Arming yourself with basic knowledge of the structures and function of the skin broadens your appreciation of your skincare product choices and how they impact your skin. Developing an intimate knowledge of the behaviours of your own skin empowers you to intuitively and accurately predict what your skin is needing on a daily basis in order to keep it in its optimal health.
Human skin is the largest functioning organ of the human body. It’s an excretory organ aiding in the removal of waste from your body to assist detoxification and purification. Maintaining its health is not just a matter of beauty but a matter for your health.
Skin consists of three layers:
the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer
working in synergy.
One layer cannot function without the other.
The epidermis is made up of six layers forming a barrier to the threats of the outside environment. It is a very thin but incredibly resilient layer of tissue providing us with water-proofing, sun protection, and protection from scrapes and scratches, bacteria, viruses, fungus and other microbes and parasites. The epidermis retains moisture, blood, vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins and heat allowing us to survive.
It is a cyclic, adaptable and renewable layer, shedding its outer layers and producing new fresh skin from the deeper layers below.
The epidermis is the layer of skin we cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise and apply SPF protection.
The dermis is the middle layer of the skin and is full of dense stuffing providing the shape, contour and youthful to your skin. Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid make up this stuffing enabling your skin to stretch, bounce, snap back into shape and mould to the shapes we come in contact with. Blood and lymphatic vessels in this layer provide essential nutrients from the foods we eat and remove waste products from this layer.
The dermis also houses the oil glands or Sebaceous Glands, your sweat glands known as Sudoriferous Glands, hair follicles and their accessory muscle called the Erector Pilli muscle which is the muscle responsible for causing goosebumps.
The subcutaneous layer contains the structures that allow you to sense pressure, pain, heat, cold and touch. Adipose tissue, more commonly referred to as fatty tissue, is in abundance in this layer providing essential protective cushioning vital in preventing terminal damage from knocks and blows.
The distribution and thickness of your adipose tissue differs in areas of your body depending on whether you are male or female, amount of protection required in an area and your diet.