What function does your skin have other than making you weigh more? Did you know that the part that you feel and touch daily is actually a layer of dead cells? Do you know why your skin sags when crash dieting? Then read on.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, weighs around 6lb (2.7kg) and covers an area of 19sq ft (1.6 sq m). It is estimated that a piece of skin the size of a 10p coin contains about 12 blood vessels, 25 nerve endings, 100 sweat glands and 3 million cells.
The outer layer of skin (epidermis) consists of a top layer of dead cells, constantly being sloughed off and replaced by new ones from the lower, living part of the same layer.
Under these we find layers of fat, which separate the skin from the muscles and bones while also cushioning and supporting it. This is why if you ‘crash-diet’ too extensively, your skin may sag, depending on the amount of fat, of course.
If our skin is so important we should take care good care of it, right? We will discuss skin care routine in the next article but now, let us identify what kind of skin we have.*
- Dry skin is usually associated with fair-haired and light-skinned women but that is not always the case. This skin is fine textured, has no enlarged pores and often feels ‘tight’, particularly if it has been in water, wind or cold weather. It chaps easily and can look flaky. It needs care from an early age. Some women with dry skin have patchy red cheeks caused by broken veins known as split or dilated capillaries. Skin that suffers from broken veins should not be steamed, roughly handled or subjected to extremes of temperatures. Only mild products and gentle routines should be applied.#
- Greasy skin is more common among dark-haired women. This is a sallow skin, which develops a film of grease (particularly around the cheeks and the nose) shortly after washing and almost always in the morning as well. It is called the ‘orange-peel’ skin as the pores are often enlarged and is prone to blackheads. It ages well though as it tends to get better with the years passing.#
- Combination skin is usually oily down the central part of the face (the T-zone consisting of the middle of the forehead, the nose and the chin) but it is dry and feels tight everywhere else.
- Balanced skin is the type that is ‘just right’. Not too greasy nor too dry. It is sometimes called ‘normal’ skin but it is not normal at all as this is the rarest of skin types. No harsh products that may over-stimulate the oil glands should be used on it but it has to be kept moisturised to prevent it from drying out.
*This list is far from being complete so for a more complete and accurate skin analysis speak to your beauty therapist.
#Both greasy and dry skins can be very sensitive to sun, wind, food, drink and emotions, as well as to what you put on them and how you handle them. They are more prone to develop allergies to the products used.