The epidermis, our protective sheaf

The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin and shields us from the elements. It consists of three types of cells: keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans cells, which all play an important role when it comes to protecting our skin

A physical barrier

The epidermis consists of a dense network of keratynocytes (80%), which acts as our skin's first line of defence. As well as protecting us, keratonicytes also produce keratin. This is a thick substance that acts as a cement, welding cells together so that they form a protective buffer. In other words, keratonyctes are our own, personal bodyguards! To remain protected to the max, our skin is renewed every 4 to 6 weeks, thanks to desquamation, AKA peeling.  

Protection from UV rays

Melanocytes controlskin pigmentation via a process called melanogenesis. Meaning what, exactly? It's a biological reaction that produces melanin, the pigment that we're all keen to boost before soaking up some rays. Melanin gives us our gorgeous, golden glows and also protects our skin from UV rays - a sworn enemy when it comes to ageing skin.  

Protecting our immune system

Langerhans cells, although fewer in number, are instrumental in protecting our bodies against aggressive external factors. They're part of our immune system's heavy artillery! They alert our immune system to any antigen that manages to cross our skin barrier. They handcuff these intruders and march them off to the dermis, where they can be destroyed.  

Protection from dehydration

Finally, the surface of the epidermis is perforated with hundreds of tiny pores, through which sweat and sebum flow. Sweat and sebum form the hydrolipidic film that continuously hydrates our skin to keep it supple.

No hydrolipidic layer = withered, leathery skin!