Everyone has skin, so we all know what skin is… or do we?
Do you take your skin for granted? Your skin is the largest organ of your body, weighing six pounds on average. Skin has several layers including a dead layer on top and a protective barrier. It is made up of several different components, including water, protein, lipids, minerals and chemicals.
The numerous jobs of your skin are extremely important to your overall health and survival. A few of the vital functions your skin performs include:
protects the body from infections, germs and bacteria
protects you from harmful environmental factors such as dampness, cold, heat and sunlight
protects you from other harmful substances
repels water and minimizes water loss from the body
protects underlying structures such as blood vessels, nerves and organs
plays an important role in regulating body temperature
is part of your immune system with specialized cells of the immune system throughout the layers of the skin
picks up sensory information
feels heat, cold, pressure, itchiness or pain and triggers a protective reflex
Do you think of skin care as a beauty routine? Proper skin care is much more important than that.
Healthier skin does a better job of executing these tasks than unhealthy skin does. Proper skin care helps maintain the health of this vital protective organ. This may result in more beautiful skin, but skin care should really focus on the health of your skin.
Your skin will change constantly, regenerating itself about every 27 days. Over time, various factors cause other changes: aging, genetics, gravity, exercise, environmental condition, medications, diet, but most of all — photo aging from the sun.
Older skin not only can develop wrinkles, brown spots, loss of firmness, enlarged pores, and sensitivity, but it can become more fragile and thin, bruising and tearing easily.
The most important preventative measure to maintaining healthy skin is protecting the skin from the sun by practicing "safe sun:" seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using generous amounts of sunscreen. Adding good skin care from appropriate products can go a long way toward protecting the skin and even reversing skin damage. Skin that is protected and healthy will help keep the rest of you healthy longer.