There is more to your face than cute freckles and dimples, you know. Despite what many people believe, the skin is far more than a simple covering that holds the body together. It’s actually one of the largest organs of the body, constituting a major part of the integumentary system (which protects the body from physical, chemical, thermal, biological and electrical damage). This system also includes the hair, nails and glands.
Aside from protecting us from damage, the skin is responsible for preventing excessive mineral loss; helping the body to maintain a steady temperature; assisting in the excretory process; and converting ultraviolet rays into Vitamin D for strong bones. Pretty far from a simple structure, eh?
Here are a few quick facts about the skin:
- Each square inch contains nearly 70 hairs, 100 sebaceous (oil) glands, 650 sweat glands, 80 yards of nerves and 10,000,000 cells.
- There are three layers to the skin:
a. Epidermis (This top layer is the thinnest and contains five individual layers and no blood vessels.)
b. Dermis (The tough second layer, the dermis contains two separate layers, including elastic connective tissue, that holds it all together.)
c. Subcutaneous (This fatty layer sits beneath the skin and connects to the underlying muscle tissue. It’s responsible for giving the skin a smooth foundation.)
- Keratin is the protein that makes up the hair, skin and nails.
- The skin regulates moisture, responds to sensory stimulation like heat, cold, pressure, pleasure and pain and metabolizes and stores fat.
This complex structure has the ability to transmit and receive information constantly, and when things inside aren’t functioning properly, one of the first places to show distress is the skin. Moreover, when things are working smoothly, your skin will display a healthy glowing complexion. Treat your skin and your body well, and you will have natural beauty at any age!