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Deep and Meaningful Pty Ltd P.O.Box 427 Ascot Vale Victoria, 3032 Australia ABN 33 080 145 795

Skin Basics... Natural skin care treatments work to support the important functions of the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and like all organs of the body it has its own set duties to perform in order to keep the body healthy and functioning correctly. Your skin works hard to protect you every day in many complex ways without you even knowing about it. Supporting your skin with the use of natural skin care treatments provides vital nourishment and nutrients to assist the natural skin functioning that you are unable to see in action in the deeper layers. The use of quality all natural skin care optimizes overall skin functioning and enhances your skins tone, texture and appearance. Both the body and the skin respond and connect with nature so it is not surprising to learn that natural skin care treatments and all natural skin care products are so readily accepted and absorbed by the skin and the body. Although our skin makes up the majority of our exterior appearance and holds all of our internal organs together it is much more complex than being the bone and muscle covering that we see on the outside. Let’s explore what this amazing organ actually does and how it functions in more detail.

The skin is comprised of three main layers: Epidermis The epidermis is the outer and visible portion of the skin and it is made up of five layers: •

Stratum Corneum

Stratum Lucidum (only found on the palms and soles of the feet)

Stratum Granulosum

Stratum Spinosum

Stratum Germinativum/Basal layer- where cell division takes place.

The skins surface has many tiny openings through which hairs appear and sweat is excreted. These tiny openings extend down into the dermis and become our hair follicles and sweat ducts.

Dermis The dermis is the middle layer of the skin and is made of connective tissues, collagen and elastin and contains most of the nerve endings, blood vessels and lymphatic and immune systems of the skin. Our capillaries are housed here to supply nutrients, water and oxygen to the epidermis. Oil and sweat glands are located in the dermis, along with hair follicles that receive nourishment to allow our hairs to grow and extend upwards, appearing through the tiny openings of the skins surface. Page 1 of 4

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Deep and Meaningful Pty Ltd P.O.Box 427 Ascot Vale Victoria, 3032 Australia ABN 33 080 145 795

The dermis also acts as a supporting framework and is responsible for the skins elasticity.

Hypodermis/Subcutaneous Known as the cushioning layer, this final layer of the skin contains our storage of adipose (‘fat’) tissue to act as a shock absorber. The hypodermis connects the skin with all the underlying muscle tissues. Throughout the layers of the skin there is a proliferation of nerves and receptors that respond to touch, pressure and pain, alerting us to pleasure as well as unpleasant stimuli. The skin is a very intricate structure that requires support. External care and a number of internal body functions are required to support the skin's ability to maintain its optimum condition.

The skin provides the ultimate protection... Protection against microbial invasion The skin as a whole intact organ prevents microbes (germs) from being able to enter the body. Microbes can land on the skin but cannot enter unless there is a break in it. The skin also has a continuous renewal of cells (mitosis) taking place and as new cells are formed, all the cells above them are forced upwards. Eventually the cells on the surface of the skin slough off and any microbes attached to these skin cells are carried away too. The process of mitosis (cell renewal) is continuous but it takes approximately 28 days for a newly developed cell to reach the surface of the skin and approximately another 12 days for it to be sloughed away. The skin also secretes sebum onto its surface to maintain a slightly acidic environment, helping to inhibit microbial life, provide a natural, protective barrier and maintain skin suppleness.

Protection against chemicals and pollutants Here again, an intact skin acts as a barrier against chemicals and pollutants. There is a certain amount of absorption that can take place through the skin but the quantity and rate of absorption is limited by the following factors: •

The size and type of substance molecules in contact with the skin

The concentration of the substance

The length of exposure to the substance

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Deep and Meaningful Pty Ltd P.O.Box 427 Ascot Vale Victoria, 3032 Australia ABN 33 080 145 795 •

The area of skin on the body where this contact is made

This absorption limitation provided by the skin, helps to protect the body against the entry of harmful chemicals.

Exchange of gases Have you ever heard it said that the skin can breathe? Well, it basically does – oxygen can enter and carbon dioxide can escape- the exchanging of gases. Obviously this does not occur in great enough quantities to sustain life without normal breathing, but it is still a necessity for health.

Temperature control The body needs to maintain a fairly constant internal temperature in order to function properly. When the internal body temperature increases, the blood vessels in the skin dilate (expand). This allows a larger amount of warm blood to flow through a larger area of the skin and closer to the surface, allowing heat to be radiated out of the body. When this alone does not cool the body sufficiently, the body begins to sweat and as this moisture (now on the skin surface) evaporates, it reduces the temperature in the body. When we are cold, our blood vessels constrict (narrow) reducing the surface area from which blood heat can be lost to the outside environment. Storage of adipose (fatty) tissue also helps to aid as insulation against cold. The hairs on our bodies are also a form of temperature control. When we are cold, we get 'goose bumps' where our hairs ‘stand on end’ in an attempt by the body to trap the radiating heat in and keep it close to the skin.

Excretion of toxins As we sweat we excrete toxins that are contained in the skin, helping to maintain a healthier internal environment.

Protection against internal damage The hypodermis is made up of adipose (fatty) tissue which acts as a cushioning agent against damage from bumps and knocks. The fatty tissue storage is also the body’s way of preventing death too quickly in times of famine. It acts as an emergency energy supply that is held in storage until required.

Secretion The skin, as stated before, secretes sebum on to the surface of the skin. Apart from creating the acidic environment, the sebum creates a barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier not only prevents outside elements from entering, but prevents moisture loss from the skin itself, helping to keep the skin and the internal body hydrated.

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Deep and Meaningful Pty Ltd P.O.Box 427 Ascot Vale Victoria, 3032 Australia ABN 33 080 145 795

Immunity The skin also plays an important role in our immunity- containing immune system cells that have the ability to isolate and destroy microbes and foreign particles that find a means of entrance into the skin. The skin really is your first line of defence!

Your skin is all about you‌ Understanding skin care importance, D&M welcomes you to a professional, natural skin care range that has been created to meet your daily skin needs and challenges.

For more articles and information on beauty, health & wellness, visit the D&M education centre.

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Copyright Š D&M 2009


Skin Basics