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Your Skin: It’s Many Layers

by kelly / February, 20 2019 01:30

Photo of a woman's hand on her uncovered shoulder

We talk about our skin all the time – how it looks, feels, and ages. But what is our skin and how does it work? In our Your Skin series we’ll examine the science behind our skin. In the end, hopefully having a greater understanding of our skin will help us keep it healthy for a long time.

It’s Big and Important to our Health

The skin is the largest organ in your body. It’s our first line of defense to protect our body against outside pollutants and it keeps all your insides in! It has a big job. Don’t worry your skin is totally capable of its job because it’s made up of three tough layers.


The epidermis is your skin’s top layer and its purpose is to:

  • Protect your body – it has special cells that are part of your immune system to help you stay healthy.
  • Make new skin cells and melanin – melanin gives our skin its color and new skin cells are made in the epidermis. Melanin helps in protecting us against some UV exposure. Of course we need sun protection and sunscreen to do a lot more of the work.


The dermis is the next layer underneath the epidermis. It has a lot on its plate and does five main things:

  • Brings blood to your skin – blood keeps our skin alive.
  • Makes oil – these oils keep our skin soft, smooth, and waterproof. Of course our skin can also make too much oil – this is one reason we all get acne (hey the skin isn’t always perfect).
  • Makes sweat – the dermis has little pockets of sweat glands in it. Might sound gross but sweat helps keep us cool and gets rid of bad stuff your body doesn’t need.
  • Feels things – the dermis lets us know if something hurts, itches or feels nice when we touch it. The nerve endings in the dermis help us feel things.
  • Grows hair – the roots of our hair are found in the dermis.

Subcutaneous Fat

The bottom layer of your skin is called subcutaneous fat. This layer plays a very important role in connecting your skin to your body. This layer:

  • Attaches your skin to your body – connective tissue in your subcutaneous fat layer attaches your skin to your muscles and bones.
  • Manages your body temp – it controls your body temperature, helping it from getting too cold or hot.
  • Stores fat – fat in this layer of your skin pads your muscles and bones, protecting you from bumps and falls.
  • Pumps more blood to your skin – in partnership with the dermis, our subcutaneous fat layer brings blood to our skin. The blood vessels and nerve cells that begin in the dermis get larger as we move to the subcutaneous fat layer.

Skin Care 101

Wow! Who knew how much work our skin was putting into keeping our body safe. It works hard to keep us healthy – that’s why we should take good care of it.

Of course we’ve got a load of information to help your skin be and look its best – check out our Skin Care blog series.

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