Your source of information about SKIN.

Skin Anatomy

The 3 Primary Layers
Skin Cycle
Skin Care Regimen
Skin Colour

Common Skin Conditions

Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

Reasons for Skin Aging

Why Does Skin Age?
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Aging
Genetic Aging
Key factors of intrinsic aging

Environmental Aging

Sun exposure
Mechanical Aging
Common signs of photo aging

Skin Anatomy

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Defined as a differentiated structure, the skin is made up of specific cells and tissues with its major function being to provide protection from the external environment.

The skin is composed of 3 primary layers


The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin that protects the human body from its environment. This is where melanocytes (cells from which melanin is produced) are located. Comprised of four layers, the primary purpose of the epidermis is to continually rejuvenate the surface of the skin and protect the body.

The Basal Cell Layer - Inner layer of the epidermis
- Contains small basal cells, which are constantly being produced, dividing and pushed up to the surface of the skin.
- Contains melanocytes, which are responsible for skin colour and help protect the skin from harmful UV radiation.
- Contains sensory cells called merkel cells.

The Squamous Cell Layer - Mid epidermis layer
- “Spiny layer” – spiny projections keep cells together.
- Maturing basal cells that travel up into this layer are called keratinocytes.

The Stratum Granulosum & the Stratum Lucidum - Top epidermis Layer
- Thin layers of the epidermis.
- Keratinocytes are pushed into these layers, and begin to flatten as they grow.
- Keratinocytes fuse together to form a tough, durable, and protective layer of cells.

The Stratum Corneum - Outermost layer
- Pushed up from beneath, new keratinocytes continually replace dead cells as they are shed.


The dermis is the middle skin layer, and makes up about 90% of the skin’s thickness. Different ethnicities have different thickness of dermis. The main purpose of this layer is to control body temperature, as well as supply the epidermis with nutrient saturated blood. The dermis contains many of the skin’s cells and structures; blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, eccrine glands, sebaceous glands, nerve endings, collagen and elastin. It is comprised of two layers:

The Papillary Layer
- Delivers nutrients to the epidermis and regulates body and skin temperature.
- Contains a thin layer of collagen fibers.

The Reticular Layer
- Strengthens the skin and supports components such as sweat glands and sebaceous glands.
- Contains elastin and thick collagen fibers that tighten the skin and prevent sagging.

The Subcutaneous Layer

This is the inner layer of the skin and contains mostly fatty tissue, as well as blood vessels and nerves. This layer is responsible for maintaining warmth and holding internal organs in place. The thickness of this layer varies throughout different areas of the body, as well as across individuals.

Skin Cycle
A skin cycle is the amount of time it takes for a new skin cell to form and reach the surface of the skin. As it is constantly being exposed to and damaged by the external environment, our skin is continually replacing itself in order to provide optimal protection to the body.
The time span of a skin cycle varies based on 
 • Age • Lifestyle • Health • Exposure to UV radiation

A typical skin cycle takes about 28 days, increasing as a person ages.

Natural Skin Cell Turnover
New skin cells are produced in the base of the epidermis and migrate towards the surface of the epidermis as they mature, pushed upwards as skin cells at the top of the epidermis are exfoliated away by environmental elements. Because dead skin cells that remain at the skin’s surface can increase the risk of clogged pores, infections, acne breakouts, and rough texture, regular cell exfoliation is key to healthy skin.
Skin Care Regimen and Skin Cell Turnover
Individual skin care regimens have an impact on the efficiency of one’s skin cycle. The rate of skin cell turnover can be increased with topical application of specific skin care products. 

The use of products such as Retinol to increase the rate of cell turnover, paired with exfoliating products, such as our Clear Skin Solution and Brightener to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin, will increase the speed of cell turnover, resulting in healthier, more radiant skin.
Skin Colour
It is important to understand that different ethnic groups genetically have wide variation of skin colour, as a result of different levels of melanin present in the skin. 

Melanin is the primary determinant of skin tone. Produced by cells called melanocytes, melanin production is triggered by exposure to sunlight and ironically enough, is the skin’s way of trying to protect itself from the damaging effects of ultra-violet radiation. Melanin can range in colour, from yellow to brown to black.

Common Skin Conditions

Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles occur naturally as a result of collagen and elastin deterioration in the dermis. The location of wrinkles depends on the frequency of muscle motions made by a person; for example, smiling and squinting repeatedly over time causes fine lines to become etched where the facial expression is being made. A “groove” forms beneath the surface of the skin, and this eventually becomes a wrinkle.
Many people struggle with excess sebum production. When sebaceous glands overproduce oil, hair follicles become clogged with oil and debris. Slow cell turnover and shedding can cause an excess of dead skin cells, and contribute to the formation of different severities of acne.
Not to be confused with oil content, dehydrated skin lacks water content. It can still have normal sebaceous gland production, even overproduction in some cases and can be tight, rough and flaky. Fine lines may also be more prominent.
Hyperpigmentation and Melasma
This is a fairly common condition in which some areas of the skin become darker than others. Discoloration is caused by melanin (skin pigment) deposits within the epidermis (uppermost layer of skin), where excess production of melanin by skin cells called melanocytes commonly leads to hyperpigmentation. Various conditions or factors may alter the production of melanin in the body. Some common causes of hyperpigmentation are sun exposure (UVA/ UVB Rays), hormones, inflammation, and certain medications.
Rosacea, caused by overstimulated nerve endings in the dermis and epidermis, and subsequent enlargement of capillaries, is a chronic condition that leaves the skin red, inflamed, and in some cases, bumpy. Dilation of blood vessels also contributes to the redness and in some severe cases, sebaceous glands may be over productive, leading to excess oil and acne formation.

3. Reasons for Skin Aging

Why Does Skin Age?
There are many different functional areas of the skin and they all play a role in overall skin health.
Aging is a natural part of life and eventually, multiple functional areas of the skin will show signs of aging.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Aging
Intrinsic aging refers to the physiological aging that takes place internally, omitting external sources. The term intrinsic is often used interchangeably with “chronological aging”. 
Extrinsic aging refers to aging that is influenced by “external factors” such as: ultra-violet radiation, cigarette smoke, pollution, and other free radical emitting sources.
Genetic Aging (Intrinsic Aging)
Eventually, a person’s skin will begin to show signs of aging, regardless of external influences. As a result of our biological clock, these changes occur naturally within the body, varying based on genetics factors. Many of the skin’s changes occur as a result of shifts in hormones and messenger molecules that are produced from other glands and organs within the body. Just like other organs in the body, the skin’s functionality begins to decrease with age.
Key factors of intrinsic aging
Collagen and elastin production
Skin cell turnover cycle
Melanin production
Oil and sweat production
When collagen and elastin production slows, these connective tissues break, thicken and clump together. As a result, the skin begins to lose its firmness and elasticity. Due to the skin’s inability to “snap” back into place, this eventually leads to wrinkles and sagging. The epidermis also becomes thinner, contributing to the sagging skin.

Melanocytes - cells that contain melanin - also decrease in quantity with age, and remaining melanocytes become larger, leading to a more pale and transparent complexion.

Skin cell turnover rate slows, meaning new cells don’t develop as quickly and dead skin cells don’t exfoliate away as easily. This leads to accumulation of dead skin cells in the epidermis, giving skin a dull or grayish complexion.
Sebaceous glands produce less oil with age. As this oil is the skin’s natural lubricating system, a decrease in oil production makes it difficult for the skin to maintain its natural moisture content, making it dry and itchy.

Daily exposure to extrinsic aggressors in the environment contributes to accelerated aging of the skin.

4. Environmental Aging

Extrinsic factors influence skin by producing free radicals in the dermis that act to destroy the skin’s metabolism. Free radical damage comes from a number of sources: UV radiation, pollution, smoke, and harsh weather. Once healthy cells are damaged, the overall composition of the skin structure is disrupted, and over time, these free radicals result in premature aging of the skin.
Sun exposure is responsible for 95% of accelerated skin aging.
There are 3 types of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun:
UVA radiation has a long wave length that penetrates the deeper dermis layer of the skin, and is responsible for premature aging of the skin. This radiation is present daily-rain or shine-and at the same concentration from sunrise until sunset at all altitudes. 
UVB radiation is a stronger, yet shorter wavelength that mainly affects the outer layers of the skin. Sunburns and skin cancer are common forms of damage to the skin caused by these rays. UVB radiation is at its most intense from 10am to 3pm.
UVC radiation is the strongest, most dangerous form of UV light. Fortunately, this type of radiation comes in very short wave lengths and is absorbed into the atmosphere, unable to reach the earth’s surface. Photo aging refers to skin damage that has been caused by the sun, and affects skin tone, colour and texture. The skin is able to repair itself from photo aging damage, but cells may die if the damage is too extensive or frequent
Mechanical Aging
Facial movements and expressions, such as smiling and frowning that are made on a daily basis also contribute to the formation of aging lines on the skin. Moving certain face muscles can overtime cause grooves to form beneath the epidermis. With other biological and environmental aging factors also affecting the skin, these grooves eventually become wrinkles due to loss of elasticity.
Common signs of photo aging:
• Sagging skin 
• Wrinkles 
• Age spots (Hypopigmentation or Hyperpigmentation are often the initial signs of UV skin damage) 
• Tan/Sunburn 
• Skin cancer