To know your skin, you only need to learn a few things. You may remember that old grade-school joke; “YOUR EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING!” Well, it starts there. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin, which together with the bottom-layer dermis forms the 4-5 layers that comprise your skin.
Posts Tagged ‘epidermis’
Your Skin – is a flexible membranous tissue that forms the external covering of the body, it operates as a complex organ of numerous structures (sometimes called the integumentary system) performing vital protective and metabolic functions. The average skin makes up about 18% of an adult’s weight and approximately a total area of 1,5 – 2 m2
1 – melanocyte
2 – sebaceous gland
3 – muscle
4 – hair shaft
5 – fat
6 – Pacinian corpuscle
7 – artery
8 – hair follicle
9 – sweat gland
10 – epidermis
11 – dermis
12 – subcutaneous tissue
The skin contains two main layers of cells: a thin outer layer, the epidermis, and a thicker inner layer immediately below, called the dermis. Along the internal surface of the epidermis, young cells continuously multiply, pushing the older cells outward. At the outer surface the older cells flatten and overlap to form a tough membrane and gradually shed as calluses or collections of dead skin. Hair and nails are evolutionary adaptations of the epidermis.
Although the epidermis has no blood vessels, its deeper strata contain melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. The underlying dermis consists of connective tissue with embedded blood vessels, lymph channels, nerve endings, sweat glands, fat cells, hair follicles, muscles and oil glands that lubricate the skin and hair (glands located in the skin that secrete an oily substance, sebum – called sebaceous glands). The nerve endings, called receptors, perform an important sensory function – responding to various stimuli, including touch, pressure, heat, and cold.
The truth is that moisturizers are a growing component of daily skin care and account for one of the most common over the counter products sold in the world.
This growth is partly due to the fact that what started as a simple moisturizer has become a sophisticated vehicle for delivery of complex nourishment and regulatory molecules to the skin.
The moisturizers are mostly used for one of the following reasons:
1. To repair the skin’s ability to provide effective barrier against outside pollutants, toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi and to prevent the essential components of our skin and tissues from escaping our bodies.
2. To increase the water content of the skin in both dermis and epidermis.
3. To reduce skin vulnerability against trans-epidermal (through the skin) water loss.
4. To rebalance the skin’s composition of lipids (fats) both inside and outside the skin cells.
5. To deliver nutrients and regulatory substances to the viable portion of the dermis and epidermis.
The anatomy of most moisturizers encompasses at least one of the following components: emollients, occlusive agents, humectants as swell as additives designed to add extra benefits to the traditional functions of the moisturizers.
Emollients improve the visual aspect of the skin by sealing the tiny splits between the components of stratum Occlusive agents block trans-epidermal water loss. Because of the powerful occlusive properties, these agents have to be used carefully on the face as acne related to the use of cosmetics can result. Humectants are designed to attract water either from the environment or from the underlying dermis to the epidermis.
The era of newer, much more sophisticated moisturizers is upon us where scientifically formulated delivery systems can offer additive benefits of supplementing and modulating skin cells for their optimal function and differentiation. As such, these new moisturizers offer a cutting edge frontier where therapeutic benefits are combined with the moisturizing qualities of topical products. Vitamins, minerals, growth factors, peptides, enzymes and co-enzymes are some of the few categories of molecules currently in use in the latest fight to prevent skin deterioration and optimize its functioning.
About the author:
Mariusz J. A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC is the Director of the Western Canada Dermatology Institute located in Edmonton, Alberta. He is also the Clinical Assistant Professor at the Division of Dermatology, University of Alberta, in Edmonton. His areas of expertise include cosmetic and laser surgery.
There are four dominant factors that determine your Skin Type. These factors are: oily vs. dry, sensitive vs. resistant, pigmented vs. non-pigmented, and wrinkled vs. tight. The key factors interact to determine the skin’s appearance, problems, needs, and vulnerabilities, and therefore dictate the kinds of products, ingredients, and treatments useful to address them. To get started, let me introduce you to some basics about the skin.