31 Jan Honey Body Care protect your skin
We can consider our skin a “shell”, which protects our entire body. The skin can regulate the temperature of the body, avoiding being too cold in winter or too hot in summer. It can intercept bacteria or foreign substances, preventing them from reaching the internal organs, where they might cause very serious effects.
In the skin we can find vitamin D, the substance the body needs to assimilate calcium and protect bones. Given the precious role it plays for our body, we can understand how important it is to cleanse, protect and treat it.
Although we see the skin as a single entity, there are several superimposed layers that form it. We call the outermost the epidermis, which comprises different layers of cells.
The innermost is the basal layer, a single row of cells resting on the basement membrane. These are “newborn” cells, which with the passing of the days undergo maturation, giving rise to the best known and most external stratum corneum.
The stratum corneum, that we “touch with our hands”, comprises laminar scales, which gradually break off in groups or individually. In certain situations, we can even visually “perceive” the detachment of these flakes from our skin, for example, from our hands. The stratum corneum is in fact very important because it represents the real “shell”, regulating the passage of water and solutes through the skin.
The stratum corneum is important, because the cells of this deeper layers undergo a process of differentiation. Gradually, rising to the surface, they “ripen and then age”.
The stratum corneum includes an internal layers, the skin barrier against the entry and exit of material (water, electrolytes, substances and bacteria).
In the compact stratum corneum we can find ceramides molecules able to cement the corneocytes and to bind a certain amount of water. These ceramides are partly responsible for the hydration state of the stratum corneum, and their contribution from the outside may be possible by applying cosmetic products that contain even small percentages of ceramides because they bring benefits to the skin. Together with ceramides, other molecules ensure the hydration state of the stratum corneum. These are small molecules such as amino acids, lactic acid, urea, inorganic salts that make up the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF, natural hydration factor).
More external than the compact stratum corneum is the disjoint stratum corneum, in which the corneocytes are no longer held together by stable bonds and therefore are free to detach themselves from the skin surface, either spontaneously or following mechanical peeling.
This process explains the importance of proper skin hydration. In dehydrated skin, and in aged skin, the physiological process of cell turnover is altered or slows down, contributing to the thickening and opacification of the skin.
In these cases it is necessary to supply the skin with hygroscopic substances, such as glycerin, urea, amino acids, simple sugars, and in particular the constituent factors of Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF), to restore the biochemical functions responsible for normal cell turnover.
The dermis, located immediately under the epidermis, a strong bundle of intertwined collagen fibers, rich in elastic fibers, many around the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. This structure causes the dermis to carry out a mechanical support action regarding the outermost layer of the epidermis. The elasticity of the dermis gives it significant resistance to traction, but not to cutting. Blood vessels and nerve endings are also abundant in the dermis. In particular, the blood vessels are essential for bringing nourishment not only to the dermis but also to the overlying epidermis.
The extracellular matrix of the dermis includes proteoglycans and glycoproteins, which, with their viscosity, support the formations of the dermis, the salt balance and the regulation of the water content of the connective matrix.
The importance of the function of the dermis, highlighted by observing how the biochemical alterations in the dermis, which can occur for example following premature skin aging because of UVA radiation, induce deep damage to tissues, with the consequent loss of skin elasticity, relaxation of the skin, loss of turgor, the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles.
We then come to the hypodermis, the deepest layer below the dermis, with variable thickness depending on the body area: smaller where the skin is in direct contact with bone or cartilage and greater in correspondence with the buttocks, palms or soles of the feet.
It performs a mechanical function, acting as a cushion between the different tissue layers, thus allowing the skin to slide over the bones, cartilages, muscles. In addition, it performs a thermoregulation function and provides the body with a reserve in case of energy needs.
The skin and the ages of life
What are the characteristics of a child’s epidermis?
It is often said “like that of a child” to indicate a smooth and hydrated skin.
The skin of the newborn and child is very delicate more than that of the adult. Characterized by a thinner stratum corneum, which translates into less protection against external agents and a high cutaneous absorption of substances. The dermis is thin, with collagen and elastic fibers not fully formed, therefore it has less mechanical resistance and less elasticity.
Among the skin appendages, the hair is very thin, while the sweat glands are absent; there is a low production of sebum, which helps to reduce the protection and to ensure that the little one has a little oily skin. Finally, the pH is higher: this means that infection from bacteria is reduced. In terms of hydration, the water content of the total skin is higher: 75% in children versus 64% in adults.
For all these reasons, to respect the characteristics of infant skin, it is advisable to take short baths with a controlled (lukewarm) water temperature, avoid vigorous drying and prefer the use of soft wipes. Finally, it is necessary to use specific products with a neutral pH, with low foaming power, with a gentle cleansing action and easy to rinse with high skin tolerability and with insignificant organoleptic characteristics (first the absence of perfume).
When a woman is pregnant, her skin changes and improves: why?
The amount of hormones in circulation brings benefits to the skin, which is more turgid, luminous, more hydrated, oily skin normalizes and acne improves. However, during pregnancy, dark spots may appear on the areas exposed to the sun, which may also disappear at the end of pregnancy. In addition, the tension of the skin of the body can favor the onset of widespread itching. It is therefore necessary to protect the skin from solar radiation to avoid pigmentation, moisturize the skin and use products that can guarantee elasticity to the skin such as vegetable or synthetic oils, to avoid the formation of stretch marks.
And what happens to the skin of the elderly person?
The changes, completely natural, immediately jump to the eyes. At sight, the skin shows particular signs on the face. To the touch, the skin is relaxed, not very elastic and wrinkled, and often has discoloration.
In these situations, the application on the skin of moisturizing, protective and restorative, anti-wrinkle, antioxidant, depigmenting products on the skin may be useful. Among the effective substances with antioxidant action, we can mention vitamin C, which induces the production of collagen, vitamin B3, which regulates metabolism and promotes the regeneration of collagen, vitamin E for its antioxidant effect, tea polyphenols green, which increase the minimal erythematous dose of UV, reducing DNA damage. Finally, we remember the peptides, substances widely used today, which increase skin hydration and deeply stimulate the production of collagen when applied to the skin.
Let’s come to man: is it true that his skin “suffers” less time?
Certainly. Male skin differs from female skin because of its greater thickness and the abundance of collagen and elastic fibers. The production of sebum greater, and the pilosebaceous follicles more dilated. From a physiological point of view, it is more lubricated and ages less. The sensory properties of the cosmetic products for men are also different: the products must be lighter, less greasy, and the scents and colors less intense.
Normal, dry, oily: when the skin changes!
Each skin has its own characteristics and requires tailored cosmetic treatments.
What should normal skin be like?
Healthy skin should glow and free from blemishes. It is smooth, lubricated, and has medium thickness and turgor. From a physiological point of view, it is well hydrated and has a balanced hydrolipidic film and good microcirculation. This feature is common in children, much rarer in adults. Dermocosmetic interventions maintain the physiological balance of the skin. We use maintenance treatments for daily protection and hydration; and the use of anti-aging products is to prevent the signs of aging.
When do we talk about dry skin?
The skin is thin, pale and dull, flaky, reddened with premature aging phenomena.
It is not very elastic, cracked, often has wrinkles, even at a young age. From a physiological point of view, it is characterized by a lack of lipids and water. However, a distinction must be made between dehydrated dry skin (with a lack of water) and dry alipidic skin (with a lack of lipids). However, the two situations can coexist.
Dermocosmetic interventions restore the normal constituents of NMF to the skin and the use of moisturizing substances capable of reducing water evaporation. With dry alipidic skin, the dermocosmetic intervention aims to restore the hydrolipidic balance by providing lipids (phospholipids, ceramides and fatty acids) and moisturizing and nourishing substances.
Oily skin – what is it?
Oily skin appears shiny, oily, sometimes dehydrated, with enlarged pores and acne scars. The complexion is dull, with excessive sebum production, caused by hormonal factors.
You can recognize an oily skin, characterized by a liquid sebum, which appears shiny, with dilated pores and asphyxiated skin, with dense, waxy sebum and trapped in the follicles. It is rough to the touch and has open or closed comedones. Oily skin can also be acneic, characterized by inflammation of the pilo-sebaceous unit.
It reveals itself in puberty, especially on the face and back/upper trunk.
Dermocosmetic interventions involve the use of substances that counteract sebaceous hypersecretion, favor the closure of the pores, deeply hydrate, and fight bacterial proliferation.
There are people in whom these conditions coexist and we talk about combination skin.
In these cases the skin appears shiny, especially on the forehead and nose, and often has imperfections.
To the touch there are characteristics common to oily and dry skin: in some areas it is thin and slightly flaky, in others oily. This type of skin shows a variable composition of the hydrolipidic film in the various regions of the face, affected by seasonal changes it is good to vary the products and treatments at different times of the year. Dermocosmetic interventions must be evaluated case by case, choosing the detergents carefully to avoid damaging the dry areas.
There are people who react strongly to external stimuli: but is there really a sensitive skin?
Yes. At sight it is delicate, dry and flaky, often red and irritable; to the touch it is hot and dry, and can present annoying manifestations such as burning and itching. The damaged barrier function makes it particularly susceptible to external aggressions and favors the appearance of premature aging phenomena.
Unfortunately, sensitive skin is a constantly growing phenomenon. The causes can be different: for example climatic effects (sun, wind, cold), genetic factors, unsuitable lifestyle, with stress, unbalanced diet, alcohol consumption.
Cosmetics should also be used with caution, since some may promote adverse reactions. This is the case of hair products (perms, dyes, lotions), depilatories, deodorants, make-up removers and detergents. Sensitive or intolerant skin is characterized by a particular individual reaction to irritating stimuli, which however do not provoke a response, or the same response in all subjects.
Why does the skin become sensitive, and how should this condition be addressed?
In sensitive skin, the signs of inflammation are clear and the defensive responses to external stimuli (environmental, food, alcohol and hormonal) are immediate. After all, skin inflammation is the body’s defense response to tissue damage caused by microorganisms, chemical or mechanical agents or resulting from certain pathologies.
The purpose of the inflammatory response is the elimination or deactivation of harmful factors and then repairs the damage suffered by the affected tissues.
Dermatological therapy can include cleansing with milk or solutions with slightly acidic or physiological pH, the use of cosmetics based on bioflavonoids (vitamin P) and vitamin C, and glycyrrhetic acid, lime, chamomile, witch hazel, orange blossom, thermal waters, all substances with soothing action. The primary purpose of the dermocosmetic intervention in irritated skin is a soothing action, the restoration of the skin barrier and the hydration of the tissue.