Saturday, April 16, 2016

Beauty Tip: Egg White Face Mask


Egg white face masks seem to be the rage these days with many YouTube videos and home remedy books touting the benefits of egg white treatments.  In truth, egg whites masks have been around since ancient times and were a staple of beauty books throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Egg White Face Mask Recipe

Here is a typical recipe and instructions for a typical egg white mask: 
  1. Place the white of one egg into a bowl. 
  2. Add a few drops of lemon juice
  3. Whisk until the mixture is a froth. 
  4. Then wash your face.
  5. Apply the face mask and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  6. Rinse your face with some water and pat dry.
Voila, a new and more beautiful you.

But does this home remedy really work? We did some checking and here's what we found....

Harper's Bazaar magazine article from 1919 recommends a face mask made from ground
barley, honey and a beaten egg white.


Egg Masks Work....To A Point

In 1965, two cosmetic chemists were asked to investigate the efficacy of Magic Secret, a wrinkle smoothing lotion sold by Helene Curtis, that contained albumen (a protein found in eggs, milk, and other animal and vegetable tissues) as the primary ingredient.  The researchers conducted a test on 50 women and then reported the results in the Journal of Cosmetic Chemists.* Here's what they discovered: 
  • As the albumen lotion dried, the subjects of the experiment felt a tightening sensation and that there was a noticeable reduction in wrinkles on their skin.
  • Under a microscope, the finest wrinkle lines became invisible and moderate wrinkles appeared more shallow.
  • The largest furrows around the eyes and mouth were not noticeable effected.
  • All individuals responded to the treatment, but to varying degrees.
  • The effect of the treatment lasted between 2-6 hours.
  • When the effects begin to wane, re-moistening the skin re-instated the effect. 
  • The researchers concluded that the treatment worked because the albumen contracted as it dried and caused the skin within the wrinkle to rise upward so that the furrow became shallower. 
The bottom line - albumen masks can improve the appearance of your skin, but the effects are temporary and the deepest wrinkles won't be effected.

Helene Curtis' Magic Secret was albumen. The product caused a
sensation when released in 1964.

Our Recommendations:
  • There is evidence that egg white masks can help temporarily hide small to moderate wrinkles. Since backyard chicken owners have plenty of eggs, the cost of trying an egg mask is pretty small and probably worth a try.  
  • Although backyard chickens are less likely than those that live in commercial flocks to have salmonella, it is possible for your chickens to harbor this type of bacteria. Placing contaminated egg on the open pores of your face could pose a hazard, so only use clean and freshly laid eggs for egg masks and don't get any of the yolk into the mixture as the yolk is more likely to contain salmonella than the white.
  • If you suffer from acne, you may want to pass on this treatment entirely. The egg white can clog the pores of your skin and lead to an outbreak.
Have You Tried An Egg White Mask?

If you've tried an egg white mask, please let us know about your experiences by posting a comment.




*Albert M. Kligman & Christopher M. Papa, Albumen as an Antiwrinkling Cosmetic, Journal of Cosmetic Chemists, 1965. 

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