What is skin?
Skin is an extremely versatile organ, which covers your entire body. Skin is made up of three layers that consist of:
- a thin outer layer or epidermis contains dead skin cells that are continually shed, as well as cells that produce melanin, which gives your skin its colour.
- a middle layer or dermis contains elastin, which gives your skin its elasticity, while collagen provides strength. The dermis also contains blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and the sebaceous glands, which produce oil. Nerves in the dermis provide sense to touch and pain, amongst others.
- an inner layer or hypodermis mostly made up of fat. It lies between the dermis and muscles or bones and contains blood vessels that expand and contract to help keep your body at a constant temperature. This layer also protects your vital inner organs.
The primary functions of skin are varied, but include:
- Protection – a barrier to infection of our internal organs, whilst also secreting wastes in the form of sweat
- Regulation - of temperature via blood vessels that contract or dilate near the skins surface
- Sensory function – nerves endings in the dermis react to stimuli such as heat, cold, pressure or pain allowing us to react accordingly
Many naturally sourced ingredients can be found in modern skin care products. When shopping for your next natural skin care product look out for the following ingredients:
- vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant
- vitamin E – another powerful antioxidant
- wheat germ oil – a versatile oil for general skin, high in many vitamins and minerals and often used as a natural preservative
- sesame oil - a natural sunscreen
- shea butter – a natural sunscreen
- jojoba oil – suitable for oily skin types
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. It is caused by extended exposure to the ultraviolet radiation (UV) produced by the sun. Cancer causes cells to replicate at an abnormal rate whilst invading adjacent healthy tissue. Those most at risk include people who:
- have had repeated exposure to the sun
- have repeatedly experienced severe sunburn
- have a light complexion
- have a large number of moles
You can also follow these simple lifestyle guidelines for a healthier skin:
- Protect you skin in the sun - wear sun block, UV protection sun glasses and a hat when you are outdoors, especially between 10am – 3pm when ultraviolet radiation is at its strongest and most dangerous
- Drink plenty of water - this will help keep your skin hydrated and lend your body a helping hand in keeping it healthy
- A balanced diet should include daily intakes of fresh fruit and vegetables which will help your skin retain its condition
- Always test any skin care product on your skin to determine whether it is receptive to the active ingredients
- Also look for products that have genuine organic certification from a nationally or internationally recognized body. This will ensure the integrity of any ingredients in the product
Consult your local beauty therapist or dermatologist if you have any concerns about your skin and its condition.
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Related Modalities Beauty Therapy (Holistic)