If you talk to any respected dermatologist or esthetician, they will talk about skin health over and over again. A good skincare specialist will tell you that skin health is ten times more important than clear skin or young skin. Any skincare specialist can prescribe medication for acne or recommend Botox for those fine lines and wrinkles. However, a good skincare specialist should focus on the skin as a whole. Skin health restoration and treatment must address deeper skin layers while treating existing skin problems. Skin type, quality, and suitability for the treatment are essential and must be considered. Finally, formulations of skincare and treatments must be designed to work at the cellular level. So, what is “skin health?”
Skin health is defined by six different categories. Skin must accomplish all six before it is considered healthy. Baby skin is at its healthiest and is the baseline for healthy skin. Therefore baby skin (healthy skin) is smooth, even-colored, hydrated, tolerant, firm and tight, and is free from disease.
Smooth skin is soft and smooth in texture and has a soft, compact stratum corneum, continuous epidermal cell renewal and regulated keratinocyte maturation cycle. Smooth skin can be achieved by stimulating keratin with retinol or retinoic acid and increasing hydration with glycosaminoglycans. Proper natural exfoliation and elastin are also important for smooth skin.
Even-colored skin means the skin has properly functioning melanocytes, leading to normal melanin production and even distribution. Melanin is normally distributed horizontally, but when it is damaged or injured, melanin begins to distribute vertically.
Hydrated skin has a strong barrier function with sufficient natural moisturizing factors. Natural hydration comes from within the skin through glycosaminoglycans. Glycosaminoglycans play a crucial role in the cell signaling process, including regulation of cell growth, proliferation, promotion of cell adhesion, anticoagulation, and wound repair.
Healthy skin is tolerant, meaning it is tolerant to the surrounding environment and has an intact barrier function. This is achieved through proper natural exfoliation.
Firm and Tight
Baby skin is full, firm, and tight. In this definition of skin health, healthy skin is abundant in optimally functioning collagen and elastin. Over time, the skin’s production of collagen and elastin begins to decrease, causing signs of aging.
Free from Disease
Probably the most obvious sign of healthy skin is it’s free from disease. This refers to normal skin histology. Disease in the skin can present in acne, hyperpigmentation, and more.
Rate your skin health by giving each category a number between one and five, with one being poor and five being best. Then, total up the score and make it out of 30. Having a score of 30 means you’ve got healthy skin. If you don’t get to 30, don’t despair. Call us and book an appointment to determine what steps you can take to achieve total skin health.