Skin as a Protective Barrier

The skin is the body’s largest organ, measuring about one eighth of an inch thick, and comprising roughly 10% of our total bodyweight. Skin consists of two layers: a protective outer layer, just 1/250th of an inch thick, known as the epidermis, and a slightly thicker inner layer, called the dermis.

When healthy, our skin provides a number of important services to us. The skin serves as a shield, preventing excessive moisture loss or gain, keeping disease-causing pathogens and organisms out, and protecting us from chemical, physical, and biological hazards. It also protects our underlying network of tissues, bones, and organs from injury.

Skin is actually an organ, and it is indeed, the largest organ in the body. Skin serves a very important set of functions in the body. It regulates body temperature, maintains water and electrolyte balance, and senses painful and pleasant stimuli. The skin keeps vital chemicals and nutrients in, while providing a block against dangerous substances trying to access the body and it also ensures a shield from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun.
Our skin plays an important role in maintaining a normal core body temperature. When the body overheats, fewer nerve impulses are sent to the blood vessels in the skin.
While collagen is a key factor in maintaining healthy, beautiful skin, there is another protein in our skin that is equally important for the health and appearance of our skin: elastin. Elastin is a protein found in the skin and connective tissue throughout our bodies.
The main skin matrix fillers are glycans (a type of glucose based polymers that include glycosoaminoglycans and proteoglyans). In so far as skin rejuvenation goes the key glycan is hyaluronic acid (otherwise known as hyaluronan, hyaluronate or HA).