Anatomy of Skin
Basic Skin Composition & Care | Maintaining Healthy Skin | A Beautiful Complexion
Healthy skin is a sure sign of a well-cared-for body. As the largest organ of the body, your skin performs several vital functions, securing your internal organs and regulating your body’s systems. Acting as a protective barrier against the elements in the environment, healthy skin also retains moisture, regulates your body temperature and provides us with a sense of touch. If properly treated and maintained, your skin will remain in relatively good condition throughout your life. Skin is basically composed of three layers: the epidermis, dermis and subdermis.
The epidermis is the outermost layer. The epidermis provides a barrier layer that protects the deeper layers of the skin, organs, nerves and blood vessels from the outer environment. The epidermis is thicker in some parts of the body than in others and is continually shedding as old cells die and new cells grow to take their place. We can ensure the health of the epidermis by regulating the sloughing of dead cells through proper cleansing and moisturizing methods.
The dermis is the second (middle) layer of the skin that lies is responsible for giving the skin its structural support. The dermis contains collagen and elastin fibers, which give the skin its support, resiliency and elasticity. Damage or loss of these fibers lead to indentations in the skin’s surface, which is why the dermis is where wrinkles originate. The dermis is also filled with blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous (oil-producing) glands.
The subdermis acts as a cushion for the top layers of skin. It is composed of fat cells and sweat glands, which aid in the regulation of body temperature.
Taking Care Of Your Body
The health of your skin depends on many factors. These include genetics, environmental hazards, diet and personal habits. By taking a few simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the stress placed on your skin and improve its appearance and overall physical condition.
A few important tips to remember:
Clean Your Skin: It is important to keep the skin healthy with gentle cleansing. This process removes dirt, oil, dead skin cells and other unwanted particles. Do not over wash the skin, as this may lead to dryness and irritation. Moisturizing helps the skin retain water, making dryness less likely. The most effective time to moisturize is directly after a bath or shower.
Limit your sun exposure: The sun can cause severe damage to the skin, so it is important to keep yourself covered whenever possible. When outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to exposed parts of the body. The face, neck and hands should be protected daily. Do not sunbathe or use artificial tanning devices (tanning beds).
Don’t smoke: The dangers of cigarettes are well-known, however smoking also causes damage to the fibers within the skin which in turn reduces elasticity and firmness causing wrinkles. They literally make you look older than you are. Eat right enough can’t be said about good nutrition. Eating the right food and drinking plenty of water hydrates your skin and makes you look and feel healthy.