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-   -   Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training... (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20753)

Malicat 01-23-2012 08:53 PM

Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
In general, I am not much of a girly girl, but as I have gotten older, I have found there are a few things I do to be girly. These are my mistakes!

On Aikido class nights, I tend to have 3 showers a day, once in the morning, because I can NOT leave the house without a shower, even if I showered the night before, once right before class, and again after class. This has wreaked havoc with my skin, causing breakouts and problems with dry and itchy scalp. These are some of the changes I have made with my skin care routine that have helped a lot.

No matter how much you want to, especially after class, do NOT wash your hair again. I use shampoo and conditioner every morning, and about destroyed my scalp and caused some awful build up in my hair as well. Just wash it once a day, and if you have the money to spend, buy a shampoo with no sodium lauryl sulfates. I use the Redken Refreshing Detox shampoo and conditioner. It fixed my scalp and build up problems in less than a week. There are a lot of different brands available, but for the price, this seemed the best bet for me.

I know a lot of us like to layer on scents so perfume doesn't smell so strong, matching body wash, lotion, and perfume seems like a good idea, but I've yet to find a soap that doesn't dry my skin out after regular use. I switched to the oil of olay body wash with body butter ribbons. It doesn't feel too heavy after I rinse it off, but my skin doesn't have the tight/itchy feeling afterwards. I also tried the in shower lotion, but it was entirely too heavy for my skin. Additionally, most lotions tend to either be too heavy and feel greasy, or not heavy enough to be useful. I use the Cetaphil fragrance free lotion. It doesn't have a lanolin base, so it's not greasy, but it works well on just about any skin type because it's mostly chemical free. (This is what I used on my new tattoos to help the healing process as well.)

My face cleanser and moisturizer used to work well, but after a few weeks, I started getting some bad break outs. I have oily skin, so I generally used lighter products, but I found that keeping it too dry caused just as many issues after work outs. I switched to the Body Shop Vitamin E skin care line, and using it at first felt super heavy and unnatural, but I found that it has completely cleared my skin problems up. Most of the vitamin E products seem too heavy for me, but with the constant cleaning, it really helps to restore balance. Also, the makeup cleaning wipes in the same line are fabulous for getting the sweat off of your neck and face after a good workout, and fit perfectly into your bag.

I've probably spent over 300 dollars at Ulta over the last six months trying various options on how to fix my skin issues, and so far these are the solutions that work best for me. Hopefully someone else will find these useful!

Keith Larman 01-23-2012 09:23 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
Um, wow, 3 showers a day. No wonder. FWIW read the following link.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin...ower-skin1.htm

It is quite peculiar that many will bathe so often as to require constant use of moisturizers and conditioners to return what they regularly strip off. Moderation in all things. Every day is fine. Every other day can be fine. Sometimes just a quick cool rinse is fine. Give your skin a break...

Keith Larman 01-23-2012 09:25 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I should add that everyone is different in how their skin reacts. But if I took more than one shower a day I'd be scratching off layers of my skin -- it simply can't take that even with super mild soaps with moisturizers, etc.

Malicat 01-23-2012 09:32 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 301404)
Um, wow, 3 showers a day. No wonder. FWIW read the following link.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin...ower-skin1.htm

It is quite peculiar that many will bathe so often as to require constant use of moisturizers and conditioners to return what they regularly strip off. Moderation in all things. Every day is fine. Every other day can be fine. Sometimes just a quick cool rinse is fine. Give your skin a break...

I just don't want to be the smelly kid! ;) Honestly, the shower before class is what I jokingly call the courtesy shower, and just a rinse after class doesn't make me feel clean enough to go to bed afterwards.

kewms 01-24-2012 12:57 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
Quote:

Ashley Hemsath wrote: (Post 301406)
I just don't want to be the smelly kid! ;) Honestly, the shower before class is what I jokingly call the courtesy shower, and just a rinse after class doesn't make me feel clean enough to go to bed afterwards.

Unless you work in a barn, or some other very dirty location, you can probably skip the shower before class... Five minutes in, no one will be able to tell the difference one way or another.

Remember that you will be in much closer contact with people than would be normal in just about any non-intimate situation. Your partners will appreciate it if you keep fragrances of all kinds to the absolute minimum. (Zero is ideal.)

Katherine

Eva Antonia 01-24-2012 03:03 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
Hi,

I never tried showering once a day, let alone three times per day, except in summer, when it is very hot. I just don't think that 80 % of my body, such as arms, back, legs etc. get dirty so often. For face, axles, hands and feet I think the tap is sufficient.

Whenever I shower more often, I don't use soap. Dirt and sweat go away with normal water, too. Soap is to get oil and fat away, and that's not needed so often. Same for hair. Shampooing once a week is fine; to get just the dust out of the hair, brushing or rinsing with water is sufficient. If you shampoo too often, either the hair gets dry and you can get dandruff, or your head skin tries to protect itself against the drying and produces more secretion => your hair gets oilier more quickly => you need to clean it more often => vicious circle.

But I have the habit of scrubbing feet and hands before going to the dojo. And then my bike's chain gets off, I have to walk over a dirty omnisports hall before reaching the tatami, and the result of these efforts is nil again. But I still do that, and I suppose all other aikidoka also do, because I rarely saw people with dirty hands and feet - and I never observed anyone who stank. Neither body smell nor perfumes.

However, I think it's common knowledge that too much soap and shampoo just damages the skin and the hair, notwithstanding the publicity of "everyday shampoos", which is in the interest of the producers, who obviously sell more if people shower once, twice, three times per day...

If I were you, I'd just try to do less...maybe you could get used to that and not feel uncomfortable?

Best regards,

Eva

Pauliina Lievonen 01-24-2012 04:07 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I'm glad that you found a solution that works for you!

I'm also in the you don't need to shower before class - camp, though. Washing hands and feet before class is something I do wish more people at our dojo did before class. But more than that is really not necessary.

What I do is I plan my hair-washing around classes. I wash my hair every two days, and so I'll try to wash it the day before a class in the morning, and then not in the morning of the aikido class day, but after class. The next day it's fine. Of course sometimes my timing doesn't work out and I end up washing my hair twice in a day, but that doesn't happen often enough to cause problems.

Oh, and I'm with Eva on using soap - usually it isn't necessary for washing your whole body. Hands sometimes, sure, and I do use a mild shampoo. But you could experiment with showering without a body wash and see how that feels.

kvaak
Pauliina

lbb 01-24-2012 08:30 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I train at a dojo located in a small-to-medium-sized town in a rural area. Between the farmers and people working in the trades, we've got quite a few people doing hot sweaty physical work all day, and as for the rest of us, we don't generally work in air-conditioned offices (it's New England, ya know?). It happens that people get onto the mat with a faint whiff of barnyard to them, or after spending a summer afternoon crawling around a hot attic installing installation, and IME it's not offensive. You'd want to rinse off if you'd been up to your knees in manure all day, but I don't think someone needs to shower just because they broke a sweat at some point in the day. I really don't think there's a need, particularly in a dojo setting, to eliminate all evidence that you're a human being who doesn't naturally smell like the scent in a bottle of shampoo.

As far as skin care goes, overwashing is a real problem. I have naturally dry skin, and I live in a cold climate where the air is very dry in winter (because of heating systems). I need to take care to not let my skin dry out -- I've neglected that in the past and had to go the Cetaphil-plus-extreme-moisturizer route just to get through the winter. It's really not a way to be. If I showered three times a day, I wouldn't have any skin left. I use Lever 2000 for my bath soap, sparingly, and a pretty heavy-duty cocoa butter-based moisturizer after showering and as needed at other times. I keep moisturizer next to the hand soap at my sinks and use it after hand-washing.

One type of washing that is definitely indicated is hands and wrists, before and after class. Staph is everywhere!

dave9nine 01-24-2012 10:16 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
the first dojo i trained at was an independent dojo, and the sensei had written a handbook for new students; one of the items in the handbook was a quick section about hygiene, and it asked students to refrain from using deodorants, perfumes, colognes, etc. Part of this was so that these smells did not distract people while training. the other part, though, was actually towards encouraging students to let the concept of 'harmony with nature' help one to rethink or loosen the social constructions of what our bodies should smell like. the message there was 'our bodies smell the way they do --let them' ... that blurb in that handbook always stuck with me..

as Robert Nadeau Sensei likes to say, 'let the body body' ;)

-dave

Janet Rosen 01-24-2012 10:41 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I am American born and bred but have never understood the near religious devotion to the daily shower so many of my compatriots share.
The funny thing is that back in the days when most of us really did do hard sweaty labor outdoors, nobody bathed that often because it was too darn hard to get that much water hot.
More details than you might want but too bad, it was brought up:
For most women, a little sweat on the body from a workout (or a hot flash) is not dirty or smelly - only the sweat from glands in pubes, pits and feet is smelly - the rest just evaporates - so there really is no reason for a full body shower if all you need is a little bit of water, soap and a washcloth used judiciously. And most hair really doesn't need need washing more than a couple of times a week.

Keith Larman 01-24-2012 11:56 AM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
It's funny, we have this sort of back and forth in my house on this topic. My wife *needs* to shower every morning or else she doesn't feel "right". The kid would rather never take a shower (but good luck getting her out once she's been dragged in). But she also suffers from very dry skin (like me) and knows that if she soaps up every day she'll be scratching to the point of scabs all over the place. So for her it's better to just skip a day or two unless she really needs it. I have her wash her face daily due to the fact she's starting into puberty and needs to prevent break outs.

But it does make me wonder about how our society has taught us what's the "right" way to feel clean. For some it's a totally scrubbed, dry, ripped apart skin. Often folk will add various moisturizers to get back the moisture the body has lost. Which it seems to me tends to indicate maybe you're doing too much. Or the skin needs a break. I do like the advice a dermatologist gave me (for my itchy skin) which was to take a few days off from the shower now and then when you can. Just get a washcloth and clean up the areas that need it but otherwise give the skin overall a break. It makes a *huge* difference for me in terms of the dry, itchy skin.

There's also this article about eczema and bleach baths.

We really weren't built to be aggressively scrubbed daily. Well, most of us at least. And it doesn't take much to clean up enough to be inoffensive without having to strip your body of all its natural defenses.

And I will add my voice to the chorus on perfumes, scents, etc. Lord there is nothing I hate more than someone who comes in smelling of whatever the hell it is they splashed on themselves. Sometimes I think it is more offensive than body odor.

Of course if you're eating a diet high in sulfur compounds and it's leeching out of your skin, yeah, clean up. But splashing more stinky crap on top really doesn't help; it only makes it worse.

Janet Rosen 01-24-2012 01:19 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I counsel many of my elderly folks, who have not only very dry but very fragile skin, to only do a full shower or bath every three days and have managed to get my mom, a previous daily shower fanatic, to adapt to this.

Malicat 01-24-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
Quote:

Eva Röben wrote: (Post 301419)
Hi,
Whenever I shower more often, I don't use soap. Dirt and sweat go away with normal water, too. Soap is to get oil and fat away, and that's not needed so often. Same for hair. Shampooing once a week is fine; to get just the dust out of the hair, brushing or rinsing with water is sufficient. If you shampoo too often, either the hair gets dry and you can get dandruff, or your head skin tries to protect itself against the drying and produces more secretion => your hair gets oilier more quickly => you need to clean it more often => vicious circle.

I would actually agree with you Eva, but I have "hard" water here, so even just jumping in the shower to rinse off dries my skin out quite badly, which is why I had to switch to a soap that had the body butter in it.

Shadowfax 01-24-2012 09:57 PM

Re: Skin care and hygiene tips I wish I had known before I started training...
 
I actually do work in a barn. Several of them in fact, as I am a hoof trimmer. Unless I have been under ten horses that day I don't generally worry about needing to shower more than once a day. But then I don't do aikido on days I have ten horses on my trim list. I find that a face cloth and some clean water are enough pre-class prep on most days.

In the summer I might take a second no soap shower to get the sweat and dust off but too much soap is bad news for the skin. Luckily I'm not a very girly girl and I don't feel the need to smell pretty. No perfumes and lotions for me which I am sure the men in the dojo appreciate. As long as I don't stink its all good. Heck some of the guys Iv'e trained with occasionally have gi that smell worse than I do after a day in the barns. :p


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