Skincare: Beneath The Surface – Skin

Cultivating an effective and nourishing skincare routine is possibly the least invasive aesthetic option out there that is available to all of us. But with so many products, including a multitude of chemicals, compounds and molecules that we are told are brilliant for our skin, it can feel a little overwhelming trying to pick the right ones for you.

This is why it can really help to learn a little more about the underlying issues that your skin might be facing, and why they’re there. This is just how our Trikwan doctor duo, Dr Sanjay Trikha and Dr Zoya Diwan, will assess you during your skincare consultation, in order to create your personalised treatment package to help address your skincare needs.

Our Skin’s Structure

The skin is made up of 3 different layers, the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue). The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and is only 3-4 sheets of paper thick. Its functions are to protect your skin from the environment and toxins, and provide your skin tone. Cells called melanocytes produce the pigment melanin, which protects the skin from UV radiation, and the amount of this pigment created determines your skin tone. The majority of the epidermis, however, is made up of cells called keratinocytes which start their life at the bottom of the epidermal layer and slowly migrate to the top before being ‘sloughed’ off. This process is called ‘cellular turnover’, and you might have heard of it before; improving cellular turnover is often the aim of many skincare products and regimes.

The dermis is the middle layer of the skin and it is about 10 times thicker than the epidermis, with its main job being to support the epidermis and provide it with nutrients and moisture, as well as containing the hair follicles and sweat glands. This layer provides the skin with collagen and elastin, which gives the skin its suppleness, firmness and elasticity.

Finally, the hypodermis sits below the dermis and is made up of fat and connective tissue. This layer is not targeted in skincare regimes, although volume lost in this layer can be replaced by other aesthetic treatments, such as dermal fillers (Learn more about this here )

So, we’ve explained how healthy skin should function but how does that translate into how it should look?

Well, that top layer should be even and uniform, providing you with a clear and even skin tone throughout the face. And the process of cellular turnover we mentioned? Well that should be cycling around every 5-6 weeks, renewing the epidermis to maintain the quality of this upper layer. Meanwhile that middle layer, the dermis, should be strengthened by healthy collagen and elastin, providing support for that top layer, and providing a radiant, moisture rich and plump look at the surface.

But many of our skin textures may not feel quite how we have described here and there are many reasons why this might be the case. Most common among them are the toll that ageing, sun damage, stress, trauma and hormonal changes can take on your skin’s layers.

At the surface of the skin, in the epidermis, these factors can lead to the dysfunction of keratinocytes and melanocytes, leading to the appearance of brown spots, age spots, and freckling a.k.a, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. If the skin is damaged, cellular turnover slows down and causes a build-up of dead skin cells at the surface, making the skin look dull and giving it an un-even texture which exaggerates any fine lines and wrinkles, ageing your overall complexion.

Below the surface, in the dermis, those same factors lead to a decrease in production of collagen and elastin, as well as the damaging of existing collagen and elastin fibres. This weakens the support the dermis is providing for the overlying epidermis. Like lying on a worn-out mattress, the overlying skin sags without its support from the strong, plump underlying layer and, combined with the loss of elasticity, this causes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles at the surface. As these changes happen in the dermis, it also decreases the blood flow and delivery of nutrients to the epidermis, making it dull and lifeless in comparison with healthy skin.

So, what can you do to help combat these effects? Read on to the second blog of our Skincare: Beneath the Surface series to learn about how the ingredients included in transformative skincare products, such as the Obagi Skincare Systems we prescribe here at Trikwan Aesthetics, can help you to prevent and reverse this damage and leave you with rejuvenated, glowing skin.



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