The Anatomy of the skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and would total about 20 square feet if it were stretched out.

Despite it’s important job of keeping our other organs safe, the skin is often over looked.  Being on the front line and always exposed to the elements, it’s important that we treat our skin well so that it can do it’s job.

As we talked about in Moisturizing vs. hydrating in skincare: what’s the difference-the best thing we can do for our skin is to eat well, sleep well and drink water on a daily basis. Sometimes we need a little help and that’s ok.

Now that you know the difference between moisturizing the skin and hydrating it, let’s see how these products work.

The Skin has three layers:

  • The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin,
  • The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
  • The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.

For the purpose of this article we’re going to focus on the 1st two layers.

The epidermis creates our skin tone, and tends to lose water through evaporation. In order to form a waterproof barrier, and help protect the skin from losing water, the skin produces a natural oil the called sebum. This oily substance forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin, thereby reducing evaporation and dehydration

Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, a thick layer where the water that we drink, is stored. This water diffuses into the epidermis, where it eventually escapes through evaporation.

This is where products come in and may be able to help keep water in the epidermis longer.

As we learned, some ingredients hydrate the skin where as others help lock in moisture. Some form a protective barrier.

The bottom line:

-Water based ingredients (water, hydrosol) sink into the skin and help add water.

-Humectant  ingredients (honey, glycerin, sodium lactate) draw water into the epidermis and help keep it there.

-Moisturizing ingredients (butters and oils) seal the outer layer of the epidermis and help to retain moisture.

-Film-forming ingredients (waxes) create a protective barrier on the skin that helps lock in moisture and defends against external aggressions. These ingredients can also be found in butters.

Made with metta has a great selection of skin care products to fit all your needs.

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