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Understanding the Skin Cycle for Happier, Healthier Looking Skin

Posted by Anita Sun

For anyone who wants their skin to be healthy and blemish-free, it's important to understand the skin cycle and what it means for the appearance of your skin. Your skin protects you from UV radiation and infections while also regulating your body temperature. The skin cycle is a critical process that essentially involves healthy skin cells replacing dead ones after a certain period of time.

New skin cells are formed within the deeper layers of the epidermis, after which they begin to move towards the surface of your skin. Once this occurs, the skin cell will be completely matured, which results in it flaking off. The time it takes for a skin cycle to occur depends on numerous factors, the primary of which include hormones, your age, current stress levels, and any skin conditions that you suffer from.

Between the ages of 19-21, you should expect the skin cycle to occur every three weeks. At 35-40 years old, this process may take upwards of 28 days. The skin cycle will slow significantly as you continue to age. When you're in your 40's and 50's, the skin cycle will take place every 45-60 days. This timeline expands to 60-90 days when you reach 60 years old and older. The three separate layers that our skin consists of include the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. This article offers a detailed guide on the skin cycle and how it leads to healthier looking skin.

Discussing the Three Layers of Our Skin

There are three distinct layers to a person's skin, which include the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Each layer is important to the continued health and appearance of your skin.

The Outer Layer: The Epidermis

This is the outermost layer of the skin that is also the thinnest layer. The purpose the epidermis is the protect the other two layers of your skin from the elements and the environment surrounding you. There are four separate layers to the epidermis that include the stratum lucidum, the stratum granulosum, the stratum germinativum, and the stratum spinosum. There are also several different kinds of cells that are hosted by the epidermis, which extend to Langerhans, keratinocytes, and melanocytes. Each cell has a different role within the epidermis. For instance, Langerhans cells are responsible for keeping foreign substances away from your skin.

The skin cells that make up the epidermis will regenerate every 28 days or so, which is a process that involves the superficial skin cells being replaced by new ones. This process will invariably slow down as you age. Since this process slows down over time, the healing process will also take more time to be completed, which means that any cuts or bruises that occur on the epidermis will take more time to heal as you age. Keep in mind that millions of bacteria and microorganisms live on the epidermis, most of which are necessary to ensure that your body continues to properly function.

The Second Layer: The Dermis

The second layer of the skin is the dermis, which is also known as the corium. This layer of skin consists of blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen throughout your body while removing any waste products contained within. This layer of skin is highly complex and is comprised of numerous components, which include collagen that helps with flexibility, elastic fibers, sweat glands that regulate body temperature, and nerve endings.

When you experience pain on your skin, the nerve endings in the dermis are the cause for this sensation. As for the elastic fibers and collagen, the reduction in these proteins that occur over time will result in the development of wrinkles. As you age, your skin will naturally lose some of its elasticity.

The Third Layer: The Hypodermis

The third layer of skin is known as the hypodermis and is comprised of large nerves and blood vessels. This layer of skin also consists of connective and fatty tissues. The layer serves as a kind of insulation that provides additional help in the form of regulating body temperature.

As you age, the amount of fatty tissue in the hypodermis will reduce, which is why skin eventually sags. Since the subcutis provides insulation and regulates your body temperature, it serves as protection for your inner organs. All three layers of skin must be in good condition if you want your skin to appear beautiful and your body to be as healthy as it can be.

Collagen and Your Skin

As mentioned previously, collagen is among the most important protein that's found within your skin. Collagen is located directly in the dermis and is by far the most plentiful protein in your skin. It's also the reason why you appear young even at the age of 40 or 45 if the amount of collagen within your skin is well-maintained. When your skin consists of a high amount of collagen, the development of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin should be avoided altogether.

There are two factors that can worsen the ability that your body has to produce collagen, which include the natural process of aging and surrounding environmental factors. Along with worsening the ability for your body to make collagen, aging and environmental factors can also damage your existing collagen. This can occur at any age and isn't the same with everyone.

Elastin is also very important to the elasticity of your skin. Elastin is a kind of protein in the dermis layer of your skin that co-exists with collagen. This protein is in charge of providing your skin and inner organs with support and structure. As is the case with collagen, the elastin within your body will become diminished because of the elements and your age. When the levels of this protein drop, your skin will begin to sag, which can cause wrinkles to become more pronounced.

How to Know Your Skin Type

To best understand what your skincare needs are, it's important that you know your skin type. Keep in mind that your skin is the largest organ that your body has, which is why it's essential that you use skincare products that pair well with your skin type. If you tend to have sensitive skin, it's highly recommended that you don't use harsh treatments and cleansers when attempting to improve the health and quality of your skin.

There are three separate skin types that you should be aware of, which include dry skin, normal skin, and oily skin. If you have dry skin, the skin may feel tight during the day. This type of skin is brought about as the result of many factors like hormonal changes, environmental factors, and genetics. If you want to avoid dry skin, it's important that you remain hydrated and drink ample amounts of water throughout the day. You should also avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol. If you want to cleanse your dry skin without removing important oils, perform daily exfoliation with non-abrasive skincare products. Try to look for moisturizers that consist of glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

If you believe that you have normal or combination skin, this type of skin typically results in dry cheeks that should be moisturized on a regular basis. If you have this type of skin, breakouts of various skin conditions will likely be common. Gentle exfoliation on your face should improve the appearance and condition of this area of your skin. Only use a small amount of a moisturizer to avoid stressing the skin.

Oily skin typically exists because the pores in your skin have become clogged and congested. While this allows your skin to maintain its youthful appearance, it's possible for the skin to be too oily at times. With this type of skin, make sure that you avoid abrasive skincare products. If you want to use the right skincare product, it's important that you know your skin type. In the event that you use an abrasive skincare product on dry skin, the top layer of skin can become damaged and worsen your appearance. Keep in mind that skin changes over time, which is why it's important to adapt to these changes and alter your skincare routine if necessary.

Maintaining Healthy Skin for Our Skin Cycle

Skin maintenance is relatively simple as long as you take some basic steps to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. For instance, make sure that you drink ample amounts of water and eat food with the right antioxidants and vitamins. In general, your diet should be healthy and well-balanced. These steps alone should make your skin healthier and improve your appearance.

Your skin should retain its appearance as long as you rinse your face at least twice every day. While many people believe that getting a suntan can improve their appearance, high exposure to the sun only serves to damage the skin. If you don't have an ample amount of sun exposure, it's possible that visible wrinkles won't form until you are into your 60's and 70's. If you notice some odd changes and blemishes with your skin, make sure that you speak with your doctor immediately.

You should also consider your microbiome, which includes all of the viruses, fungi, and bacteria that can be found inside your body and on your skin. By treating your skin well, you should be able to maintain a proper microbiome, which should allow you to cultivate a youthful appearance. By effectively understanding the skin cycle, you should have control over how healthy your skin looks. With the right skincare products in hand, your skin should retain its youthful appearance even as you age.

Comments & Discussion

  • Laney

    Excellent article! Very informative!

    August 24, 2022

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