In part 1 of the mini Skinformation series, we focused on the top layer of our skin, the epidermis.
In this serie we will focus on the next layer, the dermis and their functions related to skincare.
The word has ancient Greek roots with derma, meaning "skin".
This is the middle layer of our skin and it is the thickest layer of the skin.
The dermis is a complex layer and has many functions. Let's take a closer look.
The dermis contains collagen, elastin fibers, fat cells and blood vessels.
- Collagen and elastin fibers
help make the dermis thick,
support the epidermis by providing
strength and flexibility.
- The elastin fibers ensure that skin is kept in it's place, stretches and recover. Can you imagine the skin slipping down when we stand up? The dermis ensures that our skin moves with us, as we move.
- Fat cells cushions impacts and insulate us from heat and cold.
- Blood vessels help maintain our epidermis by transporting nutrients as well as supplying the immune cells that would deal with any micro-organisms trying to invade through cuts and abrasions.
The dermis also contains connective tissues, nerve endings, sweat glands, hair follicles and oil glands.
-The nerve endings allow you to feel sensations like heat, cold, pain, pressure and itchiness. Vital information is provided to the central nervous system about our surroundings.
- Sweat glands are our built in thermoregulator. It produces sweat when we are feeling hot or experiencing stress, thereby, controlling our body temperature
- The hair follicles produce hair all over our skin with exception of the soles of our feet and palms of our hands
- The sebaceous glands secrete sebum. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance. It is composed of fat cells (triglycerides, wax esters, squalene and cholesterol). It coats, moisturizes and protects our skin. Sebum keeps the skin and hair hydrated and healthy.
Note 1: An overproduction of sebum due to overactive sebaceous glands will have an opposite effect, as it can lead to oily skin, clogged pores and acne. Overproduction can be caused by different reasons. Just to name a few, dry or dehydrated skin, damaged skin barrier or hormonal imbalance for example during puberty and pregnancy.
Note 2: An underproduction of sebum due to underactive sebaceous glands can also lead to other skin problems. It can result in dry, flaky or itchy skin.
All is not lost in case of a dry skin, dehydrated skin or a damaged barrier. Use a good hydrator to increase the hydration and soften the skin and/or a good moisturizer which will lock in the moisture in the skin, but also repairs and reinforce the skin's natural barrier (stratum corneum).
Seed & Essentials The Skin Hydrator is a must try if you are looking for such a product.
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