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Health | Iswari ©

Skin, Nails And Hair

Skin: what it is and what it is for

The skin is the largest organ in our body. It is a continuous tissue, which stretches for about 2sqm and weighs around 10kg. The skin is divided into three main layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer, the one we all recognize as our skin, with a different colour depending on the ethnicity of belonging. The epidermis has 3 main tasks: it produces vitamin D3, protects the organism from pathogens and microbes and helps regulate body temperature.

The epidermis produces a thin hydrolipidic film, that is a light layer of sebum which, together with pigmentation and keratinization, are the main barriers towards the outside world. The dermis is the intermediate layer, rich in nerves and blood vessels. Its function is to support the structure of the epidermis and provide it with the necessary for the production of protective sebum. Finally, the hypodermis is the innermost layer of our skin, rich in innervations and capillaries. It is an adipose tissue, which represents our reserve of fat, and therefore of energy.

The hypodermis, besides being an energy reserve, performs very important functions:

It is an excellent insulator and regulates body temperature

Influences the metabolism by releasing hormone-like substances

Protects from trauma

Models our appearance

But the skin also has a sensory role: touch, in fact, is the meaning we attribute to the skin. The skin records and sends to the brain all the information on temperature, vibration, pain and pressure. And, finally it protects us from fluid loss and dehydration, regulating perspiration and sweating.

The properties of our skin

The skin of our body has unique and extraordinary properties: it is able to regenerate after a scar and adapts to body weight variations due to age. At the base of these abilities, there is therefore a remarkable elasticity, which depends to a large extent on the health of the skin. The skin is therefore extremely important and complex: it houses nerves and blood vessels, glands, hairs and hair.

The elasticity of the skin, or skin tone, depends essentially on two factors: on the one hand aging, which alters all the components and functionality of our skin, and on the other environmental factors, which can greatly accelerate aging of the skin and its elasticity.

Aging of the skin

The main causes of an aging skin depend on genetic or environmental factors. In the first case, the natural progression of age produces some changes. In particular, the structure of the fibrous proteins that make up the dermis, known as collagen and elastin, is altered. These proteins are gradually produced in less abundant quantities and their size gradually decreases. The dermis therefore becomes increasingly thin and the skin begins to give up visibly, becoming flaccid and wrinkled.

The epidermis becomes more and more fragile and less functional and the dead cells accumulate, causing the loss of compactness and colour homogeneity. The loss of elasticity is therefore gradual and different in each of us. But there are also many environmental factors that can affect it, and in particular solar radiation, pollution, smoking and many other lifestyle habits.

Health of the skin, hair and nails

The aging of the skin and the loss of its elasticity depend very much on our lifestyle habits and on how much we are able to take care of our skin. But also for the hair and for the nails the situation is very similar. In fact, it is a question of tissues that need proper hydration, the right nourishment and daily care. How can skin, nails and hair be healthy?

First of all, we should keep away from all forms of smog and pollution, which cause the accumulation of toxins in the body and cause the oxidative stress of the cells, leading them to premature death. Free radicals are the main cause of aging of the skin and of all our tissues. Even smoking, alcohol and unbalanced nutrition can negatively affect the health of the skin.

Healthy and bright skin: what to eat?

The skin needs a constant internal hydration and many nutrients to keep alive and active. Here's what to eat:

Water: drinking is the first step to keeping your skin healthy.

Vitamin A: stimulates cell regeneration and provides an important antioxidant, retinol.

Vitamin E: regulates the absorption of other vitamins, including vitamin A, but is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Selenium: protects the skin from free radicals.

Lycopene and carotenoids: protect the skin from harmful radiation from the sun.

Omega-3: the lack of unsaturated fatty acids can cause acne, dry skin and psoriasis.

Antioxidants: vitamin C, flavonoids and other natural substances stimulate the circulation, which nourishes the skin, but also protects against free radicals and aging.

Superfoods and skin: friends for life

Mother Nature offers us a great variety of fruits, berries, roots and plants of all kinds, rich in nutrients for our skin. Which are the best?

Matcha: rich in antioxidants and chlorophyll, it is green tea that ensures a quick absorption of all vitamins and minerals thanks to its pulverization. Also excellent for creating purifying beauty masks for facial and hair skin, it is an effective detox.

Acai: the Amazon berry is rich in antioxidants. Stimulates microcirculation and fights skin aging.

Camu Camu: the sour fruit takes its orange colour from the abundant presence of beta-carotene, but is famous for being one of the richest fruits of vitamin C in absolute!

Goji berries: now everyone knows them! They are rich in antioxidants and lycopene, great allies of our skin.

Spirulina: rich in vitamin A, antioxidants and beta-carotene, it is excellent for eliminating toxins that threaten our skin, and you can also use it in a home made beauty mask!

Moringa: the detox plant used for thousands of years to make drinking water in many African countries is also a great friend of our skin.

Chia Seeds and Omega-3 Mix: reintroducing unsaturated fatty acids is necessary to nourish the skin!