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SKINTRODUCTION: WHAT IS SKIN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

SKINTRODUCTION: WHAT IS SKIN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Skin is not only your largest, most visible organ, but it’s also often an indicator of your overall health and diet. Beauty really does come from the inside out. 

That said, there are certain topical products that can improve the health of your skin. So how are you to know what is best for your skincare routine? Step one to your Skintroduction is learning all about your skin and what it needs — from dermis to dewy. 

By understanding the science behind skin and observing how yours reacts to different products, you can establish what skincare routines and products are best for your skin.

HOW DOES SKIN WORK

Your skin consists of three layers — the dermis, epidermis and stratum corneum— as well as the acid mantle on top. Let’s work our way up.

DERMIS

Your skin gets its bouncy elasticity from the dermis, a 1.5–4 mm thick layer that contains collagen, elastin, and a gel-like material called ground substance that consists of water-holding components like hyaluronic acid. Though it is farthest from the surface, dermis thins with age and abnormalities, which leads to visible wrinkles.

EPIDERMIS

Just above the dermis is the epidermis, a 0.05–0.1 mm thick layer that mainly acts as a barrier between your inner body and the outside world. Though very thin, it is incredibly important for overall health.

STRATUM CORNEUM

The target of most skincare products is the stratum corneum - a very thin layer at the top of your epidermis. In fact, it’s only 15–20 cells thick — and they’re all dead! That’s a good thing though; the stratum corneum is one of the most important parts of your skin as it protects against physical harm, and blocks microorganisms and chemicals from entering your body. This barrier also stops water from evaporating from your skin and shields it from oxidative stress and immune cell death. 

The stratum corneum contains flattened cells (corneocytes) joined by protein structures called desmosomes. These carry tough keratin proteins and water-binding humectants called the natural moisturizing factor that are largely made up of amino acids, ions, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), and lactate. Between the cells is a lipid matrix containing oily substances (mostly free fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides) that act like a structured mortar — creating an elastic, impermeable barrier.

Through a process called desquamation, new cells are continually being created in the lower epidermis and old cells in the stratum corneum are shed at a rate of around one layer daily —  and replaced entirely every two weeks.

ACID MANTLE

The liquid film on top of your skin contains sebum and sweat, which make it slightly acidic (pH 5.5). Known as the acid mantle, this layer must stay acidic to keep local microorganisms in healthy harmony. Also, many of your skin’s biological processes require a low acidic pH to operate optimally.

If any of these parts aren’t working well, your skin’s condition will suffer. Luckily, many issues can be fixed with the right routine including using products such as LILOU Radiant Hydra-Balm that contain sebum-regulating omega fatty acids like linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid.

Now that you know, are you ready to glow? Discover LILOU Radiant Hydra-Balm