Interview with Dr. Diana Malcangi, a cosmetic cosmetologist, who gave us some valuable tips for skin care and choosing the right products
Stress, wrong creams and cosmetics, poor nutrition, cold and pollution are the most common factors that negatively affect our skin, ruining it and accelerating the aging process.
In the care of the skin some daily gestures are essential and above all the choice of the products is fundamental. A valid alternative to lotions, serums and industrial make-up (here are the make-up trends for autumn-winter) are DIY cosmetics with food ingredients that have a number of advantages: they are rich in vitamins, effective, do not pollute and make save.
Dr. Diana Malcangi, cosmetologist, gave us some valuable tips for having a perfect epidermis and gave us some recipes to create masks and cosmetics with guaranteed effects in our kitchens (WATCH THE PHOTOS).
You are a cosmetic cosmetologist, what does your profession consist of?
Cosmetologist chemist is the "title" that summarizes my studies (I have a degree in Chemistry and I have a Master's Degree in Cosmetic Science and Technology) and also my work experiences (I worked as a formulator and then as scientific manager at important cosmetic production companies). Currently with my cosmetology studio (studio-cosmetici.it) I work with both companies and private individuals: for companies I am a scientific consultant, I help them in the creation of innovative products and often also in communication.
I also work with private users who want to solve skin problems or blemishes: I follow them personally in targeted dermocosmetic procedures and treatments that naturally rebalance the skin. My method is to gradually bring the skin back to the best physiological conditions, so that it can activate its defenses and keep itself healthy (and young) over time.
What are the characteristics that a good cosmetic must possess? Can you give some indications that can guide you in the choice?
Strange to say, but the goodness of a cosmetic depends above all on the skin that receives it. A very valid product for a certain type of skin and age can be very bad on a different skin type. In general, I suggest to my clients the use of natural cosmetics, which have a fairly green list of ingredients, mostly due to the high skin compatibility that these products often show. But natural products are not always better than others: the bio-buffalo is always around the corner. In some cases it is better a product that is not entirely natural but with active ingredients in high percentage, compared to a product that calls itself "natural" and devoid of this or that preservative, but that often only has so much beauty …. water! That is, the percentage of assets is so low that the product, in spite of the "amazing" properties of the assets, can do nothing but hydrate and nothing else.
A good cosmetic, for me, must first of all be formulated by serious companies. How do you recognize a virtuous company? Simple, with transparency (which then means respect for the consumer): a virtuous company is, for example, the one that indicates the percentage of assets contained in its products, or the one that, in addition to carefully choosing the ingredients and their percentages, makes them test the effectiveness of the finished product at dermatological clinics, and then publishes the clear results on the site. Not many companies do it, but there are. A cosmetic can be natural, or with quality ingredients, or with active ingredients in high concentration, but it may be ineffective or unsuitable for our skin: in short, it is the skin that decides, and my job is also to facilitate choice of the most suitable products.
What are the daily gestures we need to take to keep our skin fresh and healthy?
First, cleaning. For example, removing make-up in the evening is fundamental: it is necessary to leave the skin as free as possible to breathe, to prevent impurities and related imperfections. Let us not forget that our skin is a real organ that carries out important physiological functions and as such must be respected.
It starts by removing the fattest makeup (mascara, pencils, lipstick, eye shadows in paste), which should be removed by rubbing on the affected areas of the simple olive oil with the fingers, or with the help of a cotton pad.
Then you can switch to the actual detergent, choosing a delicate one, possibly without foaming agents. The product should be applied all over the face and massaged or rubbed with a disk, rubbing gently: whether it is a gel, or a milk, or a cream or a micellar water, the detergent product should always be rinsed.
Finally, the cleaning action must be completed with a delicate tonic, to be applied with a soaked disk, rubbing gently to remove any residual detergent left after rinsing. If we have cleaned the skin well in the evening, the next morning it will be enough to cool down with warm water and then applying a little tonic, choosing the one that best suits our skin. The moisturizer is essential, and should be applied at least once a day, better two (for example if we have particularly dry skin).
You held a workshop in Expo entitled “Food for the skin. How to create cosmetics with food ingredients ", what are the advantages of using DIY products?
First and foremost the quality / price ratio: at a low cost they correspond to high benefits for the skin. What we spend, in fact, in making ourselves a cosmetic (using for example fruit, extra virgin olive oil and other food sources) is decidedly less than what we would spend to buy a packaged cosmetic, and if we are good at choosing the ingredients we guarantee the best formulation for our skin, rich in "fresh" and immediately bioavailable nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, organic acids …). In addition, we know how much a packaged product can impact on the environment, not only for the contained chemicals (let's think about the amount of detergents we pour into the drains at each shower) but also for the packaging itself, which assembles different materials such as plastic, glass, external cardboard, cellophane, etc. many of which are thrown away as soon as the product is opened. If we prepare the mask or the detergent in the house, we have certainly saved, we have not polluted and we have spread fresh and nutritious substances on our skin, free of preservatives and chemical excipients. There are also obviously risks in DIY, mostly related to the lack of experience of those who decide to self-produce cosmetics and to the fact that we often rely on recipes from bloggers without basic chemical knowledge, who may copy formulas and ideas here and there and they use chemicals that they certainly shouldn't handle so lightly (eg preservatives) that they can interact with each other. And then there is the risk of contamination with bacteria and molds: although using preservatives the product can become contaminated the same, in the absence of specific microbiological tests (which companies do instead). How did I solve the problem? Avoiding chemicals entirely and using only food ingredients; and then, by preparing small quantities of product, each time, to avoid having to keep it. My itinerant laboratory offers only easy-to-make remedies, with readily available ingredients, harmless on a toxicological level and effective on the skin, all to be prepared at the moment to avoid contamination. As a cosmetic cosmetologist I know what the "non-specialist" can do safely and what not.
What are the most effective food substances in skin care?
Certainly fruit, a true concentrate of vitamins, organic acids and antioxidants, perfect for the preparation of energizing and biostimulant masks. And then, a remedy that I consider "golden": the extra virgin olive oil, which is perhaps the best lipid substance to protect and nourish the skin, especially the dry and sensitive one, and which has multiple uses, all explained in the Food for Skin.
How much does nutrition affect beauty? And which foods should never miss on the table?
Nutrition affects beauty as much as the use of adequate products and as much as lifestyle. It is important to eat healthy, get enough sleep, not stress too much, do not smoke and do not overdo alcohol and do so much outdoor sports to re-oxygenate the blood (which also nourishes the skin). In short, to stay healthy inside and out it is important that life is active, as close to nature as possible and that our mood is a "playful calm". To answer the question about the foods to put at the table, it will seem trivial but the Mediterranean diet is still the best and healthiest diet in circulation: in order, the fruit and vegetables in season (raw and cooked) should abound at every meal , accompanied by cereals and legumes, preferably whole, in an exaggerated quantity (bearing in mind that legumes contain both carbohydrates and proteins and therefore, accompanied with vegetables and fruit, they constitute a complete meal in themselves). Next, animal proteins, which should be eaten in small quantities, especially after the -anta (in particular meat and dairy products), but never completely eliminated! It is one thing to lean towards vegetarianism – which is good – another account is to eliminate animal protein altogether, which would deprive us of important substances. As condiments, very little salt and green light to the most disparate spices and aromatic herbs, accompanied by a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, possibly … Italian.
What do you recommend against skin blemishes and acne in adulthood?
To lighten, illuminate, rebalance and purify mature skin tending to stains or impurities, the natural acids of the fruit are very effective: it would be enough to rub a slice of apple every evening (or, in this period, a grape cut in half ) on the face, without rinsing, to find a brighter and more toned skin in the morning, also benefiting from an astringent effect on impurities. Skin with a tendency to stains, however, must always be hydrated a lot, because the hydration itself promotes cellular regeneration, and then it must be protected from the sun with a solar adequate to its phototype. But be careful not to grease it excessively if it tends to greasiness and imperfections: in this case a gel or a gel cream is better.
A strong anti-blemish and anti-pimples remedy: every evening apply pure lemon juice only at the point where there is imperfection, using a cotton swab dipped in juice. These fruit-based remedies should be performed after cleaning and before moisturizing.
It must be taken into account, however, that if we are not dealing with slight imperfections but with real acne, this is a disease, usually linked to hormonal imbalances or periods of high stress, and therefore must be treated with adequate medical support and dermocosmetic treatments targeted, beyond the do-it-yourself and that I recommend during private counseling meetings.
What is your opinion on the use of cosmetic surgery to eliminate wrinkles and signs of aging?
I don't feel like generalizing, on this subject I feel I can only speak for myself, because I believe that every woman has a completely personal relationship with her appearance and as such should be respected. Personally I have never resorted to surgery – age is still on my side – but I believe I will never resort to it. At most I will make some injections of collagen or hyaluronic acid, who knows, of those that after a while are reabsorbed naturally, or some vitamin treatment, and nothing more. I do not feel however badly to judge who uses the retouch: I for one do not know how I will see myself in a few years, in what period of life I will find myself, what physical or psychological factors will intervene … how do you generalize? What I do know for sure is that I will never do anything that makes me look like a museum doll, or even make my features too much. I believe that the femininity and attractiveness of a woman, once they have reached a certain age, are not in a turgid breast or an inflated cheekbone, but in that underlying allure that is born of a greater awareness of life, of love (conquered) for themselves, and which pours out, amplified, on their loved ones; from the desires that continue to have; from the friendships, activities and interests that continue to be cultivated and from that joy that … will always make a spite of the passing of time!
Can you dedicate the recipe of a natural cosmetic to the readers of Tipsforwomens? (READ THE RECIPES)
Of course! I want to suggest a revitalizing "seasonal" mask, with an energizing and anti-wrinkle effect.
Take a very ripe and soft kaki, cut it in half and remove the peel. In a small bowl, mash the pulp of the half-khaki with a fork (or whisk it), add a spoonful of olive oil, stir and thicken the mixture by adding a teaspoon of 00 flour (or oatmeal).
Apply the mask you have so prepared on your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes, relaxing. At the end of the setting time, rinse your face with warm water.
Thanks to beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals contained in khaki, the skin will be intensely nourished, revitalized and firmed, and olive oil will have an over-nourishing effect.
And the other half of the khaki?
Obviously, you eat it!