Temporal effectiveness of occlusives
  • This is my first post.

    I am a sixty-five year old male who has been his wife's hair colorist for most of the 42 years we have been married. I have slightly better taste in women's fashion than she tho' we almost always agree on her clothing purchases. She almost always solicits my advise on cosmetic purchases; and again we most always agree. I am a balls-to-the-wall old school feminist, with a concomitant knee-jerk aversion to anything that smacks of: "Why I believe I am nothing without a man."

    I have been reading ingredient labels on everything well before I discovered this web site; and I all I know about organic chemistry is how to spell "organic" and "chemistry." I know even less about physics.

    I drilled down to the plain English translation of a recent journal article about some kind of a tubular protein matrix that expands to absorb water and then----unsurprisingly-----contracts to squeeze it out. (I assumed some such mechanism existed to maintain hydration homeostasis.) My question is: why would not this matrix squeeze out occlusives that kept the skin overly hydrated? So for how long do even the best occlusives---I use petrolatum on myself----prevent evaporation of water?

    Of course, this begs the more fundamental question: why would anyone man or women in her or his right mind want to tamper with mammalian hydration homeostasis by preventing water evaporation? What are the unintended consequences of skin moisturizing? What body systems are being disrupted by retarding "natural" skin dehydration?

     

     

  • Interesting questions. Perry and I will put our heads together and try to provide some answers: 

    Q: Why would not this matrix squeeze out occlusives that kept the skin overly hydrated? 
    A: The protein matrix of which you speak is in the lower levels of the skin. The occlusives sit on the surface. So the matrix can’t “squeeze out” something that’s located layers of skin above it. 

    Q: So for how long do even the best occlusives---I use petrolatum on myself----prevent evaporation of water?
    A: Since the occlusive provides a physical barrier it will continue to prevent evaporation as long as it’s in place. Of course in the real world the barrier is never left in a static state - it’s continually worn away by hand washing, rubbing against clothing, even movement of your body, etc. So over time the barrier will lose its integrity and moisture will begin to seep out of your skin at increased levels.   

    Q: why would anyone man or women in her or his right mind want to tamper with mammalian hydration homeostasis by preventing water evaporation? What are the unintended consequences of skin moisturizing? What body systems are being disrupted by retarding "natural" skin dehydration?

    A: Moisturizing skin with occulsives doesn’t interfere with your skin’s natural need to “breathe” because the skin is never FULLY occluded. All you’re trying to do with a moisturizer is to prevent certain areas of skin from becoming rough and dry which can lead to cracking, bleeding and infection. Moisturizing in this fashion doesn’t cover ALL your body so you’re not preventing skin from performing its thermoregulation function which it does by sweating. Now, if you fully occluded every square centimeter of your body - THEN you’d have a problem. 
  • A: The protein matrix of which you speak is in the lower levels of the skin. The occlusives sit on the surface. So the matrix can’t “squeeze out” something that’s located layers of skin above it.

    Comment: But will not the h20 that is being squeezed out from the lower layer some how break through the occlusive on the top layer of the skin? Are you saying that it is "healthy" ----whatever that means----to keep the H20 trapped in the matrix when the skin wants it to evaporate it? In any event, why would not that same H20 simply find a place on the body where there are no occlusives and then evaporate there.

    A. All you’re trying to do with a moisturizer is to prevent certain areas of skin from becoming rough and dry which can lead to cracking, bleeding and infection.

    You are the scientist and I am zip but I think it is dangerous to imply to  non scientists that unless they use moisturizers, their skin MIGHT bleed and crack owing to dryness. That certainly is contrary to my reading of the plain English version of the new journal article by the two physicists who concluded that the tubular protein matrix does a perfectly fine job in maintaining skin hydration homeostasis by itself without any topical amendments.  If a women's skin starts to crack and bleed she had better hightail it to a physician rather than screwing around with obscenely priced OTC "serum."

  • Men can't be feminists. Feminism is the women's liberation movement. Men can be allies at best. Read Andrea Dworkin's work on male allies for more on that.

  • Q: Will not the h20 that is being squeezed out from the lower layer some how break through the occlusive on the top layer of the skin?... why would not that same H20 simply find a place on the body where there are no occlusives and then evaporate there.

    A: That's exactly what happens. Some water does evaporate through the occlusive (they're not perfectly 100% effective) and some water will evaporate via sweat glands, especially in the parts of body like the armpits and groin which you're not occluding anyway.

    Q: I think it is dangerous to imply to  non scientists that unless they use moisturizers, their skin MIGHT bleed and crack owing to dryness. That certainly is contrary to my reading of the plain English version of the new journal article by the two physicists who concluded that the tubular protein matrix does a perfectly fine job in maintaining skin hydration homeostasis by itself without any topical amendments. 

    A: Under normal conditions (moderate to high humidity, low exposure to drying agents like detergents and solvents) skin DOES do a "perfectly fine job maintaining skin hydration." Under extreme conditions (low humidity, repeated exposure to detergents and solvent, especially alkaline materials) the oily, acid mantle of the skin is stripped away and can't restore itself before excessive moisture loss occurs. The next step is that micro cracks appear in the skin. These allow bacteria to enter which can cause infection. If left unchecked the cracks can grow until the skin actually bleeds. 

    Q:  If a women's skin starts to crack and bleed she had better hightail it to a physician rather than screwing around with obscenely priced OTC "serum."

    A: Unless you've already developed an infection there's no need to visit a physician for dried cracked skin. This is actually common in professions where repeated hand washing is required: hair stylists, physicians, etc. To remedy the situation you don't need to "screw around with an obscenely priced OTC serum" you just need to reduce hand washing as much as you can and apply a barrier cream (or even just an oil) that you can purchase very cheaply. 

  • As an example of extreme conditions, I live in a very dry cold climate and have dry skin. If I let my skin maintain it's own homeostasis for even a day, it would start to feel terrible and look terrible. 
    If your wife needs a very cheap solution, I recommend pouring some generic baby oil into the bath. It doesn't completely occlude the skin, but it does give every inch a bit of extra protection.

    Also, Rozy, men absolutely can be feminists if they believe that women are equal to them in value to society. Feminism is about equality, which is the only freedom there really can be. 
  • Liberalism is about equality, feminism has been co-opted by liberals lately.
  • Ok, let's keep it as apolitical and on topic as we can.
    This could devolve very quickly.
  • Agree with Brainybimbo. Thanks!

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