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An Introduction to “Beauty IS Skin Deep”
Want to know all the tricks of the trade for gorgeous balanced skin? Dr. Irene shares the science behind beautiful healthy skin. Your skin is definitely the first thing that people notice about you, and putting your best face forward is easier than you think. Hydration, protecting your body, and warding off infections. But, what is your skin, and what does it do? Your understanding of these simple skin facts will tell you exactly what to do to maximize caring for it and having your best skin. Your best skin, your best health, and your best face forward.
Beauty IS Skin Deep
by Dr. Irene Reyzis
The skin is tissue that forms the external surface of the body. Collectively skin is actually the largest organ of the body. It is made up of multiple layers and does a lot of important things to keep your body healthy.
For one it keeps water inside the body, and being durable and protective is also prevents damage to interior body parts such as muscles, bones and internal organs. Without skin the inside of your body would be susceptible to all sorts of tragic fates like dehydration and microbial infections. So tend to the skin you’re in and take good care of it like you would any organ. In order to do that it is first helpful to have a sense of what skin is and what it does. If you take some time to learn about it, you will understand better how to properly take care of it.
It’s that simple, and the information in this article is a good starting point for getting educated about the skin as a basis for proper skin care.
What Exactly Does Skin Do?
The skin is not just about appearances, it has several important roles to play in keeping the body healthy
1) Protects from external environment
The skin is the body’s interface with the environment and its first line of defense from external stress. It protects muscles and internal organs from chemicals, UV light, microbes (germs) and physical injury.
UV damage is blocked by skin’s natural pigment melanin, made by cells in the bottom layer of the epidermis. Melanin is distributed throughout skin as cells regenerate and move up toward the skin’s surface. The skin also has immune cells that help protect the body through a process called inflammation when they sense germs or unwanted chemicals in the skin.
2) Keeps water inside the body
The top layer of skin (epidermis) acts like a waterproof coat that prevents essential water from escaping the body. It does this thanks to natural lipids that come from lower skin layers and also from sebum that comes from sebaceous glands. Ceramides are a type of waterproof skin lipid that are sometimes found as ingredients in cosmetics. Other skin lipids include fatty acids (in the form of triglycerides), waxes, squalane (also used as a cosmetic ingredient) and cholesterol.
3) Regulates Body Temperature
The skin maintains a constant temperature inside the body. It does this by a few different strategies:
(1) producing sweat which cools the body when it evaporates,
(2) expanding blood vessels in the skin, which allows excess heat to dissipate off the body, or contracting blood vessels, which keeps needed heat inside the body when conditions are cold
(3) the insulating ability of fat in the tissue layer just below the skin.
The expansion of blood vessels is why skin appears blue when the body gets cold, and red when the body gets hot. It is a result of the amount of blood flowing close to the skin surface.
4) Vitamin D Factory
The body is able to produce vitamin D when UV rays from sunlight interact with the skin. Sunlight is a good way for most people to get their recommended dose of vitamin D. Exposing the hands, face, arms and legs to moderate amounts of sunlight a couple times per week will usually cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D.
Exposure time varies depending on factors like age, skin type, season, time of day, weather, etc. Vitamin D is an important nutrient because it is essential for proper use of minerals like calcium in the body. Without vitamin D you cannot have proper bone structure, or even a healthy immune system.