I’ve just returned from a visit to my Dermatologist, and started to think about the different layers of our skin and how skin cancers or age spots form. What is each layer made up of and what does it do? We know there are three main layers – the Epidermis (top layer), the Dermis (middle with everything that keeps our face “up”) and the Hypodermis (the base). Although this may be a little scientific to understand, I hope to provide a description of what each layer of our skin is made up of and how our skin protects us!
Human Skin is composed of 3 distinct layers, the Epidermis, Dermis, and Hypodermis, each of which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin structure and function!
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis provides a waterproof, protective barrier between our internal and external environments. The epidermis is made up of 5 sublayers: The Stratum Corneum, Stratum Lucidum, Stratum Granulosum, Stratum Spinosum and Stratum Basale. The surface sublayer, the Stratum Corneum, consists of dead, keratin infused, flattened cells that are naturally replaced as new cells are created in the Stratum Basale and migrate upwards through the epidermis. These “keratinocyte cells” make up a large majority of the dermis, and help skin to retain moisture by both preventing evaporation and absorbing water from the environment. The Epidermis also houses a variety of specialized cells including Melanocytes (producing the pigment, Melanin), Langerhans cells (process antigens, immune system support) and Merkel Cells (role in creating the sense of touch).
The Stratum Corneum is made up of flattened keratin filled cells, which are naturally shed every 2 – 3 weeks when we are younger. As we age this time period of shedding increases significantly to 5 – 6 weeks.
The dermis is located directly below the Epidermis, and is a dense layer composed of blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, nerve endings and connective tissue. If you were to remove all of the cells in the dermal layer, you would be left with a network of fibers made from the structural proteins, Collagen and Elastin, which give skin its strength and elasticity. In young, healthy skin, Collagen and Elastin are abundant, but begin to break down and are renewed less frequently as we age. The matrix between cells where Collagen and Elastin exist, known as the Extracellular Matrix, also contains a jelly-like substance composed primarily of Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid’s many functions include an important role in the inflammatory response, tissue repair, cell movement and cell communication.
Known as the subcutaneous or fatty layer, the Hypodermis cushions the skin and provides a connecting layer between the skin and underlaying bone and muscle tissue. The Hypodermis contains a great majority of the body’s fat stores, varying in width depdending upon location (very thin in the face to several inches thick in the thighs and buttocks). It also houses larger blood vessels and nerves, and plays an important role in thermoregulation (keeping your body temperature within normal range).
What Did You Skin Do For You Today?
- It’s the largest organ in our body!
- Protects our “insides” from the external environment ~ Protecting us from mechanical impact, heat and cold, irritants and toxins, UV Radiation, and bacteria and other microorganisms.
- Prevents us from evaporation and water loss.
- Temperature Regulation ~ The skin produces sweat, which evaporates to help cool the body. Shivering and subcutaneous fatty tissue give the body thermal protection against cold temperatures.
- Sensation ~ Our fifth sense, the sense of touch, comes form nerve endings and other specialized cells in the skin. These cells also allow us to sense temperature, pressure, vibration , and pain.
- Vitamin D Synthesis ~ Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin after exposure to UVB radiation. Humans need approximately 10 -15 minutes of sun exposure daily to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D. This should be outside of peak sun hours to avoid overexposure.
- Social Importance ~ Blushing, paling, and facial expressions all help us communicate. Healthy looking skin is also an indication of internal health and is considered a valuable part of our appearance.
Because skin provides so many valuable functions, maintaining skin health is not only critical to looking great, but feeling great as well. We can’t stop the clock, but by caring for our skin we can greatly reduce the effects (and signs!) of environmentally induced aging. This is the mission of Apriori Beauty – to produce technologically advanced, effective, and safe products that not only help you look good, but help your skin function in a healthier manner! Celloxylin Skin Care and Lifeoxylin Cellular Defense Elixir accomplish this through the patent-pending Nutrient Reservoir, which delivers a boost of nutrients to every cell in your body! Celloxylin’s advanced ingredients penetrate deep into the skin from the outside, while Lifeoxylin acts internally to help improve structure and function from the inside out. With all that your skin does for you, why wouldn’t you give a little something back with Apriori Beauty!
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