How to Care for the 3 Layers of Your Skin
The Three Layers of Skin... EACH ONE MATTERS
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it does a lot more than just look good.
Your skin is your biggest protector. It helps regulate body temperature, keep all those nasty germs at bay, and serves as a warning system, letting you know when something hurts or if it’s too hot to touch. Skin allows us to feel pleasure, too, like the softness of your favorite blanket or a chubby toddler’s hand on your cheek.
To help skin do its job most efficiently, it needs to be taken care of properly – and this begins with understanding the structure and three primary layers that skin is comprised of.
Your first layer of hydration & protection - the epidermis
The epidermis is the very thin, outermost layer of skin. At its thinnest, it’s about as thick as a piece of paper. At its thickest, it's about three or four pieces of paper stacked together. While it’s thin, it’s also mighty, offering protection and more.
In the epidermis, we find a few different types of cells:
- Melanocytes – responsible for your skin’s pigment and are also what’s behind hyperpigmentation
- Keratinocytes – these cells produce keratin, a super strong protein that plays a role in healthy skin
- Langerhans – these cells are the guardian of your skin, preventing undesirables from passing through
The epidermis is what protects you from UV rays and also all of the pathogens you encounter on a daily basis, just living life. This is also where the magic of creating new skin cells happens. As new skin cells are produced, they rise toward the upper layer of the epidermis and push the old ones out of the way. This is how we shed dead skin cells.
Finally, the epidermis plays a major role in skin health through hydration. The epidermis layer is capable of holding in water, which results in the plump, healthy-looking skin we’re all after.
HOW TO CARE FOR THE EPIDERMIS
When you use skincare products, like cleansers, moisturizers, and exfoliants, you’re tending to the epidermis layer of your skin. The best way to care for the epidermis is to treat it gently, use non-irritating products, and protect it the best you can. Here are a few tips.
- Stay hydrated
- Use a non-toxic sunscreen daily, and reapply regularly if you’re out in the sun
- Avoid hot baths and showers that can strip oils and moisture from the epidermis
- Avoid harsh wind and cold, and if you can’t, make sure to apply an emollient moisturizer
- Use a gentle cleanser and moisturize regularly – coconut oil works beautifully
- Try dry brushing to both shed dead skin cells and stimulate the lymphatic system
- Use products with ingredients like sea buckthorn oil that both protect and repair the epidermal layer of skin
The Thickets layers of skin - the dermis
The dermis is the middle layer of skin, and it’s also the thickest. The dermis layer is made of all sorts of good stuff, like collagen, elastin, oil glands, sweat glands, sebum glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings. When we talk about the skin’s matrix or support system, the dermis is what it’s all about.
how to care for the dermis
Taking care of the dermis requires action from both inside and out. The dermis can be reached by many topical skincare products, but it’s equally important to support through hydration and nutritional support.
- Hydrate – maybe you’re noticing a theme here: drink plenty of water!
- Get annual skin checks from a dermatologist to catch any issues early
- Take steps to support collagen & elastic production – stop smoking, eat an antioxidant-rich diet, get plenty of vitamin C, avoid UV exposure, limit caffeine & alcohol, and take a supplement like SIBU Omega 7 Soft-gels
- Develop a consistent skincare routine that works for your skin type
- Tend to any wounds immediately to prevent infection and scarring
The thickest layer of skin with the most fatty tissue - the hypodermis
The hypodermis is the deepest layer of skin, made mostly of connective and fatty tissue. This is the layer that connects your skin to your muscles and bones, and it provides insulation, assisting in temperature regulation.
When we age, the hypodermis begins to lose volume. This, combined with the loss of elastin and collagen in the dermis, is why we begin to see sagging, loss of volume, fine lines, and other telltale signs of aging.
How to Care for the Hypodermis Layer
The products you put on your skin don’t get absorbed by the hypodermis, and there’s really not much you can do topically to protect and care for it. Instead, caring for the hypodermis is more about lifestyle factors.
How to take care of your skin for the long term
Skin health shouldn’t be something that we seek out short-term solutions for. Products loaded with chemicals that promise miracles never work. Instead, treat your skin gently, wear non-toxic sunscreen, eat a nutrient-rich diet, add sea buckthorn into your life, and drink plenty of water. These steps are the foundation of healthy skin at every level.