You have very thin skin. No, that is not an insult, it’s a fact.
Skin covering your body has many variations of thickness. The upper layer of skin is the epidermis, whose depth on the face (and the rest of the body) is fairly uniform. The differences in skin thickness have much more to do with the depth of the underlying dermis. The thinnest skin on your body is behind your ears and on your eyelids. These areas have an average thickness of 500 microns (or 0.5 mm). The skin on the face is about the thickness of a dime (1.3 mm). Take a dime out of your pocket or purse and take a look at it. All of the products, procedures and treatments you see advertised are aimed at making your dime-thickness skin more beautiful, youthful, clear and vibrant. That’s what it is all about. One thin dime.
Without the paper-thin upper layer of the epidermis known as the stratum corneum, we would be toast. We would be dehydrated and succumb to a myriad of bacteria and viruses. So the skin is pretty awesome indeed. You may think that attaining youthful and beautiful skin is a very complicated endeavor requiring expensive creams and serums and procedures costing an arm and a leg.
Guess what? It’s not that complicated at all.
Before publishing my book I spoke to hundreds of people with a strong desire to have a more youthful and beautiful appearance. Two common themes resonated. “It is too complicated” and “I have no idea where to start.” Many just throw their hands up in disgust and head to the dermatologist or medical spa and say “fix me.” These specialists can surely help you. The fact is that you have WAY more power in becoming beautiful than you realize. I am certain of this.
Pinning the Skin
In my recent interview with skin care expert Lillian Martini, I discussed a concept which needs elaboration. What ‘Pinning the Skin’ means is treating the skin from the outside-in and the inside-out. It means literally ‘squeezing’ the skin between powerful anti-aging factors and treatments. Blood flow only comes to ONE layer of the skin; the dermis. That means that the epidermis, that layer of skin you see when you look anywhere on your body has NO DIRECT BLOOD FLOW. What does this mean in terms of anti-aging? For one thing, it means your epidermis needs a lot of help, from you…and blood flow from the dermis.
Skin Ingredients: Making your skin look younger and beautiful begins with hydration and SPF protection. After this, it is about the right ingredients to clear away unwanted pigment, reduce redness (including acne and rosacea) and improve collagen and elastin to remove fine lines and wrinkles. Using the RIGHT ingredients is FAR more important than using A LOT of ingredients. Face it, if you had fewer red or brown discolorations and a disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles … you would certainly be smiling, would you not?
Treatments and Procedures: Botox, dermal fillers, cosmetic laser treatments, microneedling, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and many others help improve the appearance of your skin. These are all hitting your skin from the outside-in as well. I talk about these all in detail in my book and website in regard to what each exactly each does to help your skin appear more supple, young, clear and vibrant. They all work very well indeed and can help to treat a myriad of skin conditions and aging concerns.
Now Hit the Inside
Powerhouse anti-oxidants and nutrients: When you eat some really high power anti-oxidant like spinach or kale, those nutrients and antioxidants are absorbed through the intestinal tract, enter the blood stream and end up in the capillaries of the DERMIS. Now you have antioxidants in the dermis and these dermal capillaries also supply the epidermis. If you are using an antioxidant Vitamin A serum and eating powerhouse antioxidants, you have literally pinned the skin between two powerful antioxidant sources: external and internal. How is it possible for the skin NOT to improve when you are attacking it like this? From an anatomical and physiologic standpoint, the skin has literally no option but to improve.
Now let’s take a scenario where we could hurt the skin from the outside and inside. No SPF protection. Here come free radicals from UVA rays which increase collagenase; an enzyme which literally destroys collagen. Combine this with some fried food in your diet. Plant oils oxidize in the high temperatures used in frying which causes increased free radicals. In the scenario above we ‘pinned the skin’ with antioxidants. In this example we are ‘pinning the skin’ with free radicals.
SPF, one cream and one dietary change gives guaranteed anti-aging results.
No SPF and fried food pinned our skin with free radicals which assured our skin would age more quickly.
Helping your skin look more youthful and beautiful is possible for anyone provided there are simple, consistent measures taken. I am not saying that eating spinach and using vitamin A is going to improve your skin overnight. However, if done consistently, it HAS to bring anti-aging results.
This is a dime-thickness skin layer. Not rocket-science. You can do it. For decades my goal has remained to try to break anti-aging, skin care and medical aesthetics down into terms that are understandable to all with an approach that is not scary or daunting. Knowledge will always be powerful.
Be well and be good to your skin
Dean M. Tomasello, MD