The attitude to insects in Asia is cardinally different from ours, it won’t be difficult to find some information about the nutritional value of grasshoppers, cockroaches and scorpions there. Various larvae, worms and crickets that are later sent to the local cafes and restaurants are cultivated and fattened at the special farms. Some insects are not only used for cooking meals, but also for making cosmetics.
Though many insects in Asia can be eaten without any heat treatment (alive, in other words), no cockroach dies while preparing a chitin cleaning mask, because only cockroach skins are needed for the preparation. The cockroach larvae molt several times during their life, every time shedding their skins. You can see the recently molted cockroach on the photo. At first it is white and soft, but gradually the chitin cover gets darker and it hardens. Bur we are more interested in the left chitin skin than in the cockroach itself.
Collecting cockroach skins after molting is not the easiest thing to do. The majority of cockroach species eat their former shell immediately after the molting to make up a deficiency of chitin in the organism. Moreover, cockroaches can carry diseases which are dangerous for a human. That is why the specialized farms for the insect breeding are the best place to get the cockroach skins (you can find their addresses in the Internet).
A few words about chitin. Chitin, together with cellulose and starch, is one of the three most widely spread polysaccharides in the nature. Every person who used to study biology at school knows that chitin is the base of the outer covering of the crustaceans, insects and arachnids. When heating chitin with the chemical solution, the water soluble chitosan is got. It is widely used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industry. The chitin and its derivatives have sorbing, hypoallergenic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and wound healing characteristics. In my opinion, this information is enough to get rid of the prejudice towards cockroach skins and to start preparing the cleaning mask. The cockroach skins are soft immediately after the molt, they need to be washed and dried in the open air for several days.
The well dried skins are easily ground in a coffee grinder.
It’s not necessary to mill them up to powder, it would be better to leave the particles bigger – in this case the mask will additionally have a pronounced scrub effect.
Add the red wine to the ground cockroach skins, the rate of 1 teaspoon of the ground raw-stuff to 2 teaspoons of wine.
Mix it all up and take it away for 2-3 hours to brew.
Even though chitin is considered to be insoluble in the water, alcohol, weak alkalis and acids, some processes of the interaction of chitin covers and wine which has the acescent PH really take place, but they are only known to the oriental beauties. Some hours later after mixing, we get smooth and quite thick gel.
The gel is very slimy, it is impossible to spread over the skin evenly.
Add the red clay to the gel. It will not only enrich the mask with minerals, but it will also help to make a more convenient consistency for spreading it over the skin.
Mix it all up carefully. Put the ready-made mask on the previously cleaned face in a thin layer and leave it for 5-10 minutes, after that wash it off with warm water.
As usually, we were controlling the effect of our cosmetics on the volunteers with different skin types. We used to present the precise data about the content of the cream or mask. In this case we had to hide the basic component of our Asian remedy. As a result, absolutely everyone noticed that the skin became smoother, flatter and fresher already after a single application. When using the mask with the cockroach skins during a course (twice a week), a female owner of the problem skin which is disposed to inflammations and acnes, noticed that the state of her skin had considerably improved. The redness disappeared, her complexion became steady, there were no local inflammations any more. Despite all this, after we had declassified our basic ingredient, a half of our volunteers refused to take part in the further mask testing.