Skin Anatomy



While many people tend to skim over their skincare routine (or don’t have one at all), taking proper care of your skin is essential for many reasons. Read on to learn more.

From head to toes, your skin covers every inch of your body, making it your largest organ -- and one of the most complex. 

The soft, delicate skin of your eyelids is vastly different from the thickness and texture of the skin covering your elbows and knees. The backs of your hands may be freckled and tan, while your palms are slightly lighter and unmarked. Even the short distance from the back of your heel to the arch of your foot offers completely different terrain, but believe it or not -- it’s still all one organ. It’s pretty cool when you think about it. 

In this article, we’ll explore this diversified landscape that we live in to help you try to understand your skin a little better. We will also cover some of the best tips and tricks to keep your skin happy, healthy, and thriving. 

Keep reading to learn all about your skin.


Skin Anatomy 101

Skin Anatomy 101: Everything You Need To Know

Did you know that around 15 percent of your body weight comes from your skin? Yup -- it’s true. While that might seem like a lot, keep in mind that skin is your largest organ as well as one of your most essential. Understanding the structure of your skin is the first step to maintaining the health of your armor against the outside world. 

What is the Purpose of Skin?

Your skin comprises a large portion of the integumentary system. This intricate organ system also contains nails, hair, and glands that produce oil and sweat. 

The three primary functions of your integumentary system include:

  • Protection

  • Regulation

  • Sensation

Your skin's first and foremost function in this system is to act as a barrier. It protects from various environmental elements, like chemicals, the sun, bacteria, and more. But the blood vessels in your skin also help it to regulate body temp. Also, skin is where your body uses sunlight to manufacture a little thing called vitamin D.

What Are the Different Layers of the Skin?

Your skin performs a lot of essential functions and each of its three layers plays an important role:

Top Layer: Epidermis

The epidermis is the very top layer of your skin. It’s made up of millions of tiny skin cells held together by lipids. This creates a strong barrier and regulates the amount of water released from your body. 

The outermost part of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum, which is made up  of layers of flattened cells. Below, the basal layer -- formed of proteins in column-like arrangements -- makes new skin cells. Why does it do this? Well, it’s because this layer happens to be the only layer of the epidermis’ five parts that performs mitosis (a division of the cellular nucleus). 

So, as your older skin cells flake off the very top layer, the new ones push up from the basal layer to take their place. How rad is that? 

The epidermis contains four different kinds of cells. The majority of them are keratinocytes, which form your waterproof, protective shield-like barrier. Meaning -- also known as skin pigment -- is produced in the epidermal melanocytes. Merkel and Langerhans cells, on the other hand, deal with sensation as well as immune response. 

Middle Layer: Dermis

The middle layer of skin is called the dermis. It lies right beneath the epidermis and is responsible for a wide variety of functions. 

This essential later contains nerve endings, blood vessels, hair roots, and sweat glands that help regulate your body temperature and remove waste products. Your dermis also contains oil (sebaceous) glands that keep your skin smooth and soft and help with waterproofing. 

Your dermis has two parts:

1) The Papillary Dermis: contains the interlocking connections that help supply nutrients and blood to the epidermis. 

2) The Reticular Dermis: contains building blocks like elastin and collagen, which give skin its strength and flexibility. This is also where your hair follicles and glands reside. 

Lowest Layer: Hypodermis or Subcutaneous Tissue

And finally, the lowest layer in the integumentary system is the subcutaneous tissue, which is mainly used for fat storage. The hypodermis contains the essential connective tissue that attaches the dermis to your bones and muscles. It also provides support to the nerves, blood vessels, and glands in the dermis. 


How To Keep Your Skin Healthy

Taking proper care of your skin is vital for more than just your appearance. As the largest organ you have, your skin is essential to your general health. If you take care of it -- it can help take care of you. 

Here are some of the best tips to keep your skin healthy:

Tip #1: Cleanse Your Face Daily

Cleansing your face removes oils and dirt (and yes, icky bacteria) that accumulate, ultimately making your pores appear larger. Your face excretes oils at night, and even the cleanest pillows still have a little dirt. You should cleanse your face when you wake up to remove the oil and dirt. 

Cleanse your face again before bed to remove makeup and grime from the day. You should also cleanse your face after you sweat or work out. Use a gentle face wash made with science-backed ingredients and herbals like Faded from Topicals. This powerful brightening and clearing gel serum gently smooths rough and textured skin to brighten and revive tired skin tone.

Tip #2: Get More Beauty Rest

You need 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep every single night. Period. Sleep is essential for your body to restore, rejuvenate, and repair.  Your skin produces new collagen when you’re sleeping. Hitting the hay and waking up at consistent times helps with restful sleep. Who knew beauty rest was real? 

We love using the Like Butter Whipped Mask from Topicals overnight to restore dry, flaky skin while fortifying the delicate skin barrier to help lock in water for ultimate hydration.

Tip #3: Breathe Clean Air

Cigarette smoke, artificial fragrances, and heavy air pollution can negatively impact skin health. They can form harmful free radicals and cause painful skin irritations. If you simply can't avoid these, help repair your skin with nontoxic products. Quality skincare products with antioxidants can help do wonders to undo the damage to your skin. Clean, fresh air helps us relax and reduces stress. 

Tip #4: Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps increase blood flow which draws oxygen to your skin and free radicals away from your skin. Plus, exercise also helps to decrease stress as well as improve sleep quality, which are both important for your skin. Make sure to cleanse your face after sweaty workouts. 

Tip #5: Drink H2O

Your skin needs water to function. Drinking water feeds your skin from the inside out. Dehydrated skin can look tired, dull, be dry, and itchy, and make lines much more noticeable. It can also enhance dark areas around your nose and eyes. 

Coffee and alcohol dehydrate the skin. Drinking plenty of H2O helps keep skin hydrated and gives your skin a healthy, radiant glow. Eating fresh fruits and veggies, exercising, and restful sleep can all help keep skin hydrated, too. 

Tip #6: Always Wear Sunscreen

The sun is the number one culprit behind premature aging of the skin. Too much sun can cause some serious skin damage from dehydration to harmful free radicals. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can provide essential protection from the sun’s harmful rays and should be worn rain or shine. You should also wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure whenever possible.


Bottom Line

Your skin doesn’t just mark the boundary between you and your environment -- it serves as an essential health function, protecting you from disease and exposure. 

Take care of your skin by cleansing it daily, keeping yourself hydrated, and exercising. Sunscreen is also critical and should be worn every single day, rain or shine. 

For the best skincare products on the planet, head on over to Topicals. Whether you're looking to soothe your irritated skin or lock in moisture to keep it hydrated, Topicals has everything you need to keep your skin happy, healthy, and thriving. 


Skin Information and Facts | National Geographic.

Skin Fun Facts | PD Skin.

What is Mitosis? | Your