Skin Care

Style - Skin Care
By: - at May 20, 2013

Why Your Facial Skin is the Most Sensitive to Skincare Products

Putting Lotion on Cheek

Using skincare products can help nourish the skin, tone it, and enhance its elasticity thus giving it a desirable and youthful look. Keeping the skin healthy improves its function ensuring that your body is protected and wastes are excreted properly. However, facial skin is more sensitive than other skin parts of the body like arms, trunk, and limbs. This means that when using skincare products, you need to be extra careful not to cause harm to skin cells thus disrupting the skin's function. Considering that skincare products are manufactured using different ingredients some of which are harmful to the skin, there is need for people to understand that any cream, lotion, moisturizer, cleansers or other skincare products they apply could have detrimental effects on facial skin than other skin of the body.

What is skin?

The Skin: cross section

Skin is an organ with a differentiated structure that consists of cells and tissues meant to perform different functions on and inside the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body. The skin is a barrier for protection as well as organ regulation and sensation. The skin tissue is made up of three layers which include the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle layer), and the inner most tissue known as the hypodermis. The outer layer known as epidermis consists of dead cells rich in keratin. And, keratin is a protein that helps to make skin durable. Keratin also protects the inner layers. So, if you have flaking dry skin, it could be the result of reduced levels of keratin.

The middle layer, known as the dermis, is made up of collagen and fibers. Collagen helps to strengthen the skin and makes it more flexible. Therefore, if you have thinning skin, it may probably be caused by collagen that is breaking down. Beneath the dermis is the hypodermis, which is the inner layer made up of mainly fatty tissue. This layer of tissue connects the skin with the underlying tissue and provides some sort of cushion. This protects the body from any bangs and bumps it may experience. If you notice that your skin is sagging or drooping, this may be due to the loss of the fatty tissue.

What is the function of skin?
The skin provides a protective barrier that shields the internal parts of body from infections and injury. This organ also helps in excreting or eliminating wastes from the body through a process known as perspiration. The skin aids the immune system by providing protection from harmful bacteria and viruses. It is also responsible in maintaining body temperature through regulation of heat flow between the outside environment and the internal part of the body.

Your skin restores moisture preventing dryness of skin as well as maintaining the essential fluid balance in the body. Other functions of the skin include the synthesis of vitamin D from the sunís ultraviolet-B rays. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and immune function. The skin has a network of sensory nerves endings that are rich in receptors, which send feedback to the brain in order to react to conditions like hot, cold, pain, hard, and soft feeling. For those reasons, your skin is a very important organ for the general wellness of your body.

Why is it important to use facial skincare products?
Cosmetic products help your skin retain lost moisture helping keep it moisturized. This reduces dryness and parching of your skin. In addition, skincare products like hydrating masks contain antioxidants, oils, lipids and fatty acids that help nourish the skin making it healthy. Cleansers help in removing oils from the pores or follicles thus enhancing the excretion function of the skin.

Some facial skincare products are also used as conditioners. Moisturizers can be used overnight to help control sebum, an essential substance that helps prevent your face from becoming too oily or parched.

Why is it important to use facial skincare products

The beauty and function of the skin is affected by environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking, sedentary life, stress, alcohol, and insufficient sleep. These aspects result in skin problems like thinning and wrinkles.

Reduced skin function can make your skin vulnerable to skin diseases like acne. This means that the skin needs to be rejuvenated and nourished with essential minerals, vitamins, oils and moisture. However, when not used correctly, cosmetic products can cause harm to your skin rather than restoring its function and beauty. There are ingredients that are used in skincare products that can cause serious harm to the delicate skin; especially on the face.

What skincare ingredients can damage the facial skin?
Rose inflammation on the faceIf you want to avoid feeding your skin with damaging substances, you need to learn more about the ingredients used in skincare products and be able to differentiate between the good and bad ones. Although there is no regulation that governs the use of ingredients in cosmetic products, the FDA requires that makers of these skincare products should list the ingredients starting with the ones with highest concentration.

Whether a cream or lotion, you need to learn how to read and interpret the label. Some of the harmful ingredients that can damage your skin include parabens, which are used widely as preservative of cosmetic products. Parabens have been linked with cancer causing carcinogens. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are also harmful ingredients found in beauty products.

SLS can cause the skin to become dry because it dissolves the natural oils on skin. This substance also causes irritation of skin. It can also change the composition of genetic material in cells. Sodium lauryl sulfate also has negative effects on the immune system and can lead to inflammation of the skin.

Other harmful ingredients in cosmetic products include phthalates, cosmetic fragrances, and petrochemicals or petroleum based chemicals. One thing you need to know is that even some cosmetic products labeled as organic may contain ingredients that can harm the skin.

organic cosmetic products and fragrances

By being labeled organic, it does not mean that a cosmetic product is harmless. There are common natural ingredients that can lead to skin irritation as well as allergic reactions.

Others may even cause skin sensitivity and sun sensitivity. Some of these natural ingredients include almond extract, basil, cinnamon, clove, citrus, angelica, allspice, balsam, and coriander oil. The reaction to these ingredients may differ from one skin to another and from one person to another.

Because the facial skin is more sensitive, it means that it can easily be damaged by the harmful cosmetic substances. Great care should be exercised when applying these products on the face. Always limit the number of facial cosmetic make ups because the larger the number of products you use on face, the more you are likely to be putting harmful chemicals in your body.

Why is the facial skin the most sensitive?
beautiful womanMany of the reactions to cosmetic substances are reported on the face. The face is more sensitive than the skin of the arms and limbs. There are different schools of thought that try to explain the sensitivity of facial skin in relation to the other skin on the body. The facial skin loses more water quickly than skin on the arms and limbs. This means that although the skin provides a barrier, it is least effective on your face.

Some studies have also shown that the enzyme which helps in releasing skin cells from the surface, is more prevalent on the face. Cells are released fast not offering the protective cover on the outer surface. When you examine the top layer of the skin under the microscope, you find that the facial skin cells are smaller than the cells on the arms and other parts of the body. This means that the path which substances enter the body through the facial skin is shorter.

Because of the decreased barrier function of the facial skin, it means that it needs more care when compared to skin of other parts of the body. In a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Scientists, it showed that the stratum corneum (SC) of the facial skin is thinner than the trunk and limbs. The facial SC consists of smaller layers of corneocytes compared to other parks like the limbs and trunk.

This study was presented by H. Tagami of the Department of Dermatology in Sendai, Japan. From the Tagami study, the facial skin offers unique functional features that provide hydrated skin surface. On the other hand, it offers a poor barrier similar to that seen in fresh scar, or retinoid treated skin. Therefore, the structure of the stratum corneum layer is one contributing that that leads to skin sensitivity on the face.

Another point is that the skin on the face is densely covered in pores when compared to skin on other parts. These pores let in allergens and other harmful substances. The skin tends to absorb almost anything that is applied on it. Because of the rich pores on facial skin, they cause the skin to be more sensitive to irritation. There are other factors that are widely regarded as causes of increase sensitivity of the skin such as sun exposure and thinning of the skin.

Which products should you use?
In order to protect the delicate facial skin, it is important that you use the right cosmetic products. As long as you would like to transform your face to glow and appear more toned, you also have to take the challenge and selectively determine what goes to your facial skin and what needs to be avoided. The FDA does not regulate the manufacturing of cosmetic products and only offers guidelines, some of which are not adhered to.

organic facial

Even when using organic products, you need to ensure that there are no ingredients that can irritate the skin. You need to use organic cosmetic products that are reviewed and recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Some natural ingredients have been known to cause irritation on skin, including allspice, balsam, cypress, grapefruits, and angelica.

All dangerous substances like parabens, fragrance oils, perfume oils, mineral oils, paraffin wax, dyes, pigments, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, diethanolamine, flower or floral water, and isopropyl alcohol should be avoided.

beauty woman apply healthy skin productsThere is a misconception that drinking sufficient amounts of water can cure dry skin, but this is not so. If water could restore skin moisture, then the problem of dry and desiccated skin could be solved by drinking more glasses of water. Drinking a sufficient amount of water helps in cell function including the skin cells, it does not directly help in solving the problem of dry skin. The stratum corneum of a healthy facial skin helps in keeping the surface of the skin smooth and soft by retaining water even in a dry environment. The water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum determines the hydration state of the skin surface and the transepidermal water loss- TEWL. These are complex processes that try to explain why the facial skin dries out or loses its moisture.

It is important that when you use skincare products on your face, you be very careful because the skin on the face can absorb or let in substances more quickly than skin on other parts. The facial skin has more hydrating properties but less barrier formation capability. It is therefore sensitive to environmental factors including the substances that are applied to it. To avoid damaging it, use products that are certified as organic, and which do not contain harmful or irritating substances.





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