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  • Writer's pictureBrittney Sladky

2021: Let's Get Back to Basics

If there is one thing I have learned from 2020 it is that life is good when it’s simplified. So many of us have had our busy, go-go-go schedules come to a screeching halt. And since then life has slowed WAAAAY down.

Many have stopped commuting every day, and began working from home. Many have stopped regularly eating out, and instead now cook most of their meals themselves. No summer camps, no baseball games, no county fairs, no birthday parties… I know for my family, date night is now nonexistent, and Family Movie Night now happens multiple times a week!

Staying at home most of the time has had its perks. We can stay in our pajamas all day, I can throw a load of laundry in on my work breaks, meaning i have more time to relax in the evenings, and I LOVE not having to put makeup on every day! I also have much more time for Self Care, and that includes my daily Skin Care Regimen!

This leads me to our focus for the beginning of the new year. Let’s get…

Back to Basics

To understand why taking care of your skin is so important, I thought it would be important to understand, well… the skin!

So I am taking some info from the ASCP’s Skindeep magazine to help us brush up on our skin histology, and what is happening at each layer of the skin-the epidermis and dermis! If you love the science of how things work, you’ll love this!

Let’s start with the EPIDERMIS. It is the outermost layer of the skin, providing a waterproof barrier, and creates our skin tone. Here there are five layers:

#5) The bottom most layer is known as the Stratum Germinativum or Basal Layer. Two specialized cells live here; the keratinocyte and the melanocyte. In simple terms, this is the layer where pigmentation begins its life. From here the keratinocyte begins it’s journey, and will migrate up through the other layers, eventually morphing into the dreaded sun spots we see at the surface of the skin.

#4) The Stratum Spinosum layer is the 4th layer of the Epidermis, located just above the Basal Layer. When the keratinocyte passes through this layer of the skin it picks up melanosomes (or packets of melanin). This layer is also home to Immunity Cells. These cells help fight redness and inflammation in the skin and calm sensitivites.

#3) The third layer of the Epidermis is the Stratum Granulosum. At this level natural moisturizing factors are released, and keratinization takes place. This process makes the skin more resistant to friction and water, yet pliable. If this layer isn’t healthy, from a healthy diet and plenty of water, water can evaporate from the skin. This lack of moisture leads to dehydrated skin and acne, where dull, dry skin cells pile up on themselves. This layer will appreciate hyaluronic acid and a good serum full of essential fatty acids.

#2) Stratum lucidum is the layer responsible for your fingerprints.

#1) Finally, the Stratum Corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis and is responsible for maintaining the skin’s integrity and health through hydration. This layer is comprised of cells that began deep down in the Basal Layer and transitioned upward through the various strata of the epidermis. These cells are pre-programmed from the beginning of their life cycle to die and flake off the surface to make way for new cells. It takes water to regulate the sloughing off of these dead cells, and we receive water into the skin in two ways: topically and internally. If we don’t drink enough water, the rate of cell turnover is reduced, and our skin issues can manifest. Topically, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid will activate the enzymes that allow natural exfoliation.

Let’s touch quickly on the DERMIS. The Dermis is the framework of the skin. Collagen and Elastin are created here. If you are seeing wrinkles, this is where they reside. After all, wrinkles are a degradation of collagen. Ingredients and treatments that stimulate collagen regrowth will help rebuild the dermis.

Now that you know that there is more to the skin than meets the eye, let’s set up a treatment plan and home care to correct the issues happening deep down under your skin!

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