How Well Do You Know Your Skin?

Your Skin In A Nutshell

Without skin we would evaporate.

Our largest organ makes the fifth and eighth week of fetal development in the womb. Our epidermis starts out as only two layers and is transparent. Shortly after the formation of our skin, following the eighth week of development, our hair starts to sprout. By the fourth month of pregnancy, all layers  have developed. What determines the disposition of our skin? Genetics. In the same way that it determines our hair and eye color.

skin layers

skin layers

Our skin can be around eight pounds and about 20 square feet. Aside from keeping us looking descent (who would want to see us in the skinless version? yikes!), it keeps us insulated and helps us maintain our body temperature. It also protects us from the rays of the powerful sun and chemicals in the air. By producing antibacterial substances, it helps prevent infection in our bodies and makes vitamin D to turn calcium into bones. It is a flexible organ that allows for us to move freely. With its sensory packed nerves allowing for the sensations of touch, heat and cold, it communicates the outside world to our brains.

It is important to understand the composition so that we can better take care of it. Our skin has three layers to it: The outermost layer that helps create the barrier and gives us our tone is the epidermis. The next layer is the dermis, where hair follicles and sweat glands reside, containing tough connective tissues. Fat and connective tissue make up the deepest layer, the hypodermis.

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Basic Skincare

Now that you know where your skin comes from and what it is made of, let’s talk about some basic ways you can care for it.

washing faceThe Mayo Clinic and WebMD  both agree that we should use sunscreen to block UVA and UVB rays. Protecting our skin from the sun is crucial in having beautiful and healthy skin. What you put in your body will have a strong impact on the appearance. We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and it goes without saying that a healthy diet will contribute to bettering it. Along with a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is equally important . Aside from that, high stress levels can also negatively effect it. Another factor that comes into play is whether or not you are a smoker.

Washing thoroughly seems like an obvious way to take care of it. Here are a few fundamental care tips to follow: Try to stay away from strong soaps that can take away too much of the oils that it needs to stay healthy. Also helpful to keeping it’s natural oils is the length of time and temperature of water used when washing yourself. You will want to use warm water, as opposed to hot and keep your bathing time short. When shaving, use a clean, sharp razor and shaving cream and carefully shave in the direction of hair growth. Once done washing, pat dry and moisturize.

The Different Skin Types

skin typesHaving good skin habits are definitely important and can sometimes be overlooked. Additionally, you will need to further your knowledge of it by determining what type, or types you may have. Generally, it has been categorized into four types. You will need to take some time analyzing your skin to determine if it is normal, dry, oily, or a combination of the three mentioned.

 

If you notice that your skin feels taught and your pores are small you may have dry skin. You may also notice flakes of dead skin that will point to this type as well. Additionally, you may have a dull, rough complexion which may be accompanied by red patches. Dry skin will generally be less elastic and lines may also be more visible. Oily, on the other hand, will have larger pores and will show a shiny grease on the surface and may have the presence of blackheads. You may notice that some areas are oily and others are dry, while some may be normal. Combination skin like this is commonly oily in what is known as the “T-zone”( your forehead, nose, area around your lips, and chin) with the other areas being dry or even normal. Please understand that you may not fit exactly into this. For instance, I have an oily forehead and dry areas around my nose and normal elsewhere. Examine yourself well so that you can determine your personal needs.

"T-Zone"

“T-Zone”

On the other hand, you may not exhibit any flakiness or oiliness and display smooth, supple skin. In which case it’s safe to conclude that you have normal skin, which is very lucky ! If you fall in this category, you will have no severe sensitivity, none or few imperfections, and a radiant complexion with pores that are hardly visible.

Aside from genetic factors, your skin may be affected by the products you use, the weather, your age, hormonal changes, along with any medication you may be taking. Having a good understanding of the type can also help you determine when changes occur, so that you can take the correct steps necessary to alleviate any negative impact on your skin.

Skin related Issues to Consider

Below are some additional issues that can go along with the different types we have mentioned:
Sensitive – your skin may demonstrate redness, itching, or burning, along with dryness.
Acne-prone – your skin will develop acne, or pimples, along with oiliness.

acneThings to Avoid

  • Sensitive: determine what causes the sensitivity as it can often the from the products you are using. Stop using those products!
  • Acne-Prone: Do not pick or pop pimples. This causes the bacteria to spread and prevents your skin from healing quicker.
  • Dry: Do not scrub in the shower. Also, do not scrub with your towel. Do not use deodorant soaps as they tend to further dry your skin. Don’t forget to moisturize!
  • Oily: Do not wash more than twice in one day. Use gentle products and do not scrub. Using non-comedogenic products will help in preventing clogged pores.

 

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