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This Easter get some egg on your face!

April 11, 2009

The beauty of a long weekend is having time to try out a few recipes and then share them with friends.  Eggs are a much loved symbol of Easter so what better way to kick off your Easter beauty regime than getting egg on your face!

While Googling  “egg chemistry” I came across the International Egg Commission who have some interesting egg facts. Here are a few – check out their web site for more:

* There are approx 4.93 billion egg laying hens in the world.

* The colour of the egg shell is influenced by the breed of the hen.

* Today’s laying hens are capable of producing over 300 eggs per hen per year – OUCH!

Eggs are a great beauty ingredient and can be beneficial both for the face and for the hair due to them being a  rich source in Vitamin’s A and D, Iron, Riboflavin and Protein. The beneficial components of eggs have been extracted and used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for many years to aid in binding formulations (mixtures) together, assisting in the spreading of the formulation and delivering hydration (moisture) to the skin. We will take a quick look here at the chemistry of eggs before trying out some formulations.

Other than the shell eggs are made up of a yolk and the white. We will look at the egg white first.

Egg white is a mixture of albumin (up to 10%) and water (up to 80%). The other 10% consists of a little sugar and fat! The albumin is a protein, proteins are made up of Amino Acids and Amino Acids are the building blocks of  life! In eggs the proteins take on a globular structure which accounts for its jelly like properties.  The proteins in egg white also contain a bit of sulfur which promotes hair growth (although you would probably need a lot more than is found in an egg white to see a result).

So how good is egg white when applied to the skin or hair?  Well, apparently in the fourteenth century high society ladies used to apply egg white to the face to make them look whiter.  Having tried this for myself all I can say is that the face ends up looking a bit shiny and like you have a layer of glue on top! Egg white can make a good hair styling aid – it works like a gel.  The white can also be used as a base for a hair conditioner although it will not do anything for your hair’s wet comb-ability.   Finally egg white can be used as a face mask for toning the skin and closing the pores.

egg white conditioner

My Verdict:  OK, not very conditioning but not bad enough to not try again! Next time I am going to give the egg yolks a go as these seem more potent!

What about egg yolks?  The yolk is also known as Vitellus and consists of up to 50% water, 35% lipids (fats) and 15% protein.  Components of Egg yolks (phospholipids) when applied to the skin have been shown to increase the skin’s moisture levels which is very beneficial for skin health.  Egg yolk lipids (also known as Lecithin’s) can be bought commercially and are used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food to help with emulsifying (binding) and  dispersing (spreading) of a formulation (or recipe). Interestingly these lipids arrange themselves into little spheres which are also known as liposomes. These liposomes, when they are small enough can be used to deliver active ingredients through the skin – many commercial cosmetics contain liposomes although not all liposomes are made from eggs.

Try this recipe out – I actually liked this one although I wouldn’t recommend trying it if you have a delicate stomach as it is a bit slimy and eggy!

egg yolk face pack

This mixture sets on your face making it go a little tight. As I said, the smell and consistency are a little off-putting at first and left me feeling a little yucky but after a minute the smell goes and it starts to dry. My skin did feel smooth and refreshed after so I would recommend giving this a go.

So in conclusion eggs are a great beauty food due to their rich mix of protein and fat soluble vitamins.  When mixed up into a home made potion eggs can still give benefits – moisturizing, tightening the skin and even styling the hair! However, for the cosmetics chemist the true value comes when the different components of egg are extracted and concentrated – Lecithin being one. This is where you get eggcellent results.

Grab an egg and get eggsperimenting today – unless you are allergic of course!


* Eggs are just one source of the proteins needed to make liposomes – there are many other non-animal sources so Vegans can also reap the benefits. Soya is one such source.

* If you are able to, Free Range eggs are recommended as they ensure that the chicken didn’t suffer for your beauty. Best of all, keep your own chickens then you can thank them for their donation!

* If you are in any way allergic to eggs do not make up these recipes.  As with all recipes, do a patch test first before slathering it over yourself.

Useful research links used for this article.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 5:31 am

    amazing stuff thanx 🙂

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