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What You Need To Know To Take Care Of Your Skin

Taking Care of your Skin - Important facts from MaxTherapy  


The four main factors for skin degradation are the sun, cold/dry environments, aging and skin exposure to chemicals at the workplace or home.

The purpose of this article is to educate you on each of these factors.


Sun damage

Too much sun exposure can lead to adverse health effects, including skin cancer, premature skin aging and cataracts.  More than 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer each year and 90% of skin cancers are linked to sun exposure.  Some medications, such as antibiotics and antihistamines and even certain herbal remedies can cause extra sensitivities to the sun’s rays.

Discuss these issues with your physician.  (Note: We recommend that you read an article by the EPA, titled “Sun Screen The Burning Facts”, EPA430-F-01-015. Click on our Navigation Bar to read the article.


Cold/dry environments

Cold/dry environments can cause the skin to become chapped and flaky.  These environments cause the moisture in the skin to be pulled out to create equilibrium between the moist skin and the dry air; a process known as hydrostatic pressure.  The skin is hydrophilic (moisture living) and the cold/dry air pulls the moisture out.  Windy conditions can exacerbate this effect.



As a person ages the epidermal cells become thinner and less sticky.  The thinner cells make the skin look noticeably thinner.  The decreased stickiness of the cells decreases the effectiveness of the barrier function allowing moisture to be released instead of being kept in the skin.  This causes dryness.  The number of epidermal cells decreases by 10% per decade and they divide more slowly as we age making the skin less able to repair itself quickly.


The effects of aging on the dermal layer are significant.  Not only does the dermal layer thin, but also less collagen is produced, and the elastin fibers that provide elasticity wear out.  These changes in the scaffolding of the skin cause the skin to wrinkle and sag.  Also, sebaceous glands get bigger but produce less sebum, and the number of sweat glands decreases.  Both of these changes lead to skin dryness.  The ret-ridges of the dermal-epidermal junction flatten out, making the skin more fragile and making it easier for the skin to shear.  This process also decreased the amount of nutrients available to the epidermis by decreasing the surface area in contact with the dermis, also interfering with the skin’s normal repair process.  In the subcutaneous later of the fat cells get smaller with age.  This leads to more noticeable wrinkles and sagging, as the fat cells cannot “fill in” the damage from the other layers.


Chemical exposure

The most common chemical culprit to skin problems is in the hydrocarbons category (solvents, gasoline, aliphatic oils, and cleaning solutions).  These chemicals (including chlorines from swimming pools) can literally remove all the moisture and essential oils from the skin causing mild to severe skin degradation.  It is essential to replenish the skin with nutrients; otherwise skin damage will occur.


 Remedies to skin problems


Now that you know what causes skin damage, let’s discuss what you need to do to help remedy these problems.

  • Sunscreen is the most effective way to block the sun’s harmful rays.  You should be aware that an SPF rating of 15 is sufficient in most all cases.  An SPF of 30 is NOT twice as protective as an SPF of 15; rather, when properly used an SPF of 15 protects from 93% of UBV radiation and SPF 30 sunscreen provides 97% protection.  Also, two of the three main sunscreen ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.  Both are inorganic pigments and too much of these can cause the skin’s pores to become clogged.  Therefore, look for a product with an SPF of 15 and to have the three active ingredients of: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide and Benzophenone.
  • Aloe Vera is the most widely used ingredient in skin care products today.  It contains more than 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids and 12 vitamins.  Aloe Vera is often described as “a pharmacy in a plant”.  Aloe prevents sun damage, eases psoriasis and frostbite, and improves collagen, the skin’s support structure.  Also, it’s hard to find a better moisturizer.
  • Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen in the connective tissue.  These fibers are ubiquitous throughout the body; providing firm but flexible structure to the skin.  Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and is needed to synthesize carnitine, and important factor in the transfer of energy to the cell mitochondria.
  • Vitamin E protects the epidermis from early stages of UV light damage and increases the efficacy of active sunscreen ingredients.  It also reduces the formation of free radicals upon skin exposure to UVA rays and other sources of skin stress and it prevents the peroxidation of fats, a leading source of cell membrane damage.  Vitamin E reduces transepidermal water loss from the skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function, while protecting the skin’s barrier oil (lipid) balance during the cleansing process.  It also reduces the severity of sunburn.
  • Vitamin B5 significantly improves the skin barriers and reduces water loss through the skin.  It is beneficial to improve the form and function of the skin and is known to help with skin tissue repair.  Vitamin B5 replenishes nutrients the skin needs to feel smoother and appear younger, while binding moisture to the skin and is recommended for use with Vitamin C to maximize the benefits of your daily skin care.
  • Grape Seed Extract is a powerful source of antioxidants known as oligmeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs).  OPCs are extremely effective in neutralizing free oxygen radicals which contribute to skin aging.  Grape Seed Extract is a mixture of complex compounds and has a wide range of therapeutic uses and its antioxidant properties help slow the aging process of the skin.  Procyanidins, a group of compounds found in the extract, help to increase the effectiveness of other antioxidants, especially Vitamin C and E, by helping them regenerate after neutralizing free radicals in the tissue.



We all need to take care of our skin.  After all it is the largest human organ and as you have read there are a lot of factors to consider.  Be wise and be skin healthy.

Written by David Shumate, President, MaxTherapy

P.O. Box 738, 208 Howard Street, Auburndale, FL  33823
            Phone (863) 412-0058, Fax (863) 551-9805


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