What is your skin?
The overall job of your largest organ is protection. Skin filters and shares with the world your hormone changes, sugar intake, water intake (or lack-there-of). After we move through the lifestyle ebbs and flows the skin really is just fascinating.
Your skin is made up of three layers: epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous.
As a skin nerd, this is my favorite layer to discuss because we can break it down further!
First - the epidermis is your outer layer of skin and it is your defense against the world - from bacteria, viruses and the environment.
We can break the epidermis into four thin layers:
- Stratum corneum - the thickness of this layer varies depending on the location of the body
- Stratum granulosum - here the cells produce waxy material that acts as a waterproof barrier
- Stratum spinosum - cells that bind other cells together - like the glue that keeps dead skin cells attached to the surface
- Stratum basale - stem cell found here divide to produce new skin cells, which are pushed up to the skin’s surface
This is your magickal skin zone! Fibroblasts produce collagen and elastin which is stored here. The dermis also houses the blood vessels and lymph pathways to keep your body healthy and well! The lymphatic system is the only system in the body that needs manual assistance, and is responsible for the movement of toxins and nutrients*. Here we also find the housing of our sweat glands, oil glands and hair follicles. Whether the skin is flushing toxins through the sweat glands, releasing oil to the skin for natural balance or clogging up pores due to excess oil production, it is managed in the dermis.
This layer of our skin is fatty, and it is what connects our muscle to our bones. In our subcutaneous our body acts as a thermostat, protects us from injury, and houses deep oil glands, blood vessels and hair follicle roots. Although an important layer, our skincare products active ingredients don’t travel this far in. Clean ingredients will always be important because what we put on our body enters our blood stream, but we won’t be treating anything on this level when applying skincare.
*More about the lymphatic system to come.