Our skin is one of the largest organs in the body wrapping us in its protective barrier.
It is also a very adaptable organ that responds to every stimulus that is constantly surrounding us. One stimulus that's constantly changing is around us is the weather.
"insert cheesy seasonal quote below"
I've done a fair bit of research on how to keep the skin healthy for the changing of seasons to keep you feeling absolutely confident in your skin throughout the year. I'll try to keep everything in simple terms and keep the scientific jargon for my brain only.
The epidermis (outside layering of the skin cells) contains different types of cells but the most important one for discussion's sake is called keratinocyte which is filled with keratin filaments. We are going to be calling them K cells for the time being.
The K cells give our skin its actual structure and act like a brick wall. The epidermis layers' thickness differs in different parts of the body.
Healthy skin is like a new brick wall with no cracks, but if the skin is irritated or broken then it is more prone to infections.
Winter & Autumn: The condition of our skin can change significantly in winter due to the changes in air pressure which causes loss of water in the epidermis which can increase the cracks in the K cell brick layer. This increases fragility and dryness and flakiness in colder temperatures
How to counteract these effects: Add an extra night moisturizer & toner to your daily routine. This will keep the K cells hydrated as the loss of water is minimized.
Summer & Spring: Warm air is able to hold more water than cold air thus our K cells in the summer are able to retain more water and stay plumper overall, the pores are larger in the summer due to the sweat glands being more active and the skin is overall in better shape. There is an increase in airborne substances such as pollen & bacteria.
How to counteract these effects: Add an extra weekly cleanse & anti pollutant solution to your routine to make sure the open pores remain clean otherwise contamination and infections in the pores can occur.
Defenses against UV damage: High levels of UV can cause inflammation occurs in the K cells in contact with (UV A & UV B) and the production of hydrogen peroxide causes DNA damage at the cellular level. although sunlight can also have positive effects such as increase the thickness of the epidermis layer and also the production of Vitamin D. The key to healthy response is all about balance, between Sun exposure and sun protection. Melanin is a pigment also part of the epidermis which absorbs UV rays so that it doesn't reach the molecular level and prevents further DNA damage. When melanin absorbs UV the pigment darkens in response which is also known as tanning.
Type 1 - Type III contain fewer levels of Melanin thus they are more likely to have more damage to the DNA of the skin cells when exposed excessive UV, whereas Type IV - Type VI has more Melanin to be used as a protective barrier so that they are less prone to getting severe DNA damage by the UV.
How to counteract the effects: Use sunscreen but make sure the sunscreen contains protection against both UV A & UV B, Also add a moisturizer underneath the sunscreen so that the K cell bricklayer is nice and strong and can regenerate cells faster even if you miss some spots of the sunscreen.
Humans are just plants, with more complex emotions so take care of this gifted protective barrier we call our Skin.
Written by Rupal Madaan
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