Much like suits of armour worn by soldiers in battle, our skin is an amazing structure that protects our bodies.
Protein and elastic fibres are woven into numerous strong and flexible layers in the skin, with keratin – which gives strength to nails and hair – near the surface, and collagen and elastin fibres deeper within.
The very outer layer of your skin is made up of many dead cells, which create the barrier to attack from the outside, with the pigment melanin acting as a shield against the sun’s harmful rays. Unlike conventional armour, the skin has no chinks, it’s a continuous covering protecting our entire body.
The skin constantly repairs and renews itself, matching the cell production with dead cell loss. It’s water resistant, which is handy when swimming and bathing 😉, but not water proof – we lose about half a litre of moisture through our skin daily, excluding what we sweat out!
Our skin is also a good indicator of what is going on inside – we flush red with embarrassment, go pale with shock, turn greenish when we feel ill – often doctors look for changes in skin to indicate an illness. It also tells us what’s going on in our environment – when it’s cold or hot, or how we sting when we’ve had too much sun.
The skin functions as a storeroom for the body – the deepest layer of skin can store water, fat and metabolic products. It also produces hormones that are important for the healthy functioning of the body.
As with other organs of the body, the skin is susceptible to certain diseases, including eczema, acne, melanoma, psoriasis and shingles. As we age, our skin gets thinner and more easily damaged, with slower healing processes.
While our skin is a marvellous machine that continually repairs and restores itself, there are a few things we can do to help it perform at its best:
Call the team at Professional Skin Care Lab if you would like advice on our skin care products or treatments. Book an appointment for a skin consultation if you have any concerns about your skin – give your ‘armour’ the shine it needs!