Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Monday, March 19, 2018

7 Signs of Moisture Barrier Damage

Several weeks ago I talked about 5 Side Effects of Chronic Pain and Illness that no one talks about.  

Medication


When you are on several different medications, they have side effects that you don't think of. One is taking moisture away from your body.  

It may start with a dry throat, and eventually, it will progress to your skin. It may even disrupt your hormone levels which will also lead to skin issues. 

First, I would just like to remind everyone that I am not a doctor and the thoughts in this post are purely based on my own personal experience and approach to skincare.

Second, let me say that this isn't a beauty blog. This is a health blog and as such my uses and recommendations are not going to be a 30 step routine that consists of $500 or more worth of beauty products. 

I'm a chronic pain warrior, I can barely bend over some days to wash my face, let alone take the time to stand in front of a mirror to layer 9 different products on my skin.

I have a lot of health issues. 


I've had Stage IV endometriosis since my teen years with 3 surgeries and 2 rounds of unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization under my belt.  Additionally, I have had vestibulitis and vulvodynia since my early twenties, after receiving cryogenic surgery for cervical cancer.

I also have adhesive arachnoiditis.

So I've been a big ball of pain and inflammation for most of my life. 

I hope this cushions my next response.

I have had perfect skin all my life, until 2017. I had a few breakouts during the normal hormonal shifts of the month but never anything major.

I saw the frustrations and struggles of best friends and family members struggling with their acne. I see people I care about in anguish over their prevalent adult acne.

When I started having breakouts for the first time, I chalked it up to severe stress, grief, medication, and bad eating habits.  

When Lifestyle Changes Don't Cut It!


I started eating better, drinking a ton of water, met with a grief therapist and addressed my hormone imbalances. My skin didn't change or get better, in fact, it kept getting worse.

On top of my consistent, non-hormonal breakouts, over time I noticed how dry my skin looked, especially in pictures.  

Then I started noticing how tight my face would feel when I smiled. 

Then it started burning. 

I had the final straw when I saw a picture of me in makeup and it looked like wrinkled snow over a skeleton's face.

Dead Sexy. Sorry I had to go there.

No, It's Not Your Makeup


At first, I thought I just needed some new makeup, as the MAC Studio Fix makeup I'd been using for years was making the drying effect worse. I researched some moisturizing makeup online and then headed to Ulta.

When I walked in a twenty-something came over to me to help, I told her no offense, but could she get someone over 40 to help me?

Look for a Beauty Consultant Near Your Own Age 


One great point, if you are 32 and up, don't take skincare advice from someone in their 20s.

They are still making huge levels of Human Growth Hormones so their skin is going to be more resilient than anyone over 30.

A wonderful woman in her late 50's came over to help me.  I explained to her my concern that my Studio Fix was making my skin look and feel incredibly dry, and that after some research I was wanting some illuminating liquid makeup.

She took one look at my skin and then immediately called another woman (in her 40's) over. 

They both stared at me.  

I was starting to feel uncomfortable.  

The first lady asked if she could feel my face. 

I said yes because why not? They're already making me feel weird.

"Like sandpaper!" she exclaimed. "Oh honey, (we're in the south so it was one of those bless your heart moments) you don't have dry skin, your moisture barrier is completely damaged. You need to repair your acid mantle before you even think of makeup."

Huh?

Moisture Barrier Damage vs Dry Skin


I'm sure you've heard of all the skin types...

Oily.
Combination.
T-Zone.
Dry.

Did you know that there is another type that no one really talks about and most skincare lines do not address?

Dehydrated.
Extra Dry, as the few skincare lines that address this issue call it.
Moisture Barrier Compromised

When You Need More Than Just a Hydrating Wash and a Basic Moisturizer


Standing in front of her, I'm thinking back to when my dermatologist glossed over my dry skin concern in favor of checking out the potential skin cancer on my forehead. Frustrating.  

I told Utla Beauty Consultant No. 1 I'd been washing with CeraVe which was supposed to be good for dry skin, my dermatologist told me to switch to it.  She agreed that it was, but it wasn't penetrating because of the dead layer of skin already on my face.

I was dead set on not exfoliating, I thought that would be too harsh, but there are actually toners that help take off dead skin without the harshness of a scrub. 

Dry Skin vs Dehydrated vs Damage

Dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil. 

So your skin could be dehydrated, dry, or both. 

When it's both, you need oil and water on your skin!

My skincare consultant went over with me the 7 Signs Your Dry Skin is Actually Moisture Barrier Damage

1. Dry skin all over your body, including hands, legs, and scalp.
2. Super tight skin that pulls when smiling or yawning (feel the urge to yawn?)
3. Burning face, like I had wind or sunburn
4. A white flaky film of very dry dead skin
5. Rough to the touch
6. Acne
7. Constant Dermatitis, which is inflammation...

I had all of those 7. You could have less than those and you might have just dry skin or just dehydrated skin.

You are usually born with dry skin, it's a genetic trait.  

Dehydrated skin is caused by environmental factors and exposure. 

Moisture barrier damage is when your dry skin gets dehydrated and then starts a cycle of inflammation.

Cutting Inflammation Out is Key if You Suffer from Chronic Conditions

Inflammation is bad, and it's especially bad if you are already dealing with a chronic pain or illness condition.

I suggest taking the time to address your environmental factors, medicines and diet, but remember, even if you increase your water intake, your skin is the last organ to benefit.

Topical Hydration is a Must!

Next week we will go over skincare routines and then we will delve further into what products are beneficial for dehydrated skin.

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