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How can you pick good skin care if you don’t even know why you’re cleaning your skin? To start, your skin is the largest organ in your body. Yes, it’s an organ, just like your heart, lungs, or kidneys. The skin keeps us warm, protected, and holds all our many parts together. It’s also largely responsible for eliminating wastes and maintaining our constant body temperature.

The skin is built in layers, like a sandwich. If you were to take your skin and stretch it out, it would stretch about 18 square feet and weigh over 3 kilograms. That’s a lot of surface area! The layers that make up the skin are very important when discussing skin care. The first layer is the epidermis, a thin layer of tightly packed cells that are constantly being shed. Protecting the epidermis is a layer of sebaceous oil and perspiration called the acid mantle. The slight acidity of this coating protects the skin from bacteria.

Below the epidermis is the dermis, a middle layer that gives our skin strength and flexibility. Collagen and elastin fibers, two big players in aging skin, are located here and it’s predominately their fault when your skin starts to sag and wrinkle. The final layer of the skin is the subcutaneous layer. Mostly this is fatty tissue that gives our skin smoothness and contour.

The skin is our protection, but that doesn’t mean it’s bulletproof. In order to excrete wastes, the skin must be able to breathe. Oxygen passes into and out of the skin along with salts, sweat, and waste particles. This also means that chemicals applied to the surface of the skin. are just one step away from being in the body. This is why proper skin care and finding safe products is very important for not only your skin’s sake, but also your overall health.

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