Care - Answers
Frequently asked questions:
The main kinds of facial skin types can be categorized as follows:
The pores of the skin are generally large and visible with a coarse or thick texture. The skin feels oily to the touch and tends to be more prone to acne.
The pores are generally fine with a papery thin texture that feels dry to the touch.
The pores are visible but not large. The texture is neither fine or thick and it neither feels dry or oily to the touch.
Many persons have what can be called combination skin. This means most areas are normal while some areas are oily.
Dryness is often localized on the cheeks while the nose, chin and forehead tend to be oily.
With age the amount of subcutaneous (under-the-skin) fat is reduced resulting in a looser look to the skin.
Skin sags because of a loss of collagen and elastin, proteins responsible for the skin's elasticity, tone and texture.
Collagen forms the structural network of our skin and gives skin its strength and durability.
Elastin is similar to collagen but is a more stretchable protein which maintains the skin's elasticity. It provides the matrix that holds individual skin cells in place.
Together, collagen and elastin permit the skin to stretch, then regain its original shape.
With age, the skin's collagen begins to deteriorate, causing the skin to become thinner and sag. The elastin breaks down and causes wrinkling.
Pregnancy, poor health or nutrition, aging, gravity, being overweight, excessive sun exposure can all contribute to skin that is loose and sags.
Certain herbals extracts are known to improve the firmness and elasticity of skin. Vitamin E is also known to slow the aging of skin.
Creams are available combining these ingredients along with moisturizers.
Age spots are flat, gray, brown or black spots that occur on more than 90% of fair-skinned people past the age of 50.
They range from freckle-size to a few inches in diameter.
They are most common on skin areas most exposed to the sun.
Real age spots don't become cancerous and require no treatment, although sometimes they can look like cancerous growths.
One advanced skin formula contains maximum strength hydroquinone which gently fades darker skin and age spots.
Varicose veins or 'spider' veins are enlarged veins that look blue and bulging in the legs.
The veins become twisted and swollen because of impaired blood flow through the veins through a faulty valve.
The condition is rarely dangerous, but many feel conscious of them due to their unsightly appearance.
Laser therapy may remove smaller varicosities while more severe cases can be treated with injections or the veins can be 'stripped out' with surgery.
Alternatively, a painless method using a cream rich in vitamin K can produce good results. The cream builds healthier, thicker skin layers so the appearance of varicose veins is greatly reduced.
Aloe Vera is a cactus-like plant with green dagger-shaped leaves.
The leaves are filled with a clear, viscous, bitter, shining gel made up of 96% water and 4% containing 75 known substances.
Out of over 200 species of aloe plants, only 4 are considered to have any nutritional value for animals and humans.
Out of these 4, Aloe Barbadensis Miller is the most potent and nutritious.
From ancient times peoples have recognized the ability of Aloe Vera to speed up the healing of wounds and burns while relieving itching and swelling.
The Aloe has an amazing ability to rejuvenate and rebuild the skin by helping the process of cell division and discarding dead cell tissue.
Additionally it is excellent as a moisturizer by maintaining the natural moisturizing agents in the skin, even drawing moisture from the air around.
It is even able to penetrate below the outer surface of the skin so it's effects go deep down, not just on the surface.
Some of the processes used by manufacturers can severely reduce the effectiveness of the Aloe.
Heat pasteurization for example can remove many of the Aloe's natural healing properties because it basically 'cooks' the Aloe.
Cold stabilization on the other hand retains 100% of the plant's healing properties.
Good quality Aloe Vera products have the Aloe as the FIRST ingredient. Many products on the market have water as the first ingredient, indicating the Aloe gel has been watered down.
A high grade Aloe gel will be completely clear.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, accounting for 12 to 16 percent of the weight of the body.
It covers an area anywhere between 12 and 20 square feet.
Water accounts for 70% of the chemical composition of skin and protein 25.5%.
Skin replaces itself about every 27 days.
It continuously produces a horny protective cover of hardened proteins which process is called Keratinization.
At the same time it is constantly shedding the outermost layer of dead cells which process is called Exfoliation.
The skin performs many complicated essential roles:
It regulates the body temperature by evaporating water.
It protects the body against invasion from microorganisms and against losing fluid and drying out.
It is open and permeable enough to allow an exchange of warmth, air and fluids.
It acts as the sensory organ for our delicate sense of touch.
Skin is made up of three layers.
Epidermis - top layer
Dermis - middle layer
Subcutis - bottom layer
The epidermis is the thinnest skin layer - at a maximum 1 millimeter.
This layer is thickest on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands and thinnest on our eyelids.
The epidermis also produces the hair, toenails and fingernails.
The epidermis consists of three interwoven types of cells which protect us from ultraviolet radiation, form part of the immune system and intercept foreign substances that try to pass through the skin.
The epidermis also contains cells that produce the pigment melanin which determines the color of the skin.
The epidermis has numerous nerve endings which make the skin into a sensory organ detecting warmth, cold, light, taste and touch.
The skin also shows emotions such as when fear causes the skin to grow pale or embarrassment causes the skin to glow red with blushing.
The dermis is a thick, supple, sturdy layer of connective tissue which makes up about 90 percent of the skin's thickness.
It is filled with a dense meshwork of collagen and elastin fibers, two connecting types of proteins. (See section on aging above.)
This meshwork supports lymph and tiny blood vessels that nourish the nerves, muscle cells, sweat and sebaceous glands and hair follicles and allow the skin to 'breathe'.
This layer contains glands which make the special protective oil for the skin.
These glands are found at the base of each hair follicle. They secrete an oily substance called sebum which waterproofs the hair and lubricates the skin.
When these glands overproduce, blackheads and pimples form, the bane of adolescents.
The dermis also has the sweat glands which cool the body.
This layer absorbs most of the substances that penetrate into the skin.
The subcutis is the deepest layer of the skin, composed primarily of fat.
It manages the skin's functions of feeding, excreting and heat exchange.
The fat cells serve as a heat insulator for the body, act as a shock absorber against mechanical trauma and help give the skin resilience.
Among mammals, only humans and marine mammals such as whales and dolphins have this subcutaneous layer of fat.
Sweat glands originate in this layer and excrete waste matter through perspiration and also control the body's temperature by perspiration evaporating from the surface of the skin.
"Goose-flesh" bumps occur when the fine layer of muscles found in this layer contract.
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