History - Facial care and its development

Ever since humans have existed, skin care has been around. Cave finds from the Stone Age show that even then oils and various essences were used to care for the skin. Ancient Egypt is considered the cradle of cosmetics. Both sexes anointed their bodies with tinctures and oils, made up lips and cheeks in various shades of red, re-drewd the brows with stibium and colored the eyelids with powdered malachite. The mysterious and legendary mineral malachite (dark green carbonate mineral) has always stood for beauty, sensuality, seduction and curiosity and was consecrated to a goddess in all cultures (Egypt, antiquity, Europe). Caution: The soluble copper in the malachite dust is toxic, however. Using stibium ("antimony" or "gray spit luster", semi-metal: Sb) can no longer be recommended for imitation today. Antimony is poisonous and can cause similar symptoms as arsenic or lead.

To preserve perfection for life in the hereafter

An essential part of the burial rites was the addition of toiletries. First examples were found in graves from the predynastic period (4300-3000 BC). In Egypt, the idea of preserving the beauty of a dead person or the integrity of the body shell and keeping its perfection for life in the hereafter also arose. In the course of the centuries, this custom developed into the ever more perfect and still admired preservation of the body by embalming.

wrinkle preventing face mask made of donkey milk honey and flour

Medical papyri provide information about the state of skin care in pharaonic times. The most extensive of these papyri is the "Papyrus Ebers". It says, for example: "One unit each of terebinth (pistachio tree), wax, fresh behenoil and Cyprus grass are finely ground, put into plant sap and rubbed into the face daily. It eliminates wrinkles on the face. Behenoil is a vegetable oil from the seeds of the horseradish tree (Moringa oleifera), which is still cultivated in some Arab countries. It probably contains natural antioxidants. Against dry skin the papyrus recommends "bile of the cow, oil, gum and ostrich egg flour mix, with vegetable juice dilute and daily the face wash with it".Nefertiti, wife of the Pharao Echnaton (around 1370 B.C.), and Cleopatra (around 47 B.C.) estimated juice of the Aloe Vera for the receipt of their beauty. Cleopatra is also said to have bathed extensively in warm donkey milk to keep her skin supple. The recipe for a nourishing, wrinkle-preventing face mask made from donkey milk, honey and flour was handed down by the Roman Empress Poppaea Sabina (around 62 A.D.) In the following centuries, physical care took a back seat. It was not until the 11th century that the early medical reports of the physician Galen, who had lived in Rome from 153-201, were rediscovered. They formed the basis of medicine and personal care until after the Renaissance (transition from the Middle Ages to modern times, between 1400 and 1600).

The separation of cosmetics and medicine

In the late Middle Ages, cosmetics and medicine were separated into two independent fields.Henri de Mondeville (1260-1320), a doctor of surgery and anatomy and teacher of anatomy in Montpellier (F), distinguished in his textbook of surgery at the beginning of the 14th century between pathological changes in the skin, which required medical treatment, and beautifying treatments of the skin, for which cosmetics were responsible. This was the first written documented step to differentiate between the disciplines of cosmetics and dermatology.

Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland - Pioneer in "modern cosmetics"

Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836), physician and professor in Jena and Berlin, is regarded as one of the pioneers of "modern cosmetics". In his writings he describes medical cosmetics as "skin culture", a means of prolonging life. At that time, however, cosmetics were still far from being a serious scientific discipline, and there was still much mystery attached to it. It was imbued with magical and superstitious practices and was close to the mysterious teachings of alchemy.
Around the 1950s, the field of skin care cosmetics underwent another decisive change: active ingredients, excipients and basic principles were increasingly scientifically researched and their effects on and in the skin were understood and documented. Today, modern skin-care cosmetic products not only contribute to the beauty of the skin, but also to keeping it healthy.

Bright and beautiful skin requires care

The skin and especially the complexion are the measure of beauty and care. Because the majority of people first look at the face when they meet someone, the skin of the face is considered an indicator of attractiveness and an expression of personality. Facial skin care has therefore always played a special role in body care.

dream of beautiful skin

And everyone is affected by the topic "beautiful skin"! After all, who hasn't had problems with their skin? A consistently normal skin appearance - not too dry, not too oily, optimally protected against damaging influences, always rosy, soft and fine-pored, without any trace of skin impurities - that remains a pipe dream for most people.

Biological reasons for skin care

However, the visual aspect is not the only reason for skin care. Due to the multitude of its tasks it is also necessary for biological reasons to maintain or restore the skin's functional efficiency. This is all the more so as facial skin is considerably thinner than the rest of the body skin and is constantly exposed to a multitude of damaging influences, e.g. environmental toxins, without protection.

Goals of skin care

Skin care is therefore primarily aimed at supporting the skin in its natural functions and, if necessary, regulating them. In order to keep the skin supple, the horny layer must be strengthened in its natural regenerative capacity or the skin's barrier properties must be restored if damage has already occurred. In addition, the skin must be protected against environmental influences and prevented from premature aging. The basic rule is: Only healthy skin is also beautiful. That is why facial skin must be carefully cared for and supported - and that for a lifetime.

The limits of skin care

There are countless internal and external causes for skin diseases. These can be a hereditary predisposition (genetic cause), which plays an important role in neurodermatitis and psoriasis, for example, or occupational overuse of the skin or sensitization to certain substances that lead to allergies. As long as the protective mechanism of the skin is intact, little can happen to normal, healthy skin. However, if the immune system is weakened or the stress is exceptionally long and severe, more or less serious skin diseases such as eczema can occur. In this case, skin care alone cannot provide relief, but professional help from a doctor is required.

The needs matter

The right care protects the skin and can support it in its functions, this is scientifically proven. Further research results show that the consequences of skin aging can be halted or slowed down a little and partly - at least to some extent - even reversed. The structure-preserving and regenerative effect of cosmetic active ingredients, which are able to penetrate deep into the skin, is beyond doubt, assures the competence partner Schönheitspflege im IKW. Careful handling of the skin in order to prevent premature skin aging, reduce environmental influences such as UV light damage and to stop the age-related process of skin dehydration should be considered and lived out early on.

skin conditions

Care each skin individually

But specific care is something very individual, because every skin is different and reacts differently to care. For optimal care, therefore, the specific requirements of each skin type must first be determined. The individual skin appearance results from the skin type and the current skin condition or skin texture as well as the external stresses to which the skin is exposed. But beware: no skin diagnosis is valid forever. Because the skin changes continuously, it must be checked again and again whether the skin care products used still correspond to the actual skin condition.

Recognize the current skin condition and care for it properly

In addition to normal skin, there is also oily-damp, oily-dry, low-fat-dry and low-fat-damp skin. Today, this goes beyond the rigid division into the three basic skin types normal, oily (seborrhoic) and dry (sebostatic). It is important to note that the contrast between oily and dry skin is not dry, but low-fat. The contrast of dry is moist. The skin condition also changes in the course of life for various reasons.

Normal skin - Who has it, has it easy

Normal skin is smooth, supple, fine pored and soft. It has sufficient moisture and fat, but does not become greasy. It is well-tensioned, but not tight. Normal skin is easy to clean and care for and is not easily irritated. However, it does not have to remain in this skin condition permanently. External or internal influences, such as prolonged stays in centrally heated or air-conditioned rooms with dry air, can nevertheless cause irritation. Hormonal changes or the wrong care, for example with a cream that is too rich in lipids, can also lead to skin impurities or dryness. Caring for normal skin is quite easy. Cleansing milk or gel, followed by an alcohol-free or low-alcohol facial toner, are suitable for cleansing. The care is adapted to the season, age and external influences. If feelings of tension occur, a light moisturizer (O/W emulsion) can be used once or twice a day. Also select sun protection products that are not too greasy.

Oily skin

Oily or oily-damp skin shows itself on an oily, shiny, large-pored skin surface, especially in the T-zone of the face (forehead, nose and chin), on the décolleté and on the back.

 There are particularly many sebaceous glands. With this type of skin, the hair also looks oily and heavy again shortly after washing. The trigger for oily skin is excessive production of the sebaceous glands (seborrhea), which can be triggered by heredity, changes in hormone balance and in some cases by weather conditions and medication. Seborrhea also depends on age; it usually reaches its peak in puberty. With increasing age, the secretion of sebaceous glands decreases again. Oily, moist skin is somewhat thicker than normal skin and therefore comparatively less sensitive to mechanical influences. The well-formed hydro-lipid film protects it from drying out and makes it more resistant to external chemical or physical influences. On the other hand, people with oily, moist skin not only suffer from the greasy, shiny appearance, but also from a tendency to skin blemishes and blackheads, which also play a decisive role in the development of acne and promote the growth of bacteria and colonization by fungi. Advantage of this skin condition: The oily, moist skin is very robust and also somewhat less sensitive to sunlight. Not the whole body surface must correspond to this skin type. Arms and legs, for example, can be low-fat and dry in the same person. In this case, the use of other care products is necessary.

Age also plays a decisive role: four times more elderly people than young people are affected by dry, low-fat skin because sebaceous gland production decreases with increasing age. The negative side effects, e.g. the early development of wrinkles and lines caused by the disturbed hydrolipid film and the occurrence of small, itchy skin inflammations, are counterbalanced by the rarer tendency to skin impurities and acne as positive aspects. Pathogenic germs find it difficult to settle on dry skin.

Consistent care is particularly important for dry, low-fat skin. With products rich in fat and moisture, feelings of tension and dryness can be alleviated. Cleansing products should be very mild so as not to additionally irritate the skin, and the subsequent facial toner should be alcohol-free. A rich moisturizing cream (O/W emulsion, medium fat content) is suitable for day care. During the night the fat content can be increased significantly, now fat creams (W/O emulsion, high fat content) can be used, because now a possible greasy shine on the skin is not important. Suitable and targeted UV protection is also necessary. When sunbathing, of course with appropriate sunscreens that are adapted to the skin type and intensity of the sun. In everyday life, when sun exposure is only expected for a short time, for example on the way to work, by using a caring day cream that also provides UV protection.

Dry skin Oily skin and mixed skin

Combination skin, also known as dry oily skin, is when certain parts of the face, such as the forehead, nose and chin, the T-zone, show the characteristics of oily skin, while the skin on the cheeks, around the eyes and other parts of the body appears dry. Dry, oily skin produces too much sebum and has a reduced ability to retain water. The so-called combination skin should be treated in sections according to the respective skin condition. If only one concept is used for all areas, problems can arise in the area that is different in each case. In concrete terms, this means that for combination skin, T-zone and cheeks can hardly be treated successfully with the same cream. And also for cleansing, the individual areas have different requirements.

The actual oily-dry skin is a special form which usually occurs only for a short time. Despite a greasy, shiny shimmer, symptoms such as scaling, a feeling of tension and redness as well as irritation occur. The cause can be an intensive external acne therapy or very strong UV radiation on vacation or in the solarium. Cleansing gel or cleansing milk can be used for cleansing, the facial toner should be alcohol-free if possible. As care, the skin now needs additional moisture, preferably in the form of a gel or possibly a light moisturizing lotion. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor. In addition, of course, avoid the sun and solarium and adjust the acne therapy in consultation with the treating doctor.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is rather dry and low in fat. Externally soft and fine-pored, it reacts sensitively to a wide range of stimuli. Since the hydro-lipidic coat with its protective function is only insufficiently developed, even everyday stresses such as washing, weather influences, environmental irritants, light sunlight or perfume substances are sufficient to irritate sensitive skin. In heat and cold, the skin burns, tingles or tightens, shows redness, becomes rough, blotchy or flaky. The causes of sensitive skin are not only hereditary factors, e.g. an allergic disposition, but also incorrect, excessive skin care behavior.

Before the care comes the cleaning - always!

Every care application should be preceded by the correct and effective cleansing of the face. Only then is the skin optimally prepared for the application of carefully selected care products. For this purpose, cleansing wipes soaked with active ingredients are also available today.

Only those who care regularly achieve effects

All main care products should be used continuously. The effect does not depend on the quantity, but on the quality of the product and the regularity of application. The careful care always includes the neck and décolleté.

The needs of the skin are variable

Facial skin has seasonally varying care requirements. If it needs rich, protective creams in winter, light, moisturizing products are needed in summer. Sometimes there are signs that the skin no longer feels comfortable with the care products used. However, this usually does not mean that the products have lost their effect. Rather, the condition of the skin and its needs have usually changed. In this case, skin care must be adapted to these new needs.

The way of life plays a role

At least as important as high-quality skin care products for the "anti-aging" of the skin is, of course, the healthiest possible lifestyle. Regular rest breaks, sufficient oxygen, plenty of exercise, the avoidance of psychological stress and restraint from sunlight, solarium and stimulants promote the health and regeneration of the skin. Overwork, stress, UV light, alcohol and smoking can make us "look old" at an early stage. To prevent this, regular facial care is also supported by a balanced diet rich in vitamins and proteins.

Always drink enough!

Water, i.e. skin moisture, makes the skin smooth and soft. It also transports important active ingredients into the skin cells. Acid-forming stimulants such as black tea, coffee, but also alcohol extract more water from the body than they supply. In this deficiency situation, the body first takes moisture from its periphery - the skin. Therefore it is important to drink enough!

Care according to the biorhythm

The entire body, and thus also cell growth, is subject to a fixed rhythm. Active and passive phases alternate every twelve hours. During the day, the cells are in the stress phase (passive) of skin metabolism, during which the skin is busy defending itself against aggressive disturbing factors from the environment. Renewal takes place in the nocturnal active regeneration phase; 70 percent of the cell division process takes place during this time. Interventions in the biological-biochemical rhythm, e.g. through night work or sleep disorders, can lead to premature aging of the skin. Under normal conditions, however, the biorhythm offers ideal conditions for cosmetic care substances to develop their effect during the nightly rest. The circadian principle, i.e. the sequence of life processes in a daily 24-hour rhythm, forms the basis for the range of different products for day and night care and body care.

Day Care

Day care products have the task of protecting the skin from harmful environmental influences and supporting it in its natural function. 

Day care products have the task of protecting the skin from harmful environmental influences and supporting it in its natural function. Since day creams often serve as a make-up base, they must be absorbed quickly by the skin and provide it with long-lasting moisture. Modern day care products also intercept free radicals, which are produced, for example, when UV rays trigger photochemical processes in the skin. These aggressive radicals are real villains: they cause skin damage, which can range from accelerated skin aging to genetic damage in the cells. For this reason, many day creams contain active ingredients that act against the free radicals, such as vitamin E. On the market there is a multitude of different day care products: e.g. those with light protection but also without light protection filters. So the consumer can choose which product he or she prefers. Day care products are gently applied to the face every morning after cleansing.

Day cream for normal skin

For normal skin, a day cream is recommended which preserves the condition of the skin and, if necessary, has a balancing effect. Especially extra light emulsions are suitable for daily care. The aim is to provide the skin with intensive moisture without creating an undesirable shine effect. The complexion should appear naturally matt. Normal skin needs a certain amount of oil, but oily or combination skin cannot tolerate it.

Day cream for oily or combination skin

Oily or combination skin is best cared for with a light emulsion or gel.

They provide the necessary moisture, are quickly absorbed and allow the skin to breathe freely. Additional active ingredients can help regulate the skin's lipid balance and refine the skin's appearance by narrowing dilated openings of the sebaceous glands, such as witch hazel, sage or mint. In the case of impure skin, additional soothing, bacteria-inhibiting and skin-soothing active ingredients, such as chamomile, may be useful. Important in this skin condition is the supply of moisture and active ingredients that help to regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands and reduce inflammation.

Day cream for dry skin

Dry skin requires particularly mild, rich care with a balanced ratio of lipid and moisturizing substances. This ensures protection against moisture loss and prevents the skin from drying out, making it appear smoother and more supple overall. The supply of lipids strengthens the skin's own protection, so that external influences can be better fended off.

Day cream for sensitive skin

Day care for sensitive skin compensates for deficiency symptoms and their consequences, such as feelings of tension. By removing dry and flaky skin, the skin appears smoother and more supple. Special ingredients are said to soothe the skin and counteract irritation and redness.

Day cream for stressed skin

Care creams or day emulsions for stressed skin generally contain a particularly high proportion of structure-improving active ingredients in a strongly moisture-binding base. This care improves cell renewal, stimulates the production of collagen, increases the oxygen content of the skin and binds moisture. It has the goal of reducing the visible signs of skin aging.

Tinted Day Creams

In addition to care products that are primarily aimed at specific skin types, there are day care products with additional benefits, such as tinted day creams. In addition to the skin care effect, they give the skin a slight tint and visually balance out unevenness and small wrinkles. A particularly beautiful, naturally radiant complexion is achieved by combining colored with light-reflecting pigments.


Light moisture fluids promise refreshment at summery temperatures. Their job is to support the natural balance of the skin, to supply it with intensive moisture and to have a mattifying effect by absorbing excess skin oils. UVA and UVB broadband filters help prevent premature light-induced skin aging. If necessary, the products can be applied to the skin several times a day.

Night Care

During sleep, night or body care products can support the skin's renewal process. Rich in consistency, they infiltrate the skin with active ingredients such as vitamins and minerals in concentrated form. The type and composition of the active ingredients must be tailored to the respective skin condition, as in day care. A wide range of products is also available for night care. They range from active substance-rich but light O/W emulsions for normal skin types to extraordinarily rich, i.e. lipid-rich, formulations intended for stressed skin.

Night care for sensitive skin

Special products for sensitive skin contain especially skin-soothing and moisturizing active ingredients. This care product fulfills a whole range of tasks: compensating for the lack of moisture in dry skin areas, soothing the skin, reducing irritation and redness and strengthening its resistance. The aim is to ensure the skin's long-term moisture supply.

Night care for dry skin

For dry skin, special additives such as essential fatty acids and pro-vitamin B5 (D-panthenol) are used in night care products. They compensate for deficiency symptoms, bind moisture in the skin and have a soothing effect at the same time. The skin of the face, neck and décolleté becomes smoother and more supple again. In addition, high-quality care and moisturizing substances such as macadamia nut oil, shea butter and hyaluronic acid are used to reduce wrinkles and combat the formation of new wrinkles at source. 
The oil from the macadamia nut contains a high proportion of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as palmitoleic acid, a component of the skin's own lipids in the epidermis. It is said to smooth the skin and is especially intended for the regeneration of dry, sensitive, irritated or easily inflammatory skin. Shea butter, which is obtained from the African shea tree, contains unsaturated fatty acids and, for example, the antioxidant vitamin E and allantoin, which are said to accelerate cell formation, cell building and regeneration and calm the skin. 
Hyaluronic acid binds water. Finally, vitamins such as retinol (vitamin A) and biotin (vitamin H) in night care products are said to help strengthen the skin structure and increase its ability to bind moisture. Night care products are applied daily in the evening after cleansing with a gentle massage. They provide intensive care and should immediately give the skin a relaxed feeling.

Special Products

In addition to the day and night care products, there are a number of preparations with very specific care properties. They can be used in addition to daily facial care for particularly problematic skin zones.
This product category includes concentrates, serums and intensive creams. They contain active ingredients in highly concentrated form. Products with firming ingredients, for example, use enzymes and vitamin C to counteract the breakdown of elastin and collagen fibers. They are intended to improve the elasticity, resilience and suppleness of the skin and provide an immediately noticeable, lasting firming effect. Other preparations bind moisture in the skin over a longer period of time, accelerate the absorption of active ingredients from the subsequent care and have a soothing effect on the skin. By improving the skin's structure, the complexion looks quickly recovered, smoother and more even. 
Special care products are evenly distributed over the face and neck in the morning and evening after cleansing. Finally, the usual day and night care is applied. A relatively young product group are the so-called nose and/or pimple plasters. These contain one or more highly concentrated active ingredients which are applied to the problematic area and can develop their full effect there.

Intensive care for the eye area

Dryness and age wrinkles around the eyes are particularly undesirable. But why are there more wrinkles here than in other areas of the face? The skin around the eyes is only just under half a millimeter thick, and thus only about a quarter to an eighth as thick as the rest of the facial skin. In addition, there is hardly any subcutaneous fatty tissue and only very few sebaceous and sweat glands. The important supporting fibers of the skin, elastin and collagen, are also lower in the eye area; moisture is difficult to bind. In addition, the eyes move frequently. Every time you blink - and this happens more than 10,000 times a day - the skin around the eyes wrinkles and becomes strained.

Special eye contour products intensively supply the sensitive eye area with lipids and moisture factors. Many also contain active ingredients that combat free radicals, which are responsible for premature skin aging, and stimulate the cell renewal process. At the same time, they can have a decongesting effect and soften dark circles under the eyes. For example, specially shaped, self-adhesive gel pads are available which release their concentrated active ingredients such as ceramides (a subgroup of lipids) and glycerin in a targeted manner. They provide immediate care with intensive, long-lasting moisture. The human skin contains ceramides primarily in the "putty substance" between the dead horny cells of the epidermis. They help to protect the skin from drying out. Glycerin additionally binds moisture. The area around the eyes can thus be smoothed, it receives new elasticity and feels cool and fresh. With regular, continuous application, the visible reduction of fine eye wrinkles is ideally added. The care pads are applied to cleansed and dried skin and simply removed after the end of the application time.

Another example of products are two-phase gels for intensive treatment of wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. At the same time, the gel base has a moisturizing and decongesting effect.

Eye care products are applied to cleansed skin before the usual care. Due to the area of application, these products are tested particularly carefully with regard to their compatibility. Ophthalmological tests often also ensure suitability for contact lens wearers. In case of doubt, please ask the trade or the manufacturer.

Neck and décolleté

Special products are also available for the neck and décolleté.

For example, non-greasy, rich creams for every skin type. They have a firming and tightening effect, moisturize the skin and thus support its elasticity and resilience. If moisture loss is avoided, the skin remains soft and supple and is protected against premature wrinkling. The creams are massaged into the neck and décolleté with gentle movements every morning and evening after cleansing.

Care masks

One of the most rapidly effective skin care products is a mask. With the right mask, tired facial features, sallow and poorly circulated skin and small impurities can be removed, the manufacturers assure. Most masks are available in creamy form. They contain special complexes of active ingredients that have been proven in skin care, e.g. liposome enrichment. Cream masks are used for dry, sensitive and irritated skin.

Vitalizing masks may, for example, contain small doses of salicylic acid, which has a strong keratolytic effect (scaling, peeling of the horny layer). Similar to a facial massage, increased blood circulation causes greater tension in the blood vessels, thus tightening the skin. The skin becomes rosier, looks more vital and is well prepared for make-up. Vitalizing masks are sometimes also offered as lifting masks, because the skin tightening is supposed to work like a mini-lift. Air-impermeable masks create a small accumulation of heat on the skin and thus also have a blood circulation-promoting and skin-tightening effect. 

The aim of cooling and refreshing moisturizing masks is to provide the skin with intensive, long-lasting moisture and soothing active ingredients at the same time. Facial masks are applied to cleansed skin once or twice a week and removed after the prescribed exposure time.