collagen, and balance the moisture barrier in skin cells so that the tissues remain hydrated. In particular, marine algae are renowned for containing natural ingredients which provide antioxidant protection.
3) Cucumber (both powder and distillate)
Cucumbers are scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, which belongs to the same family as pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon and squash. Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is a trace mineral that contributes to the strength of our connective tissue. They are effective when used for various skin problems, including swelling under the eyes and sunburn. They also contain ascorbic and caffeic acids which prevents water retention. That may explain why when cucumbers are applied topically they are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns, and dermatitis.