The epidermis is composed of the outermost layers of cells in the skin, “epi” in Greek meaning “over” or “upon”, which together with the dermis forms the cutis. The second layer of skin is sometimes called inerdermus, Latin for 2nd layer.
The epidermis acts as the body’s major barrier against an inhospitable environment, by preventing pathogens from entering, making the skin a natural barrier to infection. It also regulates the amount of water released from the body into the atmosphere through transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
In humans, it is thinnest on the eyelids at 0.10 mm (0.0039 in) and thickest on the palms and soles at 1.5 mm (0.059 in). – Wikipedia
OK, now that we know what it’s made of and all the technical jargon to go with it, how do we take care of it, and I mean all of it? We have skin all over us, not just on our face. Most people focus on facial skin but it doesn’t and shouldn’t end there. Most of us slather on moisturizer and sunscreen, but that’s just taking care of the outside. We still need to take care of it from the inside as well and we can do that by eating a diet containing skin-saving nutrients.
Whatever we put into our bodies is reflected on the outside; our skin.
What do we put into our bodies? Food and drink, which of course we need, but there’s other things that we put into our bodies that aren’t so great; things like tobacco smoke and alcohol.
Studies have shown that smoking is associated with premature wrinkling although it is not certain exactly how. Some theories include the heat from the cigarette can directly burn the skin, it causes changes in the elastic fibres of the skin and it causes narrowing of blood vessels which reduces blood supply to the skin and can cause loss of collagen.
Alcohol dehydrates your body generally, including the skin, which is your body’s largest organ. This happens every time you drink.
Alcohol is also thought to deprive the skin of certain vital vitamins and nutrients. At least women have the option of make-up to hide the hangover tell-tale signs.
But that’s only for starters. Drinking more than you should over time can have other, much more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin. Rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement, is linked to alcohol.
And then there’s the cellulite; many believe the toxins in alcohol contribute to its build up. Not the look you were going for? If you’re drinking heavily, however, you can take steps to cut down.
So hungover is not your best look, nor the look of someone who’s been a heavy drinker over a number of years, why not cut down on alcohol and help preserve those good looks.
OK, so that’s what happens when we ingest things we shouldn’t. So what should we ingest to make it better?
YOGURT ~ As long as you stick to yogurts in non- to low-fat varieties with no added sugars (and you don’t go haywire with the consumption), you will be consuming lots of protein and vitamins — all which help to enhance your immune system and as a result give you clear, vibrant skin.
BLUEBERRIES ~ Free radicals caused by pollution and UV radiation attack skin cells and cause DNA damage and these tasty little treats are powerful ammo in the fight against the premature aging process.
SALMON ~ Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are responsible for healthy cell membranes and the overall health of the various cells in the body. The stronger the walls of the cells, the more water is kept in, thus making skin cells look more vibrant, plumper and overall more youthful.
ALMONDS ~ Almonds are packed full of vitamin E and are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat known for lowering cholesterol and keeping cell membranes strong and intact, which is crucial for keeping skin youthful.
SWEET POTATOES ~ Sweet potatoes boast large amounts of beta carotene — an antioxidant whose protective qualities defend against the damage that sun exposure will cause.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS ~ These seeds are loaded with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that decelerates the aging of skin cells, keeping us looking younger longer. Vitamin E is also known for its ability to diminish the appearance of scars.
This is just a short list of foods to help benefit your skin. We all need to take of ourselves on the inside…so we can look great on the outside!