THE SECRETS OF BEAUTY
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About Your Skin


The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is responsible for protecting our body, regulating body temperature, getting rid of waste matter, acting as a water reservoir, manufacturing vitamin D from the sunlight and housing our senses of touch and pain.

The skin is made up of two layers - the Epidermis and Dermis - which rest on a third layer of subcutaneous fat. In order to take the best care of your skin, it's important to understand how these layers work.

The Epidermis is the skin's first line of defence. It is nourished by blood vessels in the deeper layers of the skin that provide it with oxygen and 'skin food'. Plump, moist skin cells are developed in the basal layer of the epidermis. As each new layer of skin cells form, the cells move up towards the skins surface, becoming flattened as they do so. By the time they reach the outer horny layer of the skin - known as the stratum corneum - they are effectively dead. Throughout your life, the cells of the surface layer are continually being worn away and replaced with the new cells from below. In normal skin, it takes about 30 days for the cells to move up to the surface. Below the stratum corneum are the langerhan's cells, which patrol for invaders, and the melanocytes - cells that produce the pigment melanin which helps determine the colour of your hair or skin.

The Dermis is composed entirely of living cells. While the epidermis can repair itself, the dermis can become permanently damaged. This layer consists mainly of collagen, a protein that's responsible for the structural support (ie. strength and resilience) of the skin. These are made up of another protein, elastin, which gives the skin it's tone, plumpness and elasticity. Also found in the dermis are the sebaceous glands, hair follicles and sweat glands. The sebaceous glands produce sebum (oil), the skin's natural lubricant. Sebaceous glands play a key role in determining facial skin type.

Skin Types:

There are five basic skin types: normal, dry, oily, sensitive and combination, with each having particular characteristics and requiring specific care or treatment.

To determine your skin type, use simple test with a clean facial tissue to wipe your face in the morning , when you have just woken up.

1. Normal Skin:

If your skin belongs to normal type, the tissue will not reveal any traces of oil. Normal skin is neither oily or dry, it has a translucent, soft, smooth texture and a healthy glow.

2. Dry Skin:

If your skin is dry, the tissue paper will be clear too, but your face skin will feel flaky, dry, and tight after you have wiped it.

3. Oily Skin:

If you have oily skin, the tissue paper will have spots of facial oil on it, corresponding to the areas of you cheeks, nose and forehead.

4. Sensitive Skin:

Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, frequently allergic and can be rashy.

5. Combination Skin Types:

The combination skin types is frequently characterized by an oily "T-Zone" area, which covers the forehead, nose and chin. While the skin around the cheeks, eyes and mouth is normal or dry.

Common Skin Conditions:

Acne

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous units characterised by the formation of comedones, erythematous papules and pustules. Nodules and cysts may occur and scarring is a frequent complication. Although acne is not life-threatening, it's emotional and psychological impact is often severe, resulting in low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and difficulty in obtaining employment. Effective treatment can dramatically improve a person's quality of life.

acne treatment

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin colour of people of any race.

acne treatment

Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the face. Although there is no cure, there are many methods of controlling Rosacea symptoms.

Aging

There are two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called Intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun and / or pollutants which cause a breakdown of the skins structure, leading to discoloration, wrinkles, skin growth and even cancer. Other external factors that prematurely age our skin are repetitive facial expressions, gravity, sleeping positions, and smoking. When attempting to correct signs of aging, it is important to use products that not only treat, but also prevent future damage from occurring.