Skin 101- How Skin Functions!
Understanding how the skin functions is essential in knowing how to take care of it! Then, you can know which products/treatments are right for your skin:)
Did you know that the Skin is your body's largest organ?!
The skin serves these purposes:
- Protects your internal organs from the environment by keeping certain substances from escaping and certain substances from penetrating the body.
- Helps regulate body temperature.
- Protection of the body from harmful effects of the sun and radiation.
- Excretes cellular waste through sweat.
- Mechanical support.
The skin is made of 3 main layers:
The bottom layer of the epidermis, called the stratum basale, continually replicate themselves. Every time they replicate, it pushes the cells towards the surface. They then slough off the top.
In healthy skin, it usually takes 28 days from one cell to reach the top layer from the bottom layer! As we age, this cycle slows down, cells tend to pile up in the top layer called the stratum corneum. When the cells pile up, the skin tends to look dull, gray, and dry. Gentle and regular exfoliation remedies this:). Exfoliation can come in the form of acid serums, chemical peels, scrubs, dermaplane, microdermabrasion (my least favorite), and/or Retinol. Most people need to exfoliate 2-3 times per week.
The dermis is mostly comprised of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are structural proteins that provide structure, firmness, and elasticity to the skin.
As we age, the breakdown of collagen/elastin happens more often than the creation of collagen/elastin, making the skin more lax and more prone to wrinkling.
There are many ways to help keep your dermal layer thick (lots of collagen/elastin)!
One of the biggest and most important way is to wear sun protection daily. Sun exposure, especially from UV light, can cause free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can bind to other molecules in the skin (like collagen), creating damage. I recommend using a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection (this will be labeled on the product) with an SPF of 30. Do NOT count on the SPF in your makeup, make sure you have a product that is just sunscreen. In fact, there are many tinted sunscreen products that can also double as your foundation. Don't forget sunglasses and hats in addition!
My favorite sunscreens are:
- Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 (available at Sephora)
- Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 (available at Sephora)
- EltaMD UV clear (available here in the Spa)
- EltaMD UV clear tinted (available here in the Spa)
Two other corrective skin products I highly recommend for collagen production are Vitamin C and Retinol! Did you know that you cannot make collagen without Vitamin C? While getting Vitamin C in your diet is great, the skin is your body's last priority organ. So, getting addition Vitamin C topically ensures that your skin is getting what it needs! Be sure that your product has 10-20% Vitamin C. Added bonus if the formula also includes Vitamin E.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A that helps increase epidermal exfoliation and helps increase collagen/elastin in the dermis. Because retinol does this, it is great for anti-aging and for acne!
My favorite Vitamin C and Retinols:
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (available at Sephora)
- PCAskin C&E Advanced (available here in the Spa)
- PCAskin Retinol for Sensitive Skin (available here in the Spa)
- PCAskin Intensive Brightening Retinol (available here in the Spa)
Note*- when you purchase a Retinol product from the Spa, you get a free SPF:)
Isn't the skin fascinating?! I hope this helped you understand your skin a little better!
Leave a comment if you have any questions!