The epidermis is the thin outermost layer of skin, although it does contain five layers of its own
The layers of the epidermis, starting at the bottom:
The stratum germinativum – where cell division occurs, and keratinocytes are “born”
The stratum spinosum – this layer helps the skin with flexibility and strength
The stratum granulosum - keratinocytes move up to this layer and go through a process called keratinization (the cells are filled with keratin). Keratinocytes die when they leave this layer.
The stratum lucidum – composed of dead skin cells, this layer is only found in the hairless areas of the body, such as palms
The stratum corneum – layers of dead skin cells along with “glue” that holds them together. This is the layer we refer to as “skin”
I know you don’t think this is important, yet, but bear with me and you’ll understand why it is.
The outermost layer is continuously being shed and continuously needs to be replaced in order to protect the living tissues beneath it. Unfortunately, as we age, this shedding process slows down causing our skin to look dry and dull.
Living cells are made up of about 70-80% water, whereas air only contains about 1% water. If this dry air makes direct contact with a living cell the cell will shrivel up and die.
The body intelligently surrounds itself with a layer of dead cells to protect the water rich living ones. New cells are always forming in the stratum germinativum layer in order to keep the skins’ integrity intact, this is why I speak of exfoliation so often.
The top layer of the skin always needs to stay intact in order to keep our living cells healthy, as mentioned above.
When we exfoliate, we remove the dead skin cells and since this layer always needs to be dead cells, we are forcing the production of new skin cells. By keeping cells regenerating we are forcing the plump new cells to move through the layers of skin, this in turn plumps up our lines and wrinkles making our skin appear younger. This process also supports the production of collagen that keeps our skin plump. It takes approximately 4 weeks for the top layer of skin to be completely replaced, longer as we get older.
As I already mentioned, the natural shedding process of our skin slows down as we age, causing a build up of dead skin cells causing dull looking skin. By exfoliating regularly, we remove this build up leaving behind glowing looking skin.
For years, we’ve been told we should be exfoliating with harsh products, that are skin should feel “clean”, but products that make our skin feel like this can actually tear the skin allowing for environmental toxins and bacteria to enter the skin and potentially the blood stream. This can also cause permanent damage to skin.
When purchasing an exfoliant avoid anything with sugar, salt, seeds and crushed shells, your skin will thank you for it.
Our UNCOVER Exfoliant has no sugar, salt, seeds or crushed shells, it’s so gentle you can actually eat it, check it out here.