Understand your skin and you’ll know how to keep it glowing for life.
It’s the largest organ in the body, approximately .07 inches thick, and is made up of three main layers. Our skin contains everything from water to proteins, fats and minerals – it even plays host to millions of harmless bacteria that form a “microbiota” responsible for fighting disease-causing microbes. And crucially, it regenerates around every 27 days.
So while we’re all aware of the changes that occur within our skin day-to-day, season-to-season, and over the years as we age, the good news is, that by understanding skin biology - and learning the art of correct “resurfacing” - we can combat dullness, and restore and maintain that glow for life.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Stratum corneum: Otherwise known as the “horny layer,” this outermost part of the skin it made up of dead skin cells. Its function? To form a protective barrier that defends the underlying skin layers against infection, dehydration and damage caused by cuts, abrasions, and other injuries. Cells from this layer are designed to be shed and replenished from below. So it’s dead – but necessary.
2. The Epidermis: This is the visible covering for our entire body. Yet one of the reasons why we can usually walk on gravel, yet also develop chapped lips, is that its thickness varies in different areas. (In other words, it's dense on the soles of the feet and thinner on delicate lips.) Its key components are melanocytes, which control the color and level of pigmentation of our skin, and keratinocytes, which make keratin, a protein largely responsible for the skin’s rigidity. Thus the epidermis is where the tone, texture, and extent of age- and sun-related pigmentation are controlled.
3. The dermis: This next layer is home to the sweat gland that help us control our body temperature, the hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. (The latter generate oil, and are connected to those hateful breakouts). This layer also contains fibroblasts, which are responsible for synthesizing both collagen and elastin. The ability to produce these two proteins diminishes as years go by, and wrinkles and sagging are the result.
4. The subcutaneous layer: This is a connective layer. Its role is to attach the dermis to the muscle and bone beneath, to store fat and help regulate body temperature.
5. The life-long glow: The key to maintaining, nurturing, and optimizing skin – whatever your age – is to polish away the dead cells on the upper skin layer, and boost the production of new ones beneath. Traditionally, the way to do the former was via skin scrubs that contained coarse particles designed to slough off dead cells. Yet so often these were one of the culprits behind sensitive, inflamed skin conditions. This is why ELEMIS has developed a next-generation exfoliator: NEW Dynamic Resurfacing Serum. Containing Tri-Enzyme Technology, it releases tiny enzymes onto the skin that gently eat away dead cells, while simultaneously boosting the production of new ones below. The result is smoother, fresher, more glowing skin – without the need for harsh scrubs or peels.
Ready to resurface? Here’s how to maximize your skin's texture: