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The science of skin!

The science of skin!

It comprises nearly 15 percent of your total body weight, and almost 70 percent of skin is made of water. Suddenly your grandmother’s mantra of 8 glasses of water a day makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

The primary function of skin is to hold your body together and protect the organs, blood and bones inside. But skin also plays other interesting roles; it has the ability to heal. The power of touch is incredible – massaging the skin and the tissues beneath can ease the production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost the production of the love-hormone, oxytocin, generating an overall sense of happiness and well-being. The delicate hair follicles on skin are highly sensitive to stimuli and can react quickly to protect the body even before the skin is touched.

Skin comprises of three main parts, each of which plays an important role. The outermost layer of your skin is the epidermis. Tough and protective, it shields your body from the sun and houses the pigmentation that determines the colour of your skin. This is also the layer that affects how fresh and moist your skin appears; this layer sloughs off every six to eight weeks, renewing itself with new cells.

The dermis is the thickest of your layers, comprising of collagen and elastin, two proteins that give skin its strength and elasticity. It also houses sweat and oil glands, nerve endings and hair follicles. The sebaceous or oil glands lubricate the skin and prevent toxins and dangerous UV rays from being absorbed into the body.

And finally, the innermost layer or subcutaneous tissue. Made up of fat that acts as a shock absorber, it cushions skin against external injury and stores energy for moments of high activity.

Who would have imagined that an organ we so often take for granted, does so much for our bodies. Isn’t it time we gave our skin a little more TLC?

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