Facts About Our Skin by: Adrian Joele The skin consists of layers of different cells, binded together to form tissues and other structures. Our skin is divided into three layers.The outer layer is called the epidermis. The thickness of this layer varies with age, sex and the area of the body. It varies between five cells under the forearm to as much as thirty cells on the sole of the foot. It provides a keratin – filled cellular coating for our body and has the cells that: 1) determine our skin and hair colour (melanocytes) 2) provide immunities (Langerhaus cells ) 3) enhance our sense of touch (Merkel cells). |
Immediately below the epidermis is a second skin layer: the dermis. The dermis holds a fiber mesh of collagen and elastin that acts as a home to our oil-producing sebaccous glands and veins. Within this layer lie the water-binding GAGs that provide fullness to the skin by maintaining moisture within its layers.This is a filling of long-chained sugar molecules. These molecules bind together with proteins to form glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) GAGs are the skin’s moisture-storage structures. They act like sponges and bind with water molecules.
Moisturising is generally the process of attracting and retaining water in the the layer of skin above the dermis – the epidermis. We can, however, stimulate the production of GAGs through proper nourishment.
Finally, the third layer, called the hypodermis, is primarily a layer of fat within which our sweat glands reside. These sweat glands help regulate the body’s temperature and produce the acidic component of the skin’s protective acid mantle.
The impact of aging Visible changes of our skin start at the age of twenty-five, as our natural regenerative processes begin to slow.Although we may not see it, damaged protein as a result of scarring, sun damage and oxidative stress has already accumulated in the skin. The proteins that comprise the collagen and elastin fibers lose their uniformity and protein chains start cross-linking with adjacent protein chains. This negativily impacts the uniformity of the skin.
All of us experience the aging process. Some will see its effects sooner than others. Part of this process is genetic and we are unable to avoid its consequences.But a big part of it is determined by our habits and environment we live in.
The aging process is advanced by factors like extreme temperatures, excessive solar infrared and ultraviolet radiation, stress and mal nutrition. Polluted air damages cell structure. Extreme variation in weight weakens muscle tone and creates lined and sagging skin.
Misuse of alcoholic beverages and smoking have profound effects on the appearance of the skin.Excessive alcohol use harms the skin’s blood vessels and causes small capillaries to burst. Smoking increases free-radical damage, suffocates the skin and destroys skin tissue that can not be replaced.Skincare can begin by eliminating these items.
Skin Types Basic skincare analysis divides the skin into certain categories. These are relatively straight forward: normal, oily, dry, combination and sensitive skin. Optimal care for the skin depends on its classification.
Skin type is not necessarily genetically determined. While this certainly plays a role, the deciding factors may be age or environmentally related. For example, people with oily skin in their youth may get dry skin as they mature, because sebum production slows.
Diet significantly impacts our skin type. Poor nutrition inhibits collagen and elastin production, producing uneven and inelastic skin. Overexposure to the sun and inclement weather dries the skin. Living in high-humidity environment contributes to oily skin. Pollution and contact with strong cleansing agents and detergents also plays a role in our skin type.
Accepted skin classifications are: Normal Normal skin is consistant, clear and soft, with good colour. The pores are visible, but not large. The texture is neither fine nor thick and the skin feels neither dry nor oily to the touch. Unfortunately, the majority of us do not have “normal” skin.
Oily Oily skin is the product of excessive sebum production by the sebaceous glands. It feels oily to the touch and a “shine” appears, particularly on the T-Zone (nose,chin and forehead). Oily skin is usually rougher in appearance, with large pores susceptible to blackheads and acne.
Dry Dry skin is characterized by small pores and feels dry to touch. Dry skin chaps and burns easily. It may have flaky areas, particularly around the nose. Dry skin lacks either sebum (oil), moisture or both. Moisture deficiency is evidenced by fine lines and wrinkles. The skin appears thin and may show small capillaries near the surface. Skin lacking sufficient oil is stiff and develops cracks.
Combination Combination skin is dry in some areas, but oily in others. For example, the skin may be oily around the T-Zone, but dry on the rest of the face.
Sensitive Sensitive skin can be normal,dry,oily or combination. It is characterized by extreme reactions to the environment, diet, topicals or stress. The redness experienced with sensitive skin is typically dilated capillaries. Only special care limits inflammation.
Skincare regimens follow a very simple pattern. First, cleanse the skin to remove impurities, excess oil and dirt. Second, tone the skin and prepare it to accept topical renewal and nourishing agents. Third, renew the skin to diminish the signs of aging. Finally, nourish the skin with nutrients and emollients to protect and maintain a healthy, vibrant appearance. It is really that basic!
About the Author: Adrian Joele has been writing articles about health and nutrition since 2008 and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. For more information about Sense',visit:www.pinockio.usana.com
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