Monday, March 5, 2012

About skin creams and treatments

I think people who are believers in skin creams are people who don't have problems with skin. They think the cream prevented wrinkles or stretch marks or loose skin. The rest of us have learned better.

Every time I read that someone tried X product to prevent Y, I think, "don't you think if there was truly a way to prevent stretch marks or wrinkles we wouldn't have wrinkly, stretch mark streaked people?.Don't you think that the secret would be out?"

 I get sooooooooooooo tired of hearing, "using x cream prevented me from having stretch marks when I was pregnant" and then they try to convince every other pregnant woman to do the same. Do you not think that most every woman tried creams? Tried to prevent stretch marks? Then why do more than half of us have stretch marks? Oh, we didn't use "your" miracle cream. Uh-huh.

When I read now on weight loss forums about people trying to shrink up loose skin and trying to prevent crepe like skin with creams or treatments, again I ask myself, "do you really believe applying something to the surface of the skin can do miraculous things to the whole skin? including excess skin- like make it disappear?" If that were possible, would we need skin lifts? Tummy tucks?

 I look at myself in the mirror and my body is full of stretch marks from growth spurts, pregnancies, and weight gain. My skin is looser than before because I have lost 100 pounds from my top weight and my skin has either not had time to shrink up or perhaps has shrunk up as much as it can. Only time will tell. I have crepe like skin on my chin from where my double chin used to be and I have crepe-ish skin on other parts of the body too. And I'm 42 years old. Age can't be kept at bay forever and guess what? Most people can guess approximate age by the appearance of our skin. Wouldn't it be wonderful if some cream could shrink it up and make it look like normal skin of an 18 year old? Well, it can't.

 I would love to find one person who decided to only put cream on half their pregnant belly and to see if one half of their belly had stretch marks where no cream was applied and the other free of stretch marks where the miracle cam was used. I would love to see one person who applied anti-wrinkle cream on just one side of their face to show if it worked or not. One person to use firming cream on half of the body and not on the other, again to prove once and for all that a cream really works. That some nonsurgical treatment really works.

 I haven't seen such a thing because a. Either a company hasn't ever tried that out. Seems kind of odd to me, doesn't it? What better way to prove effectiveness than to show the difference their miracle product has made that to show the difference on the same person with and without the miracle cream? Or b. they haven't shown such a thing because they would find that their miracle cream or treatment made no differerence at all. My bet is on point B.

People, believe me, creams are not miracle makers. They can make your skin feel smoother and softer. They can relieve itchy, dry skin, but they cannot prevent stretch marks. They cannot prevent loose skin and they cannot prevent or get rid of crepe-ish skin. You were either born with genes that allowed for skin to stretch better without getting stretch marks or you were not. You were born with genes for skin that will shrink back up or you were not. You were born with skin that doesn't get wrinkly or you were not. Genes play a huge, huge role.

So does healthy lifestyle. Your skin will behave better if your body is fed well and treated well. Your skin is more likely to be youthful if it gets proper nutrition, isn't robbed of health by too much drinking or smoking or overly processed foods and so on.

And then there is time. Time can't prevent things from happening but time allows stretch marks to turn silvery and fade away as small scars for many of them. Time can shrink up loose or crepe paper like skin. It takes much longer for the skin to shrink up than it does for fat or muscle to disappear. Give it time to get better. You thought it was the cream that made it get better? It probably wasn't. It was the passage of time.

The last myth I want to debunk that is related to this loose skin topic is that I often here that a way to prevent loose skin is to lose weight more slowly. This isn't exactly a myth, but only telling half the story. If you lose fat more slowly, your skin has more time to shrink up, maybe about as fast as you are losing. And if you are lucky enough with genetics to have your skin completely shrink up, then you may never notice loose skin, this is true. But.... You could have lost faster, dealt with some loose skin for a little bit of time and ended up in the same place at the end with no loose skin. The second way just means that you were thinner earlier. The rate of losing weight just allows the skin to not appear to shrink up too slowly. That is it.

I know I will never get someone to believe their miracle cream wasn't really a miracle, but I will say to them, did you only put cream on half the belly? Face? body? If not, you can't prove it was the cream. So, I will continue to save my money and not spend it on creams and treatments. And I won't even delve into the whole topic (today at least) that are you even aware of what you are putting on your skin? People worry about what they are putting in their mouth, yet layer chemicals all over their skin. Is that really safe? As I said, not going there today, but think on it a bit!

Maybe I enlightened one person and kept them from sinking money into that racket today , then this rant was worth it. But I needed to rant. Signed, a stretch mark streaked, wrinkled, crepe-ish skinned 42 year old woman.

Stats for 3/5/12: Highest weight: 275. Now: 175.4

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