Your skin is a miracle of nature and it deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. It is the biggest living, breathing organ in your body and it is working 24 hours a day just for you.
To name but a few of the tasks your skin has to perform daily, it provides you with the sense of touch, regulates your body temperature, acts as a weatherproof shield, protects your vital organs, synthesizes Vitamin D for strong healthy bones, teeth and muscles and produces melanin that helps protect you from the sun.
Having a good understanding of how the skin works will help you make the right choices when it comes to your skincare routine.
So what are the skin layers made up of?
The outermost layer is the Epidermis and it is your first line of defence against bacteria. Your cells on the skin surface renew and regenerate over the course of the month and they are made in the deepest layer of the epidermis and travel upwards. As we age, our cell turnover rate slows down so we need to step in here and manually help the exfoliation process with acids.
Furthermore, cell turnover isn't as efficient in people with acne. The natural peeling process goes awry and the skin produces more dead skin cells than is typical, and these cells aren't properly shed. This condition, called retention hyperkeratosis, is the reason regular exfoliation is so important for acne-prone skin types.
The Dermis is where your skin holds blood vessels and nerves that provide the sense of touch. This is the layer where your connective tissues are made up of two proteins, collagen (which gives your skin its fullness and shape) and elastin (this provides the skin with the ability to bounce back into shape). This is also where your body contains hyaluronic acid, the cellular lipid that holds water (up to 1000 times its weight), this gives your skin texture, helps relieve inflammation and regulate tissue repair. As we age the breakdown is faster than our cells can replace them so this leads to wrinkles and dry skin. This is where we step in manually with our face serums and our diets so we can provide our skin with the ability to produce more collagen.
The subcutis is the layer of fat and tissue that lies between the skin and the muscles. It protects your muscles and insulates you to assist in temperature regulation. Everyone needs a layer of fat in their body. This does tend to thin as we age so our skin looks less smooth and the underlying veins show through. It can also result in cellulite in other areas of the body.
So you probably have a few questions like: What skin type am I? How many products do I need? In what order should I be applying these products? Which ones are right for my skin? And what do those products even do?
So how do you know your skin type? (This is what you inherit from your parents)
Your skin may feel tight, look dull with small pores, can be flaky and may not absorb products easily. Usually the causes are a lower than usual production of sebum (the oily substance your skin produces to help waterproof itself).
Skin may appear shiny and thickened and show larger pores as your skin is prone to producing excessive sebum. Blackheads and spots can also be present.
Pore size is not an issue and skin texture is good as your skin contains a good balance of sebum and other moisterising factors.
Is the most common skin type as it usually presents a slightly greasier T-zone around your forehead and your nose with dehydrated cheeks.
Skin concerns are different to skin types and usually occur as a result of your lifestyle choices and can be associated with symptoms of your skin type as this is hereditary. This is where you chose a targeted serum to address your needs. Common skin concerns are signs of ageing, acne and dehydration which we will cover below. Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, ichthyosis, pigmentation and rosacea require speaking with your skin specialist or doctor to confirm diagnosis and treatment.
So which products are best for my skin concern?
We recommend using serums to treat your skin concern and moisturisers to treat your skin type which forms the basis of a skincare routine that covers most skin types.
What does a Face Serum do?
A serum will make the biggest difference when it comes to overhauling your complexion. A high-quality face serum has the power to transform your skin's health. This is because serums are designed to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients directly into your skin, penetrating into the dermis.
They are the treatment stage of your skin routine and worth the investment as they allow you to target specific skincare concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles or dry, tired looking skin.
How often should I apply a face serum?
This can vary depending on the serum so please read the specific instructions, especially when it comes to high strength Retinol. Less is more so do not apply larger amounts or more frequently to speed up the process as this can irritate the skin. Follow the instructions.
What is the difference between a serum and face oil?
Traditional serums are water-based, lighter liquids and would be applied first following with a face oil. However, some serums can be paired with luxury oils to really hydrate the skin. In this case you would skip the face serum and just apply the oil when they contain active ingredients. We recommend sun worshipers and skin aged 30+ invest in a face oil (according to your skin type) as skin is more prone to moisture loss.