The skin consists of hundreds of different kinds of cells, structures and compounds. It is a complicated organ undertaking very important work. There are three layers to the skin; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, but each one has many different components that do different jobs. Here is an introduction to some of the most important parts of your skin.

Collagen and Elastin

These fibres provide your skin with its structure. They are essential for making sure your skin stays where it should, but as we age, they become depleted, which is the primary cause of sagging skin. You can help prevent this depletion by using SPF every day, but if you’ve already started to notice slackening of the skin, a professional treatment such as Radio Frequency will stimulate the natural production of more collagen and realign the elastin fibres.

Hyaluronic Acid

This honey-like substance provides cushioning within the skin and is also responsible for storing water. As skin ages or becomes dehydrated, the level of hyaluronic acid reduces. This causes fine lines and wrinkles. You can apply skincare products containing micro hyaluronic acid directly to your skin, this leads to fresher, plumper looking and better-hydrated skin.

Melanocytes

These are cells that produce melanin, the substance that gives our skin its colour. Melanocytes are programmed to produce the correct amount of melanin depending on our DNA, but sometimes they can malfunction and produce too much melanin, which causes hyperpigmentation. There are a variety of causes of pigmentation, including hormonal fluctuations, reaction to fragrances and sun exposure. The best way to prevent melanocytes from over-producing melanin is to protect skin from the sun. This is one of the primary causes of pigmentation. You can also steer away from heavily fragranced cosmetics, and avoid getting perfume on your face or neck. If you already have pigmentation, try a professional treatment like Intense Pulsed Light, which will help remove the excess melanin naturally, using the body’s own healing processes.

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The Hydrolipidic Film

This is an invisible layer of water and sebum that protects your skin from dehydration and bacteria. It is essential to prevent dryness and infections, but is easily damaged by harsh cleansers or over-exfoliating. Protect the hydrolipidic film by using a gentle cleanser, only exfoliating twice a week, and always remembering to moisturise with a product formulated specifically for your skin type.

Pores

Our pores are an extremely important part of our skin’s structure. Pores produce sweat and sebum, which are vital for our health and wellbeing, but can cause unwanted side effects like blackheads and spots. Cleanse twice a day to care for pores and use products that are ‘non-comedogenic’ which means they are specifically formulated not to cause blockages. If you’re already suffering from blocked pores or spots, try a Microdermabrasion treatment, which will deeply exfoliate your skin and clear your pores of debris, for blemish-free skin.

Image:istock.com/master1305

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