The deepest layer of skin, the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue, is made up of fat cells that help to insulate and regulate body temperature. Blood and lymph vessels throughout this tissue supply freshly oxygenated blood to the dermis while draining lymph fluid. This process is essential for healthy skin and systemic immunity.
The middle layer, the dermis, is composed of two proteins called collagen and elastin that keep your skin plump, supple, and youthful. These fibers connect the dermis to the subcutaneous layer like an anchor and naturally deplete as we age.
The top layer, the epidermis, is a five-layer barrier that protects and defends us against external pathogens and maintains a balanced pH spectrum of 4.5 to 6.5.
While each layer of the epidermis has a job to do, the uppermost layer, the stratum corneum, protects all the underlying tissue from damaging environmental effects. Comprised of dead skin cells that are constantly sloughed off, the stratum corneum helps to maintain skin pH with the assistance of a thin sebaceous secretion called the acid mantle. For a healthy individual, the acid mantle is balanced between 4.5 and 6.5 with the most ideal pH at 5.5.
Using products that are too alkaline or acidic disrupts this delicate layer, leaving the skin susceptible to damage and infection. Repetitive use of unbalanced products can leave your skin in a state of chronic disruption, which renders it difficult to return to skin’s optimum pH and can contribute to a variety of skin conditions or disrupts.
The speed at which we shed old cells varies from person to person but typically decreases with age and exposure. This natural biological slowdown makes it essential to include gentle exfoliation in your normal skincare routine. This step encourages a healthy cellular turnover which allows nutrient dense hydrators to penetrate to the dermis where they can provide skin with nutrients and assist with regeneration.
We recommend incorporating a gentle, non-granule exfoliant to your routine once-a-week but not more often as over exfoliation can lead to the breakdown of the dermal proteins, collagen, and elastin, all of which can accelerate aging.
It can also lead to what we call “dry breakouts” where the skin is working overtime to return to the optimum pH range and produces excess sebum leading to a potential for congestion or breakouts while still experiencing dry skin. This can also happen due to consistently using overly alkaline or acidic washes which can cause “T” and “I” zones of oiliness with breakouts on parched skin.
The only real solution to this skin imbalance is to incorporate a pH balanced cleanser and lipid-based, nutrient dense hydrator to protect skin against transepidermal water loss (TEWL) while providing necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy cellular regeneration.
written by Christi Apodaca, Founder & Proprietor C&Co.® Handcrafted Skincare
Property of C&Co.® Handcrafted Skincare, © 2012
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