The Human Skin
Skin is the largest organ of the human body. From being a mere outer covering that holds all of it together, its functions range up to protecting the entire system from external atmosphere and of course, making you look and feel good.
For a deeper understanding, first let’s have an insight into the basic skin structure in this context. Human skin basically has three main layers and various types of cells which include:
- Epidermis, which provides waterproofing and a protection against infection
- Dermis, which is basically a location for the appendages of the skin
- Hypodermis, the subcutaneous adipose layer
Skin care requires a process of careful planning, deliberation and discipline. Before you set out to do that, you first need to know what type of skin you have. That’s equally important to know as the basics of care for each skin type can differ considerably from one another.
1. Normal skin
Normal skin is widely accepted as the middle path between an oily and a dry skin. The main features of this skin type are an even tone and soft and smooth texture. Such type of skin has no visible blemishes or pores and neither it has any greasy patches or flaky areas.
With a smooth and supple surface, this type of skin glows with inner health, only if it results from good blood circulation and excellent bodily fitness.
2. Oily skin
Oily skin is basically shiny and thick, having a dull tone to it. Skin that remains chronically oily mostly has coarse pores, pimples and blemishes. This type of skin is also prone to a lot of blackheads.
In individuals with oily skin, the sebaceous glands are quite overactive and hence produce excess oil than is required. It is this oil that oozes out and gives the skin a greasy shine. The pores are also enlarged, giving the skin a coarse look.
3. Dry skin
Dry skin has a very low level of sebum and is thus highly prone to sensitivity. This type of skin mostly has a parched look, which is caused by its instability to retain moisture.
In individuals with dry skin, it is a must to apply some form of a moisturising agent after washing. In cases of excessive dryness, chapping and cracking usually occurs. Besides, dry skin is also tightly drawn over the bones. It has a dull look to it, especially on the cheeks and around the eyes.
4. Combination of oily & dry skin
As the name suggests, this type of skin is a combination of both, oily as well as dry skin. One of the most typical features is a greasy T-zone, which basically comprises of the nose, forehead and chin, along with a dry panel consisting of cheeks, mouth and areas around the eyes.
Identify Your Skin Type
Identifying your own skin type is the first step to skin care. Once you’ve done that, you can then move on to chalk out your own skin care plan.
To identify your skin type, you can simply conduct a self-test. Take a dry tissue and wipe your face carefully with it, immediately after you wake up in the morning. Once done, read the results as follows:
- If there is oil on the tissue, you have an oily skin
- If you find grease only on the center panel, then you have combination skin
- If there is no grease on the tissue altogether, you either have a dry skin or normal skin
- In case your skin is left feeling too stretched or too tight, shiny and patched, then you have dry skin
- In case your skin is left feeling smooth, supple and elastic, then you a normal skin
Understand the Basic Functions Your Skin Performs
For you to be able to chalk out your skin care regimen, you first need to have some information of what functions does your skin actually perform. Below, we’ve briefly discussed the most important functions of this part of your body.
To begin with, your skin acts as an anatomical barrier and protects the human body from the external environment. Scientifically, the langerhans cells that are present in the skin are actually a part of the adaptive immune system.
On the whole, our skin protects us from the following:
- Mechanical impact, such as pressure
- Thermic impact, such as heat, cold
- Chemical impact, such as acids
- Micro organisms such as bacteria and viruses
The vast series of nerve endings present in the skin enable you to feel and react to the sensations of heat, cold, touch, pressure, vibration and injury.
3. Heat regulation
Human skin contains a very high amount of blood circulation; this in turn allows it to maintain exact control of energy loss by radiation, convection and conduction.
4. Prevention of moisture loss
The skin has a capability to prevent or minimize the fluid loss from the body in a much natural manner and serves as an impermeable barrier to fluid loss.
5. Vitamin production
The skin of human beings also produces vitamin D through exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.
Through non-verbal expression such as paling and blushing, the skin acts a medium of communication and tends to convey a lot about the individual’s state of mind.
Your skin suffers and faces most of the hazardous elements of the outer world. From dust to pollution, stress and improper lifestyle, there are innumerable factors that attack your skin, stealing its moisture, giving it impurities and a thousand other woes. The most common and harmful enemies of your skin, which can damage it, at times, even beyond repair, include:
- Air Pollution
- Frequent weight gain and loss
- Excessive massage
- Gadgets and overrated products
- Improper diet
10 Important Facts About Your Skin
Here is a list of some interesting facts about your skin which might not be known that well.
- When skin turns dry, it needs to rejuvenate with water, not oil.
- People with fairer complexion tend to be more prone to skin cancer.
- Actinic keratoses is the first sign of severe skin damage.
- It takes your skin about 28 days to produce new and healthy skin cells and remove the old cells.
- Protection of your skin from sun is the single most important practice in skin care.
- Skin cancer is the most serious and obvious consequence of prolonged and extensive sun exposure.
- A simple cleansing routine is the most important part of a skin care regimen.
- More than 60% of skin care products available in the market lack quality and prior testing for side effects.
- Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma account for almost 80% of all the recent cases of skin cancer.
- In women, the melanoma skin cancer is becoming increasingly common; only next to the rate of lung cancer.
“The Definitive Guide To Total Skin Care For Life” will continue the next week.