Many beauty products boast of the beneficial effects of volcanic ash to the skin. These products claim that bentonite clay, another name for volcanic ash, can clear the skin of impurities because of its exfoliating effect, and can even give the skin a plump look.
These products also claim that volcanic ash can detoxify, has anti-inflammatory properties, can help the lymphatic system because of its calcium and potassium contents, and is antibacterial, which could help people with acne.
Volcanic ash is a mixture of rocks, minerals and glass, which is formed by fragmentation processes of the magma and the surrounding materials of volcanic vents. When released to the atmosphere, it could be trapped in the clouds or carried far by the wind.
But before you collect the ashes expelled by Taal Volcano and make it into a mud pack, Dr. Michele Rivera Nuez, plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon of SansAge Wellness and Advanced Aesthetics Center warns that volcanic ash is highly acidic.
“The volcanic ash that we see in the roads today is very raw. You cannot use it directly to the skin because it could irritate the skin. Direct contact can make your skin itchy and could, eventually, hurt the skin. The volcanic ash that we see in cosmetic or beauty products today is just a small component of the product—it is not entirely made of volcanic ash. Hydrating components are usually mixed with the ash. If not mixed with the right ingredients, it can cause serious irritation to the skin,” said Nuez in an interview on Radyo Klinika at Dwiz882 AM.
Volcanic ash is highly porous and highly absorbent. “Yes, it can clear your skin of dirt and oil, but too much of it, even when mixed with hydrating ingredients, can dry and irritate your skin.”
“The raw volcanic ash can severely affect your skin, as much as it can affect your lungs,” warned Nuez.
In fact, the long-term effect of inhaling volcanic ash is silicosis—a disease, which impairs and scars the lungs due to exposure from crystalline silica.
Dr.Nuez advised the listeners to minimize their exposure to ash, and if possible, stay indoors during an ashfall.
When cleaning their areas of volcanic ash, use face masks, preferably N95 mask to protect the nose and mouth, goggles to protect the eyes, hand gloves and long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect the body. She also advised immediate bathing after the exposure to volcanic ash.
To rid of blemishes, acne and other facial skin problems, and to achieve a youthful glow, instead of putting volcanic ash on the face, Nuez offers different facial treatments at SansAge Center, which is located at 134 Legaspi corner Carlos Palanca Streets, Makati City. These are the Black Doll Facial, Laser Toning Facial, SansAge Signature Facial and SansAge V-Thera treatment.
SansAge Wellness and Advanced Aesthetics Clinic is a one-stop center, which provides holistic health services, aesthetic counseling and treatment. The clinic is a hybrid of relaxation with results-oriented treatments. Nuez is available for consultations at SansAge daily. Call these numbers: 8893-0872 and 0926-312-2328.
Radyo Klinika is a KBP Golden Dove awardee for Best Radio Magazine Program, and its anchor, Marou Pahati-Sarne was twice named as Best Radio Magazine Program Host. It airs Tuesdays to Fridays 7 to 8 p.m. on Dwiz 882 KHZ AM, with live streaming on Facebook Page: Dwiz 882. For interview requests, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credits: Sigurdur Brynjarsson | Dreamstime.com