THE SCIENCE BEHIND SKIN – THE LARGEST ORGAN OF THE BODY
AS EXPLAINED BY A DERMATOLOGIST
Diagram showing the structure and layers of the skin1
Want to know what goes on during a consultation with a dermatologist? Here’s an idea of the scientific approach towards the skin which you have never heard of before from your beauty advisors.
The skin is made up of 3 layers – epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (otherwise known as ‘subcutis’ or ‘panniculus’).
The epidermis has 5 layers – stratum corneum, stratum granulosum (granular cell layer), stratum spinosum (spiny layer) and stratum basale (basal cell layer) from the outermost to the innermost layer. This outermost layer of the skin mainly consists of keratinocytes, cells which produce a protein called keratin that is a key structural material in the hair, skin and nails. These cells mature over a two-week life cycle. During these two weeks, they are first differentiated from epidermal stem cells in the basal cell layer and are further differentiated as they move upwards towards the epidermis. At the end of the 28-day cycle, they are shed off after reaching the stratum corneum.
The dermis has 2 layers – papillary dermis and reticular dermis. It mainly consists of fibroblasts, collagen and elastic fibers.
The final layer of the skin called hypodermis is where the adipose tissue (or fats) lie.
FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT DYSFUNCTIONS
1. Skin barrier – the skin acts as a physical barrier between the internal and external environments to retain moisture and protect the skin against mechanical, chemical and microbial injury; dysfunction of the skin barrier may result in injury, dehydration, infection and inflammation
2. Immunologic – the skin senses and responds to pathogens; dysfunction of the immunologic barrier may result in infection, allergy, inflammatory skin conditions and in the worst case scenario, could lead to skin cancer
3. Temperature regulation – the skin maintains a constant body temperature by regulating heat loss in the form of sweat production, with insulating properties of fat and hair and with a dense superficial microvasculature; the failure to maintain a constant body temperature could lead to hyper- or hypothermia
4. Protection from radiation – a dark pigment in the epidermis called melanin protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation; disruption of the production of melanin increases the risk of skin cancer
5. Nerve sensation – the skin constantly monitors the environment through sensory receptors and mechanoreceptors found in the skin; dysfunction in the nerve sensation may lead to pruritus, dysesthesia (an abnormal sensation) and insensitivity to injury (as in the cases of diabetes and leprosy)
6. Injury repair – the skin has the ability to repair cutaneous wounds in four phases: coagulation, inflammatory, proliferative-migratory (tissue formation) and remodelling; the loss of this ability results in delayed wound healing (e.g. post-radiation treatment)
7. Appearance and quality of life – besides medical conditions, deteriorations to the skin such as skin defects or physiological aging can lead to psychological distress (e.g. lipoatrophy and vitiligo)
FAQ ON COSMECEUTICALS AND HOW IT WORKS TO RESTORE THE HEALTH OF THE SKIN
1. How are our cosmeceuticals effective for problem skin such as acne and pigmentation?
As far as possible, we strive to use nature-derived substances as active ingredients rather than chemicals such as antibiotics or strong lathering agents. For example, the Miel Honey™ Cleanser is effective for acne-prone skin because medical grade purified honey is known to restore healthy skin bacteria also known as the skin microbiome to fight acne-prone skin2. Acne itself can be worsened by the presence of bacteria such as propionibacterium and also by secondary infections such as gram-negative folliculitis in long term skin conditions like eczema which can lead to recurrent skin infections. All the active ingredients3 in our skincare are also evidence-based4.
2. What is the key ingredient of this cosmeceutical skincare that also has anti-aging and skin repairing abilities?
Instead of traditional ingredients such as retinol which is a Vitamin-A derivative that has been shown to be very irritating to the skin over long periods of time and has controversial use in ladies who are pregnant, we have chosen to completely eliminate this ingredient to focus on Oligopeptides which are safe and also effective. Bioactive oligopeptides are short sequence amino acids that helps to mitigate the effects of the ageing process, which is caused by a reduction in the collagen production, by modulating the collagen homeostasis5.
3. Are there other key ingredients which are unique to this cosmeceutical skincare?
The other key ingredient of the cosmeceutical skincare is our trademark ingredient, LARECEA™ Extract, which is a potent combination of amino acids and plant extracts from the broccoli family6. If you are enthusiastic in learning more about the active ingredients in our skincare, you can find out more about the latest studies which has shown that brassica oleracea extract has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity and is a good candidate for topical acne treatment7.
In addition, the Deep Sea Secrets form the base as a key ingredient of our skincare, which is purified deep sea mineral water pumped up from 600 metres below seawater. Deep sea water has the ability to improve skin conditions such as inflammation by helping to restore essential minerals in the skin such as selenium and remove toxic minerals such as mercury and lead8. With the many benefits for skin, we have incorporated deep sea water into the Mineral Booster™, a refreshing mist to help increase the absorption of skincare products.
To achieve the mission of our company which is to ensure that dermatologist grade cosmeceuticals are available to the masses, Dr Teo, co-founder of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, is passionate about educating the public on the use of cosmeceuticals to achieve better healthier skin as well as rejuvenative anti-aging effects. See Dr Teo’s press features here.
1. Learning, L. (n.d.). Biology for Majors II. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-biology2/chapter/structure-and-function-of-skin/.
2. Two big trends in cosmeceuticals for 2019. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dermatologytimes.com/aesthetic/two-big-trends-cosmeceuticals-2019.
3. The Cosmeceuticals Boom: Where Do Dermatologists Stand? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://practicaldermatology.com/articles/2013-jul/the-cosmeceuticals-boom-where-do-dermatologists-stand?c4src=article:infinite-scroll.
4. Masic, I., Miokovic, M., & Muhamedagic, B. (2008). Evidence based medicine – new approaches and challenges. Acta informatica medica : AIM : journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia & Herzegovina : casopis Drustva za medicinsku informatiku BiH, 16(4), 219–225.
5. Reddy, B. , Jow, T. and Hantash, B. M. (2012), Bioactive oligopeptides in dermatology: Part I. Exp Dermatol, 21: 563-568.
6. Broccoli Sprout-derived Extract Protects Against Ultraviolet Radiation. (2007, October 23). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022171929.htm.
7. Efficacy of two plant extracts against acne vulgaris: Initial results of microbiological tests and cell culture studies. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018; 00: 1– 5., , , et al.
8. Nani, M., Zura, S., Majid, Jaafar, Musa, & N., M. (2016, December 26). Potential Health Benefits of Deep Sea Water: A Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2016, Article ID 6520475, 18 pages.