All About Skin: Function and Physiology

October 17, 2014

Welcome to our Natura Veda blog! We’re thrilled you are joining us to explore the amazing possibilities of all-natural skincare for your clients. At Natura Veda we are passionate about bringing the best quality skincare products nature has to offer and providing a variety of products that meet the needs of your clients.

Today we’re starting at the very beginning and examining the function and physiology of skin, especially as it pertains to skincare:

As the largest organ in the human body, skin encompasses 20 square feet across our bodies. It’s made of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue. Each of these layers plays a vital role in shielding our inner organs and blood from coming into contact with microorganisms, regulating body temperature and allowing us to feel a variety of sensations and temperatures. Understanding the function of the layers of skin is particularly important in developing an effective skincare regimen with radiant results.

Epidermis: As a waterproof barrier, this outermost tough layer of skin is the body’s defense shield against potential threats from bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Langerhan cells are found throughout the epidermis, which are the skin’s own immune system, detecting and defending against foreign substances. These cells are also a source of skin allergies as the immune system sometimes cannot discern an allergen from a potential infection. Skin allergies often occur when artificial and toxic ingredients come in contact with skin. When this happens, many people turn to all-natural skincare products to keep their skin healthy and avoid adverse reactions.

Skin color is determined by the cells in the epidermis. Within the deepest basal layer of the epidermis live melanocytes responsible for pigment melanin that dictate skin color. The more melanin a person has, the darker their skin; less melanin produces lighter skin. Melanin also protects the body against potentially dangerous cancer-causing ultraviolet rays. Freckles are a result of increased melanin production in response to sun exposure.

Like a revolving door, the epidermis continuously sheds and regenerates new skin cells. These cells are known as keratinocytes and originate in the basil layer deep in the epidermis. Because the surface layer is constantly recycling, skincare is a necessary, ongoing lifelong health and beauty practice.

Dermis: The dense middle layer of skin is the root cause of many skincare concerns. It is made of malleable, elastic tissue, including collagen, elastin and fibrillin. As we age, we naturally lose elasticity in our skin, causing sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Among others, these are issues that Natura Veda’s natural skincare products aim to repair.

The dermis is the home to sweat and oil glands, blood vessels, hair follicles and nerve endings.

Sweat glands in the dermis are designed to cool the body with water, salt and other chemical compositions. Oil glands, especially sebaceous glands around hair follicles, excrete oils that soften and coat skin as a protective layer. Sebum oil is what clogs pores, the tiny holes covering your entire skin organ, and causes an obvious “open” appearance on the face. People with fair skin tend to have smaller pores, while darker oily skin lends itself to more visible pores, although sometimes the size and appearance are genetic or hormonal. Cleaning and managing pores is a major part of skincare.

Nerve endings are responsible for sensations including pain, pressure and temperature. Blood vessels help regulate temperate by dilating to circulate closer to the skin to release heat and constricting to retain heat when exposed to coldness. Blood vessels also provide vital nutrients to skin, an extremely important component to skincare.

Hypodermis: The deepest section of skin, the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue, is a layer of fat, which pads the body and insulates against cold and heat. Energy is stored in these fat cells, which are often a result of stored fats and carbohydrates from food. The hypodermis can be various degrees of thickness depending on the area of the body, one’s genetic makeup and body type.

Each layer of skin plays an important role in our health and appearance. Caring for each layer starts with Natura Veda’s nature-made skin-loving nutrients that helps eliminate toxins, address common skincare concerns and brings out the best skin from within.

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