Understanding the Skin

Learn more about your skin and pores with these skin facts.

| January 2018

  • The skin is a truly amazing organ that plays a number of important roles in the body.
    Illustration by AdobeStock/designua
  • “Glow” by Nadia Neumann is full of recipes and skincare DIYS that utilize real ingredients.
    Cover courtesy Page Street Publishing

Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin by Nadia Neumann (Page Street Publishing, 2017) helps you get healthy and gorgeous skin by adjusting your diet and skincare routine. The author gives a brief explanation of the roles of the different layers of skin and pores.

Your Body’s Largest Organ 101

Pump the brakes. My skin is an organ?

Yep! The skin is actually your body’s largest organ. And in my personal opinion, one of the most fascinating. Knowing how it works is key to understanding where things go wrong and how we can make them right again.

The skin does a lot more than simply keep all of our insides wrapped up (though that in itself is very important). It controls the body’s core temperature and is the body’s first line of defense from outside intruders, such as bacteria and allergens, making it a key player in the body’s immune system. The skin is also your body’s main source of vitamin D, an absolutely critical vitamin to health and vitality — the skin synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.The average adult has about 20 square feetof skin weighing 10 pounds. Our skin sheds 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells every minute.

Layers of the Skin

The skin has three main layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis (or subcutaneous fat layer). It helps to think of the skin and its layers as an orange: The epidermis is the very thin, bright orange part of the peel; the dermis is the thicker, white part of the peel that’s visible when you cut the orange; and the hypodermis is the pulp of the fruit.

The Epidermis

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