GENERAL AND BRIEF INFORMATION ABOUT SKIN
Skin allows us to sweat to cool off and pores close to help keep warmth in when the surrounding temperature feels cold. The same action of opening and closing pores also allows nutrients to enter and toxins to leave the organ. What we put on our skin goes into our bodies. Skin only knows how to make more skin cells, do daily metabolism for energy needs and to repair/replace old or damaged cells while sloughing off dead cells. Anything we put on our skin that can’t be used to these means ends up being pushed into our lymphatic system, the cleansing system that supports our immune system and can clog our nodes. Cells in the skin organ take 2 – 4 weeks to replace themselves.
The Epidermis is our outer layer and is about .5 mm thick – 1.5 mm thick depending upon where it is. Eyelids are the thinnest and palms and soles of feet are the thickest. It is made of 5 different layers and 3 different types of cells. The stratum basale layer is on the bottom and has cells shaped like columns that push and divide other already formed cells up into layers closer to the surface. The other layers in order are stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum licidum and stratum corneum. The dead flat skin cells that some people exfoliate with loofah sponges are in the top layer stratum corneum and shed about every 2 weeks.
Three types of cells exist in this layer: keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans. Keratin, a protein formed from particular amino acids, is a main component of epidermis. Keratinocytes produce keratin in this layer of our skin that then gets pushed to the surface as a protective layer of dead skin to be sloughed off about every 2 weeks. Keratin is vital for hair, nails and surface layer of our skin to be strong. It is responsible for the rigidity of our skin. Melanocytes produce melanin, our skin pigment and Langerhans cells stop things from getting into our skin.
The Dermis is the middle layer and also varies in thickness from .3 mm on the eyelids to 3 mm on our backs. This layer is made of collagen, elastin and reticular fibers. The upper layer of the dermis is called the papillary layer and is composed of a thin layer of collagen fibers. The reticular layer is thicker and is made of collagen fibers lying horizontally to the surface of our skin. This is where wrinkles happen. The cells in this layer are called fibroblasts and they synthesize the elastin and collagen. Pain and touch receptors are here too.
The Hypodermis layer is the fatty layer where sweat glands, collagen cells and fat are located. This is where skin sags, body heat is conserved and the last layer to protect internal organs. Sagging skin results when the collagen cells are depleted of the nutrients needed to make collagen. Collagen makes up 75% of our skin tissues.
Skin needs several precursors to make the different types of tissue including silica, zinc, balanced ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and selenium. Silica is a trace mineral that is vital to the strength of connective tissues in bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, nails, muscle, hair and skin. A deficiency results in a loss of skin elasticity, dull and dry brittle hair and slow wound healing. Food sources include cucumber, celery, green beans, leeks, asparagus, rhubarb, mango, strawberries. My personal favorite for hair is using the herb horsetail in apple cider vinegar and clean water as a spray conditioner. (Keep an eye out for my ebook with formulas that are easy for you to make on your own!)
Zinc controls the production of oil in the skin and of some hormones that create acne. A deficiency could result in acne. Our bodies require and use zinc to create healthy immune systems, vision, taste, smell, skin and prostrates. I have learned for myself that when I get a sore throat the first thing I do is get cough drops with zinc or zinc and elderberry tablets. Foods that replenish zinc include oats, ginger, pecans, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, eggs and oysters. Zinc can be found in supplements and in liquid and tablet form.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EFAs) support skin repair and overall tissue flexibility and ability to retain moisture content. A deficiency can create white and black heads or dry inflamed skin. It is important to balance Omega 3 & 6 EFAs for smoother, younger looking skin. Our bodies cannot produce EFAs and they need to be replaced through diet for internal organs and through skin care topically for our external organ, or skin. This is why both my products contain the proper ratio and molecular density of EFAs through plant sources which match our skins’ needs. Food sources for Omega 6 include grains and grain products. Food sources for Omega 3 include cold water wild salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, flaxseed, and safflower oil. Supplemental oils can be found from chia seeds, flaxseed and wild-harvested fish oils. Essential Fatty Acids are good fats our bodies and skin need in order to maintain cell membrane integrity. Young skin maintains its ability to hold moisture inside skin cells. Over time this ability decreases. Cell membranes keep water and nutrients in while allowing waste to pass out of the cell. EFAs keep our cells healthy and the membranes functioning. When our skin gets depleted of its EFAs and amino acids our cells cannot keep a buoyant shape and the result is saggy and aged looking skin.
Selenium is an antioxidant mineral needed by our skin for tissue elasticity and is used for binding with free radicals to reduce and prevent the cell damage that free radicals cause so that skin is protected from excess UV damage. Food sources include wheat germ, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, eggs, brazil nuts (3-4 a day) garlic, tuna, wild salmon. Skin and the integumentary system have its own nutrient needs internally and topically and when any variable is out of balance rashes, blemishes, tone imbalances, wrinkles and other manifestations can occur.
Collagen is a protein made of amino acids that form themselves as fibers referred to as fibrous scleroproteins. They can have up to 19 amino acids in a long chain molecule. About 20 different types of collagen exist in living organisms. Four amino acids in particular stand out in their roles in collagen production and 2 of them (#3 and 4) are not found in any other proteins: 1) proline 2) glycine 3)hydroxyproline 4) hydroxylysine. The supporting tissue to hair follicles is made of collagen. Collagen is also a component of myelin sheath nerve fiber. Collagen is produced in the connective tissue cells, in fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are responsible for making collagen in connective tissue and skin. When they go dormant they change shape into a cylindrical pattern which makes them easier to see and identify. Collagen creation and replacement continues throughout life as long as our bodies get the raw materials needed to do so. Collagen is the most abundant protein comprising 75% of our skin. Healthy collagen wards off wrinkles and fine lines. Over time our bodies are less able to produce collagen and it becomes more necessary to replenish the raw materials needed to continue collagen production in skin.
Vitamin A applied topically from unprocessed, organic and natural sources (as in Rejuvenation and Amor Naturae) promotes proper repair and maintenance of skin cells in order to create a healthy skin and tissue tone. It is helpful along with zinc to relieve acne. A deficiency can result in dry, flaky skin. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that can bind with free radicals on the surface of the skin to avoid sun damage over time. Natural antioxidants reduce and prevent the damage that can be caused by free radical UV damage which creates premature aging and wrinkles and age or liver spots. Vitamin A also helps regulate the pH by alkalizing the surface of the skin, which is why age spots fade over time.
Vitamin E applied topically from unprocessed, organic and natural sources (as in Rejuvenation and Amor Naturae) soothes dry and flaky skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and is also a powerful antioxidant that binds with free radicals to relieve UV burn and regulate the pH to avoid sun damage.
Vitamin C has 3 jobs for our skin. It also is a powerful antioxidant that minimizes free radical damage, it offers UVA and UVB protection to the supportive fibers of skin, and is necessary in collagen production. Topically applied proper form of Vitamin C stimulates collagen production in the dermis layer of the skin. In order to target skin health, topical application of nutrients with molecular shape and proper density (regulated by the chosen plant whose molecule size is just right for human skin) that matches skin receptor sites and skin pore diameter is the wisest choice and most direct method of application.
Vitamin A and E present in Rejuvenation provide powerful antioxidants to protect skin from UV damage and to alkalize the surface pH to keep skin within a healthy pH range. These vitamins (coming from the extra virgin organic coconut and olive sources) also provide an array of essential fatty acids that are necessary for healthy, vibrant skin. The combination of Vitamins A and E applied topically has been known to prevent certain skin cancers.
Vitamins A, E and C together reduce the effects of sun damage, alkalize the surface of your skin to avoid and reverse sun damage, minimize wrinkles and feed the skin the EFAs it needs and produce healthy collagen.
Herbal tissue regeneratives present in the strain of chamomile oil used in Rejuvenation stimulate skin to create healthy cells. Rich in azulenes with a high GLA (gamma-linolenic acid an omega 6 fatty acid) content, this oil stimulates healthy skin and hair cells, is antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory to a ratio that produces noticeable results. In my experiences with all the tissue regeneratives from all the plants in this classification, the oils I have chosen are superior in their performance.