Why your skin is so important
It may be surprising to learn that your skin is the largest organ of your body. Your skin is very important as it performs many essential functions for the body. Most crucial, skin forms a protective covering for everything inside our bodies. Our skin pretty much holds us all together. Other functions of the skin include temperature regulation, contains nerve endings that allows us to feel a sense of cold, heat, pain, pressure and touch, it protects us from infections and other environmental assaults and it helps to make vitamin D when exposed to the sun. The skin is made up of 3 layers, the Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutaneous fat layer or hypodermic.
Each layer has its own unique function
- The Epidermis is the thin outer layer of the skin and consists of Squamous cells, Basal cells and Melanocytes (which gives the skin its color).
- The Dermis is the middle layer of the skin and contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, collagen bundles, fibroblasts, nerves and sebaceous glands. The Dermis is held together by a protein called collagen that gives flexibility and strength to the skin. It also contains receptors for pain and touch.
- The Subcutaneous fat layer is the deepest layer of the skin. This layer helps conserve heat and protects the body from injury by acting as a shock absorber.
Since our skin plays an integral part in keeping us healthy, it is important to take measures to keep our skin intact. The winter season can put a damper on healthy skin because of the cold dry air. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant.
Tips for healthy skin:
- Most important check the ingredients in all products that you use on your body including baby wipes, diaper creams, lotions, moisturizers, acne products, hair products, bath and body products, perfumes, make-up, laundry products and of course sunscreen.
- Moisturize daily, think organic coconut oil (best time to moisturize is right after a shower)
- Cleanse your skin, but don’t overdo it
- Limit the use of hot water, lukewarm is better for the skin
- Limit bath time
- Protect your skin from the wind
- Avoid extreme cold
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Take a vitamin D supplement
- Stay well hydrated with water
- Avoid processed foods, fried foods and foods loaded with sugar
- Cleanse your face with water and mild soaps
- Change pillow cases frequently
- Eat a healthy diet full of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, other healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, amino acids to help with the production of collagen and foods rich in vitamins A, D, E, C, biotin, zinc and magnesium
It is just as important to pay attention to what we put on our bodies as what we put in our bodies. Be aware of any chemicals and toxins that go into skincare products that can have damaging effects not only to our skin but to our overall health since the skin is so porous and everything we put on the skin gets absorbed into our blood stream. Babies are especially at greater risk. Immature organ systems are less capable of fending off chemical assaults so be extra cautious with the little ones. A great website to check out is www.ewg.org/skindeep/