Our skin is divided into three layers, the outermost epidermis, which is the skin’s barrier. Then there is the dermis, which is mainly responsible for the elasticity and firmness of the skin. If there is a looseness and large pores, you need to work hard from this layer. Finally, there is subcutaneous tissue, which is fatty tissue, like a sponge pad, which mainly acts as a cushion to protect our muscles and bones.
The epidermis has four layers, plus the outermost sebum film, and it can be considered that there are five layers. From outside to inside, respectively, the sebaceous membrane, the stratum corneum, the granular layer, the spinous layer and the basal layer.
The sebum membrane is composed of sweat, sebum secreted by the skin, etc. It can be said to be the first line of skin defence. Externally, it can prevent unknown foreign substances from entering the skin, resist irritation, and maintain stability. Internally, it can help prevent excessive water evaporation so that the skin will not be dehydrated. The pH of the sebum membrane is about 5.5, which is acidic. Therefore, it is also known as an acid protective film, which can inhibit the growth of microorganisms of harmful pathogens. It also allows the skin to self-purify and not easy to get acne.
But when we over-cleanse, such as cleaning more than three times a day or exfoliating every day, the use of scrubbing cleansers can damage the sebum membrane. In addition, the use of alkaline cleansing soaps and excessive oil control will also damage the sebum film, resulting in a decline in the skin barrier function. Then you will find that the skin becomes dry and tight, and the skin loses its lustre.
If you find that you already have the above symptoms, then you must act quickly to restore the sebum membrane to health. The method is also straightforward. Just reduce the number of face washes, at most two times a day, reduce the frequency of exfoliation, at most once a week. Choose weakly acidic cleansing products, pay attention to moisturizing and sun protection. Generally, in about one month, your sebum film will get better.
Below the sebum membrane is the natural first layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum. The so-called barrier, strictly speaking, refers to this layer. The stratum corneum consists of 10 to 20 layers of flat, dead cells without nuclei, leftover from the beginning of epidermal cell division to the death of ageing. The structure of this layer is like a wall, consisting of brick-like keratinocytes and cement-like intercellular lipids, respectively. The most robust city wall can be built when the bricks are neatly arranged, the cement is dense, and there are no gaps.
A healthy stratum corneum is the natural barrier of our skin. The skin can moisturize itself, and it is not easy to be allergic or dry. If there are too few keratinocytes, the arrangement will be loose. If the intercellular lipids are missing, the water cannot be retained, and there is no resistance to external stimuli. Seasonal allergies and suspended matter allergies are prone to occur. The skin is prone to redness when experiencing changes in heat and cold.
So how is the healthy stratum corneum destroyed? When we do deep cleansing masks too often, and apply moisturizing masks frequently. If you do it for a long time, the stratum corneum will be damaged. Brushing with deep cleaning will exfoliate the cuticle. If the frequency is not controlled, it will cause the existing cuticle to peel off prematurely. Still, the subsequent new ones have not yet formed, making the cuticle thin. The frequent application of moisturizing masks, especially those used for more than half an hour every day, will affect the skin’s self-regulation function and slow down metabolism. As a result, the division of epidermal cells is slowed down, and there are not enough keratinocytes. When the stratum corneum begins to fall off naturally, the natural stratum corneum will also become thinner without subsequent replenishment.
If the stratum corneum is damaged, it will directly affect the following layers, causing a chain reaction of skin damage. So if you already have damage, be sure to repair it right away. Suppose you have allergic symptoms of redness and itching. In that case, you can choose some hydrosols with soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. The choice of skincare products does not necessarily have to be anti-allergic. Sometimes, adding some medicinal ingredients will quickly lead to skin dependence. It is recommended that young skin under the age of 25 only choose a moisturizing cream that is more natural and easy to absorb. And over 25 years old, you can select moisturizing products containing ceramide. Then be sure to do less deep cleaning, and control the frequency with a moisturizing mask. Healthy cuticles will slowly come back to you.
Next is the granular layer and the spinous layer. The spinous layer is the thickest of all layers. It is filled with nutrient and lymph fluids, which mainly provide nutrients to the epidermal cells of the basal layer. Only when the basal layer has sufficient nutrients will the division of epidermal cells be regular. The operation of the epidermal layer will be healthy, there will be no problems in metabolism, and the skin will absorb well.
When the granular layer lacks water and the lymphatic fluid in the spinous layer does not flow smoothly, nutrients cannot penetrate the basal layer. It will result in slow growth of epidermal cells, followed by red blood cells appearing. Generally, this situation is apt to occur after the sebum membrane is damaged or the stratum corneum is damaged.
To help improve this situation, you can try products with better moisturizing functions that should be selected to make the granular layer adequately hydrated. Then, you can do some lymphatic drainage massage properly in your usual skincare to help the transport channel of the spinous layer to be smoother.
The last one is the basal layer. The basal layer exists between the epidermis and the dermis, plays a role in making the two large layers stick together, and is responsible for dividing epidermal cells. It takes about 28 days from the birth of a new cell to the final exfoliation. The older you are, the longer the time. A healthy basal layer can rapidly divide epidermal cells and help transport water and nutrients to the dermis. It makes our skin look delicate and moisturized.
If chronic water shortage is not alleviated, it will eventually affect the basal layer. As a result, epidermal cells grow slowly, and the stratum corneum becomes thinner. It also dramatically reduces the ability of the epidermis to refract UV rays. The basal layer is where melanocytes are produced. So when ultraviolet rays are directly irradiated to this layer, the skin will have a large amount of melanin for self-protection, so spots are formed. As for the underlying dermis, collagen will be lost if it does not receive enough nutrients from the basal layer. Your skin will gradually lose its elasticity, the skin texture will also change, and ageing pores will appear.
For the maintenance of the basal layer, please be sure to take care of the above layers. You can supplement nutrients by choosing natural plant massage oils. These natural oils with high skin-friendly properties can directly penetrate the basal layer. With massage, they can help stimulate metabolism, improve ageing pores, and reduce the formation of spots.