Our skin is the most exposed part of the body that has to inevitably endure the
test of nature and time. The weather along with additional support from
pollution, dirt, grime can create problems for the skin. Problems of the skin
are aplenty and so are their causes, all of which calls for a skin care regime
.The term Skin Care carries a different meaning for different people. Hence to
understand skin care tips and adhere to a skin care routine better, the first
step is to get to know your skin. Skin care information can come in handy when
you know your skin and knowing your shield better will only help you care for it
in the best possible manner.
Skin-Structure and Functions:-
Skin forms the largest organ of the body, comprising of almost 20 square feet
(in most adults) and accounting for about 16 per cent weight of a person. Apart
from the startling facts we also need to understand the important functions that
our skin performs round the clock.
It performs many vital roles as both as a shield and a regulating influence
between the outside world and the controlled environment within our bodies.
It regulates the body temperature. Internal body temperature is controlled
through several processes, including the combined actions of sweat production
and the rate of blood flowing through the network of blood vessels within the
It helps in eliminating the toxic waste products and water from the body. Poor
elimination leads to sallow and dull complexion, swelling all over the body and
aggravation of acne.
In very cold conditions skin blood flow drops very low, retaining heat in the
centre of the body and preserving the flow of warm blood to the vital organs
within the chest and abdomen and to the brain.
The physical toughness of the skin prevents the intrusion of harmful chemicals
and invading organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Maintains the moisture
level of the skin by discharging perspiration and the oily sebaceous material
that is the best lubricant of skin. It also provides resistance to shocks for
the more sensitive tissues underneath. At the same time however skin needs to be
supple and be able to stretch to accommodate movement. Skin exposed to sunlight
is the main site of manufacture of vitamin D, which is essential for the growth
and maintenance of our bones. The nerve ending under the skin makes us aware of
heat, cold, pain and pleasurable sensations. Sensation helps us to react. How?
The extensive network of nerves within the skin feeds continuous information to
the brain concerning our surroundings.
Phew! Quite an awesome task for the layering we call skin, but how does it
handle all these tasks - u ask? Here is how:
The skin comprises of three layers-the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis.
A detailed description will help us understand these important layers of the
The outer layer is the epidermis - the part we see and touch. It is composed of
the main skin cell called the keratinocyte, thus named because it produces a
tough protein called keratin and a basal cell layer underneath where the new
cells are manufactured. The new cells move upwards to the surface where they
expire and then are exfoliated. Melanin cells, which are responsible for
freckles and darkening the skin colour due to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight,
are also in the dermis. The epidermis has no blood vessels or nerves.
The dermis is made up of connective tissues, which include collagen protein and
elastic fibers (elastic type protein). The connective tissues form a valuable
support system to the skin. It is in this layer that the majority of the skin
aging process takes place. The sweat glands, the oil glands, the nerve endings
and receptors, blood vessels, arrector pili muscles and a major portion of hair
follicles are also located in the dermis.
The hypodermis or sub-dermis is a subcutaneous tissue or fatty layer situated
below the dermis. It influences the quality of our skin appearance. A dramatic
loss of weight causes the skin to sag and too much fat or water retention in the
skin tissue makes the skin stretch and dimple. The hypodermis is a cushion for
the skin. It acts as a shock absorber to protect the bones and to help support
the delicate structures, such as blood vessels, nerve endings and hair bulbs.
The layer gives contour and shape to the body and acts as an emergency reservoir
of food and water.
There are two sets of glands found in the dermis the sweat glands and the oil
glands. The sweat glands are employed in the elimination of the water-soluble
cellular waste. The oil glands secrete oil, which lubricates the skin surface.
This prevents the skin from excessive dryness and chapping. Blockages,
congestion, over activity or under activity of these two sets of glands are
considered the primary causes of our numerous skin problems.
Now that we know what lies beneath the skin, we also need to know how to help
our skin perform the functions for us. Skincare has an answer. Skin care- a term
commonly used to describe the effort to maintain and enhance the skin to endure
all adversities remain a section or column of a feminine fortnightly to the
uninitiated and a religious practice to many.
Skin care exists in various levels in everyone is lives. It could vary from
basic soap, cream routine to as advanced as anti-ageing therapies. They all
hover under the umbrella of skin care. Skin care information and skin care tips
also raise interest among many because we project an image to the society and we
all want to be too sure that we are perceived well. Obviously, Skincare helps