Shrinking the Skin When Losing Weight

One of the challenges we face when we begin the process of adopting a fit lifestyle is how to get our skin to reshape along with our changing bodies. You can find quite a variety of solutions online, offering quick and easy skin shrinking from a host of products and holistic sources. As is the case with most fitness related topics, many are not much more than snake oil, and some could be downright dangerous. We’re going to try and cut through the clutter, and give you the best, and safest, methods to help your skin elasticize as your body changes.

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Our skin loses elasticity as we age, in a process called elastosis. To what degree is impacted by genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. The skin becomes thinner as well, losing pigmentation and appearing more pale and clear. Sebaceous glands produce less oil, so the skin dries. Men typically experience this later in life than women. The subcutaneous layer of fat also thins, which makes the skin more susceptible to trauma, like bruising. As a result, when we shrink the body underneath, our skin is slow to elasticize to our new, smaller size.

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Other than surgical procedures, there are things you can do to improve your skin’s health, and, consequently, its ability to tighten. First, let’s examine what we can do from the inside out with food. Nutrition plays a giant part in your skin’s health.  Vitamin C and anti-oxidants from bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens attack dangerous free radicals, which deplete collagen and elastin. Oatmeal, rice and eggs are rich in biotins, a B Complex vitamin that is crucial to good skin health. Poultry and meat provide needed zinc, and garlic, seafood and eggs provide essential selenium. All of these vitamins and minerals have a dramatic effect on your skin. Seafood and leafy greens are also rich in Vitamin E, another positive contributor to skin health. Getting your Vitamin E from natural sources instead of supplements reduces the risks associated with over consumption.

Internal hydration is another major component of your skin’s health. Dehydration is the fastest path to dry, flaky, and, eventually unhealthy skin. Work on learning to hydrate proactively. If you wait until you feel a thirst sensation to drink, you are likely already experiencing early symptoms of dehydration. Experts vary on how much water is enough, but generally agree that the absence coloration and smell in urine is an indication of a sufficient level of hydration.

After all of that, what can you do externally to help? We are all constantly inundated with advertisements promising youthful skin, but one has to dig a little deeper to get to something helpful. Most ads are carefully worded, to create an impression of long term benefits, but include qualifiers like “improve the appearance of wrinkles”, as opposed to affecting the wrinkles themselves, or their root cause. In spite of ads promising that over the counter products will penetrate the skin and infuse moisture, any product with molecules small enough to penetrate the layers of the skin are available by prescription only. However, through trial and error with a variety of products, we have found some success stories from some clients. Palmer’s makes a line of skin products, primarily designed for post-natal women to help shrink their skin. Their Firming Butter, and spray and lotion for stretch marks have gotten good feedback from clients. Most of these products are difficult to find in stores, but can be found through the Palmer’s online store. Otherwise, use a good quality moisturizing lotion, preferably with Vitamin E, and get in the habit of using it regularly. Also make it a habit to use quality sunscreen when outdoors.

While none of these suggestions will offer the magical results promised by many of the ads we see, if you adopt the nutritional, hydration and skincare suggestions outlined above, you should see positive changes soon.

Jim Harris