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Why moisturizing skin is important..

Adam S. Rodriguez

February 11, 2009

Everyday our skin is constantly changing and repairing itself, whether we are asleep or awake, it is the largest human organ that plays a key role in protecting the body against pathogens and toxins. Skin is one of the most unique human organs; it heals itself from large wounds to small cuts or abrasions, it regulates the body temperature, turns sunlight into vitamin-D and many other things.

Skin consists of trillions of cells, and like an onion, skin has many layers. The first layer is the stratum corneum which is the skin we actually see, beneath lies the epidermis, the basal layer, the dermis and then the subcutaneous fat layer.

The stratum corneum and the epidermis plays a key role in protecting the skin, the barrier they create defends the most sensitive layers below, protecting against water loss if the fat cells called lipids and damage from harmful toxins and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.

A normal Epidermis is around 15% water, if this surface is below 10% water it will cause all the layers of skin to not work properly causing skin disorders like acne and dermatitis. The reason why most of us have a compromised skin is because we are constantly overwashing, over-exfoliating and chemically bathing our skin with harsh acne products and soaps.

When skin becomes dry it is damaged, at first the stratum corneum starts to look dull, white and flaky but this is only minor damage that is usually taken care of within several hours. The real damage begins when the epidermis starts to dry, causing this layer to form cracks and crevices where dirt, oil, toxins and grime can enter to cause cystic acne among other skin problems like eczema.

All skin cells originate from a (basal) cell from the basal layer, the cells from the basal layer slowly continue upwards and start to produce skin proteins called Keratins and fats called lipids (aka: ceramides. these lipids are KEY to retaining moisture) as the basal cell moves upwards to the Dermis, slowly changing and blending into the Epidermis. Every lower cell will eventually end up at the dead skin cell surface called the stratum corneum replacing old cells that slough off by washing by daily washing routines.

Normal cell regeneration (cell turnover) depends on how fast the stratum corneum dead cells are being lost, normal cell regeneration is important to maintain a healthy cell cycle, the skin must be moist in order for the cells to do their jobs.

Moisture is what skin needs to maintain a proper balance and normal cycle to maintain a healthy complexion, the corneocytes (that contain a natural moisturizing factor called NMF) and faty cells called lipids make the skin look healthy and makes the skin feel comfortable, free or irritation and tightness. One of the reasons why the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin) needs moisture in order to work properly is because your skin produces enzymes which are important for getting rid of old dead skin cells, without moisture the enzymes can't work properly.

Now another reason for dry skin is because over time, as we get older, we create less lipids and ceramides and cell turnover slows down.

When we age we create less lipids, cell turnover slows and sebaceous oil glands slow down, this creates a host of skin problems for elderly people, from extremely dry skin to even eczema. To prevent this problem from happening an elderly person needs to stop showering as often as they usually do, products like AHA need to be introduced to help speed up cell turnover, this is the age when exfoliation becomes more important. People that are younger have a normal cell turnover don't need to exfoliate, as a matter of fact younger people especially with acne should never exfoliate as it will create more acne and more dry skin problems.

You should be careful on which moisturizer you decide to use in the long run, a lot of name brand moisturizers contain harsh ingredients such as AHA, Salycilic acid, alcohols, benzoyl peroxide, drugs, steriods etc. these will only dry out the skin even further (causing flaking, rash-like symptoms).

Now knowing what we can do to maintain a normal healthy balance in our skin, i would like to move on to a topic that is very sensitive to self-proclaimed acne experts:

PRESCRIPTION ACNE MEDICATIONS

STAY AWAY FROM ALL PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN DRUGS One of the most damaging FDA approved drug topicals i've came across on the internet is Aczone, it causes all sorts of problems, it causes redness, severe cystic acne, swelling, and many other skin disorders in test subjects. more info: http://www.rxlist.com/aczone-gel-drug.htm. I strongly advise not to use any products that contain drugs prescription or otherwise, products such as moisturizers, topicals, gels and oral medications. avoid these products at all costs:

Aczone, Differin, Tazorac, Retin-A, Doxycycline, the list goes on..

BENZOYL PEROXIDE - (C6H5CO)2O2

Benzoyl Peroxide (or BP), one of the most evil foes of healthy skin, i have dealt with this chemical on numerous occasions with my own personal struggle with acne. It made my face red, it irritated my skin, it made my face tight and dehydrated, it made cracks in the skin, it made the skin flaky. It is one of the most harsh things you can put on your skin even for just a few seconds, basically what it does is it melts away the top layer of the skin, and if you continue to use it, the BP will continue to damage the lower layers of your skin seeping thru the cracks and creating horrible irritation, skin disorders, tons of cystic acne and potentially permanently damaged skin if used for a prolonged period of time.

Worldwide there are dermatologists and self-proclaimed acne experts on the internet that claim BP is the holy grail of acne treatments, Infomercials on TV like Clean and Clear, Proactiv, Murad etc. telling us if you use this product you will look like Jessica Simpson, its just not true.. all these popular products including the ones on the internet contain these harmful chemicals.

According to MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet, it deals with occupational hazards of bulk chemical products), this product can be a "tumor promoter" and a mutagen, it also can be extremely explosive when exposed to heat. The HPDB (Hazardous Substance Data Bank, deals with toxic consumer products) says BP causes "stinging or burning sensation for a brief time after application" that there can be "a sudden excess of dryness of the skin and peeling" and the most shocking "can cause dermatitis". Basically what dermatitis is - is a rash, constant skin irritation and redness that can lead to blisters, scaling, crusting, flaking, peeling, etc. There are several different types of skin disorders pretaining to dry skin, some of the most serious are atopic dermatitis, xerosis usually found in elderly who produce far less lipids and ceramides, its a permanent disorder if not prevented.

This article goes out to all the acne sufferers and dry/oily skin sufferers that wish to one day be free of skin problems and skin disorders and want to live a normal happy life. Thanks for reading, please read all the resources below and my oily skin story for more information.

What to look for in Skin Care Products

Choosing the right skincare is very important to the skin, there are many things such as what i listed above that will severely damage the skin. We only have one face in our life, and it is important to maintain a healthy complexion to our self esteem and the ones that love us. Going the all natural route is the best alternative for skincare, there is less of a chance you will mess up the skin. Thats why i recommend products that contain Aloe Vera, it is one of the most beneficial ingredients for healthy skin cells and actually aid cell renewal and promotes healing. I strongly recommend these for your skin care arsenal (you need to sign up with lbri.com to order the products):

Cleanser:

L'bri Pure N' Natural Deep Pore Cleanser (for oily/combination skin)

L'bri Pure N' Natural Gentle Cleanser (for normal/dry skin)

Freshener: (fresheners are used after cleaning the face to prepare for moisturizer, this part is optional)

L'bri Pure N' Natural Deep Pore Freshener (for oily/combination skin)

L'bri Pure N' Natural Gentle Freshener (for normal/dry skin)

Moisturizer:

L'bri Pure N' Natural Oil-Free Moisturizer (for oily/combination skin)

L'bri Pure N' Natural Gentle Moisturizer (for normal/dry skin)

or

Forever Living Products Aloe Vera Gelly which can be used as a daily moisturizer or spot treatment for acne, this product is known to cure psoriasis, extreme burns and many other skin conditions!

Is your tap water contributing to your dryness?

Not only are all the products you may be using like foaming soaps, harsh scrubs, acne products etc. be contributing to your acne, but the water you use to wash your face me be contributing as well. If you have irritated, red, dry, flaky, scaling, peeling, cystic acne and oily skin my first step in my skin-care regimen would be to eliminate chemicals and contaminants found in our city tap water. There are 2 ways you can do this, invest in a shower water filter such as (HOC Sprite Shower Filter, which i use) or invest in a Whole House Reverse Osmosis system, while R/O is expensive it completely gets rid of hundreds of chemicals and contaminants in city water. Chlorine is just one contaminant that dries out the skin, there is also Hydrogen Sulfide, DDT, VOCs and many many other garbage we bathe in everyday.. it is strongly recommended you look into Reverse Osmosis to get rid of this problem and ultimately your acne/skin problem!

I recommend Mercola's Pure & Clear Shower Filter for the cleanest shower experience!

Article Resources:

What is the Epidermis?

http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/the-epidermis.html

What soap does to your skin

http://dermatology.about.com/od/skincarepr...nser_damage.htm

Product Recommendations

http://lbri.com

http://foreverliving.com

http://waterfilters.mercola.com/products/showerfilter.aspx

PROOF Aloe Vera Cures

http://www.flpcanada.com/whatisaloel_page.htm

http://lbri.com/testimonials.aspx

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(I might also add dry skin is the key reason why we all have acne in the first place, because the top layer is damaged and there is room for bacteria and oils to create acne in the lower layers of the epidermis.)

I'd say edit this part and remove oil. You said oil is a natural part of our skin so it will contradict your statements here. Being a natural part shouldn't cause problems because if it does then every human being would have acne. Replace it with "irritants" instead. It is much more in line with your article.

All in all, very great article you have there! Though I don't like the part where we have to rely on some moisturizing product due to our skin creating less lipids and ceramides over time. If you are 40 years old and older then certainly you would need this. But if you are 40 and below, I don't think the necessity arises yet. Being young and healthy is much more potent than relying on ANY products out there.

This would apply to those who are 40 years old and below:

If you want to moisturize your skin, drink lots of water. Don't strip your skin's first layer by over washing and using all types of chemicals. You are still young to start relying on products to maintain your skin's 100% condition. This is all you need! You don't have to spend a thousand bucks because your skin is self sustaining if left alone and you live healthy.

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mc_patz has a great suggestion in shielding lotions instead of moisturizers, i do agree with you wapak we do need more ceramides and lipids when we are old.. but i think this sheilding lotion by MDnaturals is the best bet for young people like us.. i like how they have their own MSDS toxicology sheet.. it really looks like a great product to me.

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I see. It is a great product indeed. It works in line with how our skin works and is not trying to substitute our natural moisturizing. Well, if you feel your skin is lacking in providing it's needed protection then that is the only time to buy one.

But as for me and many young people out there, our skin is great enough on it's own. ;)

Btw, don't forget to edit the oil part!

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I'm going to have to agree with most of what you have written. I've used BP, BHA, AHA, several oils and most of them have not worked that great. The best was BP but that made my skin oily and look pretty terrible. At the moment I am cleansing with a gentle cleanser and moisturizing my skin most nights with Aloe Vera. I'm also using differen as a spot treatment as it keeps the redness under controll. The differin basically got rid of most of it, after I started mostiurizing my skin, my acne has pretty much gone away and my skin can stay oil free for most of the day.

I did notice that BP dried my skin out something fierce, honestly I wouldn't use it ever again.

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(I might add that dry damaged skin is the key reason why we all have acne in the first place, when the epidermis when damaged it exposes the more vulnerable cell layers underneath to things such as bacteria, foreign debris, chemicals and subcutaneous oils from overproducing subcutaneous glands thus creating acne in the skin.)

I can't help but want to disregard everything else you've said, after reading this part. You can't attribute everybody's acne to one "key reason." Everybody has very different skin, and very different reasons for having acne. There's absolutely no way that "dry damaged skin" is the major contributing factor in every, or even MOST cases of acne.

I also notice that you cite no reliable sources or research to back up your assumptions as to the causes of acne. It's very arrogant to present a cure-all to other people, without making any research or clinical studies available that back up your theories.

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I'm going to have to agree with most of what you have written. I've used BP, BHA, AHA, several oils and most of them have not worked that great. The best was BP but that made my skin oily and look pretty terrible. At the moment I am cleansing with a gentle cleanser and moisturizing my skin most nights with Aloe Vera. I'm also using differen as a spot treatment as it keeps the redness under controll. The differin basically got rid of most of it, after I started mostiurizing my skin, my acne has pretty much gone away and my skin can stay oil free for most of the day.

I did notice that BP dried my skin out something fierce, honestly I wouldn't use it ever again.

DITTO!!!!!!!! I've come to the conclusion that I don't NEED harsh chemicals to keep my face clear. Been off of the regimen/bp for about 5 days now and it's looking MUCH better. Wish I would of done this MONTHS ago!

Ciao!

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A little off topic but.. here's a thought, not saying its true or will be true, just a thought.

Generally dry skin, dry skin on the legs, body, or face etc for me seems to be connected with the following.

Years and years of bathing in a hot shower bath with chemical washes and soap. Yes many people do it and won't get affected but I could have.

Moisturizing may or may not help, I've been using moisturizing for 3 weeks now everyday after shower, and the results are not noticeable, anything I say about the results will lead to misunderstandings, so I won't.

but what I plan to do and have been doing is avoiding bathing in hot water, just warm from now on. I plan to avoid using body washes/chemicals in areas other than arm pits and groin and stop eating preservatives, chemicals, or anything in excess. I hope in another 7-10 years I will actually see improvement with my dry skin with this plan.

I'm tired of blaming my genes for everything. I wasn't born with dry skin, my parents never had dry skin this worse... and their parents do not have dry skin. I'm blaming the chemicals/ chlorinated water/ processed diet because that is what has increased over the years, and that's why I have more dry skin than the previous generation. There's no way I'm blaming the genes anymore, no way I'm blaming hormones, I'll blame what is obvious, anything unnatural the body doesn't need. Some people may be affected by unnatural things in one way and other people in other ways, some peoples skin show the sideeffects, others show the sideeffects in other ways but a continued usage of these unnatural things will affect a human in one way or another. (Yes, I'm aware of the complex definition of "unnatural" and I don't know.)

The End.

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I'm agreeing with most of the things you said. Keeping your skin moisturized is essential for it's health.

However, moisturizers are most of the time just garbage. I think applying a little bit of jojoba/emu/whatever you like oil on damp skin works just as well, probably even better.

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Okay, so what you're saying is that by moisturizing skin, it should repair itself over time? Benzoyl peroxide works for a week and then new pimples come out. I don't get it because I still moisture on top of the BP, or maybe it doesn't get absorbed? And finally, what is your regimen? I'm curious because you don't use BP or sal acid or the stuff everyone else seems to. Thanks!

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I'm very curious to know what you use as well. I've got moderate/severe acne and have tried just about everything. Just began differin @ night and ethromycin topical for mornings, it burns like hell but I'm scared to not use anything. If my face got any worse I would have to cover all the mirrors. Help please!

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Okay, so what you're saying is that by moisturizing skin, it should repair itself over time? Benzoyl peroxide works for a week and then new pimples come out. I don't get it because I still moisture on top of the BP, or maybe it doesn't get absorbed? And finally, what is your regimen? I'm curious because you don't use BP or sal acid or the stuff everyone else seems to. Thanks!

Hey bloodmage,

Benzoyl Peroxide inhibits the skin to heal itself, so when you are using BP and put moisturizer on top you defeat the purpose of healing your skin with moisturizer because the Benzoyl Peroxide hides within the cracks and crevices between the dead skin cells making it impossible for moisturizer to penetrate and to start healing the skin. It takes a long few days for the skin to rid itself of BP so you can continue using moisturizer again.

My regimen is very simple, i use regular organic bar soap on my face every other day or 2 the soap can be found at 5starsoap.com (PH 7.0 NEUTURAL) it is important not to use soap on your face everyday as it will break down the vital epidermal layer causing redness/irritation and dryness, i also use Triceram moisturizer by Osmotics, i also use a whole house Reverse Osmosis system i installed to get rid of VOC's and chemicals found in tap water.

Day 1:

Morning or late afternoon take a shower, lather a tiny bit of bar soap in the hand, wash off the lather if you have to much in your hands, then GENTLY rub the skin and rinse off quickly. After the shower pat dry your face gently. If you are feeling dry use the Triceram moisturizer, use a semi-thick layer all over, your face will quickly absorb the moisturizer if you are really dry. Goto bed with it on!. If you have to much triceram on you can wipe it off with a wet towell, i rarely put moisturizer on my nose as it has alot of blackhead activity.

Day 2:

Morning ot late afternoon take a shower, DO NOT USE SOAP, just wipe off the excess Triceram, splash your face with some water and rub GENTLY, get out of the shower and pat dry. You dont have to rub all of the moisturizer off in fact you can leave some on to keep that ceramide barrier intact. After the shower if you are not feeling dry you can skip triceram or put a tiny thin layer on if you wish.

Day 3:

do the same thing as day 2

Day 4 cycle back to day 1, that is basically my regimin! You can basically use whatever cleanser you wish instead of 5 star soap.. right now this is what i use, but i may change this if i find something better.

I really hate posting my regimin as it may not work for others, we all have different types of skin.. my skin is really smooth and i dont have much acne, maybe a few every 2-3 weeks cystic acne under my jaw or near hair follicles.

for people with acne i wouldnt use any exfoliation as it will irritate the acne/non-pustule acne.

few tips:

1) invest in a R/O home system or a activated carbon/KDF shower filter.

2) always use a clean towel for your face.

3) change your pillowcase regularly

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I actually believe his is true!!! iv been using bp recently and at first cleared up my skin but however by the second week i get a break out and my skin is really dry and irritated!

Iv recently quit using bp and just cleanse then moisturize(oil free) in the morning and before i go bed. My skin feels so much more smoother and softer now. I still get spots but less now cos my skin is able to heal itself. my complexion is MUCH better than with bp. Thing i found about bp was it does clear up spots for a week but then thats when you get all the irritation and then break out again. PLus dry dull skin is not a good look.

I still need to find a regime to suit me. Im still geting odd spots here and there and they are normally inflamed and bleed. But moisturising DOES help keep my skin supple and and less prone to break outs.

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Why is Retin-a and Aczone bad?

They aren't. The original poster is anti-topical. There are many success stories with both Retin A and Aczone. Read about them on these boards (do a search). :)

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Why is Retin-a and Aczone bad?

They aren't. The original poster is anti-topical. There are many success stories with both Retin A and Aczone. Read about them on these boards (do a search). :)

I agree they arent. We have to use something to prevent acne from forming and the only thing that works are topical treatments. People who are acne prone cannot just wash their face. That isnt sufficient enough.

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Why is Retin-a and Aczone bad?

There are tons of complaints of retin-a and aczone users.. i suggest to stay away from them intirely..

wynne and acne_battle stay out of my threads. thanks.

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