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Functions of the Skin: How to Take Care Your Skin During WFH

Functions Of The Skin: How To Take Care Your SkinFunctions Of The Skin: How To Take Care Your Skin

Skin is vital to overall health. It performs six primary functions as our body’s first line of defense against toxic substances, radiation, and harmful chemicals that help us and protect us.

This article will detail those functions of the skin, giving you a clear idea of the vital role the human skin plays in everyday life, and how it can be improved.

What is the 6 major functions of the skin?

Skin is one of the most complex organs in the human body. Skin surface protects us from bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances. It also regulates temperature, provides insulation, and for the fun fact skin is also the largest organ we have. It might be a rough function you might know. But today, we would talk about them more formally and scientifically start from 6 major functions of the skin.

1. Protection

Skin composed of many layers. This pigmentation helps prevent damage from the sun. The first barrier to protects the body from bacterial infection. Sweat produced by sweat glands helps prevent the skin from drying out and cracking. Bacteria present on the skin cause pimples and other problems. As bacteria invade the skin, they are recognized by Langerhans's cells which then alert the body. These cells produce chemicals that cause the body to fight off the invaders.

2. Regulation

Our bodies are constantly adjusting to environmental conditions. When we experience a change in our surroundings, the body responds by changing its internal temperature and produces sweat to cool down the body. The body temperature can also reduce by dilating or contracting the capillary vessels. The muscles in the skin also raise the hairs on the surface of the skin to trap a layer of insulating gas. Fatty tissue at the bottom of the layers acts as an effective insulator to prevent heat loss.

3. Secretion

Sweat glands are present in many parts of the body. Their primary function is to regulate the temperature of the body. However, they also secrete certain chemicals that can be detected by others. These chemicals are called “sweat pheromones”. Some people claim that these pheromones are attractive to the opposite sex.

4. Excretion

Sebaceous glands are responsible for excrementing an oily substance called sebum which helps maintain healthy skin and hair. These glands, influenced mainly by the endocrine system, are located all over skin, but have the greatest density in the scalp, face’s T zone and cheeks. They help to lubricate not only hair, but also skin’s surface, so that they can then go on serving their other functions successfully.

5. Sensation

Within the layers of our skin are thousands of tiny structures called receptors, which help us detect sensation. Nerve endings do a similar job they give human sensations include touch, vibration, temperature, pressure, tickling and pain.

6. Absorption

Absorption is also important for the synthesis of Vitamin D which is needed to help absorb calcium and promote bone development. The skin absorbs Vitamin D from the sun‘s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although this is a very important process, it is just equally important to protect the skin from being exposed to too much sunlight. Too much exposure to the sun can not only cause skin cancers, but also sunburn. If the skin is injured, it can’ t perform all its important functions properly.

Skin also absorbs oils, so some creams can be applied directly to the skin. However, it’s important to only use creams and lotions that are prescribed by your doctor. If you are pregnant or have any special medical conditions, it’s also important to follow directions carefully.

Fun fact: the skin is not able to absorb water.

Functions Of The Skin: How To Take Care Your Skin

Structure of the skin

Skin is the largest organ of our body and work as the primary immune system against external threats. It consists of three layers including epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Which every layers contain a lot of glands and components.

Epidermis, Outer layer of the skin

The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. It protects the body from toxins and bacteria or moisture loss. It also provides a barrier against water loss and keeps your skin moisture. This layer is made up of dead cells and only has 0.1 - 1.5 mm of thickness. Divided into five sub-layers.

  • The stratum corneum is the first layer of the skin. It’s made up of dead cells that have been shed over time.
  • The stratum lucidum is made up of living cells that produce sebum, which lubricates the skin.
  • The stratum granulosum lies beneath the stratum corneum. It contains many tiny blood vessels and sweat glands.
  • The strata spinosum and stratum basale lie beneath the stratum granulosmum. They contain hair follicles and sebaceous glands.

On the epidermis, there is some procession called desiccation. It happens when we sweat, the water evaporates and leaves behind salt crystals made your skin loss of moisture. This is why we drink water in order to keep the body hydrated and replace those lost salts.

The epidermis has very short lifespan when the cells die, they are shed off and new ones replace them. These cells are replaced every 28 days.

Dermis, Middle layer of the skin

The dermis is is where blood vessels and nerves run made up of collagen, elastin, and fibroblasts. The cells in dermis can produce proteins that help keep the skin firm and flexible and treat as a shield when your body bump into somethings. Ages and daily activities directly affected this layer of the skin and made them lose collagen and elastin, which is the cause of wrinkles. The dermis consist of two layers which called papillary dermis and reticular dermis.

  • The papillary dermis is the top layer of skin. It contains blood vessels and nerve endings. It also has hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and oil glands.
  • The reticular dermis is the middle layer of skin. It is thicker than the papillary dermis and contains more collagen. It also has fewer blood vessels and nerves. This layer of skin is where most of your body’s fat cells are located.

Subcutaneous, Inner layer of the skin

Subcutaneous fat layer is the deepest layer of human skin. It is composed of a network of collagen fibers and fat cells. Fat in the subcutaneous layer of the skin is important for protecting the deeper structures of the body from heat, cold, and shock. It also serves as insulation for the deeper tissues, absorbing shock to the body.

Subcutaneous fat layer also gives your body a smooth and contoured appearance, reserved energy in fat cells, produce some of hormones like leptin, contains deep pressure sensors and contains blood vessels which take important roles in body's thermoregulation. Losing the subcutaneous fat content in your skin leads to sagging skin especially around your chin and neck areas.

read more about structure and function of the skin: here

Healthy and Unhealthy Skin

Your skin always has a risk of being damaged all the time by the surrounded environment. Without proper protection, walking in a park will also damage your skin. We could call them our barrier, but the skin is the sensitive organ too. Without attention, ignored skin may lead you to severe illness. This skin barrier also needs to be taken care of, or it'll show the sign of damage. To know your skin condition, you can clarify it from some physically signs of unhealthy skin:

Skin Color or Tone

Normal skin has a consistent tone throughout. With unhealthy skin, you can easily see patches of different tones all across your face. These patches could be red or darker in color. One of the main signs of unhealthy skin is the appearance of dark spots all over the face. This could be caused by many unhealthy habits or an underlining health condition. For example stress and lack of sleep could cause it.

Skin Dryness

When your skin is very dry, flaky, and itchy, it is telling you something. Dry skin is most noticeable in areas such as around the lips, under the eyes, elbows, knuckles, and ankles. Your skin needs to be well moisturized and should not be treated externally with a moisturizer or cream. You need to take care of your skin internally by using skincare so that it can maintain moisture.

Skin Texture

Poor skin texture is an easy way to tell if your skin is healthy or unhealthy. You can feel your skin when you touch it. Smooth skin feels soft and healthy. Rough skin feels bumpy and unhealthy.

Skin Sensations

Your skin will let you know if it is becoming unhealthy. It could show signs such as itching, pulling of the skin, stinging, burning, redness, dryness, flaking, cracking, peeling, or other problems. These are sure signs of skin issues. They could be caused by a new product that may cause an allergic reaction. Otherwise they could be the result of ignoring your skin.

Functions Of The Skin: How To Take Care Your Skin

What can damage your skin?

Sunlight

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation or sun rays damages the DNA inside the cell nucleus. UVR penetrates through the upper part of the skin and reaches the lower parts of the skin after passing through several layers of tissue. Sunburn occurs when there is direct contact between the skin and UV light. Skin burns may occur on any area of the body but it usually happens on exposed areas such as face, hands, arms, legs, feet, scalp, ears, lips, etc. Exposure to too much sunlight increases risk of developing melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Melanocytes are responsible for producing pigment known as melanin. These pigments protect the skin against harmful effects of UVR. However, if these pigments become defective due to genetic mutation then chances of getting malignant tumors increase. 

Pollution

Airborne pollutants enter the lungs and reach the bloodstream via the airways. Once in the bloodstream, these particles travel throughout the entire body causing inflammation and oxidative stress. Pollutants include heavy metals, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, detergent residues, combustion products, and other substances. Some of these pollutants penetrate the skin and affect directly to other immune system.

Unhealthy Diet & Dehydration

Your skin needs water to work properly. Water helps keep your skin looking young and vibrant. When you drink, your skin drinks up the water you put into your body. Skin cells are made up of water, so if your skin isn't getting enough water, it will be dehydrated and appear dry and tight. Dry skin is more likely to wrinkle.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Cigarettes and alcohol are the most common vices, but they are also the two worst for your skin. Smoking cigarettes constricts the blood vessels, which decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the skin. This lack of oxygen and nutrients causes wrinkles and sagging skin, and the constant movement of puffing or sucking on cigarettes puckered the lips, which eventually lead to deep lines around the mouth. Also, drinking alcohol dehydrates the entire body and as mentioned before, dehydration causes the skin to age much faster than well-nourished skin.

Chemical Irritants

There are many household items that can cause irritation to your skin. These include cleaning products and laundry detergents. Your skin will react differently to each one of them. Some may cause redness, burning and/or dermatitis.

What happened when your skin damaged

Wrinkles

As mentioned before, aging causes loss of elasticity and collagen production in our bodies. As a result, our skin starts losing its ability to bounce back. Wrinkle formation occurs due to the breakdown of connective tissue under the surface of the skin. Collagen helps give skin strength and flexibility. Over time, these breaks lead to fine lines and creases on the face. These signs indicate that your skin is getting older.

Pores

A lot of people think pores look ugly because their pores get bigger during puberty. But actually, pore size doesn't change much throughout life. Pores do become larger if you use makeup regularly. However, using too much make-up will clog pores and prevent moisture from escaping through the skin. So try not to wear heavy foundation every day. Instead, apply moisturizer at night and wash your face first thing in the morning.

Acne

This happens when bacteria gets trapped underneath the skin and forms acne lesions. Acne usually appears on the cheeks, forehead, nose, chest, shoulders, upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and sometimes even between toes. While acne isn't harmful, it does affect self confidence. You should avoid touching your pimples until they dry out completely.

How to Take Care of Your Skin

  1. Wash Your Face: Washing your face removes dirt and oils that accumulate and make your skin appear pore-clogged. You should wash your skin every morning and at night.
  2. Get More Sleep: Beauty Sleep is a real thing. Experts recommend a consistent sleep schedule and a cool dark room. Remember, our bodies need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Breathe Clean Air: Breathing clean air helps keep your skin healthy. It also helps remove toxins from your body. When you breathe in polluted air, these toxins are absorbed into your bloodstream and stored in your fat cells.
  4. Exercise Regularly: Exercising increases blood flow to the skin, drawing oxygen into and out of the skin.
  5. Use A Moisturizer: Using a moisturizer every day will help keep your skin healthy and smooth. As we said your skin can absorb oil directly using moisturizer can give your skin nutrients directly.
  6. Drink Water: Water is essential to keeping skin healthy. If you don't drink enough water, your skin will appear dull and dry. You can get rid of dark circles under your eyes by drinking lots of water.
  7. Wear Sunscreen: The sun is the main cause of wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. Sunscreen provides essential protection from the sun's harmful rays. Protective clothing and limiting sun exposure are also important.
  8. Ask The Guru: There are skincare gurus around the internet with a hundred or more tips to take care of your skin. Try to learn from them.
Functions Of The Skin: How To Take Care Your Skin

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Build a Skin Care Routine ?

A skin care routine should include cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and protecting. Cleansing removes dirt, oil, makeup, and other debris from the skin. Toning helps even out skin tone and texture. Moisturizing keeps skin hydrated and plump. Protecting prevents damage caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure, wind, cold, heat, and pollution.

Are Face Masks Worth to use?

Yes, they are worth using because they help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. And you don't have to use the expensive one.

Darker skin looks healthier than light colored skin?

Yes, dark pigmented skin looks healthier than light colored skin. Dark pigments absorb harmful substances before they reach the bloodstream.

Do I really need to use sunscreen everyday?

Yes, you should always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen helps prevent sunburns and skin cancer.

What are the signs of aging?

As we age, our skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner. Our hair also starts to thin and lose its shine. We may start to develop wrinkles around our eyes and mouth. We may also experience changes in our voice, such as hoarseness.

Want to start a skincare brand?

Suppose you are looking for more sales in your business? Make sure you have the best support. Our team at Sphere Agency is here to help you manage your business from start to the end with the option you decide. See our Marketing Services and Contact Us today!

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By Guide on October 19, 2021

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Sphere is a digital agency that helps brands create meaningful relationships with today’s highly-connected consumers. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, we offer end to end digital solutions built on strategy and driven by data.

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