General, Organic & Holistic
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Dryness, Collagen Loss & Treatment
Causes of dryness, collagen loss, etc.
What makes dry skin worse?
It is important not to have frequent long baths or showers. Reduce the number and the length of baths and showers. It is probably better to avoid baths and swimming in pools and bathing in spa baths. Concentrate on having short showers and perhaps at times have the so called APC (armpit and crotch) scrub with soap and water instead of a shower or bath. Use tepid water instead of hot water.
- too much washing and bathing (too long and too often)
- very hot water
- use of traditional alkali soaps
- cold weather
- low humidity and artificial heating
- dry air
- over exposure to wind and cold
- poor diet
- Excessive washing and bathing
- Sweat, made up of salt, urea, and other dissolved minerals, is good for the skin.
- Lipids - lipids act as a barrier (known as the stratum corneum), like the protective coating of paint on a new car. Without this, the effects of the environment would leave skin rough and wrinkled.
Swimming in chlorinated or sea water causes a 20 percent reduction in skin hydration.
A typical pool should have only one part chlorine per million. But even that miniscule amount can produce side effects that impact your eyes, skin and hair.
Temporary eye irritation can be caused by the reaction of chlorine with the ammonia contained in perspiration and urine. It also causes halos around lights, the result of corneal swelling. You can prevent both problems with some swim goggles.
Dry hair is the number-one chlorine-related problem. It can make it brittle as straw. Blond and light brown hair will take on a green tint due to the copper deposits found in the water. Wearing a swim cap during workouts and shampooing hair after swimming will eliminate most hair problems.
To treat dry skin caused by chlorinated pool water, shower immediately after your swim, then apply moisturizer on still-damp skin to seal in its natural oils.
Avoid Mineral oil & petrolatum: these are "occlusive agents" which clog the pores and prevent entry of oxygen and nutrients. They block the penetration of beneficial ingredients into the innermost dermal layers. The skin's re-hydrating and healing process is stalled without these essential vitamins and functional fats.
Use natural oils: Jojoba oil is good but pricy. Olive oil is used by many, but sometimes results in acne. Other alternatives include almond, vegetable, grapeseed, and sesame oils.
Avoid the usual alkali soaps and harsh soaps. Use soap substitutes such as aqueous cream (Curel, Cetaphil, Nivea, Lubriderm). Naturals like oatmeal soap can be used.
"Going natural:" showing without soap is gaining ground among those concerned about chemical components of soap, and the unnecessary harshness of repeatedly stripping the skin of its natural oils.
After you shower don't dry hard with a towel but pat dry and then rub a natural oil into the skin.
- Dry skin lacks surface moisture
- Avoid excessive bathing and showering
- Take shorter and cooler showers
- Apply skin softener or moisturiser after showering
- Use soap substitutes
- Avoid wool and heavy clothing next to skin
- Avoid overheating and dryness in rooms
- Follow a good diet
- Drink plenty of water.
Sauna vs. Steam Room
Avoid the sauna, as the dry heat can, over time, draw-out the lipids and healthy fat of your skin, making it age prematurely.
A steam room is a healthier alternative. The moisture of the steam prevents leeching of elasticizing lipids, while the perspiration helps expel the chlorine from your pores. Massage the perspiration into your skin during your steam, to help maintain the nourishment of your skin's natural bacterial balance.
However, after just a few minutes of steam exposure (or any heat exposure that induces sweat) your skin begins to lose moisture faster than it can absorb moisture. For this reason, it's not a good idea to expose your completely bare skin to steam for much longer than about six minutes or so.
...wrinkles are not caused by dehydration or dry skin. Frowning and squinting; however, do cause wrinkling by constantly stretching the dermis. Other factors associated with an increased risk for wrinkling are smoking, radiation damage from sun exposure, scrubbing the skin with caustic or harsh substances, sleeping on your side or stomach, a lack of vitamins and minerals, and drinking alcohol.
A diet high in saturated fats has been linked to the development of dry skin. Eat a low fat high fiber diet. Use polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils. Add essential fatty acids to your diet through OMEGA 3 oils. Good oils include safflower, sunflower, corn, sesame, pumpkin seed, olive, canola, flaxseed, almond and hazelnut. Avoid shortening, animal fats, hydrogenated oil and coconut oil.
Eat a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy products, whole grains and drink plenty of pure water.
B complex vitamins: Essential for healthy skin. Cracks and lines that form around the lips can be a sign of a B vitamin deficiency. The B vitamins found in chicken, eggs and whole wheat can help to promote healthy, young looking skin.
Moisturizing your skin will not stop wrinkles from forming. It can improve the texture of the skin, making it appear smoother.
Use mild soaps and cleansers that will not dry out or remove oils that help to keep the skin supple and well nourished.
Wear hats and sunglasses to prevent squinting, frowning and sun damage.
Facial massage increases circulation and stimulation.
Keep yourself at an optimal weight. Becoming overweight and then losing fat can create sagging, wrinkled skin.
Jojoba's health benefits are often exaggerated by its enthusiasts - see "Myths Dispelled" below.
Skin/Hair: Jojoba Oil (applied topically) alleviates Oily Hair: -Jojoba Oil prevents the build-up of and mimics the structure of Sebum on the Scalp (by covering the Scalp with Jojoba Oil it is believed that the natural production of Sebum will decline. -Jojoba Oil resembles Sebum chemically and physically.
Jojoba Oil (applied topically) alleviates Dry Skin.
Jojoba Oil cannot restore Hair loss.
Jojoba Oil is not effective in removing Warts.
Jojoba Oil (wax) is readily absorbed by the Skin and imparts a temporary "velvety" softness to it.
Some people don't see liver spots even in old age, while others start getting them in their 30's. Liver spots are caused by poor diet, rancid oils, free radical damage (called lipofusion accumulation), toxic blood, and chemical absorption.
Some causes of free radical damage and premature aging are: coffee, tea, soda, sugar, alcohol, chlorinated water and tobacco.
If you are starting to experience liver spots, start taking the "Aces" vitamins: A, C, E and Selenium. Some recommend a mega-dose of: A - 10,000 IU, C - 1000 mg, E- 800 to 1200 IU. Some include Zinc as an antioxidant.
Cleansing the blood and liver may be advantageous. One liver tonic is Milk Thistle. Also consider the liver flush ["Liver Cleanse" - this site]. Many believe fasting is the most effective & fastest way to reverse liver spots.
Prevent and reverse liver spots, not simply for looks, but to remedy overall physical health.
Collagen, that vast network of structural scaffolding that lies just beneath the surface of the skin, is responsible for the skin's strength, durability and the smooth, plump look of youth. As we get older, collagen production naturally slows down and the skin loses its structure. Wrinkles appear and anti-aging products start filling your bathroom. However, natural skin care basics and a few simple tricks can prevent collagen loss and even synthesize its production.
Collagen is created by a type of cell known as fibroblasts which reside in the layer just under the skin's surface. These cells also produce elastin, the protein which gives our skin its bounce. The production of collagen is vital for health internally as well as it supports tissues and internal organs and helps them connect to the bones. In fact, it not only gives our skin its shape, it basically holds the entire body together.
Collagen is made from vitamin C, L-lysine and L-proline. Without adequate Vitamin C, fibroblasts cannot do their job. Lack of Vitamin C is therefore one of the major causes of collagen breakdown and lack of production.
The other major elements that prevent collagen production are:
While it is well known that each of these is vital in natural skin care, you may not have known that collagen production slows down without them.
- lack of moisture
- exposure to UV rays
- a high level of free radicals.
The remedies should be pretty obvious now that you know the cause.
- Supplement your diet with high quality, natural Vitamin C and other antioxidants.
- Practice good dry skin care basics and avoid anything that will cause your skin to lose moisture.
- Wear sunscreen. Find natural products, not those heavily laden with drying chemicals.
- If you're a smoker, consider quitting. It will improve your skin, your overall health and save money.
Nutrients & Collagen Loss
- Proline - An amino acid important in preventing collagen loss. It also helps the healing of cartilage and strengthening of joints, tendons, and heart muscle.
- Vitamin C is a cofactor in the action of fibroblasts which produce collagen
- Caffeine - Limit caffeine to a minimum (i.e., coffee). Caffeine, the #1 used addictive substance in the world, absorbs the water in your body. Moisture is crucial to skin health.
Skin That's Easily Bruised or Cut
Easily Bruised Skin: As the layer of fat under the skin thins with age, the blood vessels underneath become less protected from injury -- resulting in easy, and often substantial bruising from common mishaps, such as hitting your hand against a wall or table.
Another reason for more bruising with age is that the tissue that helps support the blood vessels weakens. The tendency to bruise easily may also run in families. To prevent and treat bruises, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants as an extra layer of skin padding. Keep your home well-lit to avoid common mishaps, which can cause bruising.
Plastic Surgery Chin Lift
S-Lift vs. "SMAS" Lift
While the "Soft Lift," (or "S-Lift") is limited to tightening the skin layers, with the SMAS Lift the muscle layer is lifted and refreshed before the actual lift. Generally, the SMAS Lift yields longer-term results than the Soft Lift.
- Average Cost: S-Lift: $4,500 - $6,000. SMAS Lift: $6,000 - $8,500.
- S-Lift: This procedure was innovated in the late 1960's; although German surgeons further improved the procedure before it's transcontinental migration to the US. This procedure can be performed on patients in their late 30's to even their 80's on upwards. The incision is directly in front of the ear and the layers are moved and pulled laterally. The lift is for the lower third of the face. The upper areas and eye wrinkles are not affected. The jaw line, jowls and neck can be smoothed this way. The "S" refers to the shape of the incision in front of the ear.
- SMAS (Superficial (or Sub-) Muscular Aponeurotic System) Lift: The SMAS is responsible for your facial movements. Without it you would not be able to smile, frown, smirk or make other facial expressions. This area is lifted up and out -- diagonally would be the best way to explain it. This can be done with the Platysma lift (neck lift) for increased rejuvenation.
- Platysma Lift (neck lift, platysmaplasty): in conjunction with a SMAS lift, this is considered the best treatment for a sagging and loose-skinned neck and jowls by many surgeons usually. With the Platysma lift, the platysma muscles are tightened and then sutured as well as the hanging skin and excess fat is removed to result in a more youthful neck, post-operatively. It is possible to have a plastysma lift only if this is all you need. Many men seek this procedure earlier in their life.
What is the aim of the operation?
To pull up all parts of the lower face, including the vertical lines around the mouth and tightening the neck.
How much does it cost?
Who is it most suitable for?
This is best performed on people whose skin still retains some elasticity, so in many people over 60 or 65 and for people with skin damage it may not be appropriate. It is the most common face-lift in the USA and is mainly performed on people between the ages of 40 and 60.
What does the procedure involve?
The extended SMAS face-lift pulls up all parts of the lower face, perking up sagging cheeks, reducing jowls, flattening nose to mouth lines and tightening the neck.The procedure is the same as the SMAS lift but the procedure burrrows closer to the nose to lift the skin and its tissues away from the cheek ligaments, giving some sideways lift to reduce vertical lines. For the SMAS face-lift the skin is separated from the layers of muscle and fat that underly it, known as the SMAS, through incisions around the ears, and the SMAS is separated from the bone. Then the SMAS is pulled up and back and cut or folded before being attached onto the bone around the cheek area. In this way the contours of the face underlying the skin are altered, with fat and muscles being repositioned higher up the cheeks. The skin is then redraped over the altered contours and stitched back, with excess skin being removed.
Are there any risks?
Although it sounds like a more complicated procedure, the risk of scarring or bleeding is actually less than with the SMAS because more underlying tissue is moved so because there are more stitches under the skin holding it in place, there is less tension on individual surface scars. There is usually little swelling, but the risk of temporary and permanent nerve damage is greater - there will always be some numbness and alteration of sensation after surgery, but in the majority of cases this will recede over time. In a few cases it may not fade, resulting in a permanent alteration in feeling.
[CRITICISM OF S-LIFT]
[ www.beautybydesign.com.au/facelift.htm ]
What about an S-lift?
S-lift is a new name for a very old technique in plastic surgery. This operation was originally described in the first quarter of the 20th century and was very quickly superseded by newer, more sophisticated techniques. An S-lift is a form of a mini-facelift, which differs from a full facelift in two main ways:
1. The incision stays mainly in front of the ear and is not extended behind the ear.
2. The freeing-up of tissues is minimal
3. Only the skin is tightened. Deeper tissues such as the SMAS layer are not included in the operation
These differences also reflect in the results of an S-lift. Firstly, an S-lift cannot correct facial aging as well as a full facelift. The results will not last nearly as long as a proper facelift.
SMAS Surgery: Description:
- The S-shaped incision is placed along the natural curvature of the ear and extended into the temple posteriorly. Due to almost horizontal movement of the temporal flap, there is negligible elevation of the side burns. Most importantly, there is no incision (and subsequent scar) in front of the hairline.
- "Unit lifting" of the fibromuscular structure (SMAS) with the skin attached to it. An almost vertical vector is used to elevate the neck and lower face and another vector to elevate and reposition the mid-face. Common outcomes of a conventional facelift, eg. "wind tunnel", "mask face look" or "pixie ear" effects, are not possible with the S-Lift.
- After elevation of the SMAS, only redundant skin is removed. This allows meticulous repair of the wound without any tension and is expected to produce an imperceptible scar.
- There has been no nerve injury, bleeding, infection or obvious scar (except a few cases of keloid formation, which responded well to aggressive treatment) in over 800 cases using the advanced technique.
- Most patients are able to return to work a week after the procedure.
- Very high patient satisfaction, natural results and longevity comparable with more aggressive facelift techniques.
[ www.cosmeticsurgeonindia.com/face.htm ]
The neck lift is made from an incision that goes around the posterior portion of the ear and the posterior hair line. The center of pull is in the upper neck and combined with the chin tuck can produce essentially the full results of the facelift in the neck area.
The full facelift has an incision that extends from up in the hairline, curves around the edge of the ear, and back behind the ear, and the central pull is in the jowl line.
In this case, you can approach the surgeon with a lesser charge for a lesser procedure. For instance, if you are simply addressing the neck, and if that surgeon won't accommodate you, there are many surgeons who would perform simply a neck lift and so on.
"Ageism is unfortunate but it exists, and if you aren't looking good, you aren't a player, especially now when so many companies are run by younger executives," says Rick Miners, president of FlexCorp Systems, a New York business-process outsourcing company. "It isn't only women waiting for appointments with cosmetic surgeons, it's a lot of men, too, and not just senior executives but middle managers who want to stay competitive."
An Under-The-Skin "Sling"
An under-the-skin plastic sling can provide long-term improvement for the sagging neckline commonly known as turkey neck. The sling, running from earlobe to earlobe, got a nod of approval from better than 90 percent of patients who lived with it for three years or more, says a report by Drs Wallace Dyer II and Arvind Prabhat in the November/December issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.
And the surgeon can go in months or years later to tighten the sling if necessary, adds Prabhat. He began working on the sling technique as a fellow at Emory University School of Medicine in the US under the supervision of Dyer, who pioneered the technique. Prabhat now is in private practice in New Jersey.
How it works
This is a new technique that builds on existing techniques such as removal of fat and tightening of the skin, says Prabhat. It can be done in combination with a face-lift and plastic surgery methods such as liposuction, he says.
The plastic is Gore-Tex, a material widely used in medicine as well as in clothing. Using a thin strip of it as a sling can overcome the need for recurrent surgical operations needed because the skin of the neck begins to sag and become wrinkled over time, Prabhat says.
The sling is inserted using local anaesthesia. The recipients take antibiotics daily for a week after the procedure, but two of the 100 patients described in the report had infections that led to removal of the sling. Two patients had swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid that had to be drained for more than a week.
Simple and effective
Other techniques to improve appearance of the neck almost inevitably begin to lose their effect over time, Prabhat says. That happened with nine of the patients who got the sling, so Prabhat did a tightening operation, an average of 14 months after the initial procedure.
It's a simple procedure, he says. You go in behind the ear, find the band and tighten it. It takes about 20 minutes.
It's noteworthy that the sling recipients in the study were followed for at least three years, Prabhat says. Most studies have just a one-year follow-up, he says.
Sling insertion is not difficult to learn, Prabhat says. Any surgeon who has the ability to do a neck lift and face-lift can add the technique to the repertoire, he says.
Reversing signs of ageing
The sling has the potential to significantly improve our ability to reverse certain signs of ageing in the neck, says Dr Keith LaFerriere, director of the Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Missouri, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.
Inflammation is a possible problem because you're using a plastic substance where we don't usually use it, LaFerriere says. But Gore-Tex usually causes inflammation only when it is placed close to the surface of the skin, and the sling is implanted deep enough to avoid that problem, he says. - (HealthDayNews)
Exercises for Chin & Neck
Exercising the muscles in your face is crucial to maintaining appearance: Lotions & creams won't lift sagging muscles.
Neck and throat facial exercises:
• Press tongue against the roof of the mouth untill you feel the muscle in the chin becoming tight. Hold for a 20-count. Relax 5 seconds. Repeat 20 times.
• Sit upright, tilt head back looking at the ceiling; keep lips closed; start a chewing movement. You will feel the muscles working in your neck and throat area. Repeat 20 times.
• Correcting Flabbiness Under Chin:
Repeat 4 times.
- Step 1 - Lift chin slightly upward.
- Step 2 - With flat point of index and middle fingers press against indentation (hollow) formed by the two upper nodules of the larynx located at the curve from chin to neck. You will discover the precise location of pressure through practice. Use the finger pressure as the resistance against the working muscles.
- Step 3 - Now press your back teeth firmly together while maintaining this position. You should feel the muscles pushing against your finger resistance.
- Step 4 - Press the tip of your tongue against the inside of lower front teeth (gum line) increasing pressure with the tip of tongue in 10 gradual, definite steps (Count to 10). You should feel more resistance against your fingers as you increase pressure of the tongue.
- Step 5 - Hold end position of pressure for 6 seconds.
- Step 6 - Release muscles for a count of 10.
- Step 7 - Remove fingers.
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