Skin is the largest organ of the human body, comprising the integumentary system, whose function is to preserve the integrity of the entire organism, which it does by providing a barrier that serves to maintain a consistent body temperature and chemical and energetic balance.
While we refer to “skin” as one solitary unit, your skin is actually composed of three distinct layers, which may be subdivided further. The main three layers of skin are the:
The deepest layer of skin tissue comprised primarily of connective and adipose (fat) tissue. This layer also houses microphages, cells that “eat” other cells, providing vital immune protection, and fibroblasts, cells that produce the fibrous components (e.g. collagen and elastin) of the extra cellular matrix (ECM).
The subcutaneous tissue is nourished by blood vessels and anchors the skin to the membranes of underlying muscle, cartilage or bone.
Dermis (also called the dermal matrix)
The middle layer of skin is also composed of connective tissues, most notably collagen and elastin, which give the skin its firmness and elasticity. Within this layer are also:
The health of the dermal matrix significantly impacts the appearance of the uppermost layer of skin.
The topmost layer of skin has two distinct strata of its own—a layer of dead cells (keratinocytes) that serve as protection for the live cells beneath. The stratum corneum—the layer of dead cells—is shed approximately every two weeks, pushed away by keratinocytes that have recently dyed. How effectively your body sloughs away the older layer produces what we see as a healthy glow or a dull complexion.
The top two layers of skin are the targets of daily assaults by environmental toxins, UV radiation and poor skin care habits. Maintaining the health of the epidermis and dermal matrix is the key to a youthful, glowing complexion.
To maintain skin health, start at the top. Gentle exfoliation and daily cleansing remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells from the stratum corneum, which prevents these contaminants from clogging pores and causing acne breakouts. Removing dead cells also stimulates cell turnover and rejuvenation, brightening a dull complexion. Applying moisturizer prevents evaporation at the skin’s surface, and daily sun protection blocks UV radiation from penetrating deeper into the skin tissue.
To repair sun damage, fight oxidative stress (ROS) and boost cellular skin rejuvenation processes, you need nourishing skin care products that penetrate deeper. Retinols, antioxidant treatments, etc. work on and with the components of the extracellular matrix of the dermis. To do so, they must be in a delivery vehicle—a serum, lotion or cream—that can be absorbed by the skin rather than sit on top of it.
Hale Cosmeceuticals has a full line of daily cleansers and moisturizers formulated for each skin type as well as spot treatments to help you achieve specific skin care goals from reducing wrinkles to evening out skin tone. Explore our products and contact us with any questions.
Maintaining and enhancing skin health isn’t accomplished by topical applications alone. Not all the nutrients necessary for all the metabolic processes needed for skin rejuvenation can be absorbed by the skin. They must be ingested as part of a healthy diet. To ensure that your diet is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, make your plate colorful. Many organic compounds that protect plants from sun exposure and microbial assaults are available in the leaves and skins of fresh fruits and vegetables.