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Your Skin Type

After your muscles, the skin forms the largest organ of the body and is the first contact to the outside world. The skin protects your body from outside influences and is helped by an “acid mantle” made up of organic acids and “friendly” microorganisms or “micro flora”. This layer protects the body against chemical and microbial attack.

Pigmentation in the skin helps protect the body against excessive ultraviolet light from the sun and at the same time allowing the utilization of sunlight to manufacture essential vitamin D and other cancer fighting chemicals for the bodies defence systems.

Without the protective effect of your skin the body would lose much of it`s water content. It prevents excessive loss of moisture from the body and helps prevent dehydration.

The skin has embedded within its structure sensory organs that detect pain, temperature, pressure, odour and sexual stimuli. It therefore acts as a communication system between the outside world and the body (your brain).

The skin is also very important in keeping the body temperature regulated by production of sweat. When sweat evaporates off your skin, it causes cooling, resulting in helping to keep the body temperature constant.

Within the horny layer (Stratum corneum) of the skin there is a reservoir of a substance called the NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTOR (NMF). This substance is made up of amino acids, lactic acid, urea, mineral salts, organic acids, sugars and urocanic acid.

It attracts water into the horny layer and acts as a moisture reservoir to keep the skin soft and elastic. Moisturization of the skin usually takes place from within the skins deeper live layers where the tiny blood capillaries bring water into the skin and any water loss from this NMF is replaced to keep the horny layer smooth, soft and pliable.

You can tell your skin is getting dehydrated when it starts to loose its elasticity and looks sallow and parched. By maintaining the quality of the NMF by replenishing the water content, you keep the protective, moisturizing effect alive.

Sebaceous glands are usually associated with hair and hair follicles in the skin and produce an oily substance called sebum (made up of Cholesterol, free fatty acids, Triglycerides, wax, squalene)

Sebum is produced in response to the male hormone Testosterone (and its more active form dihydroxy testosterone). Receptors for this hormone exist in the skin and when stimulated, produce SEBUM.This substance has mild anti fungal and antibacterial action and the oily layer on the surface of the skin helps to keep the skin smooth, soft and supple. However SEBUM does not appear to be essential in human beings for these properties.

It seems that production of SEBUM is a leftover of evolution. This is well demonstrated by the fact that babies and young children have smooth and supple skin and yet their sebaceous glands are underdeveloped.

Your skin is under attack from various environmental factors and you need protection from these. This is the reason we apply various skin care products to help protect and repair any damage that results from factors such as Ultraviolet light, infrared radiation (Sun), chemical pollution, heat, including central heating, wind, Insect bites.

Different Skin Types

Your facial skin type depends on how active your sebaceous glands (the oil producing glands) are. The face has the highest population of large sebaceous glands on the body. The oil production is also dependent on your age, time of the month and season. Your skin loses moisture to the atmosphere continuously through the horny layer and sweat glands and in order to maintain the protective barrier property. The rate at which this moisture is replaced from within the skin also determines the natural state of your skin.