Layer by Layer: 11 Deep Facts About the Surface of Your Skin 

Layer by Layer: 11 Deep Facts About the Surface of Your Skin           

The skin is the human body’s largest organ. It is composed of various layers and countless tiny cells, all involved in a variety of processes to keep you safe and healthy. In fact, one of the skin’s primary functions is to act as a natural barrier between the inside of your body and the outside world. This helps to prevent you getting infections of any kind.

The skin also helps to keep our body temperatures stable. It receives signals from the outside world and conveys information to the brain, which responds accordingly. We all want to look after our skin and keep it looking great. To give your skin the best care, you need to know how it functions. So, let’s take a deeper look at this organ.

Skin’s First Layer: The Epidermis

EpidermisFirst of all, we will begin by observing the three different layers that make up our skin. The first layer is epidermis. It is the outer layer of the skin that you can see all around your body.

Some parts of the body have thicker skin than others, so the thickness of the epidermis can vary. At its thinnest level on the eyelids, the epidermis is just .05 millimeters (mm) thick. It reaches a maximum thickness of around 1.5 mm on the soles of the feet.

The epidermis itself is composed of five different layers. The outer layer is the stratum corneum and is composed entirely of dead cells. These dead cells fall away into the air each day. Consequently, the shedding of cells removes a whole layer of skin. The innermost layer of the epidermis is the stratum basale, and it has cells formed into columns.

The Cell Types Of The Epidermis

  • Basal Cells: Present in the stratum basale, the lowest layer of the epidermis, they constantly regenerate themselves to provide new cells for the layers above.
  • Keratinocytes Or Squamous Cells: Present in the middle layer of the epidermis, they are responsible for keratin production. Keratin is animportant natural product that helps keep skin, nails and hair strands strong.
  • MelanocytesMelanocytes: Creates melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, but too much exposure of the sunlight onto the body causes the production of the excessive amounts of melanin.
    A suntan occurs when the body creates lots of melanin to try and protect itself.
  • Langerhans Cells: Found in the epidermis, they help to keep you safe from infections.

Most of the cells in the epidermis, or approximately 95 percent, are responsible for developing new cells to replace the ones that are lost. The lower layers add the new cells, which then rise to the surface over time. Once these cells die on the outer layer, they shed away and the cycle continues. Exfoliation and skin cleansing products help to remove these dead cells and make room for the new cells to arrive.

Skin’s Second Layer: The Dermis

The dermis layer will also vary in thickness at different locations around the body. It can be quite thin at just 0.3mm on the eyelids or quite thick, at 3mm,on the back.

DermisThis layer is composed of two different layers and several types of tissue. The different types of tissue in this region are elastic tissue, reticular fibers and collagen, which are all essential elements for the skin.

The two different layers of the dermis are papillary and reticular. The papillary layer is closer to the surface and mostly composed of collagen, while the reticular layer is deeper down and made of much thicker collagen fibers, along with other cells. Since this region is so dense in collagen, it plays a major role in the strength and well-being of the skin.

Cell Types Found In The Dermis

  • Nerve Endings: Present in this layer, they are responsible for sending signals to the brain. They respond to external stimuli like pressure, heat, pain and texture and allow us to feel things.
  • Blood Vessels: Also present in the dermis layer, they work to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells.
  • Oil Glands: These glands secrete oils to the skin to keep it moisturized.
  • Sweat Glands: Present in the dermis, they work to produce sweat. Sweat is an essential part of regulating body temperature.

Also In The Dermis Layer: Your Hair And Nails

Keratin protein forms nailsHair cells have their roots in the dermis layer. These roots connect to various structures, which play special roles in different bodily processes. The hair strands themselves tucks neatly into basket cells, which can respond to external stimuli.

At the base of each follicle you will also find small muscles, which allow the hairs to stand on end in cold environments. Hair cells grow out from their roots and connect to regular skin cells. These skin cells create hair using keratin.

Keratin protein forms nails. They start to grow on the tips of the fingers and toes. Like hair strands, nails have their own roots that connect to skin cells. Both hair strands and nails are composed of lots of dead cells, which have been compressed and connected together with keratin. We have nails because we descended from animals that once had claws. Our nails aren’t great for self-defense, but they are quitesignificant for our overall health. Discoloration in the nails can be a sign of various deficiencies, so you should look after your hair and nails, as well as your skin

Skin’s Third Layer: The Subcutaneous Tissue

This final layer is mostly composed of fat and connective cells, joining the skin to the rest of the body. This region also contains many nerve cells and blood vessels. Since it is composed of fat, this area can vary greatly in thickness, depending on a person’s diet and lifestyle.

Skin Health: The Ayurvedic Perspective

Ayurvedic PerspectiveAyurveda is a traditional form of medicine, which is quite popular in Eastern countries, particularly those with large Hindu societies. Practitioners of Ayurveda have been investigating the skin for a long time and have developed some vital ideas about skin health.

Essentially, the Ayurvedic perspective states that skin health depends on proper moisture balance, a functional metabolism and a good circulation beneath the skin.

These principles are all essential as they provide the skin’s cells with all of the nutrients and oxygen required to remain healthy and functional throughout life. Ayurvedic practitioners also believe that sweat helps to cleanse the skin and restore the balance of moisture.

Functions And Facts About Your Skin

The three layers of the skin have specific roles and processes to complete. Let’s begin by looking at some key features of the epidermis layer.

Skin's Distinctive Color1. The Creation Of New Skin Cells: At the lowest levels of the epidermis works to create new skin cells that push their way up to the surface. Eventually, they die and fall away. Fresh cells from beneath replace these dead cells.

2. The Skin’s Distinctive Color: The epidermis is where your body makes melanin. Melanin is a pigment, which essentially dictates the tone of your skin. Higher amounts of melanin lead to darker skin.

3. A Barrier Between Your Body And Infections: The epidermis contains plenty of useful cells which give your immune system a boost and keep you safe from bacteria and viruses.

More Facts: The Dermis Layer

Now let’s look at some features of the dermis.

4. Sweat Comes From The Dermis: Sweat glands are located in the dermis layer. This is where sweat develops, helping the body to lose excess heat and regulate its temperature. On hot days, sweating helps you to stay cool. It is also a beneficial way of purifying your body.

5. Hair Strands Grow Here: The roots of hairs are located in the dermis from where hair strands begin to grow. The roots connect to muscles, which cause the hairs to straighten in cold areas.

Helpful Oils6. Releases Helpful Oils: In addition to sweat glands, other glands are also located in the dermis which release helpful oils. These oils moisturize your skin and give it an extra barrier against infections.

7. Blood Vessels Provide Oxygen And Nutrients:

The dermis layer is rich in blood vessels. Red blood cells travel through these vessels, bringing oxygen and minerals to your cells, helping them to grow and repair themselves.

Subcutaneous Fat Facts

The final layer of skin also has some vital roles to play.

8. Keeps The Skin Connected To Your Skeleton: The subcutaneous fat layer contains lots of connective tissue, helping your skin to stay attached to your muscles and skeleton.

9. Body TemperatureBoosts Your Blood Vessels And Nervous System: The dermis layer contains several blood vessels and nerve endings. These connect to larger blood and nerve systems in the subcutaneous layer.

10. Regulates Your Body Temperature: The fat located in this layer helps to keep you warm during cold days, but this layer can also send signals to the brain which help you cool down too.

11. Stores Fat For Protection: This layer contains plenty of fat, which acts as an emergency supply of nutrients and offers protection to the skeleton.

Your Skin Controls Your Body’s Temperature

Your skin is responsible for helping to restore a normal temperature when your body becomes too hot or too cold. It does this in various ways that include sweating and hair follicles standing on end.The ideal temperature for the human body is 98.6°F (37°C) and the skin works to keep this temperature steady each day.

For example, if you are too hot, the blood vessels around the skin will dilate, becoming bigger and allowing more heat to be lost through the skin’s surface. This is why you might get slightly red when you are hot. The brain also sends signals to the dermis layer of the skin, instructing your sweat glands to release sweat. Sweat carries heat away from your body and evaporates into the air.

On the other hand, if you are too cold, then your body will react in different ways. On chilly days, the blood vessels near the skin’s surface will constrict and become tighter. This means that less blood travels through these vessels and to keep your heat inside your body. Your skin also works by giving you little goosebumps. You will notice that these little bumps appear all around your body and your hairs begin to stand up straight. When the hairs on your body straighten up, a small layer of warm air gets trapped below them to help you recover to a normal temperature.

The Facts About Skin Penetration And Absorption

Skin PenetrationFortunately, our skin is a barrier, so it doesn’t absorb everything. Otherwise we would simply inflate every time we took a shower. However, it isn’t entirely impermeable, either.For instance, when you have a bath or go swimming, some water will enter the layer of dead skin cells on the outside of the epidermis.

This is why the skin looks wrinkled when you spend a long amount of time in water. This water will evaporate shortly after leaving the bath or pool, allowing the skin to return to its normal state.

You should be aware of the difference between absorption and penetration. Penetration is the process of a cream or lotion entering the different layers of the epidermis. However, the creams we apply to our skin don’t go any further than that, so they aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream.

When we talk about absorption, this is when a cream or product goes further than the epidermis layer. The chemicals contained in the products you use can actually push through to your blood stream and eventually carried around your body.

Fortunately, the body can deal with some chemicals and simply filters them out as waste products. However, some chemicals can start to accumulate in the body and this can cause various health problems. Ideally, you want to use small amounts of cream and skin products that don’t easily seep into your bloodstream.

Keep Your Skin Clean And Beautiful

You should keep your skin clean. To look after your skin each day, wash it gently with a bit of soap and warm water. Don’t overdo it with the cleaning products as we all have different skin types. If your skin is sensitive, it may react badly to certain chemicals or ingredients.

DermeffaceFX7As we get older, the aging process takes its toll. Age spots and wrinkles start to appear over time, but you can slow down this process by using a natural skin treatment. We would recommend the cream available at This topical cream is full of helpful nutrients and antioxidants to keep your skin looking beautiful and young.

Regular use of this treatment will slow down the signs of aging and keep your face wrinkle-free. The cream is perfectly safe to use, but it’s still worth checking with your doctor before you apply it as some people may suffer from allergic reactions.