To be able to give your skin what it needs it’s important to understand the structure of the skin so in this SEB Skin Masterclass let’s get to know all about the skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is impacted by both what is happening inside and outside our body and anything you put on your skin gets absorbed into the body.
Structure of the skin
There are three main layers of the skin:
- Epidermis – the outer layer
- Dermis – the middle layer
- Subcutaneous – the bottom layer
Let’s start at the bottom most layer and work our way up. Cells travel from the bottom layer to the outer layer and it takes between four to six weeks for cells to grow, so this is why if you start using a product you won’t see the results until the cells have grown from the bottom layer to the outer layer.
The bottom layer also known as the subcutaneous layer is made up of a network of connective tissue (fat cells) which provides insulation and acts as a protective layer by absorbing any shocks.
The middle layer known as the dermis is made up of collagen and elastic tissue. Collagen is a protein that builds up the skin and prevents the skin from sagging. Elastin keeps the skin flexible. The dermis is also the layer where sebum (oil) is produced and it keeps the skin supple and moist.
The dermis gets thinner as we age and that’s why a lot of anti-ageing products note that they can boost collagen to help the skin look and feel more youthful.
Need to plump up your skin? Try the SEB Apothecary Healing Balm that contains the super ingredient Sea Buckthorn Oil, rich in Vitamin C which produces collagen and elastin which keeps the skin plump and form. The Beta Carotene (which gives it it’s orange colour) helps to protect from ultra violet radiation from the sun.
The outer layer also known as the epidermis is composed of four separate layers which are the basal cell layer, the spinous cell layer, the granular cell layer and the outer layer.
The basal cell layer is where cells are formed, cells are constantly dividing and forming. Some cells remain in this layer, but others push their way up the epidermis.
The cells also produce melanin in this layer. Melanin is a pigment that gets absorbed by the cells and this is where your pigment or skin colouring is formed – this is based on your genetic background. These cells will form a natural barrier of protection from Ultraviolet light.
The spinous cell layer is also called the prickle cell layer and where keratin is produced. Keratin is a protein that helps to protect the skin from bacteria by preventing them from entering the body.
The granular cell layer is where lipids are produced which helps the skin become waterproof.
The outer layer is where cells flatten and essentially die. Dry skin is basically the dead skin cells that form on the outer layer and normally the skin will shed these dead cells as they are getting pushed by newer cells. The outer layer is about a sheet of paper thin but still protects from bacteria and water loss.
How can you help your skin?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it can be impacted by various factors like:
- Sleep – the skin repairs itself when you sleep and this is when collagen is produced which helps the skin from sagging so with plenty of hours of sleep your skin will look and be plump and seem youthful!
- Diet & Alcohol consumption– The skin is fed by the blood supply in the subcutaneous layer so whatever you eat or drink will be flowing in your blood stream and will eventually be in your blood.
- Exercise – The faster your heart pumps the more your blood will move around your body faster and as the skin is fed by blood it will help to remove toxins from the blood because there is more oxygen in the blood giving you a natural healthy glow. Even 20 minutes of exercise can help make your skin glow!
- Age and hormonal influences – sebum (oil) production is affected by both age and hormonal fluctuations so sometimes the skin seems oilier or drier.
- Weather conditions – Excessive heat can make the skin oily and the cold can dry out your skin leaving it flaky.
- Stress levels – Stress can impact the immune system making the skin more prone to infections and inflammation. Lack of sleep caused by stress can also create puffy skin, found noticeably around the eye area.
Now you know how the skin is structured this forms the basis for the next SEB Skin Masterclass.