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Swimming and Skin Care – Repairing the Skin Barrier

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Often pool swimmers complain of water related skin problems. Chlorine has a caustic effect, causing a disruption to the Stratum Corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) the skin’s barrier. This skin barrier, was coined by Dr. Peter M. Elias of the University of California, San Francisco, an expert on skin barrier and epidermal biology.

The Stratum Corneum functions to form a barrier to protect underlying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress. This skin level consists of dead cells (corneocytes) composed of 15-20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles. These corneocytes are embedded in a lipid matrix composed of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids.

This barrier is produced through a process called desquamation, cells shedding from the surface of the stratum corneum, and balancing proliferating keratinocytes (cells that produce keratin, a beneficial protein for the body). Then these cells migrate through the epidermis towards the surface in a journey that takes approximately fourteen days.

In other words, we are born with a healthy skin barrier that is capable of naturally keeping skin moist, and hydrated. Unfortunately, over time that layer of skin gets damaged from things like cold weather, excessive sun exposure, prolonged water submersion, wind conditions and other environmental factors. These causes break down the components of this layer of our skin and leave it without protection, susceptible to pruning, wrinkly skin, inflammation, bacteria, dryness, itchiness and allergens – damage.

Can Drinking Water Help to Hydrate Skin?

We are made of water (the average adult human body is 50-65% water). Copious quantities of water from our bodies is excreted daily. Therefore, the drinking of water is important because it replaces our supply. According to the FDA, we are to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to maintain what we lose. The myth is that by doing so our skin is then adequately hydrated. For skin purposes, unfortunately, the consumption of water doesn’t help all that much. In fact, the water we drink has a lot to do before it even gets to the skin. Think of the long and winding path water takes in our bodies and you’ll note how many stops it makes to other organs, etc., before it even makes an appearance at the surface of the skin, for example:

1. Ridding the body of toxins,

2. Aiding with our digestive system,

3. Helping our organs function properly, etc.

Therefore, in theory, we need to apply water to the skin topically and somehow hold it there in order to keep skin moist, hydrated and wrinkle free. Moisturizers seek to accomplish this very task.

Moisturizers and the Skin Barrier

Despite what some advertisers tell us, many moisturizers available today do very little to keep moisture in the skin. That is because very few can penetrate the stratum corneum. With that truth, can the skin barrier even be repaired? The good news it that ‘yes’ it can. Because this layer of cells is made up of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids, it stands to reason that if those elements are depleted causing damaged skin then adding them back to the skin will improve its texture. We accomplish this by putting the missing ingredients of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids together in proper measurements (formulas) so that they work homogeneously to improve the skin. The mixture is key because just as we initially had them in our bodies, we must replace them similarly.

Which Moisturizers Even Work on the Dermis?

1. Shea Butter – contains fatty acids stearic and palmitic acid

2. Dermalogica Barrier Repair – shea butter, evening primrose oil

3. Zerafite – sold by dermatologists as a barrier repair face cream and body cream. http://lesliebaumannmd.com/dr-baumann-recommends-barrier-repair-moisturizers-heres/

4. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream 16 oz Daily Face and Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin – formulated technology allows ceramides to penetrate the skin

5. Water – douse your skin in fresh water before swimming

What About Working from the Inside Out?

1. Supplements – such as borage seed, fish oil or evening primrose oil

2. Hyaluronic acid – despite some claims, many dermatologists profess that it cannot enter the dermis when applied topically https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110621/

3. Water – drinking 8-10 glasses a day does improve the skin’s quality, but it takes time to reach the skin, as previously mentioned

Conclusion

Swimmers have special needs that pertain to moisturizing and protecting of our skin. Addressing these needs in logical, well-informed and consistent ways can allow swimmers to enjoy the water for a lifetime. The information above does not cover all that there is known on this subject. There are tons of more products and procedures that have been proven to work on a swimmer’s skin. This post is an overview, generally giving insight on how swimmers should approach their skin care needs.

Try the moisturizers and supplements above after speaking to your dermatologists and doctors to see if they are right for you. If they are not, hopefully the information above will lead you to the correct combination of internal and external remedies designed for your needs.

As swimmers, we have to design and implement a routine to protect our skin. Doing nothing can only help to erode our skin barrier over time.

If this post has been helpful to you, please leave a comment below.

Thank you and Go Swim!

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Will My Oily Skin Ever Go Away?

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The big question people with oily skin, or any type of skin problem, will always want to know is: Will it ever go away?

Oily skin, the result of overactive sebaceous glands (thus producing too much oil, or sebum), will always vary from person to person. The causes behind it are all very different, and these causes may often be the answer to whether or not you will always be stuck with oily skin.

Some people have chronically oily skin, and there is not much they can do about it. It is in their genetics to have sebaceous glands that continuously produce oil, thus leading them to have many, many years of dealing with oily skin and the problems it can bring, such as acne, dull appearance, shiny skin, and skin thickness.

Your best bet, in the case that you do have chronically oily skin, is to see a dermatologist and get the best possible products to help tame it. If you are going to have it for an extremely long time, you might as well go all out in treating it, taking the best care of your skin as you can, and checking up with your dermatologist regularly to see about your progress and to find out about any new possibilities in the area of oily skin relief.

Most people that have oily skin, however, do not have it chronically. Instead, oily skin crops up due to sudden hormonal changes. The most common reason for oily skin falls on the shoulders of teenagers who are going through puberty. Dealing with oily skin can last several years, as well as the frustration of acne outbreaks, but you can at least live with the thought that your oily skin will not last forever, certainly not far into your adult life.

Because of the hormonal fluctuations people go through during puberty, the sebaceous glands act up and produce more sebum than is necessary, leading to the aforementioned problems. But with good care and a decent amount of patience (avoid stress whenever possible!), you can lessen the problems of oily skin and be able to relax once your hormones have gone back to a less rambunctious state and freed your skin from excess oil.

There are also much shorter terms in which you may find a sudden oily skin problem. Women who are pregnant, start taking birth control, or go through other areas in life that can affect their hormone levels may find resulting oily skin and possibly acne breakouts. But no worries; like with puberty, once your hormones have gone back to normal, your oily skin should clear up.

Issues such as stress, exercise, and eating right may contribute to temporary dealings with oily skin. Stress has been a major link in sebum production and the appearance of acne, so stressing less may lead you to a more oil free and acne free life. Exercise is good for you, both inside and out, and can help clear up skin. Sitting around doing nothing is unhealthy, and while it will not be the cause of oily skin, it will do nothing to aid it. The same can be said for a good diet.

Eating junk food such as sweets and salty snacks are not directly related to sebum overproduction, but an improved diet with healthy fruits, vegetables, and other foods may help, as it will help your body overall in terms of nutrition and necessary vitamins and minerals.

The best you can do for your oily skin is to continue to cleanse, exfoliate, use toner, and blot as necessary throughout the day, especially if you have already found a routine that works for you. If you have yet to find a good routine and your oily skin is still a nuisance to you, then you should probably begin looking into a different skin care routine or question the effectiveness of some of your products.

Ask questions of others with oily skin to compare information or ask your dermatologist for possible solutions. Even if you have oily skin for a short time, knowing how to care for it can help you tone it down and have more patience as you wait for it to go away.

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Bat-Wings: The Dreaded Hanging Arm Skin After WLS

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Gastric-bypass surgery is only the first step many morbidly obese patients take in their total body make overs. One residue of massive weight loss is the dreaded “bat-wings”. You know what I’m talking about – that upper arm skin which hangs like bat wings if you spread your arms wide ready for flight. Wave your hand and the bat-wing waves too. For some after massive weight loss there is so much skin it’s difficult to find shirts with sleeves that fit, and worse, it’s embarrassing to wear sleeveless shirts.

What to do?

Exercise:

The first line of defense is to do weight or strength training during the phase of rapid weight loss. Many patients report satisfactory skin shrinkage of the upper arms when they’ve incorporated light exercise during weight loss. Bicep curls and tricep pulldowns are the best exercises for firming upper arms. Arm training takes minimal equipment (2 light dumbbells 3-5 lbs each) and limited space. It should be noted, the younger the patient and the fewer times they’ve seen significant weight change, the better chance they have of toning and shaping their arms with exercise. Now, that doesn’t let older patients off the hook for doing exercise – it just gives a bit more encouragement for younger people who undergo weight loss surgery.

Liposuction:

The next, but not very plausible option is liposuction. Lipo is only appropriate when there is a lot of fat and the skin is tight. The lipo sucks out the fat and allows the skin to shrink. This isn’t plausible for most WLS patients because they’ve already lost the fat leaving an empty balloon of upper arm skin.

Brachioplasty:

The last resort is the $5,000 arm lift called brachioplasty Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that eliminates excess skin from the upper arm.

Incisions and Scars in Arm Lift

Scars are the greatest drawback of this operation. They will extend from the armpit to the elbow, along the inside of the arm. This operation exchanges one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). In general, those with very loose saggy skin are most likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will probably not want the scars.

Kaye Bailey © 2005 – All Rights Reserved

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Eyewear Styles That Will Totally Flatter Your Face Type

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Size doesn’t matter! But shape does. So, the next time you’re choosing an eyewear for yourself, make sure it complements the beautiful contours of your face. While there is a range of the most versatile eyewear online, it’s always better to keep your face shape in mind before purchasing. Uh-oh! Never had the time check what’s your face shape? Sweat not! Know your face shape in these three easy ways:

  • 1. Stand Straight in front of a mirror.
  • 2. Take a Lipstick and outline your face on the mirror.
  • 3. The outline is your face shape!
  • Now that you know what your face shape is, we’re here with a quick guide on how to choose eyewear that truly flatters your face:

    Oval

    There’s no frame shape that won’t suit an oval face. So if you have one, you’re blessed! Whether it’s a pair of barely there rimless eyeglasses or whether it’s a pair of those oversized eyeglasses, everything is tailor-made for you. All you have to do is just pick what appeals to your style sensibilities.

    Our recommendation:

  • Go for broad frames, especially when you are choosing everyday eyeglasses. Go for a nice wayfarer design to get the perfect cubicle to club look.
  • Bold frames can be your buddies! Go for those embellished cat eye glasses or the unisex basic hued club master sunglasses. They’re just what you need while flaunting the perfect ‘pop’ look.
  • Even the slim rim aviator sunglasses will suit your face. They’ll accentuate the curvy contours of your face. Go for the dusty gold ones to make sure you’re updated with what’s trending in the aviator world.
  • Heart

    Heart shaped faces are lovely (like literally!) Wide forehead and high cheekbones can totally work in your favour. You have a ton of eyeglasses & sunglasses to complement the contours. The key is to choose frames that are wider than your forehead.

    Our recommendation:

  • Rectangle frames are your go-to frames. Pick the acetate one if you are looking for something light yet stylish.
  • Your accessory collection should totally have a pair of wide bottomed wayfarer sunglasses. Own a pair of reflector wayfarer Googles if you hit the beach quite often.
  • You can also go for those round frames in case you want to highlight other features of your face apart from the cheekbones.
  • Square

    Those angles are angels! (Yes we got the spelling right!) Your angular face has curves right where they should be. You can totally experiment with your eyeglasses! From the curvy frames to the round frames, you have a lot to choose from.

    Our recommendation:

  • Pick those cool wayfarer eyewear if you’re all up for some ‘square on square’ style. If you think it will look odd, think again! You can go for premium acetate eyeglasses in wayfarer style for an everyday upbeat look.
  • You can also pick thin steel eyeglasses to flaunt the angular features of your face. Go for the super sassy aviators whenever you’re heading out.

    Round

    Now to the most conscious people! Round faced people always worry about what hairstyle will suit them and of course, what eyewear will suit them. While you’ve chosen to let your hair down, you can also choose to play with various frame shapes.

    Our recommendation:

  • Just like square on square, round on round combo is also quite fun. It’s a good idea to invest in those round sunglasses when you have a lovely round face to complement them.
  • You can also go nerdy in broad rectangular eyeglasses. Go for basic blue or black colours if you want your features to stand out.
  • You can also experiment with clear sunglasses. Not only are they super trendy but they come in curvy square shape that suits a round face perfectly.
  • Don’t forget to pick the best lenses while choosing your eyeglasses. For sunglasses, go for reflectors if you’re always by the sea or just plain tinted sunglasses if you’re just out for city strolls. So, are you ready to update your eyewear?

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