The epidermis is the one part of the body that is most vulnerable to fluid deprivation. This is due to the fact that it is the organ that is the furthest away from our blood supply. Surface dehydration is a definitive enemy of the skin and is associated with problems as diverse as scaly, taut skin, superficial lines, and premature aging.
A toner is a product that is vital to a home skincare regimen. Not only does it restore the skin’s surface to the proper pH after cleansing, but it also helps to hydrate the skin from the outside in. Using a toner in conjunction with adequate water intake will reduce or eliminate these issues.
The epidermis is in a constant state of cell turnover. Each month, the epidermis layer of our skin undergoes a “Keratinization Process”. This is a 28-day upward migration of epithelial cells in which the cell reproduces, fills up with keratin (the protein within our skin), dies, and desquamates (the shedding or sloughing off of dead skin cells).
As we age, this cycle time of 28 days slows down significantly. Thus, our youthful appearance to the skin diminishes. This is the reason why estheticians recommend a facial per month…to ensure optimum skin healthcare.
Exfoliation is one of the most, if not the most, neglected steps in taking care of your skin. Exfoliation is a necessary step that should not be eliminated from your at-home routine. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, therefore, improving both the texture and complexion of the skin. It also reduces the amount of blackheads residing within your skin. But the most important point to make in regards to exfoliation is that it allows for deeper product penetration. Serums and moisturizers are able to dive further down into the depths of our skin, which will deliver more active ingredients to the cells below.
Free Radicals initiate a destructive cascade of events that damage structural cellular proteins, such as collagen and elastin. They contribute to loss of firmness and elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and age spots.
These Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are generated outside the body by pollution, smoking, and UV light. They are generated within the body when cell energy is produced. Stress is a major culprit of free radical production.
Antioxidants are free radical scavengers. Meaning they limit or neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. Applying an antioxidant daily will play a key role in keeping the skin healthy from the outside in.
Our skin is slightly acidic in nature. According to the pH scale, the epidermis has a pH between 5.5 and 5.6.
The outermost layer of the epidermis is known as the acid mantle. It is a protective layer comprised of a combination of dead skin cells, oil, and perspiration. Perspiration consists of lactic acid which, in turn, gives our skin the slightly acidic value. It is important to note that microorganisms cannot live in an acidic environment. This is the reason why it is considered a protective barrier; germicidal invasion is denied. The acid mantle also seals moisture into the cells located in the epidermis, therefore, protecting the skin against dryness.
AHAs hydrate the surface of the skin and are water soluble. Examples of AHAs are glycolic and lactic acid.
These types of acids are best used on dry, thick, sun-damaged skin.
BHAs are drying to the surface of the skin and are oil (lipid) soluble. This means that BHAs are able to penetrate into the pore which contains sebum (oil) and exfoliates the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore.
Therefore, individuals with oily or acneic skin would benefit by using this type of acid. Salicylic acid is a BHA.
Our skin is made up of 3 layers:
Subcutaneous – innermost layer of the skin; comprised of fat cells.
Dermis – middle layer of the skin; contains elastin & collagen fibers, nerve endings, and blood capillaries.
Epidermis – outermost layer of the skin; made up of cells in which their primary function is protection (both physically & chemically) against microorganisms, UV rays, pollutants, and injury.
An esthetician is primarily concerned with the health of the epidermis layer of the skin. When a client comes in for any type of facial, the epidermis is the layer of skin that is being manipulated.