03.02.2016 by Vicky
Skin is a very clever organ. No matter what developments in anti aging skin care products are, your skin knows the truth. And whilst it may play the game for a little while, plumping up nicely to give the appearance of looking younger, more even, and less lined and is only temporary.
Skin care is big business. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But the war on wrinkles meets a somewhat tenacious and uncooperative foe in our skin.
Our skin is multi-layered and it guards against the invisible tide of micro-organisms that seek to infiltrate our body’s defence against disease and infection. These complex cells regenerate every month then shed. Our skin is a hard worker and much unappreciated. Often barely nourished despite the money spent on product promises, we still hope that keeping our youthful appearance will be restored with fan dangled products.
There is a way to slow the process of aging and not by applying high tech anti aging creams. If we understand exactly what our skin does, we can find better ways of giving it what it needs. And consequently, we will find ourselves with the skin we want.
Our skin is composed of 3 main layers. The epidermis is the outside layer that we apply our skin care products to. This in turn has 4 to 5 layers, depending on where it is in the body, and whether there is hair on it. The top layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, serves as a barrier. Cells are continually shedding and where new cells are ultimately pushed up to. These cells have no blood supply, and hence no nutrients or oxygen carried in the blood reach these cells. They are essentially dead in that they cannot engage in the metabolic processes that living cells do. But they do serve very important functions. By creating an impenetrable barrier, they keep out bacteria and other micro organisms, and are part of the immune system. But this very function also serves to keep out most of the expensive ingredients in skin care products. And no matter how well an ingredient performs in a laboratory test tube that does not necessarily translate to reaching the other layers of your skin, where the real structural work takes place. Most skin care products work only on the stratum corneum, and that is their downfall.
The next layer down from the epidermis is the dermis. This is the layer where wrinkles develop. The dermis consists of living cells, and they are responsible for the structure and elasticity of the skin. Collagen is regenerated whilst existing collagen is broken down in the monthly cellular cycle. The production of collagen slows with age and factors like smoking, sun exposure, stress and inadequate nutrition. Other skin nutrients like elastin and hyaluronic acid are found here. Hyaluronic acid for example, helps hold water. As the dermis is composed of living cells, it has a blood supply, which transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells. These capillaries also transport cellular wast like carbon dioxide away. Here you’ll also find lymph vessels, sebaceous and sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings for heat and cold.
The subcutaneous layer is touched by the fibres from the dermis that extend down into the next layer. They act as anchors. The subcutaneous layer in turn attaches to bone and muscles underneath. Here are nerve endings that are sensitive to pressure, blood, lymph vessels, fat cells, collagen and elastin. The subcutaneous layer thins as we age.
Moisturizers achieve their temporary effect by trapping water already in the skin. They essentially act as a seal, they do not provide additional water or ‘moisture’. The few products that actually work on the deeper layers of the skin are the Retinol-A skin care ingredients which can be found in the Jan Marini range we stock in the salon.
But the news is not all bad. We can do something, and it’s not rocket science. If we supply the skin with the nutrients it needs, with a good balanced diet, and good quality fats and protein, or even use a few products that are known to work for definite with your skin. Then, and only then, will we stall the clock at a more agreeable hour.
Give us a call in the salon to talk to us about ingredients and their advantages and disadvantages. After all that’s what we have trained for and would love to help you get the best out of your skin.