The skin is a complex immune organ with many specific functions. Its most important role as the largest organ of the body is providing a shield against the environment and protecting against germs, bacteria, toxic substances, solar radiation (UVA, UVB & UVC) and dirt.
This complex organ, which is comprised of millions of cells, forms an acid mantle and eliminates germs through perspiration, sebum, dead skin and the discharge of carbon dioxide. The skin also breathes in oxygen and regulates body temperature. Substances that can readily penetrate skin include, lipid and fat-soluble substances, gases, phenol derivatives and essential oils.
The skin has six major functions:– it protects the body, excretes waste products, helps regulate body temperature, provides sensation, promotes vitamin D synthesis. When exposed to ultraviolet rays the skin converts cholesterol molecules to vitamin D that in turn participates in calcium metabolism. The skin also acts as a reservoir for blood, which is, shunted from the skin to general circulation every twenty seconds, transporting oxygen and nutrients to cells, removing carbon dioxide and waste, and providing detoxification to the connective tissues.
This incredible immune organ is known also as the integument, or intelligent appendage. Its surface weighs about 9 lbs. and covers a surface area of roughly 15 – 20 feet. Skin thickness varies from 1/32” to 1/8” where the lid of the eye skin is quite thin and much thicker on the palms and soles. It is this very reason why it is imperative skin care products and their ingredients are targeted to specific areas of the skin avoiding the “one size fits all” approach.
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