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Lipstick: How is it Made?
By Karen Trachtenberg
Ah, lipstick, the ultimate tool of womanly seduction. It is also the supreme seduction tool of cosmetics manufacturers, luring women time and time again away from department store aisles and straight to the make-up counter. It can sometimes be impossible to resist the incredible colors and pigments so exquisitely leaping out at you. Sigh. What's a lipstick-loving girl to do?
Try thinking about it in scientific terms. Just look at the colorful little beauties for what they really are: wax and oil! Have you ever wondered how lipstick is made and what's really in there?
Five thousand years ago, Egyptian women wore lipstick that was made by extracting color from semi-precious jewels, seaweed, iodine, and bromine (before they figured out that bromine makes people terribly ill). It is said that Cleopatra used crushed beetles to create her deep red lipstick, but these days manufacturers stick to more practical ingredients: oils, emollients, pigments and waxes. Amounts of each used vary depending on the desired end-result -- shimmer, shine, cream, or matte.
The waxes, which are usually beeswax, candelilla wax, and camauba wax, make up the majority (about 60 percent) of a tube of lipstick. Wax is what gives lipstick the ability to form that universally recognized pointed shape. The oils that are used -- mineral, caster, lanolin, or vegetable, are added for additional texture. Alcohol, fragrance, pigment, preservatives and antioxidants are also used, and that's a good thing, because they'll prevent your favorite lipstick from becoming rancid over time.
How'd they do it?
Lipstick is manufactured in three distinct steps: melting and mixing, molding, and packaging. First, raw waxes are melted and then heated in either stainless steel or ceramic containers. Separately, liquid oils and color pigments are mixed together and ground in a roller mill for several hours in order to make the material smooth.
Then, everything is combined. Once color consistency is achieved, the fluid is either immediately stored or maintained at a hot temperature. The hot mixture designated for use is put into a vacuum in order to eliminate air pockets (because who wants air pockets in their $40 tube of lipstick?).
Next, the liquid is poured into cold metal molds consisting of the bottom portion of a lipstick tube, which means that lipstick is actually poured in "upside-down." Who knew? The lipstick is then further chilled and allowed to solidify. Last, the formed product is put through a flame for about a half-second in order to create that smooth and glossy finish we all love -- and any imperfections are removed.
The tubes are then rolled down and capped, so that they can be put into those pretty little packages and sold. Packaging of course varies depending on what happens at the point-of-sale, which explains why certain manufacturers can charge twice as much as another for the same exact product.
Lipstick manufacturing produces very little waste and byproduct, and excess product is reused whenever possible. Considering how expensive lipstick is, "excess" is never thrown out, but it's nice to know that the overall environmental cost of manufacturing lipstick is minimal.
For those concerned about the possibility of animal ingredients in those wonderful little tubes of sex appeal, fear not. Because lipstick is the only cosmetic that is essentially ingested, quality control procedures are strict, and lip products manufactured in the U.S. must meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. That means that lipstick is created and processed in a controlled environment, ensuring that it is contaminant-free. Samples of every batch produced are saved and stored at room temperature for as long as necessary in order to maintain a control on the product.
While in the past, the cosmetics industry may have used "un-kosher" ingredients in the manufacturing of their products, those days are long gone thanks to the FDA. People still do wonder about animal ingredients in cosmetics and it depends on who you ask. Some sources will swear that slaughterhouses are providing bovine ingredients such as brains and/or intestines for use in cosmetic products, but the fact is that it is tough to prove. Scientifically supported evidence of said ingredients occurring in cosmetics after the 1980s are impossible to dig up. These days, animal products and byproducts are rarely, if ever, used to make cosmetics.
Lipstick is and still remains the cheapest and most popular cosmetic to manufacture, and cosmetics companies make about $9 billion from the sale of it annually. So dig in, ladies and indulge in that glossy red you've been fantasizing about.
GETTING DIRTY NEVER FELT SO GOOD
By Hollie Overton
If younger, softer looking skin seems impossible, then you're missing out on one of California's best kept secrets - mud baths. Mud baths are over a thousand years old and yet their popularity continues. Californians are fortunate to have easy access to some of the best mud baths.
California's most famous hot springs are located in Napa Valley; Calistoga is renowned for its hot spring spas that boast some of the most popular mud baths.
Opening in 1861, Indian Springs is the oldest and most famous. It boasts the best location and mud baths. Most resorts use volcanic ash, hot spring water from a nearby source, peat moss to make it soft and help the body float. Indian Springs uses one hundred percent volcanic ash, all from its own property. Calistoga often uses aromatherapy ingredients, such as lavender or eucalyptus.
Dr. Wilkinson's is also another popular destination, which opened in 1952 and uses a combination of ash and mud and has a less intense feeling that is perfect if you aren't a big fan of closed in spaces.
If you're looking to splurge, treat yourself at Solage, a new Auberge du Soleil property. At Solage, you apply the mud yourself and paint it on while sipping wine. Clothing is optional as the male and female facilities are separated.
All the mud baths (besi-des Solage) operate in basically the same way. You're immersed in an extremely hot bath that's filled with mud. You'll float a bit, lightly under the surface. Once you've washed off all the mud, you'll take a mineral bath, enjoy a steam treatment and wrap in a blanket to let your body cool. Generally these treatments take up to an hour to an hour in a half. Other popular hot springs are Golden Haven and Oasis Spa.
For those looking for a closer option, you can find great mud baths only an hour outside of Los Angeles.
Glen Ivy in Corona offers Club Mud, an incredible outdoor mud bath. This red clay cleans your pores, rids you of impurities and leaves healthier skin. More of a do-it yourself spa than Calistoga's offerings, this mud bath is located on a well-manicured resort close to the actual springs. A giant pool of mud awaits you. Immerse yourself and soak in the bath of mud and apply it to your skin. Once you're coated, you can set out in the sun and let the mud dry. Nearby outdoor showers allow you to rinse all the mud off or you can dry yourself in the nearby Wafa (a heated room with seats). People travel from all over to experience these mud baths and not only do they provide great treatment for your skin but it's an enjoyable way to spend time.
Whether you're hoping to make it a day trip or a weekend getaway with a small budget or the means to splurge any of these spas will leave you feeling revived, invigorated and with younger fresher looking skin.
Everything you wanted to know about sinuses but were afraid to ask.
By Staff Writer
Have you had a cold or allergy attack that wouldn't go away? If so, there's a good chance you had sinusitis.
When is a cold actually sinusitis?
The majority of sinus infections are caused by bacteria preceded by a cold. Bacterial sinusitis requires treatment with an antibiotic.
When people have a cold, sinuses become inflamed and unable to drain. Your doctor may use x-rays of your sinuses or obtain a sample of your nasal discharge.
When Acute Becomes Chronic Sinusitis
When you have frequent sinus infections, you most likely suffer from chronic sinusitis.
Therapy for bacterial sinusitis should include an appropriate antibiotic. In addition, an oral or nasal spray or drop decongestant may be recommended. Inhaling steam or using saline nasal sprays or drops can help.
It is important for patients to be evaluated by a Board Certified Specialist. Diagnosis can be made by looking into the nasal cavity with a small telescope and then with a special xray called a CT scan. Surgery should be considered only if medical treatment fails . Surgery for sinus disease now termed Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is the recommended procedure for chronic sinus disease. With the small endoscopes, we can look directly into the nose, while at the same time, removing diseased tissue and polyps and clearing the narrow channels between the sinuses.
For more information visit ww.marckernermd.com.
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