What Is Skin?
What exactly is skin, and why is it so important? It is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how the skin works, to understand why & how to look after it. Your skin covers and protects everything inside your body. It regulates body temperature and allows the sense of touch. It is made up of many many layers, though to make it easy we will talk about it in two main layers (Epidermis & Dermis).
The EPIDERMIS is the outer most layer; the layer we touch, see, apply products to, and expose to the outside environment. The purpose is to act as a barrier to protect your body from infection and disease. On top of the epidermis, is a layer with an acidic pH, made up of water & oil to create a moisturising film over the skin. We call this the ACID MANTLE. The acidic pH helps to fight bacteria on the skin. This is why it is important to use the correct products on our skin, so we don’t disrupt the acid mantle and cause our skin to become weak. Depending on the outside substance, it can prevent or allow certain things entering the skin & body.
A hydrated skin is especially important here. Hydrated skin cells are nice and plump so will sit together perfectly, creating a firm barrier. Dehydrated skin cells are brittle and curled. The bigger spaces between the skin cells can allow irritants to enter the skin, so your skin may not be able to cope with this while it is weak and dehydrated. The water from a hydrated skin will also keep the very important enzymes working & doing their jobs.
Your epidermis is always making new skin cells that rise to the top to replace the old ones (this takes two weeks!). The health or quality of these skin cells depends on the inner layer, the DERMIS.
The dermis contains hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands, nerve endings, blood vessels and lots of other things like collagen and elastin. Because the blood vessels bring your skin cells oxygen and nutrients they need, a healthy diet and lifestyle will give a healthy dermis. This in turn gives a healthy epidermis, giving you a functioning & healthy skin!