The Largest Organ
Skin is the human body’s largest organ, so it is constantly changing. Our skin changes with aging, the environment, climate, diet, and lifestyle. There are so many factors that affect your skin. The skin is healthy when it’s in balance. Next time your husband yells at you for buying skincare products, tell him you are “taking care of the largest organ of your body!”
One of the major functions of the skin is protection. It protects from external harm, and retain our internal moisture. Many skincare products can’t reach deeper than the top layer (epidermis).
The skin contains three layers, from top to bottom: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Each layer contains more complicated parts with various functions. Three essential elements related to skin health are skin microbiome, natural oils, and epidermis.
There are around 1000 species of microbes on the human skin. When they lose balance due to stress, insufficient/improper cleaning, etc., the skin’s immunity weakens, and skin problems occur.
Skin produces natural oils that give our skin a radiant glow and supple appearance. When over cleaning, the skin won’t have enough oil to keep the moisture in, resulting in dehydrated skin. Understanding your skin type and choosing the right products is essential for healthy skin.
Skin Renewal Cycle
The epidermis is the top layer of the skin. It provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone. The “skin renewal cycle” is the process in which dead skin cells are pushed up to the surface when new skin cells are formed. Exfoliation gets rid of the dead cells for a softer, hydrated look. On average, an adult sheds about 9 pounds of skin every year.
The average length of the skin renewal cycle takes about 28 days. After the first four days, the skin cells start to age. In the last 14 days of the cycle, the skin cells die and reach the outermost layer.
The skin renewal cycle slows down with maturity. Teenagers have a much shorter cycle of around 14 days, and a 40-year-old has a longer cycle of 30 – 40 days. Skin cells also age faster for older people, which gives them a thicker layer of dead skin cells. That’s why mature skin tends to be dull and dry. Proper exfoliation can help increase radiance.
Effect of Humidity
The skin contains natural moisturizing factors, ceramide, and fatty acids to maintain the moisture. When the relative humidity drops below 45%, the skin gets dry and rough, making it hard for dead skin cells to come off. This can cause skin peeling, inflammation, and itchiness. Dry skin also causes fine lines and wrinkles. Keeping your skin hydrated is essential to young-looking skin.