Similar to the hide of the animals, the skin is the external covering of the human body. It is considered to be the largest integumentary system organ in humans, which controls what takes place internally. The skin comprises several ectodermal tissue layers and it protects the muscles, ligaments, bones and other underlying organs. The human skin is comparable to the skin or hide of majority of other mammals, barring the fact that it is not covered with fur. Hair follicles cover almost all human skin, but there are exceptions too, as some people may have hairless skin. Generally, there are two skin types - hairy and glabrous. When we use the adjective "cutaneous" it actually denotes "of the skin". This term has been derived from the Latin word "cutis", which means skin.
Since our skin comes in contact with the environment, it plays a crucial role in protecting our body against various pathogens and also does not allow excessive water loss from the body. The human skin has various other functions too, including regulating the body temperature, insulation, sensation, vitamin D synthesis, and protecting the folates. When the skin is damaged severely, it will itself try to heal by developing scar tissues, which are usually de-pigmented and discoloured.
The human skin is composed of several constituents, including water, proteins, lipids, chemical and even minerals. The human skin is made up of three basic layers, which includes the epidermis or the outer layer, the dermis (middle layer) and the hypodermis or the subcutaneous fat layer.
As most of us are aware, the external layer of our skin is called epidermis and it is made up of translucent cells that make a protein called keratin. This protein helps to protect us from all possible harmful elements in the environment. Epidermis is the only layer of the skin that can be seen as well as touched. In addition, this layer of our skin also accommodates cells that make melanin, the substance that is responsible for our complexion. Generally speaking, the epidermis not only regulates our skin complexion, but also aids the body in retaining water.
The dermis lies between the epidermis and the hypodermis and it contains two vital proteins that are responsible for the strength as well as the texture of the skin. These proteins are called collagen and elastin and they help us by preventing the skin from sagging and wrinkling. However, the amount of collagen and elastin begins to decrease, besides breaking down with aging. This is why almost all anti-aging products available in the market contain these proteins, albeit synthetically produced. In addition to elastin and collagen, the dermis also encloses blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands and hair follicles. When one cuts oneself and feels the pain, he/ she should remember that this is due to the nerves as well as receptors present in the dermis.
The subcutaneous layer or the hypodermis is the inner most layer of the skin. This layer is composed of collagen cells and fat. In fact, the subcutaneous layer is responsible for retaining heat. At the same time, it is shock absorbent and shields our internal organs from various types of damages. Our skin starts sagging when any tissue in the subcutaneous layer begins to deteriorate. In fact, our skin is not only the largest organ of our body, but it is vital considering the fact that it serves manifold purposes.
As we age, the skin also becomes thinner as well as more susceptible to damages. This effect intensifies as we age and it is manifested in the fact that the skin loses much of its healing abilities.
There are various symptoms and signs of an aging skin. The most notable sign is perhaps the fact that our skin loses much of its volume as well as elasticity when it ages. Several internal factors are responsible for the aging of our skin, especially premature aging. For instance, the blood flow to the skin also decreases when it ages. At the same time, the glandular activities also witness a notable decrease.
The various clinical findings of aging skin have been categorized by an authenticated all-inclusive grading scale. These findings include factors issues like skin laxity (sagging) and rhytids (wrinkles). It also covered a variety of aspects of photo aging, counting poor skin texture, keratoses (abnormal skin growth), erythema (redness), solar elastosis (yellowing), telangiectasia (chronic dilation of blood capillaries in the skin), dyspigmentation (brown discoloration) and many such features of aging skin.
In fact, in recent times there has been an explosion in the use of Botox and various other injectibles to treat wrinkles and improve the tone as well as firmness of the sagging skin. In addition, there are innumerable other procedures that are undertaken in the clinic of a physician. At the same time, a section of clients who are more eco-conscious have been demanding products as well as services with the least possible trace of carbon. They have been looking for skin care products that are more sustainable environmentally.
There is some good news for such eco-conscious clients as preliminary studies have found that plant stem cells may be effective in curing various skin related problems. Irrespective of whether they are used in the form of an alternative to or addition to medical procedures or surgery, the latest generation plant cell products are certainly best for your skin care.