Your Amazing Skin Be Skin Smart and have Success with your Skin by Carol Derksen February 16, 2010
YOUR AMAZING SKIN
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body and amazingly complex?It’s a cell making factory with miles of blood vessels, millions of sweat glands, and a bundle of nerves within a network of fibers.It accounts for 15% of your body weight, contains up to two-thirds of your blood supply and half of your primary immune cells.Each square inch of your skin contains about 15 feet of blood vessels, 12 feet of nerves, 650 sweat glands and 100 oil glands.
WHAT DOES SKIN DO?
Protects:Skin is a protective barrier againstoutside elements and microorganisms.Its many defense mechanisms protect your body from injury and invasion.Sebum, the skin’s natural oil, protects from external factors and also holds water in the body.The most amazing feature of the skin is the ability to heal itself when injured, thus protecting you from infection and damage from injuries.Injured skin can restore itself to normal thickness through its blood clotting abilities and a hyper-production of cells.
Responds:Sensory nerve endings in the dermis respond to touch, pain, cold, heat and pressure.These sensations send messages to the brain as a protective defense mechanism or as a positive message that something is stimulating on the surface.You receive physiological benefits from massage and product application.
Regulates:The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.When the temperature changes around you, your skin will adjust to warm or cool the body.
Excretes:Sweat glands detoxify your body by excreting excess salt and unwanted chemicals.
Secretes:Sebum, or oil, lubricates the surface of your skin, keeping it soft and protected from outside elements.Healthy skin is approx 50-70% water.Oil coating the surface aids cell hydration by slowing down water loss.
Absorbs:Topical products are absorbed through hair follicles and sebaceous glands.There are continuous scientific advances to create new products that are more readily absorbed by the skin, thus making them more effective.Many products can penetrate into the skin, which can either be harmful or beneficial, depending on the ingredients.
There are 2 parts to the skin, the epidermis and the dermis.
The Epidermis:the outer layer of the skin is the protective layer with many nerve endings.Lipids surround the cells in the epidermis to protect from water loss and provide hydration.Protein cells called keratinocytes, that provide resiliency and protection, are also found in this layer.They are continually shed and replaced by new cells coming to the surface.This process is called cell turnover.95% of the epidermis is comprised of dead keratinocytes.It is these cells and oil that combine to form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface.
The Dermis:the live layer below the epidermis contains blood and lymph vessels which supply the nourishment within the skin.The protein fibers in the deep layer of the dermis give skin its strength and elasticity.Collagen makes up 70% of the dermis.Elastin is also present in the dermis, in much smaller quantities.Damage to these fibers is the primary cause of wrinkles and aging.Hyaluronic Acid is the beneficial and hydrating fluid found between these fibers.This is the focus of product development today.