Understanding Your Skin

Your skin is an amazing organ. It protects you, plays a major role in your appearance, self restoring and self protecting.

Understanding a little about how it works and what keeps it from working right is an important step to skin health.


Lets start with skin type

Oily Skin


The main indication that you may have oily skin is enlarged pores present all over your face. Oily skin also tends to get shiny throughout the day. When blotted with a tissue, visible oil appears. If your skin seems to be getting shiny without enlarged pores, your skincare products could be the problem. 

A great advantage of oily skin is that it ages at a slower rate than other skin types. However, you need to deep clean skin regularly in order to avoid clogged pores. Also, stay away from harsh products that make your skin overly dry, as these can cause your skin to produce even more oil (as counterintuitive as that may seem). This is due to the fact that your oil glands work overtime to compensate for the natural oil loss. The condition is known as reactive seborrhea. 

Opt for non-comedogenic products and avoid ones that are heavy and leave your skin feeling taut. These can settle on the upper layers of skin and restrict oil flow through the pores, causing breakouts and blockages. Use oil-based products to cleanse your skin, as these dissolve sebum effectively and will help you maintain a shine-free complexion. 


Dry Skin


The characteristics of dry skin are dryness, roughness and small pores. Skin tends to be dry, flaky and feels tight. Dry skin has the tendency to become more aggravated during the cold winter months and needs special attention. 

It is important to note that dry skin does not break out, so if you have ever suffered from pimples or acne, your skin is not actually dry. In such cases, a certain product you are using may be the culprit. Keep dry skin hydrated at all times to prevent flaking. Dry skin is also prone to developing signs of premature aging, so using heavier anti-aging creams and serums might be a good idea. 


Combination Skin


Combination skin can be tricky to deal with, as it requires treatments that control both oiliness and dryness. If you have this skin type, your complexion is both oily (around the t-zone area) and dry (cheek area). Gel-based moisturizers are best when it comes to combination skin. These will help balance sebum levels and keep skin hydrated.

While combination skin is usually inherited, it can also be caused by using the wrong products. Switching up your products and using more natural formulations can improve your skin almost immediately. When it comes to combination skin, there is no universal, one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach is to care for different parts of your face separately and to experiment with natural formulas. 


Sensitive Skin


If your skin is sensitive, you have likely experienced unpleasant reactions to products from time to time. Hypoallergenic products are a must for sensitive skin in order to prevent these adverse reactions. It’s also best to avoid products with strong fragrances. Opt for products with natural formulations which are gentle on the skin. Check the label to see if the product is “fragrance-free,” “chemical-free” and “allergen-free.” Products containing lanolin, alcohol or live plant extracts must also be avoided. 

Use a soothing pH-balanced cleanser that is specifically meant for sensitive skin. Also, be aware of the ingredients in the hair products you use, as these can irritate sensitive skin. 


Normal Skin


If you have normal skin, you are one of the lucky ones! Your complexion is balanced and reflects light evenly. There are not many changes throughout the day, and this skin type does not typically erupt in breakouts. 

Many kinds of products can be used on this skin type without causing adverse reactions. However, having normal skin does not mean that you don’t need to care for it. Taking care of normal skin involves considering and preventing future skin concerns such as signs of aging. 

Follow a daily skincare routine and eat a balanced diet to maintain this skin type and continue enjoying clear, radiant skin. 



Now lets talk skin anatomy

Understanding a little about your skins anatomy will help you understand treatment.

11152017vldstep1msktheskin.jpg

The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet on average. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.

Skin has three layers. Each layer has a very important role and its vital to know these.

  • The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and the cells that give our skin color. texture and tone.

  • The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

  • The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.


05-02ab_Epidermis.JPG

your epidermal layers


There are five main layers of the epidermis; they include the stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum, and stratum corneum. 

STRATUM CORNEUM

This is the outermost layer of the epidermis, it is formed by the accumulations of dead cells (keratinocyte) in the outermost epidermis, and these dead cells contained here are eventually shed. In stratum corneum plasma membrane enclosed packets of keratin called corneocytes. In healthy skin, production of epidermal cells is closely balanced with loss of dead cells from the stratum corneum in other that the skin does not wear away completely. 

The rate of cell division increases where the skin is rubbed or where pressure is applied to the skin regularly, causing growth of thickened area called calluses on the palms and soles, and keratinized conical masses on the toes called corns.

STRATUM LUCIDUM

This is the thickened skin of the palms and soles. This layer may be missing where the epidermis is thin over the rest of the body. The stratum lucidum is composed of 4-6 layers of flat dead cells.

STRATUM GRANULOSUM

The stratum granulosum is composed of layers of flattened keratinocytes undergoing apoptosis. A keratohyalin (a protein) in cells is produced in this layer, it assembles keratin intermediate filament into keratin protein. Also in this layer, a lamellar granules release lip-rich secretion for water- repellent sealant to a skin.

STRATUM SPINOSUM

This is composed of 8-10 layers of keratinocytes. The keratinocytes begins to join by having keratin intermediate filaments insert in desmosomes. The cells found in this layer are the Langerhans cell and melanocyte projections. In this layer the melanocyte, transport their pigment into the keratinocyte. The dead cells composed in the stratum spinosum are eventually shed.

STRATUM BASALE

This is the deepest layer of epidermis. New keratinocyte are produced in the stratum basale, also melanocytes are found in this layer. This layer is close to the dermis and nourished by dermal blood vessel. As the cells in the stratum basale divides and grow, the older epidermal cells are pushed away from the dermis towards the skin surface. As this cells moves away from the dermis so as they are supplied with poor nutrient and in time gets hardened and dies (keratinocytes).


Epidermal+Cell+Layers+Stratum+granulosum+Stratum+lucidum.jpg

your epidermal cells

There are four cells that make up the epidermis but the ones we are most concerned about in skin care are Karatinocytes and Malamocytes.

Epidermis cells.


1. Keratinocyte
2. Melanocyte


3. Langerhans cells. (This cell participate in immune response against microbes.) 4. Merkel cell. (This is also known as AKA type1 cutaneous mechanoreceptor. This cell detects touch of sensation, they contacts sensory neuron along tactile disc.)

KERATINOCYTE

These cells are arranged in layers within the epidermis. As the keratinocyte gets closer to the surface of the skin, produces keratin. It also produce lamellar granules, a water repellent sealant that keeps water out.

MELANOCYTE

These cells produce a dark pigment called melanin, which gives the skin its color. The melanocyte transfers the dark pigment to the keratinocyte. The melanin absorbs ultra-violent radiation in sunlight, preventing mutation in the DNA of skin cells and other damaging effects. “ Hyperpigmentation, melasma, etc “That is to say, that melanin protects us from damage against ultraviolent light. The melanocyte lie in the deepest portion of the epidermis, “ the Basale layer “ even though they are the only cell that produce melanin, the pigment also may be present in other epidermal cells nearby. This is because of the long pigment containing cellular extension that pass upward between epidermal cells. This extensions transfer melanin granules into these other cells by a process called cytocrine secretion.

The number of melanocyte are about the same in all people, the difference in the skin color result from differences in the amount of melanin that the melanocyte produce and in the distribution and size of pigment granules. The skin color is mostly genetically determined. If genes instruct melanocyte to produce abundant melanin, the skin is dark but if the gene instruct melanocyte to produce lesser melanin, the skin is white.


 

Conditions and Treatments

now that we know why, lets learn HOW

now that we know some basics of the skin, lets talk conditions and treatments. choose a link below to learn more on specific skin conditions and the treatments that can help.