The skin is probably the hardest working, as well as the largest, organ of the human body. It contains, protects and regulates the temperature of the body so that you can function normally, and it wears out pretty quickly. The good news is skin cells are constantly being replaced, which is why we are not working around in ragged and raddled strips. The bad news is few people recognize the importance of proper skin care.
Because the skin is the first defense against disease, extreme temperatures and the physical stresses of daily life, it is in your best interest to keep it in tip-top condition. Like with any other organ in the body, healthy skin does its job better and more efficiently than unhealthy ones. When skin is damaged, it becomes more vulnerable to skin diseases like skin cancer, rashes, exczema, fungus and infection. It also looks bad what with age spots, wrinkles and uneven or unhealthy skin tones.
Skin can be damaged in a number of ways, but the most common way is through sun exposure. Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that penetrate the epidermis and causes mutations in the skin’s cellular DNA. In fact, a tan or reddening skin is simply the skin’s weak attempt to protect itself from further DNA damage.
There are three layers to skin, the topmost of which is the epidermis. This is the most exposed part so it’s also the one that needs to be constantly replaced. It’s also the layer that darkens when you sunbathe so it contains melanin which gives you your skin color and provides some protection from UV rays. The dermis is next, and this is where collagen and elastin are present. It makes the skin pliable, and provides the support for the epidermis. The dermis also has the nerve endings and blood vessels, so when you cut your finger, that’s where the pain and blood is coming from. Right beneath it is a layer of fat called subcutaneous fat, which insulates the body and serves as a shock absorber. So the good news is a little fat is good, but a lot can result in the unsightly dimples we call cellulite.
Everyday things we do and use can cause skin damage. These include but not limited to; hot showers or baths; swimming; pregnancy; harsh or scented body cleansing products; chemical-based cosmetics; smoking; drinking; and sunbathing. Not drinking enough water, failing to use moisturizers after a hot shower or swimming and using some soaps dries out the skin, leaving it vulnerable to the elements. A thin layer of oil on the skin protects the body from most disease-causing elements. Non-natural cosmetic products, smoking, excess drinking and sunbathing introduces toxic substances directly on or into the body, effectively cancelling out the shielding function of the skin over time.
If you want to remain or be healthy, you need to take care of your first line of defense: your skin. Without healthy skin, anything you do will be seriously compromised.
This was a guest post written by Barry, who is an expert on skincare. To check his site out click here.