The aspiration for good skin is as old as humanity itself. Throughout the ages, from ancient civilisation until now, the idea of what beauty is and the trends surrounding it changed continually. And yet — good skin has remained at the centre. It is no wonder that years of scientific research have been devoted to the skincare industry. Today, we have a thorough understanding of how the body’s largest organ works. However, getting healthy, happy skin is not a one-size-fits-all method and finding the right products and routine for your unique needs can take time and effort. Skin type, hormones, genetics and location (to name but a few) are all contributing factors that lead to skin differences. 

“Taking the necessary steps to ensure you’re making the right decisions for your specific skin type has long-term benefits. Just like a savings account, what you invest now accumulates for the future. That’s why the products you use are vitally important for future skin health.”

  • Günther Oliver, Curator at Skin Fit

  • To help us understand how and why products have long-term effects, let’s take a look at the skin’s structure: Our skin is comprised of two main parts, namely the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is on top of the dermis, which, in turn, is on top of a layer of fat and connective tissue that supports the skin. The epidermis is made up of different types of cells and is the first line of defence against the outside world and the dermis is situated just below it. 

    The dermis also referred to as the deeper layer of skin, is where the magic happens when the correct products penetrate it. It is often divided into the upper papillary dermis and the lower reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is rich in nerve endings, and the reticular dermis gives structural support and elasticity and is rich in collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Recently, the industry exploded with marketing campaigns for products including those three ingredients, but what are they and why are they important? 

    Firstly, let’s look at Collagen. It is one of the most abundant proteins in the body – it can be compared to scaffolding that gives strength, rigidity and support to the skin. Contrary to popular belief, ingesting collagen has no real skin benefit. Treatments and products that stimulate the skin’s natural production of collagen is the only sure way to ensure a collagen boost.

    “Gram for gram, collagen is stronger than steel.”

    Dr Anjali Mahto, author of The Skincare Bible

    Secondly, let’s shine the spotlight on elastin. It is another connective tissue protein found in the skin. As the name suggests, elastin gives skin its elasticity. Now, imagine an elastic band or hair tie that shoots back to its original shape. Elastin does exactly that for the skin after being stretched, pinched or poked. Products containing ferulic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help restore damaged skin cells while maintaining elasticity.

    Thirdly, let’s explore hyaluronic acid. It also forms part of the skin's structural framework. Think of it as a very large sugar molecule with a gel-like consistency. Hyaluronic acid has a unique capacity to bind over 1,000 times its own weight in water. Its purpose in the skin is to keep it soft, plump and hydrated. Adding a good quality moisturiser and serum containing hyaluronic acid to your routine is a great way to ensure you get the most out of this magic ingredient. 

    Using products containing ingredients to build, support and maintains the skin’s structure ensures a glowing, healthy, youthful skin now and in the future. 

    Written by Gunther Oliver

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