Understanding Your Skin
Believe it or not your skin is the largest organ of your body. It is a living organ which heals and renews itself constantly. It covers your entire body and consists of two clearly defined layers:
1. The epidermis is the superficial or outermost layer. In other words, this is the skin we can see and feel. It forms the protective covering. This layer contains no blood vessels but has small nerve endings and is made up of five layers of cells. The pigment called melanin is found in this layer. Melanin protects the sensitive cells beneath, from the harmful effects of the sun. The greater the exposure to sunlight the greater the production of melanin.
2. The dermis or the inner layer is located just under the epidermis. This layer is highly sensitive because it contains nerve endings. It also contains numerous blood vessels, lymph vessels, sweat glands, sebaceous glands and hair follicles. These are held together by collagen and elastin fibers, which together give the skin its strength and resilience.
Each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland, which produces sebum. Excess sebum makes your skin look and feel oily. If the neck of a sebaceous gland is clogged, sebum accumulates, giving rise to acne. A deficiency in the production of sebum produces dry skin.
Your teenage years could be your best time or your worst time depending on your hormonal activity. Generally, puberty is a bad time for your skin.
If you are spared the onslaught of acne and pimples usually associated with the teenage years, then more than likely your 20's and 30's should be trouble free.
During your 20's your skin should look its best. It can however be adversely affected by allergies, hormonal imbalances, stress, and exposure to the elements.
In your 30's your skin may begin to lose the bloom of youth. You may begin to see the appearance of dryness and fine lines. The skin tends to be more sensitive and extra special care is required during this period.
In your 40's your hormone production slows and the skin begins to lose tone and elasticity, giving rise to wrinkles, creases and fine lines. While these changes occur naturally as you age, they can be minimized and controlled by properly caring for your skin. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin twice daily can help you rejuvenate and revive your skin.
Now that you have a better understanding of your skin and how it works, I am sure you will appreciate that the time to begin your personal skin care routine is NOW!
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