The skin is our largest organ and protects us from the elements, shields against injury, yet allows us to move, it also helps regulate our internal temperature.
- It’s Structure
The skin is made up of two important parts – the outer section – known as the epidermis and an underlying part called the dermis.
The epidermis consists of several layers of cells. These cells are constantly dividing and moving up to the surface. They are made of keratin. It takes up to 3 or 4 weeks for a cell in the lower part of the epidermis to reach the top part of the skin.
The dermis is made up of bundles of protein fibres called collagen and also elastic fibres. The sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerves are embedded in the dermis. The hairs pass through the epidermis to the surface of the skin.
- It’s Colour
The colour of our skin is a result of the production of the black pigment called melanin. In light skinned people, there is less melanin produced. In darker skinned people, there is more of this substance made.
There are other factors contributing to the colour of skin – blood vessels and the state of the blood within these vessels.
- Skin Types
There are different types of skin types usually categorised according to the level of oil production in the skin layers.
- Oily skin –
Is usually the result of increased activity of the sebaceous glands, producing excess oils in the skin and clogging the pores. Excess sweating and some drugs can aggravate the problem. You could also be lacking vitamin A or zinc. This type of skin is characterised by a thick shiny coating on the visible layer of the skin. You may also have blackheads, whiteheads and acne.
Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, eggs and fish, less refined, sugary foods and fatty foods. Try not to be overly stressed.
Always wash your face regularly.
- Dry skin –
This is the result of a lesser amount of sebum oil being produced than normal. It could indicates a deficiency in B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Eat more nuts, beans, wholegrain breads and cereals, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables. And drink plenty of filtered water every day.
It is also a great idea to apply moisturiser more often. Do not necessarily cleanse the skin excessively and avoid salt water.