You’re skin is one of the largest organs of the body. It consists of various layers and tissues working together to perform specific activities to protect our bodies. Of all the body’s organs, none is more exposed to inspection, disease, and injury than the skin. In fact, diseases of internal organs may be revealed by changes in the skin such as color changes or abdominal eruptions or rashes. The skin’s exposure to the environment makes it susceptible to damage from toxins, trauma, chemicals, sunlight, and microbes. Many factors may affect both the appearance and health of the skin, including nutrition, hygiene, circulation, age, immunity, genetic factors, psychological state and drugs.
Structurally, the skin consists of two principal parts, the epidermis is the outer layer, and the dermis is the internal layer. The epidermis is composed of four distinct types of cells:
keratinocytes (helps waterproof the skin)
Melanocytes (responsible for skin pigment and absorption of ultraviolet (UV) light)
Langerhan’s cells (assist in the immune response)
Granstein cells (greater resistance to UV radiation and assist in immune response).
The dermis is composed of connective tissue containing collagenous and elastic fibers. Numerous blood vessels, nerves, glands and hair follicles are embedded in the dermis.
The numerous functions of the skin are as follows:
Regulation of body temperature. In response to high environmental temperature or strenuous exercise, the production of perspiration by sweat glands helps to lower body temperature back to normal. Changes in the flow of blood of the skin also alter its insulating properties and help to adjust body temperature.
The skin covers the body and provides a physical barrier that protects underlying tissues from physical abrasion, bacterial invasion, dehydration and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Reception of stimuli. The skin contains numerous nerve endings and receptors that detect stimuli related to temperature, touch pressure and pain.
Not only does perspiration assume a role in helping to regulate normal body temperature, it also assists in the excretion of small amounts of water, salts and several organic compounds.
Creation of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a critical hormone synthesized in the skin upon exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin D helps your body with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from dietary foods.
Certain cells of the epidermis are important components of immunity, your ability to fight disease by producing antibodies.
Sebaceous (Oil) glands secrete an oily substance called sebum, a mixture of fats, cholesterol, proteins and inorganic salts. Sebum helps keep hair from drying and becoming brittle, forms a protective film that prevents excessive evaporation of water from the skin, keeps the skin soft and pliable and inhibits the growth of certain bacteria. When sebaceous glands of the face become enlarged because of accumulated sebum, acne lesions called blackheads develop. Since sebum is nutritive to certain bacteria, pimples or boils often result. The color of blackheads is due to melanin and oxidized oil, not dirt.
Some steps to taking care of our skin:
Exfoliation: New skin cells are created in the skin’s lower layer, the dermis. It takes 15 to 30 days for these new cells to migrate to the surface. Exfoliation removes the outer layer to reveal the newer skin beneath. This shedding of the outer layer is important and it helps unclog pores, keeps skin clean and smooth, and helps reduce acne breakouts. Exfoliation is important for men too as it exposes the hair follicle, allowing a better shave. Exfoliation can dry the skin and therefore it’s important to moisturize during exfoliation or immediately following. Exfoliation frequency is dependent on weather and how much the skin is abused or exposed to. On average facial and body exfoliation is recommended 1-2 times per week. If skin is dry, or during colder months, less exfoliating is recommended.
Other factors to consider: It is safe to say that living in our environment, which is loaded with compromising chemicals, pollutants, and negative agents our skin is exposed to a never ending onslaught of negative feeds. Even exercise puts stress on the skin to justify a rejuvenation treatment. Poor eating habits and lack of exercise are actually detrimental to skin health, just as they are to physical wellness. Because of the consistent high turnover of skin cells, good nutrition and regular exercise are important in supporting skin health.
At Luxe Body Worx we have a simple 3-step method to skincare. 1) Cleanse appropriately with soaps that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils, 2) exfoliate consistently for healthier resilient skin, and 3) use finishing products (toners, masks, serums, and creams) that moisturize, nourish, and protect the skin’s natural biome. Luxe Body Worx has a full line of botanical and herb-infused agents to support proper skin health.