To thoroughly understand skin conditions, it's best to explain how the skin functions through its various components. As the largest organ of the entire body, the skin provides overall filter and barrier protection from the sun, toxins and other harsh external elements. As we age, the skin responds or changes by losing its elasticity and/or by reacting in the form of unwanted skin conditions.
The skin is made up of three main layers: The Epidermis, Dermis and the Hypodermis layers:
The Epidermis, the skin's outermost layer, acts as a barrier, protecting the body and regulating body temperature. The Epidermis itself is made up of other layers. They are:
-The Stratum Corneum is the outermost layers of the epidermis. This layer is known for continuously shedding dead skin cells so new, healthier cells to generate. This process is known as cellular turnover rate. As we age, the cellular turnover rate slows down, meaning fewer new cells are created to keep skin looking youthful.
-The Stratum Lucidum is exclusively located on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It’s a clear/transparent, thin layer of the epidermis that'is between the Stratum Corneum and the Stratum Granulsom.
-The Stratum Granulosum is the granular layer where keratin is produced and lipid secretions create a water barrier for the skin.
-The Stratum Spinosum, is known as the spiny layer, due to the fact that the cells resemble a spiny look. This is the layer where the skin is responsible for protecting against foreign matter and where Langerhans cells are produced (immune-boosting cells that repair the skin).
-The Stratum Basale (Stratum Germinativum) is the bottom layer of the Epidermis. This is the layer where new cells divide, pushing old cells upward to proliferate. Melanocytes, which are produced in the Basal layer, are cells responsible for the production of melanin. (pigment skin color)
The Dermis, located beneath the Epidermis is where connective tissue, follicles and glands reside. The Dermis is where your skin acts as a cushion and it's where sebum (oil) is produced, which keeps the skin lubricated. Proper lubrication keeps the skin from drying and cracking. The Dermis consists of two layers. They are:
-The Papillary layer, the uppermost layer, is directly beneath the Epidermis. The Papillary Dermis is where connective tissue reside. Little connecters reach up to the Epidermis and are responsible for the hair to rise on the surface of the skin. Fingerprints and nerve endings that are responsible for touch and sensitive to temperatures are all controlled in this region of the Dermis.
-The Reticular layer or Dermis is where collagen and elastin fibers are produced. This is what gives skin its durability and elasticity. This is also where fat cells are located, which provide cushion to the skin.
The Hypodermis, or subcutaneous, layer is just below the Dermis. The Hypodermis is the thickest layer of the skin and it’s where body temperature is regulated. It's also where nerve and blood vessels are insulated, providing a fatty layer that keeps the rest of your body protected. The Hypodermis is mostly made up of adipose tissue. (fat cells)
If any one of these layers is compromised, skin conditions and disorders can begin to arise. Because the Epidermis is the outer-most protector, this layer is where most skin conditions become noticeable. There are many unwanted skin conditions that can affect one's appearance that show up in the Epidermis.
Primary examples are:
Premature Aging and/or Hyperpigmentation- Long term sun exposure and sun damage causes premature-aging-related wrinkles and/or sunspots/brown spots to appear. Signs of damage usually occur post 40 years of age, but some people get these unwanted conditions much earlier than 40. Early consistent sun exposure and genetics can play a big part in when these signs/conditions reveal themselves. The more white or pale the skin is also means less resistance to these conditions. Fair complexion people should stay out of the sun and/or wear high SPF sunscreens at all times.
Acne Conditions- Acne conditions arise when skin becomes compacted and infected with bacteria-producing acne and/or when skin doesn't produce enough lipids. Environmental and internal stimuli both have an impact on acne conditions. Typically, skin becomes less lubricated, which causes dry, itchy skin, pimples, black heads and unwanted surface lesions. Skin that's overly oily or dehydrated can be the result/cause of acne conditions.
Facial and/or body skin conditions will be discussed more specifically in this section of FAQs. Prevention, correction and protection will also be addressed, suggesting proper skin protocols, select ingredients, specific products and/or treatment systems that can effectively improve all skin conditions.
Choose a category below for FAQs on specific skin condition/product types.
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