Why Skin gets Damaged

—Thin, sun damaged, and loose & crepey skin are the result of deformation.

We think this is irreversible. The good news is that there is another potent biomechanical process that is always going on in our skin. It’s called tissue remodeling.

We are constantly remodeling or regenerating our tissues based upon the demands placed upon it. Here’s where a physical therapist can add a new perspective on how to treat structural deformation of the skin.

“Healthy skin is bone deep.”

The current mainstream treatments span the gamut of creams to high power lasers and other heating technologies.

Some of this tech burns and wounds our skin. This is counterproductive to what we are trying to achieve and results in even thinner, more compromised skin.

We have more choices available to us than a “quick fix” that wounds and burns our face, neck & “deck”, leaving us worse off than we were before. LEARN MORE HERE.

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The Biomechanics of Skin

—The same 4 principles of human movement apply to skin

1. Resistance

2. Flexibility

3. Elasticity

4. Deformation

“Healthy skin is bone deep.”
Resistance provides your skin the necessary firmness to withstand external forces.

Flexibility allows your skin to be temporarily deformed & accommodates your body movements.

Elasticity provides your skin with return to starting position following deformation (also known as “spring-back”).

Finally, there is deformation, which is the point where skin “permanently” deforms if enough stress is applied either too quickly or is applied over too much time.

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The Structure of Healthy Skin

— Healthy skin does not just appear healthy.

Healthy skin is bone deep. Skin is part of your posture, just like muscles and bones and joints.

Skin has structure, just like the rest of our body.

Let’s stroll through our human posture. If we start at the skin, the layers of your skin have tendons that attach to the fat pad below.

These tendons begin assembling together as they attach your skin even deeper into the fascia and muscle. Then the tendons merge entirely into skin ligaments that attach it to bone.

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“Why is this important to know?”

Because healthy skin is more than just spreading goo all over.

Think about the structure of a house. If your house was damaged structurally, you would not just paint the outside to fix it. You would need to rebuild its foundation, walls and roof. It’s the same for skin.

Whether due to aging, sun damage or unhealthy lifestyle habits, damaged skin can be re-educated. In-fact, this re-education process is happening this very moment in your skin.

The dynamic mechanics placed upon your skin are continuously re-educating or “remodeling” it. Remodeling is based upon the biomechanics of skin.

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Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 3)

Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 3)

davis'-lawEven the best anti aging cream has its limits. We’ve been exploring how to apply manual techniques on your skin to achieve:

  1. enhanced penetration of anti aging serums & creams
  2. stimulation of your body’s remodeling process
  3. removal of extracellular waste build-up

It may be hard to believe that these techniques will actually make a difference. Every tissue in the body is capable of remodeling. It just takes a little know-how! The controversy about whether facial massage is effective is refuted by a body of research resulting in “Davis’ Law”. Let’s start at a skin cell and stimulate it with either movement due to activities of daily living or the manual techniques we’ve been discussing. 1 of 4 things will happen.

  1. Decreased skin resistance, flexibility & elasticity from a sendentary lifestyle and/or not performing these techniques at all.
  2. Status quo, or homeostatic remodeling due to not challenging the cells to remodel. For example, not doing the techniques every day.
  3. Therapeutic remodeling. This is the sweet spot where we challenge our skin just enough to achieve healthy remodeling. Here is where real and lasting improvement in your skin’s architecture happens.
  4. Deformation of skin. This happens because the techniques are done with too much force. It just takes a gentle approach to stimulate skin remodeling.

Long story short, tissue does respond to what you teach it. This may all sound complicated, but in actuality, the techniques themselves are super simple. However, they are NOT haphazard. Please refer to previous posts (part 1) and (part 2) in this series so you can see the structures you are targeting and learn more techniques. When you understand what you are doing, your efforts are empowered with specificity.

My guess is, if you are reading this, you are already applying your best anti aging cream, which is stimulating your skin cells simply with your touch and rubbing. My hope in sharing skincare from a physical therapists perspective will help you to maximize these moments so you can hit the sweet spot that results in therapeutic improvement (aka, real and lasting improvement in your skin’s architecture).

Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 2)

Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 2)

Anti aging serum, if it is potent enough, can boost the remodeling process of your skin. What do I mean by “potent” enough? If you are aware of the percentage of active ingredients in your face serum, you can be fairly confident that your investment is actually effective. The problem is, it is often difficult to find this bit of information. Many skincare manufacturers do not disclose the percentage of active ingredients as a whole, as well as the percentage of each active ingredient.

Let’s go even deeper. Each active ingredient comes with a recommended percentage that is prescribed by the manufacturers of raw ingredients (they harvest and/or bio-engineer the active ingredients). At best, this percentage is based upon rigorous research. Many of us do not have the time or interest to dive into this type of research. We rely upon the brand, the doctor, the esthetician, or the recommendations of friends.

This is a hit & miss approach. We’ve all the experience of investing in an expensive face serum, only to find that we do not notice a difference. This is why skinPT advertises with education. We call it “Edutisement”. Each product discloses the percentages of active ingredients and discloses the research behind each formula.

Here’s a tip for you when applying your favorite anti aging serum and cream.

Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 1)

Do This When Applying Anti Aging Serum (part 1)

Here’s the DL on how to use your favorite anti aging serum in a new way to improve the structure and function of your skin! The reason I’m always talking about the structure and function of skin, is when we understand that skin is part of our posture, a whole new world of ways to “skincare” opens up. Skincare is somewhat of a mystery to us, but it does not have to be. Your skin belongs to you. Your ability to remodel and re-educate your skin belongs to you. Not the FDA. Not the skincare industry. Not the pharmaceutical industry. You can begin to do this simple technique every day to improve your skin posture.

Our cells take in the nutrition we ingest and make cellular energy out of it. Then our cells use that energy to perform their functions, like contracting, replicating and filtering. These cellular functions create waste. This waste is usually cleaned up and removed by our lymphatic system. But sometimes this waste backs up due to injury, environmental exposure and/or lifestyle indulgences…yes, like happy hour ;). Extracellular waste can inhibit cellular functions such as repair and remodeling.

Here is your super easy remedy! Do this daily for 3 minutes or so on your neck and face. You can do it while applying your favorite anti aging serum or on bare skin. You will notice less puffiness, redness as well as improved firmness and elasticity over time.

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