Our Suit of Armor
Do you take care of your skin, like you should? Guarding your skin is extremely important. It is our largest organ! Most people do not think of their skin as being a suit of armor, but it is. It is part of the integumentary system; this means that it acts as a protective barrier between the outside and everything vital in your body, just like that suit of armor. We need to understand that it is just as valuable as all our organs.
Human skin is composed of three layers of tissue: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
Epidermis ~ is the top, visible layer of skin and it is constantly being renewed daily as dead skin cells are shed.
- New skin cells form at the bottom of the epidermis. As these newer cells form, it takes about one month to reach the top layer of the epidermis. The new cells will replace the old cells found on the skin surface, which are dead and continuously flake off.
- The epidermis contains melanocytes, which are cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin is also responsible for suntans and freckles.
- Keratin, a protein made by cells found in the epidermis, gives skin its toughness and strength, and protects skin from drying out.
Dermis ~ is the middle layer of skin, found underneath the epidermis. It is the thickest layer of skin and contains nerves and blood vessels. It is also home to the sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. The dermis gives skin its flexibility and strength. It is made up mostly of a protein called collagen that makes skin stretchy and strong.
- Nerve endings in the dermis contain receptors that transmit sensations, such as pain, pressure, touch, itchiness, and temperature to the brain.
- Sweat glands help to cool the
- Sebaceous glands make the oils that keep skin soft and moist.
- Hair follicles found in the dermis grow the hair on your head, face, and body.
- Blood vessels found in the dermis nourish the skin and help control body temperature. When skin becomes too hot, blood vessels enlarge to release heat from the skin's surface, while cold constricts blood vessels so they retain body heat.
- Lymphatic vessels drain fluid from the tissues and are an important part of the immune system. They help ward off infections and other harmful substances.
Hypodermis ~ also called subcutaneous fat, is the deepest layer of skin. This layer of skin functions primarily as a regulator and a protector, helps to insulate the body from heat and cold. The hypodermis also serves as an energy storage area for fat. This fat provides padding to cushion internal organs, as well as muscle and bones and protects the body from injuries.
Essential Duties to Our Skin
During those busy daily routines, it is extremely easy to not think about the glasses of water our body requires or that much needed cleansing. Overtime, our bad habits can take a toll on our skin.
A good skincare routine can truly help keep our skin healthy:
- Plenty of water – roughly 64oz a day.
- Thorough cleansing, twice a day - Cleansing your skin ensures clean skin free of dirt, makeup residue or excess oil. It also helps remove the dead skin cells that may cause that dull-looking skin.
- Moisturizing - Moisturizing locks the moisture in the skin and keeps it soft and supple. It also strengthens stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) and prevents water loss.
- Astaxanthin / ValAsta (ValAsta.net) - ValAsta contains powerful protective qualities making it vital to skin health. It is strongest antioxidant known and fights the free radicals the skin is exposed to daily like the sun, contaminates in the air and in some of the products we put on our skin.
- 6 times stronger than Lycopene
- A Free Radical Scavenger
- Cell Communication Enhancer
- Collagen Protector
- 9 times stronger than Carotene
- Can help maintain skin health and appearance
- May protect the skin against UV radiation from the sun
- 3000 times stronger than Resveratrol
- Fights aging
- Protects the skin
- Improves the overall appearance of skin
- 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C
- Accelerates the production of both collagen and elastin
- Maintains and repair damaged skin
- Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Brightens complexions
- Evens skin tone
- Reduces the appearance of dark spots
- Prevents premature aging
- Fatty types of fish (like salmon) - contain Omega – 3 acids that help reduce inflammation (Astaxanthin, which is generated by a microalgae; Haematococcus pluvialis, is consumed by salmon, this is what gives it the pinkish/reddish color) and keeps your skin moisturized. Fatty types of fish are also a wonderful source of protein, Vitamin E, and Zinc.
- Avocados - high in healthy fats, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which help keep skin flexible and moisturized.
- Walnuts - an excellent food for healthy skin, they are a great source of essential Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids, and Zinc.
- Sunflower seeds - an exceptional source of nutrients, including Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc and Protein.
Some of the most common inaccuracies that I see on TV or in magazine advertisements are for beauty products. I find it amusing, because the products they are attempting to sell us are made up of synthetic materials, harsh chemicals, All-Natural refined ingredients (that no longer contain the benefits after going through the refining process), and numerous unnatural preservatives that do nothing but damage the skin.
There's good reason for the advertisements, our skin is a vital part of our immune system. Our skin is fragile and cannot be fixed overnight. Therefore, it is important to prevent our skin from being damaged as best as we can.
Now that you have a better understanding of your skin. I implore you to do your research on what you are putting on or in your body.
Find that routine that best fits you to help maintain that healthy suit of armor.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with your skin. If you notice any changes that occur, such as an irregular mole, unusual flaky patch or any change that is worrisome, it is best to seek a dermatologist as soon as possible.