I promise not to bore you with all the medical, dermatological terms about the skin. But, before you can cater for your skin, I believe the best thing you can do for yourself is to understand some little stuff about your skin, which is about your skin structure. (You can read this article about your skin types as regards the type of cosmetic products you can apply on your skin).
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, which is composed of three layers:
- The Epidermis Layer
- The Dermis Layer
- The Subcutis (Fat) Layer
It is made up of close to 20 tightly packed layer of cells (Squamous and Keratinocytes cells). The lower part of this layer is called the Basal Layer, and it is where new epidermal cells are formed by cell division. The new cells that are formed in the Basal Layer then displace the old, dull cells from the surface of the skin by causing them to shed.
It takes almost 28 days for a normal, healthy skin cell to shed. The Keratinous (Horny) layer is where the skin cells are dead, closely packed, and flattened, offering the skin its protective capabilities.
Also available in the Epidermis are the Melanocytes, which produce a pigment called Melanin, that gives the skin the dark color. The Langerhans cells are actively involved in the body’s immune system.
This is the second layer of the skin where we have the
- Collagen and Elastin Fibers – They provide the skin with its strength and elasticity. They allow the skin to return back to its initial position after it has been stretched. They are protein in the form of fibers. As a person ages or with a lot of sun exposure, the Collagen and Elastin Fibers would become weaken, causing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Sebaceous Gland – These glands are connected to the hair follicle, secreting their content into the follicle via a tiny duct.
The hair is controlled by the Arrector Pili Muscle. When they contract, the hair stands up (due to goose bumps).
- Sweat Gland – Here we have the Eccrine Sweat Gland and the Apocrine Sweat Gland (responsible for body odor). Please read more about the causes of body odour here.
- Blood Vessels – Nerves and sensory organs
The main cells of the dermis are the collagen fibers and the intercellular substance that acts as a “cement” for all the components of the Dermis.
This is the last layer of the skin, found beneath the Dermis. This layer serves as an insulating layer to protect us against cold. And it also serves as a strong protective support to the body’s vital organs like the heart, liver, kidney, preventing them from mechanical trauma.