By the Book: The Epidermis
Skin is more than just window dressing … it’s our largest organ and accounts for about 15 percent of our total body weight. Skin plays a critical role in our appearance and well-being.
The epidermis is the top layer of skin, and the very top layer of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum, or barrier layer. Although the stratum corneum is composed entirely of dead skin cells, it performs a highly critical role in our overall health. It retains moisture for our living tissue and helps prevent germs and many chemicals from entering our bodies.
The epidermis consists of several living layers below the stratum corneum and is made up of three different cell types—keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans cells.
- Keratinocytes – provide structure to the skin, hair and nails
- Melanocytes – cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color
- Langerhans cells – protect from infection
All three cell types play an important role in the health and appearance of skin. Exfoliation targets the dead keratinocytes in the stratum corneum to help you achieve a radiant, healthy-looking complexion.
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