So much skincare media is focused on the face but what about the body? After all, we only see our faces when we look in the mirror or partake in video conferences. We look at our body skin all the time! Read more...
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Are there any products to help saggy skin along the breasts?
When it comes to managing "saggy skin" it’s important to understand why this occurs to determine what the best approach might be. Remember the skin’s layers are the epidermis (the part you can see that if you scratch turns white and flaky), the dermis (where collagen and elastic fibers are along with blood vessels- if you nick yourself and bleed then you are in the dermis), the fat, followed by the muscle. If the skin appears saggy, one or more of these aspects of skin has been affected. The appearance of ‘saggy skin’ is a result of 3 main factors:
Thinning of the epidermis and loss of support in the dermis
Loss of fat under the skin
Loss of muscle mass beneath the fat
Now figuring out how to tackle "saggy skin" is based on addressing each of these points if possible.
Let's start with the quality of the epidermis and dermis. As we age and with photodamage, our epidermis thins or flattens while the dermis loses important structural elements such as collagen and elastic fibers. To improve the quality of the epidermis, hydrating the superficial layers of skin can help. The turgor of the skin can be improved to impact its overall appearance. This is not a long term effect, it is only effective for appearance while used. The long term benefits may come from some ingredients over others in terms of potential benefits of collagen induction. That being said, most moisturizers are only supplementing natural hydrating elements of the skin and perhaps not in concentrations high enough to effect true long term change to the skin overall.
Moisturizers that contain ingredients that hydrate the skin effectively such as hyaluronic acid, lactic acid (found in Amlactin) , and various oils (coconut oil, argan oil, etc) can be very effective for this.
After addressing the epidermis and dermis, there are some challenges with the next two layers. As anyone who has decided to undergo weight loss later in life may attest to, the loss of fat can leave the skin appearing saggy and loose. Although weight gain could potentially given the skin more lift, remember we cannot really tell the fat where to go. Fat transfers and injectables can be considered but need to be considered in the context of an overall plan to address saggy skin as alone they may not produce ideal results.
To improve the appearance of saggy skin, the thinning of the epidermis and loss of collagen and elastic fibers in the superficial layer of the skin do need to be addressed. Most people recognize that when they build muscle mass without considering the overall quality of their skin overlying the muscle, they are often disappointed when their "saggy skin" hangs loose away from their muscle.
Is there a treatment to address loose belly skin from bloating?
This is an interesting question because true bloating is when moisture is retained as a result of water retention. This has more to do with sodium intake and electrolytes as well as underlying hormonal, blood pressure, and kidney-related issues. It would be difficult for a topical remedy to addressd this as the retention is far deeper than the superficial layers of skin. This would be best achieved through modifying diet and exercise to increase muscle mass.
Do detox wraps and massages work to help the skin?
I cannot find any science to support the idea that a belly mask or detox wrap can actually pull toxins out do the skin. Massage does likely work by manually massaging the excess fluid build up in the soft tissues towards the lymphatic to be drained.
For a droopy bottom, what is best for a firmer-looking fanny?
Droopy bottoms are difficult to address as much of this is the result of increased adipose, reduced muscle mass, and excess skin, The best way to address it is to increase muscle mass as this can help bolster the excess skin up to reduce the appearance of sagging.
To help firm skin on the upper arms, is there any DIY technique or remedy that you recommend?
The upper arms are an area that many patients present as a source of frustration in spite of diet and exercise. Fat redistributes, muscle tone diminishes and skin laxity over time becomes more apparent. An interesting component for excess skin of the upper arms may be carry over from skin laxity from the breasts. Often the only truly effective remedy for this area may be surgical intervention.
To smooth cellulite, what ingredient is best to look for?
Most products marketed for cellulite contain caffeine or a methylxanthine meant to reduce fluid retention in the skin to make the cellulite less apparent.