If you want to understand how different skin care products and ingredients work need to have an understanding of your skin’s structure. The over all structure is the same for all of us. When personalizing products you also will need to understand your skin’s unique properties and behavior, which may depend on your genes, your lifestyle and diet and what climate you live in. But let’s start with the basics.
Your skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of you skin. It does not contain any blood vessels so therefore it receives nutrients and oxygen from the surrounding air and from the lower levels of the skin. Hence it is not surprising that the condition of your visible skin will depend on the environment and climate your live in. The out most layer of the dermis is called the strateum corenum. This is a thin layer of dead skin cells mainly consisting of keratin (a type of protein). The skin cells are “glued” together by different types ceramindes, fatty acids and cholesterol. Also there are natural moisturizing factors present (NMF) that bounds moisture to the skin. A well-formulated moisturizer containing these substances can improve the feel and appearance of your skin.
Your skin rejuvenates constantly skin cells from the bottom of the epidermis is push out to the surface of you skin to the strateum corenum and dead skin cells eventually leave your skin’s surface. This process slows down with age and is one reason for dull looking skin. Exfoliation is a way of helping your skin gain it’s luster back by removing dead skin cells quicker.
The dermis is the layer beneath the epidermis. This layer contains nerve endings, hair follicles and sebum producing glands. It consists of collagen, elastin and other proteins that give the skin its structure and elasticity. As we grow older the collagen production slows down and the overall “scaffolding” becomes less flexible. This leads to wrinkles and sagging of the skin. So to keep you skin plump you want to ensure that you have the best conditions possible for your body to produce collagen and other supporting proteins.
The lowest level of the skin is called hypodermis. This layer connects the skin to the underlying bones and muscles. As we grow older the skin “sets” in certain common facial expression due to repeated muscular movement, which causes deep wrinkles such as the ones in the forehead.