As a health explorer, I understand the importance of maintaining healthy skin. It’s not just about appearances, but about protecting our body from external damage, including harmful pollutants, chemicals, and UV radiation from the sun. Our skin is the first line of defense and serves as a protective barrier. Our skin is made up of three layers – the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer.

The outermost layer, the epidermis, protects against external damage, while the underlying dermis contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The subcutaneous layer provides insulation and padding to the body. In addition to its protective function, the skin also plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature through sweat glands and blood vessels.

As a proponent of natural health, I believe that maintaining healthy skin requires both internal and external care. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A, C, and E, can help support skin health. Staying hydrated is also important for maintaining skin elasticity and preventing dryness. External factors like UV exposure, pollution, and harsh chemicals can damage the skin and accelerate aging. Using natural skincare products and limiting exposure to UV radiation can help protect the skin and prevent damage.

Wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and dry-looking skin are all visible signs of aging. However, most of the changes that take place within your skin as it ages aren’t so obvious. One of the biggest changes involves collagen, a super important skin protein. Not only does collagen help to keep your skin plump and firm— fending off wrinkles and fine lines in the process— it also plays a role in skin elasticity and hydration. Unfortunately, collagen production declines with age, which contributes greatly to visible signs of aging as well as dry skin.

Along with loss of collagen, skin also tends to produce fewer natural oils over time due to reduced oil gland function. With fewer oils present in your skin, moisture has a much greater chance of evaporating, causing skin to dry out more quickly. Changes also occur to components that are involved in binding water to the top layer of your skin. Collectively, these components are known as natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and play a large role in both protecting your skin from damage and keeping it hydrated. But just like with collagen, NMF levels tend to decline with age, leaving your skin more susceptible to dryness and irritation.

Environmental stressors also cause damage to the skin. Harsh weather, air pollution, toxins from skincare products, radiation, an unhealthy diet, and alcohol/smoking are some of the most common stressors that affect your skin. Exposure to these stressors stimulates free radical production, which damages skin cells and tissue, accelerating the aging process. The biggest environmental stressor for your skin is the sun. Overexposure to sunlight— or more specifically, the UV rays found in sunlight— is thought to be responsible for up to 80% of environmental skin damage. The type of skin damage caused by excessive exposure to UV radiation is known as photodamage or photoaging.

Photodamage also generates free radicals, which may contribute to impaired skin function and dryness down the road. Pale complexions are more susceptible to photodamage than darker ones, but it can affect any skin type. The only way to avoid it is by consistently protecting your skin from UV radiation.

All these age-related skin changes and environmental stressors contribute to impaired skin barrier function. Your skin’s natural barrier has an incredibly important job. It acts as a defensive shield to keep harmful toxins and pathogens out of your body while also keeping moisture from evaporating so that your skin stays hydrated. Unfortunately, the cumulative effects of decreased oil production, free radical damage, etc. cause your skin barrier to break down over time.   I found that the best way to overcome these  challenges and in order to have a healthy skin is by using organic products that are free from chemicals.