Understanding Your Skin Healthy Skin requires a healthy body
skin is the largest organ of our bodies and makes up about sixteen per cent of a person’s weight. It performs many vital
roles as both a barrier to infections and a regulating influence between the outside world and
the controlled environment within our bodies.
Throughout our life, the skin keeps growing and dead cells fall away to be
replaced by new ones. In old age skin growth slows and the skin may become
thinner and a less effective protection.
The Skin Structure The Skin consists of three principal layers and each layer plays a vital role
in maintaining healthy skin:
The Hypodermis (also known as the Subcutis) is the bottom or deepest layer of the skin and is
made up of fatty tissue that supports the two layers of skin above it and
serves foremost as the energy reservoir of the skin; here
nutrients are stored and it provides insulation and shock absorption.
The dermis is the middle layer where the blood capillaries, hair follicles,
sweat and oil glands are found. As we age, oil glands become less active,
causing skin to become drier and more prone to the formation of fine lines.
is the outer layer of skin that most of us are concerned with.
It is divided into 5 layers containing:
at the base, the mother cells that ensure continual regeneration of the
skin through cell division (proliferation).
Above lie the cells of the prickle
cell layer (stratum spinosum).
Next come the granular, clear and horny layers. The horny layer
consists of 15 - 20 cell layers that, together with the epidermal lipids, form
the impermeable barrier or collagen* which performs two important functions:
as a barrier to hinder the invasion of certain substances such as microorganisms, chemical
irritants and allergens.
minimizes transepidermal water loss and so is of great importance to the
Apart from the physical barrier protection of
the skin there are specialised immune system cells throughout the layers.
Some of these cells detect invasion by foreign proteins such as bacteria or
viruses and other cells have the function of destroying and removing such
The cells in younger skin are replaced about every 15 -30 days and as we
age, this process takes longer.
Exposure to the sun and pollution Sun exposure and pollution damage the moisture barrier which causes the skin to lose
elasticity. As a result fine lines and wrinkles will form. In addition, sun
exposure can cause the skin to produce melanin which initially gives us a tan, however excess melanin
may lead to the
formation of skin spots and cancers.
Age and Degeneration
Over time the freshness of youth fades away to be replaced by a look of maturity
and wisdom.. well perhaps we wish..
is so often overlooked that the health of our skin is dependant on the good
health of the underlying tissues. This means that having good muscle tone so
that our skin is actually a reflection of our state of health and if your
muscles are weak and flabby, the only way to limit those facial wrinkles is to
have surgeries which so often result in that slightly artificial look, or the
smooth face with a lizard neck.
How to care for your skin
Avoid over exposure to the sun - but a little sun is good as the skin
absorbs vitamin D directly from the sun which is our main source of this
Minimize chemical contact - many soaps and cleansers can actually damage
your skin and we recommend washing with warm water followed with a cold rinse
to tone the underlying muscles. (Its also very refreshing)
Eat well and exercise as an unhealthy body will result in unhealthy skin.
Relax and learn to cope with stress without getting distressed as stress
causes premature aging.
Have regular massages and massage your own face gently but firmly every
Fresh leafy green salads provide essential oils and nutrients to keep your
Natural vegetable oils as used in massage that are rich in vitamin E & C
are generally good as temporary skin softeners and conditioners.
Don't worry about a little dirt - it washes off
in men and women
The fat content of the subcutis is not the same in all body regions. Also men
and women differ in the distribution of subcutaneous fat. An example is
cellulite - it is characterized by a special arrangement of the subcutaneous
fat tissue septa and predisposes to fat deposition on the hips, thighs and
buttocks - which occurs mostly in women. Men on the other hand tend to store
fat on the torso.
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educational purposes only and not intended
to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose,
prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a health care
professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
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