As an esthetician I have always been fascinated by the incredible functions of the skin. This amazing organ not only keeps us looking good but also plays a critical role in our overall health and well-being. In fact, keeping skin healthy is vital to the proper functioning of our bodies systems and vice versa.
Did you know that your skin performs vital functions like protecting your body from damage like viruses, pathogens, and bacteria, as well as regulating your body temperature, and even helping to detoxify your bodies other organs and systems? Did you know your skin has an intelligence system? In fact it is a highly complex network of cells, sensory nerves and complex communications with the brain, gut and major organs.
In this blog post, We'll take a closer look at how your skin works, its' role in your overall health, and how you can use these functions to improve your body’s natural detoxification processes.
1. The Protective Role of Your Skin
Your skin’s primary function is to serve as a protective barrier that prevents harmful organisms and substances from entering your body. Acting as a physical barrier, your skin stops bacteria, viruses and other toxins from entering your bloodstream. Your skin’s sweat glands are the first line of defense against toxins, releasing an acid mantle that keeps your skin pH slightly acidic, which helps keep out bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
2. The Role of Your Skin in Temperature Regulation
Your skin is quite efficient at regulating your body temperature. When you are too hot, your skin’s sweat glands activate, and sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, cooling your body. When you are cold, your skin’s blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow, and helping to retain heat.
3. How Your Skin Helps Detoxify Your Body
Your skin plays a crucial role in your body’s natural detoxification process. One of the significant ways your skin detoxifies your body is through sweat. The sweat glands in your skin excrete toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from your body through your perspiration.
Infrared saunas have been gaining popularity as they help expedite the sweating process, resulting in additional detoxification benefits. In addition, the infrared lights in these saunas offer multiple other benefits through the addition of increased cellular health. In fact, when combining infrared light to a sauna you increase the capacity to detoxify the body of heavy metals, improving health and wellness. Your skin also serves as a secondary route of elimination for waste products that are excreted from your liver and kidneys. In fact, skin is sometimes referred to as the second kidney due to it's phenomenal ability to work in harmony with your other body systems.
4. How to Support Your Skin’s Natural Detoxification Functions
One of the best ways to maximize your skin’s natural detoxification function is by keeping it healthy. By incorporating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough rest can help keep your skin – and your entire body – in top shape. Avoiding environmental toxins as much as possible is also a good way to reduce the burden on your skin. Choosing organic and plant-based skincare products with natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals can also have a beneficial effect on your skin and reduce the secretion of harmful toxins from being absorbed into your body.
5. Regular Skin Cleansing
Regular skin cleansing and exfoliation is essential to maintain healthy skin. Cleansing removes make-up, dead skin cells, dirt, and other unwanted debris that can clog pores and affect your skin's natural detoxification functions. Investing in professional skin services will help maximize your skin’s health and ensure you are experiencing optimal detoxification benefits.
On a larger note, The skin is a sensory organ. This organ responds to stimuli through a highly orchestrated process of cellular and molecular signals. Sometimes referred to as the The NIC system, this system is involved in cell to cell communication or signaling processes from neuropeptides/neurotransmitters, cytokines and growth factors.
Comprised of three layers- the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, with a composition of numerous different cell types. Some of these include- dermal fibroblasts, mast cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, specialized muscle cells, endothelial and immune cells immune cells, keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkel cells, adipocytes, nerves and fibroblasts. As noted in, "The importance of the neuro‐immuno‐cutaneous system on human skin equivalent design."
Don't underestimate the importance of your skin and the functions it offers to how you look and feel but think of your skin as a new powerhouse of communication within your body. One with a primary purpose of protection, sensory communication signaling, immune health and detoxification pathways.
Your skin is an incredible organ that performs many critical functions that keep you healthy and beautiful – and it is also an essential component of your body’s natural detoxification system. By keeping your skin healthy, supporting a healthy barrier function and supporting the skin's natural detoxification functions through healthy behaviors, products and treatments, while avoiding environmental toxins, you will ensure your skin helps you feel great inside and out! Remember, take care of your skin, and it will take care of you!
Medical College of Wisconsin (2018, January 23). How Our Skin Communicates with the Brain. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved January 23, 2018 from https://neurosciencenews.com/skin-brain-communication-8364/
Vidal Yucha SE, Tamamoto KA, Kaplan DL. The importance of the neuro-immuno-cutaneous system on human skin equivalent design. Cell Prolif. 2019;52(6):e12677. doi:10.1111/cpr.12677