Free Shipping on Orders over $250 with DHL or Fedex Express.

The Epidermis and its Role in Skin Health

The epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin.

It is a waterproof, protective barrier that is critical in skin rejuvenation.

The epidermis was once considered a superficial shell.

Lately, discoveries about the psychological processes of our skin have discovered it is so much more.

Many changes occur deep within this layer.

Changes are due to ageing, stress, UV, environmental pollutants and chemicals, and poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking.

So join us as we look at this fascinating layer of your skin.

What is the Epidermis?

The prime function of the epidermis is to act as a physical and biological barrier to the external world, preventing penetration by irritants and potential allergens; at the same time, it prevents the loss of water and maintains your internal homeostasis.

New cells are made in the lower layers of the epidermis, and over the course of around four weeks, these cells make their way to the surface, where they become flat and hard, replacing dead cells; literally, millions of these skin cells are shed daily.

Keratinocytes are the most common cell type within the epidermis; they act as a barrier against bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, heat, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, and water loss.

The colour of your skin is produced by a pigment called melanin, which is produced by melanocytes; these are also found in the epidermis and help to protect your skin from UV rays.

Interestingly, the epidermis contains no blood supply of its own, which is why you can shave your skin and not cause any bleeding, despite losing many cells in the process.

It is is Madeup of Five Layers

  • stratum corneum is the outermost layer
  • stratum lucidum
  • stratum granulosum
  • stratum spinosum
  • stratum germinativum

The Epidermis and its Role on Skin Health

The keratinocyte cells are created at the junction between the epidermis and the dermis. When ready, they begin a month-long journey towards the top of the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin referred to as the stratum corneum.

When they begin their journey, they are plump and healthy, but as the keratinocyte cells move towards the surface, they break down, becoming flat and hard, filling with a tough protein known as keratin.

This protein gives your skin a waterproof covering, protecting you from the outside world and preventing the absorption of many substances through your skin and potential viruses and bacteria.

Once at the surface, they shed; this is a continuous cycle as new cells move towards the surface.

Whilst 95% of these cells are there to make way for new cells, there are around 5% that contain melanin which helps to determine our colour; the darker the skin, the more of these cells there are.

To conclude. The naked truth

So as we can see, the epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin, which serves as a physical barrier, protecting your body against external aggressions such as cold temperatures, UV and bacteria.

The rest of the epidermis mainly serves the role of producing the skin barrier.

A little-known fact is that the interaction between cells in the epidermis and cells in the dermis is so strong that cells within the dermis actually influence how the epidermis functions.

This regulates its ability to create healthy new cells and clearer skin.

This article, a guide to the physiology of the layers of the skin, contains some interesting facts about the epidermis.

4 thoughts on “The Epidermis and its Role in Skin Health

  1. Robin says:

    Thanks so much, Samantha, for your helpful response. It seems that you advise against using Vit C serum. Does your advice apply only after dermarolling, or do you think it should be avoided under all circumstances? Some say that Vit C is effective on dark spots, and I have age spots on which I would like to try it. Many thanks! Robin

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Robin
      Vitamin C should only be avoided after microneedling or other treatments that disrupt the barrier other than that it will be great for brightening and lightening. watch this space for our anti pigment paste coming in the next month or so with vitamin C.

  2. Robin says:

    Dear Samantha,

    So glad to read your sane and scientifically grounded advice. Someone highly recommended dermarolling and I tried it at home. I’m 56 years old, and have many acne scars from my youth. I used .25mm for about 3 months 2 or 3 times a week and then applied Vit C serum right afterwards. I thought it was improving my old scars slightly. Still, I just felt weird about the redness and slight pain I experience afterwards and looked up info on long term side-effects, which led me to your webpage. I’m going to stop doing it now, but I wonder what the long term impact of the damage to my skin would be like going forward. Has the 3 months worth of dermarolling done irreparable damage or would leaving my skin alone help restoring its health? Would the premature aging occur in the next few years? How do I prevent it? Thanks! Robin

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Robin. At this stage I am so glad you have stopped the micro-needling, Robin what we know is that for some reason, some people have adverse reactions to this treatment, quite why – well there are a number of reasons to many to mention. here, and this also goes for the results, everyone heals differently, but your skin should slowly heal, just pull back on everything topical less is more, don’t fall into the trap of adding actives especially vitamin C and having aggressive peels etc to try to repair the damage you need your barrier to heal. After 3 months of this treatment, you should know that there are a few stages after treatments that cause injury and in the first stage, the damage is happening anywhere between for 0-6 months but can last up to 8 months. so give your skin time to heal. Samantha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.