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Your face is the first thing most people will notice about you, and your skin is a big part of that. If the skin on your face is not at its best, many of us feel horribly self-conscious and uncomfortable, even when nobody else can see what might be wrong. Confidence is all about how we feel. Understanding our skin, and applying basic skincare can help to alleviate at least one source of discomfort, and build up your self-esteem.
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What is your skin made of?
The skin is one of the first thing people notice about each other, whether they realise it or not. It does cover us from head to toe, after all, and is the body’s largest organ. It protects us from the elements, holds all our bits and pieces together, and is usually completely taken for granted… just like your mother!
The skin is made up of three main layers; the subcutaneous layer, the dermis, and the epidermis which forms the outer surface of our skin. These layers are constantly being renewed and regenerated as old dead cells are shed from the outer layer, making way for new, younger cells beneath.
The Subcutaneous Layer
This is the basal layer of the skin. Its key purposes are to store fat to protect our bones and keep us warm, to generate new skin cells, and to make sebum, which is vital for the health of our skin. Sebum is produced in sebaceous glands, and is a natural lubricant made up of acids and fats. It plays an important role in protecting the skin against bacterial infection (including acne). It does this by travelling up from the subcutaneous layer along shafts of hair to reach the skin’s surface. There it forms a pH barrier against infection.
The dermis is the middle layer of the skin. It is a thick layer that is largely made up of the proteins collagen and elastin. These proteins give our skin its firmness and ability to snap back into shape. As we age, elastin production decreases – that’s when we end up with wrinkles and lines.
The dermis also contains a vital network of capillaries (tiny veins) which carry oxygen and nutrients to new cells from the underlying subcutaneous layer, and the older cells in the outer epidermis. These capillaries also remove toxins from the overlying epidermis, to be taken away and expelled from the body.
Another key component of the dermis is sweat glands. By producing sweat, our bodies are able to regulate their temperature; sweat glands produce sweat when we are hot to cool us through evaporation, and shrink when we are cold. Sweat glands also deliver moisture to the epidermis and help eliminate toxins, salt and excess water from the skin.
By the time skin cells reach the epidermis, which forms the outer layer of our skin, they are tougher and stronger than when they formed in the subcutaneous layer. They need to be, so they can act as an effective and protective barrier against the outside world. The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and is instead fed by capillaries in the upper layer of the dermis.
Once exposed to the elements, the cells within the epidermis begin to die. The outermost layer is constantly shedding; getting rid of dead cells and exposing younger cells beneath. Thus the skin is continuously able to renew itself.
The Benefits of Skincare
- Exfoliating, washing and cleansing aid in:
- Removing dead skin cells to expose younger and more alive cells beneath
- Removing toxins and waste which can contribute to clogged pores and acne
- It is important to use organic and/or natural products which contain no harsh chemicals. Choose products which will support the body’s natural bacterial defence, sebum, rather than stripping it away.
Why do I get acne?
During puberty, the body reacts to changing hormone levels by going into sebum-production overdrive. Too much of a good thing can cause congestion along the hair shaft, leading to blocked pores, pimples and acne.
I’m a Grown-Up! Why Do I Still Get Pimples?
At Alpine Beginnings, I believe that the best results in skincare begin with understanding your skin. We each have a slightly different chemical makeup, live and work in different environments and react differently to external and internal factors. For this reason, I believe strongly in developing a tailored skincare regime for each of my clients. As part of this service, I offer my unique Skincare Education Sessions.
These Education Sessions were originally conceived for Teens and Tweens; helping them to navigate the myriad changes their bodies are going through, many of which affect their skin. However, upon introducing this specialised service, I found that many adults also wished to learn more about why their skin behaves or reacts as it does, and what they can do to prevent or alleviate otherwise ongoing problems.
And so I have developed a range of Skincare Education Sessions, for Tweens (8-12 year olds), Teens and Adults. These can be conducted on an individual basis or in small groups, and can also be tailored for boys or girls.
Tween Skincare Education Sessions
Designed specifically for the ‘Tween’ age bracket (8-12 years), Tween Skincare Education Sessions focus on the importance of cleanliness and washing as a means of preventing early acne. Sun awareness is addressed, as well as the importance of hydration in our harsh climate (summer and winter!), through drinking water and applying basic moisturisers. I also strongly believe in educating youth about harsh and dangerous chemicals that are often present in mainstream products.
Please click here to make an enquiry or book a Tween Skincare Education Session. Individual and small group bookings are available.
Teen Skincare Education Sessions
The Teen Skincare Education Sessions expand on information available for Tweens, addressing cleanliness, sun damage and hydration. However the main focus for the Teen Sessions is puberty. With a cocktail of hormones surging through their bodies, Teens are at the mercy of their changing bodies and changing emotions. We explore the growth of body hair, increased sweat production and most importantly, increased production of sebum and development of acne. All of these signs of puberty affect the skin, and therefore have the potential to affect how Teens think and feel about themselves. All of these factors can be effectively managed.
The Teen Skincare Sessions emphasise natural skincare options and are focussed on delivering a message of positive self esteem and body image.
Please click here to make an enquiry or book a Teen Skincare Education Session. Individual and small group bookings are available.
Adult Skincare Education Sessions
Do you suffer from dry, flakey skin? Perhaps you have an oily ‘T’ zone? Or ever wonder why you’re a grown-up but still get the occasional pimple? At Alpine Beginnings we believe educating clients about their skin and developing individualised skincare regimes is the key to having beautiful, healthy skin. Adult Skincare Education Sessions are available, addressing the importance of daily cleansing, sun protection, maintaining hydration and the dangers of harsh chemicals and additives found in many products.
We also cover the range of treatment options available (and their pros and cons) for skin rejuvenation, pigmentation, hydration renewal and other skin conditions. Sessions are tailored to cover your particular concerns, taking into consideration your lifestyle, environment, and skin treatment history.
Please click here to make an enquiry or book your Skincare Education Session.