An Amazing Organ

An aging group of baby boomers provides an ideal target for the many companies that develop and market skin care products. Expenditures on such products are in the tens of billions of dollars annually. Studies by the leading personal care companies show that women spend an average of 20 minutes a day on skin care and some take as much as an hour or more for their beauty regimen.

These observations about taking good care of the skin and the industry created to meet those needs are an indication of the importance people place on caring for their bodies. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Its weight averages 16% of total body weight for most people.

Understanding some of the basics of skin and its structure will help you better understand how products for its care work. Caring for skin may seem simple but it is something that must not be neglected. The health of the dermis is often determined as much by avoiding damage as by active care.

The Vital Role of Moisture

While reading the following information, there is one significant fact that applies to effective skin maintenance. Moisture is the single most important factor in maintaining health skin. Remember and act on this fact and you will have a good return on the time spent here.

Effective hydration by drinking adequate amounts of water each day is the starting point. The use of a quality moisturizer on the surface of the skin, the epidermis, is an essential daily routine. In addition to these proactive steps, avoiding activities and products that strip away moisture and oils is equally important.<?p>

The loss of the ability to trap and retain moisture is the primary cause of aging skin and wrinkles. Lifelong care will delay this process, in some cases for years. Keep the issue of moisture forefront in your skin care routine.

Functions Performed by Skin

We think of appearance when we think of skin. It is responsible for much more. Its functions include:

• Protection. The skin is a watertight barrier that keeps moisture in and bacteria and toxins out. The epidermis contains cells that detect and alert the immune system to bacteria and viruses.

• Sensation. Nerve endings in the dermis, the middle layer of skin, serve as sensors and communicate with the central nervous system.

• Storage. Body fat is stored in the third, innermost layer of skin.

• Temperature control. The skin regulates body temperature through its sweat glands and hair follicles. Blood vessels also contract or expand the flow of blood as a control.

• Absorption. The epidermis is itself composed of three layers. The outer layer absorbs moisture from the environment as a way of lubricating the skin and keeping it soft.

• Moisture control and barrier. Skin is a barrier to moisture loss. The ability to sweat and absorb moisture also regulates moisture levels.

Types of Skin

A person's genes and environment will decide the type of skin that she has. The basic types include: dry, oily, combination, sensitive and blemished.

Formulations of skin care products from reputable companies fit specific skin types. Use care to match product you use to your skin type. This is especially important with skin care for sensitive skin and cleansers for sensitive skin.

Skin is a vital and amazing organ. Proper care will help it fulfill its many functions while enhancing your appearance.

Getting Inside Skin and Its Wonders