If you’re concerned about the condition and appearance of your skin, you’ve probably already discovered that the world of anti-aging and skin care products is full of empty promises. Manufacturers seem to be willing to say almost anything in order to get you to buy.
If you don’t know a lot about how your skin works, it can be hard to figure out which products really do what they claim and which ones aren’t worth your time. Taking the time to educate yourself, however, can give you the key to maintaining beautiful skin without too much fuss. Here’s a look at some basic skin facts that can help.
What Is Skin?
We tend to think of our skin as a single layer of pigmented tissue covering our muscles, ligaments and tendons, but it’s actually much more complex. The skin counts as the largest organ in the body and is made up of three distinct layers. The top layer, or epidermis, is the part we see on a regular basis and is responsible for skin tone and keeping out water, bacteria, environmental contaminants and other potential dangers.
Under the epidermis lies the dermis. This later of skin is where the hair follicles and sweat glands are located. It’s also the layer in which connective tissue is located. This tissue is responsible for keeping the skin firm and elastic, and is one of the major factors in the aging process.
The connective tissue continues down into the last layer, or hypodermis, which also contains the fat that keeps areas around the eyes and cheeks looking younger. This layer of the skin helps it stay attached to the bone and muscle underneath the skin. It also provides the nerves and blood vessels that help us maintain sensation and keep the skin healthy.
The Role of Moisture
Moisture is an important part of maintaining beautiful skin. This occurs via internal hydration, which plumps up the skin cells and reduces sagging, as well as via external hydration. Your skin naturally produces moisturizing oils from the sebaceous glands in the dermis. These keep the upper layers soft and supple. When dirt and debris from the air or the skin’s surface collect in the sebaceous glands, however, the result is a blemish.
Your skin can also overproduce its natural oil, especially in response to excessive cleansing. That’s why it’s so important to use a gentle cleansing product like Xtend-Life foaming facial cleanser to remove dirt without causing damage or dryness.
How Wrinkles Form
Wrinkling is the most recognizable sign of aging, but many people don’t know how or why it occurs. Wrinkles begin to occur as the dermis and hypodermis become thinner and the epidermis thickens. The body begins to produce less collagen and elastin, two proteins that are important for the maintenance of connective tissue. These changes cause the epidermis’s support structure to weaken and sag under the force of gravity. Skin creases that were once temporary last longer and eventually become permanent.
Prevention and Protection
These skin facts mean that it’s impossible to completely reverse the aging process or prevent it from happening entirely. You can work on protecting your skin from some of the factors that damage it, however. Using a restorative moisturizer such as Xtend-Life age defying day cream or restorative night cream can help give your skin the moisture it needs. The right products can also reduce the loss of elasticity and firmness by targeting collagen and elastin production. It’s never too early to start protecting your skin. Find the right care routine and treat your skin gently to keep it in the best condition possible.