People have the right to make informed choices about what they apply to their skin. In order to do so, however, it helps to understand what our skin actually is. My intention here is to provide a brief summary of the skin’s composition, to help you understand the fascinating layer that connects you to the outside world.
The skin is actually an organ itself, and the largest of the human body. If you were to remove your skin and stretch it out flat (I don’t advise that you try either!) it would cover around two square metres, and weigh approximately ten kilos.
Far more impressive than the size and weight of our skin, is its complexity: In one square centimetre of your skin, there are 200 nerve endings for pain, 25 for touch, 12 nerve for heat, and two for cold. There are also approximately four metres of nerve fibres, one metre of capillaries, 15 sebaceous glands and 3 million epithelial cells.
The skin is made up of three inter-connected layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis (the outer layer) is constantly renewing itself by producing keratin, and its primary function is to protect. The dermis is made up mainly of collagen for structure, and elastin which confers elasticity. It provides support, and is responsible for exchanging nutrients and for sensory awareness.
In a subsequent post I will describe in more detail the important functions of the skin. I hope that in the meantime this brief summary of the composition of your skin will help to encourage you to look after this intricate organ.
Dr Mariano Spiezia
Inlight Organic Skincare