Skin Science

Here comes the science

The average adult has 21 square feet of skin (2 sq m) which weighs 7lb (3.2 kg) and has approximately 300 million skin cells. Skin is thickest on the palms & soles (1.2mm to 4.7mm) and thinnest on the lips and around the eyes. Facial skin is approximately 0.12mm thick and on the body is about 0.6mm.

Your skin reflects your general health and social behavior. Situations which affect your health can have an important effect on your skin, for example cigarette smoking causes ageing and wrinkling of the skin with time.

On average each square half inch of skin contains

  • 10 hairs
  • 15 sebaceous glands
  • 100 sweat glands
  • 3.2 feet (1m) of tiny blood vessels.

As in other mammals, human skin is composed of an outer layer, the epidermis and an underlying layer of fibrous tissue called the dermis. Beneath the dermis is the subcutaneous fat. The epidermis is constantly growing from the bottom upwards and the dead skin cells (stratum corneum) are shed (usually invisibly) from the surface. This whole process normally takes about 52-75 days but can be much quicker in some skin diseases such as psoriasis.

Look after your skin

A daily skin routine is essential, and your skin gets used to what you do to it, follow our recipe for healthy

  • Cleanse
  • Sunscreen
  • Exfoliate
  • Antioxidants

If you want to know more about what we are recommending today as the best sunscreen, antioxidant and exfoliating products why not call in to clinic for a consultation where you will be given information to help you get some of the best advice about caring for and protecting your skin today, alternatively leave us a message here and we will get back to you shortly.

Protection from the sun

There is no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’. The process of tanning means that skin has had to go all out to protect itself and you from the sun’s harmful rays UVA and UVB rays. The major cause of premature ageing of our skin is excessive and repetitive exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR), that’s from either sunlight or sunbeds and results in tanning. Ultraviolet causes pigmentation changes e.g., brown spots, liver spots or sunspots, broken blood vessels, thinning of the dermis and wrinkling of the skin and it is proven to cause some skin cancers. In order to prevent this, protection of the skin against ultraviolet light is essential. Certain skin types are more susceptible to these effects. All skin types are vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays, but most at risk are those with fair skin that burns easily.

In 1990 the British Photo dermatology Group (BPG) Consensus View on Sunbeds for Cosmetic Tanning’, published a summary of the adverse effects of cosmetic tanning with UVR sunbeds and recommended that people should not use them.

We are aware of no studies that show any benefits of sunbed tanning, there are several short- and long-term health risks associated with their use.

Many sunbed users believe that skin damage is avoided provided their skin does not burn. Unfortunately, this is not true since damage can be shown to occur with UVR exposures below those necessary for burning.

The short-term damaging effects of excessive exposure to sunbeds include:

There may also be long-term effects:

  • Sunburnt skin, which becomes painful, red and may blister and peel
  • Skin dryness and itching
  • Bumpy itchy skin
  • Possible rash if certain medicines are taken or lotions are applied to the skin
  • Eye irritation or conjunctivitis, if suitable goggles are not worn
  • Premature ageing of the skin, which will then look coarse, leathery and wrinkled
  • Skin cancer – the more exposures, the greater the risk
  • Increased risk of cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) later in life, if suitable goggles are not worn.



Ageing – Genes or Lifestyle?

Ageing is a fact of life and every cell in our body ages and eventually dies ‘While genetic factors play some part in the overall ageing process, lifestyle has a much greater impact,’ says dermatologist Dr Nicholas Lowe. About 30 per cent of facial ageing is genetic, but a lot of the rest is repetitive sunlight, smoke and other hazardous things we expose ourselves to.

FACT – we cannot stop facial ageing,

but can we manage it more effectively?

It’s boring, we know, you’ve heard it all before, but it is tried and tested by the science so follow these simple steps to help prevent premature wrinkles.

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Reduce your sun exposure and become Sunscreen Aware
  3. Maintain a balanced diet and eat ‘Real Food’ increase your intake of oily fish, fruit and vegetables, reduce sugar consumption, limit alcohol and cut out the processed foods.
  4. Increase your water intake, 6-8 glasses are the daily recommended intake


What about the creams? are we just wasting our money, or can they really do anything to repair skin damage?

Well, here is list of some of the anti-ageing ingredients currently in use that have some science behind them

Vitamin A known as Retinol can help diminish the depth of wrinkles; it has a light inflammatory action which ‘puffs up’ the skin to make wrinkles look less deep. When we talk about prescription retinol products, we are referring to Retin-A see retinoids.

Vitamin C also known as Ascorbic Acid can help to boost circulation and collagen production; this has a brightening effect on the skin.

Vitamin D also called Calciferol and known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. The body stores several forms of Vitamin D, but its Vitamin D3 that is made in the skin. Vitamin D in the UK is an area under active research and debate and is under current review by Government authorities. Read the latest statement on Vitamin D debate courtesy of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD).

Vitamin E or Tocopherol is a fat-soluble vitamin and an important antioxidant. it is often used in skin creams and lotions because it is believed to play a role in encouraging skin healing and reducing scarring after injuries such as burns.

Zinc is a mineral, and some research suggests that zinc might be particularly effective in treating topical irritations and injuries, such as acne, skin sores and minor wounds by helping skin cells to regenerate.

AHAs alpha-hydroxy acids are fruit acids, they can help by improving the skin’s appearance. They speed up the shedding of old, dead cells from the skin surface, giving a smoother and more polished glow.

Retinoids Are chemicals that make the skin produce new cells more quickly, making it thicker and more compact. After a month or two of use, the skin becomes smoother and fine wrinkles are reduced. After six months the skin will be as good as it’s going to get and if you discontinue use, the skin reverts to its previous condition. They have no effect on noticeable deep lines or thread veins.

Sunscreen – Sunscreen isn’t just about Sun Creams that are easily available to buy over the counter. Sunscreen is probably the single most important precaution that you can take today to protect you and your family’s skin and to keep it healthy. Sunscreen can be a physical barrier such as shade and clothing, and it can be a chemical barrier such as the creams, gels and lotions that we apply on to skin. By combining both the chemical and physical barriers you are being actively Sun Smart. Sunscreen can help to protect you from against the suns harmful Ultraviolet rays that burn (UVB) and the Ultraviolet rays that age you (UVA). Ensure the sunscreen has a high SPF, we advise a SPF 30 and that it also contains high star rating for UVA filters. Read the suncream instruction labels carefully on how to apply as they can be confusing, and the active ingredients have an expiry date so check these and throw away all those old bottles from last year.