Your Layers of Defense

  • 1

    Epidermis: The outermost and thinnest layer of the skin—the epidermis contains no blood vessels but has many small nerve endings. While thin, it is made up of five layers. The outermost layer is what you see.

    Stratum Corneum: This is the layer most affected by skin care products. Its scale-like cells are continually being shed and replaced. These cells combine with fats and oils produced by the skin to create a protective water-resistant layer. The complex of lipids between the cells is known as the barrier function, which keeps the skin moist by preventing water evaporation and guarding against outside irritants.

  • 2

    Dermis: The dermis is the inner layer of the skin, which is 25 times thicker than the epidermis. Within this layer lies numerous blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, sweat glands, oil glands, and hair follicles. This layer supplies the skin with all of its oxygen and nutrients.