The Skin Fundamentals

With the skin being the largest organ of the body there is a number of roles it has to keep the body healthy. Such as protection from the elements and daily aggressors, regulating body temperature and allowing the sensations of touch, cold and heat.

What Are The Different Layers Of The Skin?
What Are The Functions Of The Different Layers Of The Skin?
Why Do We Shed Our Skin?
The Four Skin Types
What Are The Causes Of Oily Skin?
What To Do When You Have Oily Skin?
What Is Dry Skin?
What Are The Causes Of Dry Skin?
What About Itchiness With Dry Skin?
What To Do When You Have Dry Skin?
What Is Normal Skin?
What Is A Combination Skin?
What To Do When You Have Combination Skin?

 

What are the different layers of the skin?

 In total there are 3 main layers of the skin-

  1. The Epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, the layer that you see.
  2. The Dermis is the second layer, much thicker that contains connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands.
  3. The Hypodermis is the last layer to the skin and consists of more connective tissue and fat.

 

What are the functions of the different layers of the skin?

The first layer of skin, the epidermis, provides a protective, waterproof barrier. This is also where you will see the skin’s tone with melanin. You will find that in some areas of the body, such as the eyelids is very thin in contrast to the thicker areas that is found on the soles of the feet. New skin cells are also produced in the epidermis which travel up through the layer to the top and later shed away from the skin all together.

Next, there is the dermis which lays beneath the epidermis and is much thicker all together. This layer has many roles in helping the body remain healthy. Firstly the body temperature is regulated by the sweat glands which work at keeping the body cool as well as removing any unwanted, bad toxins the body doesn’t need through small holes called pores. Another gland found in the dermis produces oil which keeps your skin smooth, soft and waterproof. Finally there is the hair follicles which allow hair to grow. 

Lastly, the hypodermis is the final layer of the skin and attaches the dermis to your muscles and bones with more connecting tissue. The subcutaneous fat layer also helps regulate the body temperature. This fat layer also protects bones and muscles from injuries such as bumps.

 

Why do we shed our skin?

The epidermis constantly changes due to the production and cycle of new skin cells. These cells start off at the bottom of the epidermis and make their way to the surface. The entire progress takes a month and is results of skin remaining healthy and balanced. Dead skin cells can create build up which sometimes results in uneven skin texture, dry flaky patches and even blemishes. This can easily be solved by using a gentle, everyday exfoliate. 

 

The Four Skin Types: Oily, Dry, Normal Skin Or Combination

Skin typing can at first be confusing, but once you are able to figure which skin type best describes your skin, finding the right products will be a lot easier, here is how you can easily skin type.

 

What is dry skin?

  • Small pores
  • Feels dry in the mornings without night moisturiser
  • Feels uncomfortable and sore during cold weather
  • Needs moisture after cleansing
  • Prone to look dull with flaky patches
  • Shows first signs of aging, such as fine lines earlier than others
  • Rarely suffers with blemishes

 

What Is oily skin?

  • Pores are larger and more visible
  • Prone to blemishes and black heads
  • Feels comfortable with weather change and after cleansing
  • Shows signs of aging more slowly compared to other skin types

 

What are the causes of oily skin?

Having an oily skin type is admittedly the most tricky skin type to treat. With the skin’s over production of oil leading to a shiny surface which creates trouble for make-up to stay in place. More oil also means more blemishes and oily skin has a tendency to react easily with a hormone imbalance.  Having said this, although an oily skin can lead to problems throughout your youth the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles are a lot slower to become visible, there by meaning your skin ages slower compared to others.

 

What to do when you have oily skin

Giving oily skin daily, gentle cleansing will keep dirt and bacteria at bay and stop any blackheads and breakouts from forming. Avoid harsh and abrasive products as stripping the skin of it’s oil will result in the production of more! The temptation to leave your skin free of moisturiser and oil is overwhelming, but shouldn’t be followed. Adding oil to an oily skin may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, however oil based skincare products would in fact help an oily skin. Using a light, night time oil will give your skin some extra care and will work wonders whilst you sleep.     

 

What is dry skin?

To have a dry skin means it feels uncomfortable and tight first thing in the mornings, after cleansing and at the end of the day. Dry skin is in great need for moisturisers and hydration due to the fact the skin is slower at producing the correct levels of oil for the skin to remain comfortable. Dry skin usually results in fewer or sometimes no breakouts and blackheads but can develop flaky patches when not moisturised. 

 

What are the causes of dry skin?

The skin needs to naturally produce good levels of water and oil to provide a balanced, over all structure. Dry skin occurs when this production is a lot slower than other skin types which results in the skin becoming tight and uncomfortable. The new skin cell cycle also becomes slower which can sometimes lead to a dry skin appearing dull and flaky in some areas. 

 

What about itchiness with dry skin?

Itchiness with dry skin could be because of a couple reasons, if the skin begins to feel itchy after cleansing or exposed to cold weather and air conditioning this could mean moisturise is needed to restore the balance again. However, if persistent itchiness occurs daily your skin type could in fact be sensitive and will need to use products tailored to a sensitive skin type or seeking the advice of your doctor or dermatologist could help find the best products for you.

 

What to do when you have dry skin?

Dry skin adores moisture, so applying a hydrating and soothing moisturiser every morning and rich oil of an evening will help the skin stay comfortable and happy. Using a cream or oil based cleanser will also help. Don’t forget to exfoliate the skin 1-2 times a week with a gentle face scrub to rid the it of a build of dead skin cells that causes the skin to look dull and rejuvenate it to have a healthy glow. 

 

What is ‘normal skin’?

  • Neither oily or dry
  • Small pores
  • Comfortable and smooth

To have a normal skin type means you are lucky enough to have the easiest skin to maintain throughout the year. With the weather changing you may experience dry areas during Winter and slightly oily/shiny patches during the Summer. Just a simple change up of products will restore the skin back to it’s original state.

 

What is a combination skin?

  • Generally oily around the T-zone (nose, forehead and chin)
  • Pores are larger around the T-zone area
  • Cheeks remain comfortable with occasional dryness
  • Make-up becomes patchy throughout the day

 

What to do when you have combination skin?

With combination skin being a mixture of dry and oily skin types it is easy for it to react with a hormone imbalance, especially during the menstrual cycle. Balms and oil based cleansers are best suited to a combination skin type and keeping moisturisers oil free will also contribute to keeping the skin balanced and healthy.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-the-skin#1

https://www.aad.org/public/kids/skin/the-layers-of-your-skin

 

 

 

 

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