As I and many of you know firsthand, our skin can profoundly affect our sense of well-being, who we are, and our confidence. Have you ever considered how important your skin is? Let’s give the subject some thought.
A vital organ
Your skin, your body’s largest organ, is what separates your internal organs from the hot sun, the cold, humid air, and harsh chemicals. The skin is our first introduction to the world. It protects us from outside influences including infection and pollution. It is a vital organ, involved in functions from temperature control to waste removal. It is our major sensory organ, relating to the environment with pleasure and pain.
Composition of our skin
The structure of the skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis at the top, the dermis in the middle, and the subcutaneous tissue below. (The skin and the layers of tissue below the surface can actually be separated into seven different layers.)
The epidermis. This is regularly being regenerated and consists of many dead skin cells being continually replaced.
The dermis. This layer contains the oil-producing and oil-secreting sebaceous glands. It is composed entirely of live skin cells. Here the skin maintains its strength level.
The subcutaneous tissue. This oil and water layer is composed of the sweat and sebaceous glands. It provides a pH balance and natural moisture to the skin and, because it consists of fat, provides a cushioning.
Vulnerability of the skin
The skin has tremendous powers of absorption. It takes in both healthful and harmful ingredients applied to it. Ingredients from skin care products have been found in the bloodstream. Essential oils applied to the skin can affect our central nervous system. (This underscores the importance of applying only pure products to your skin.) We must recognize that the skin is vulnerable and needs protection from harmful influences.
The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is renewed and replenished every eighteen days or so. The dermis, the second layer consists of the collagen and elastin.
Why is the skin important?
The skin fundamentally affects our health and sense of well-being, yet we continue to use mass-marketed, chemically filled skin care products without thought to their ingredients or the effects of those ingredients on our entire body and well-being. Many products cause allergic reactions and many more upset the skin’s natural acid balance, the pH acid-base relationship, which protects us from the outside world.
The skin’s pH balance
The skin’s natural pH balance, which is the acid or acid mantle, is the measurement of acidity vs. alkalinity on a scale from o to 14. The skin’s pH balance averages 5.5 and is usually between 4 and 6. Apple cider vinegar is a natural restorer of the acid balance. You can also help reintroduce acid to your skin with many acidic fruits and vegetables. This is very helpful for oily skin. Apply blended apples, strawberries, pineapple, papaya, horseradish, onion, and/or cucumbers to restore the natural acid balance.
The body’s skin is always renewing itself. The skin is a perfectly wonderful example of the ever-changing nature of human existence. To study and pay attention to our own skin helps us to be more aware of the ongoing process of change in our lives.
Energies from our emotions and from the environment, which are always entering the body through our pores in the skin, influence the flow of energy in the body. The quality of food we eat can change the quality of our blood that provides nourishment for new skin. Since the skin receives up to one-third of the body’s blood supply, the quality of the skin can be greatly influenced by the quality of the food we eat. This is why it is so important to eat foods with a life force. The quality of food also influences the secretions of the sebaceous glands.
Cell transit time
Skin cells are formed in the deepest layer of the epidermis and are constantly moving outward and being discharged. The time this takes is often referred to as “cell transit time.” If this doesn’t happen fast enough, the dead skin accumulates on the surface. This can make the skin dry and scaly.
The cell transit time is approximately 22 days in people 18-28, while for people in their 70s, transit time could take an average of 37 days. Of course, age has a strong influence on this transit time. It is grossly influenced by the quality of energy flow through the body (e.g., diet, vitamins, overall health, and emotional status).
The same is true with body care products applied to the skin. The ingredients in these products affect the quality of energy that flows through the skin. These products are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream through the cells.
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