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Understanding the skin

An understanding of the skin explains why topical skin creams provide only temporary improvement. Skin has three layers called the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer. Most skin creams only reach the dead cells of the epidermis. Blood vessels bring ingested nutrients to the deeper two layers. Once you understand skin physiology, it becomes clear that an oral supplement has greater potential than topicals in supporting deep skin layers.

Understanding the Epidermis of the Skin
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. It consists of dead cells called keranitoncytes. These cells are mostly made of keratin, a tough molecule that is also the main material in nails and hair. The keranitoncyctes area stacked in the epidermis. Newer keranitoncytes grow at the base of the epidermis and push the older keranitoncytes outward until those older cells eventually fall off. The epidermis is the body's first line of defense. It is water proof and protects the body from chemicals and infectious agents. The epidermis also contains pigments that determine the color of the skin.

Understanding the Dermis of the Skin
The dermis is just below the epidermis. This layer of skin is alive and full of blood vessels. It has hair follicles that produce and anchor hair. Hair insulates the body, senses light touch, and has social functions. Sweat glands in the dermis secrete sweat to cool the body. Sebaceous glands produce oils to lubricate the hair and skin. Apocrine glands produce pheromones. Nerves in the dermis detect pain and touch. Collagen in the dermis makes it strong and elastic. It allows the skin to return to its original shape after the skin is contorted to make facial expressions.

Understanding the Subcutaneous Layer of the Skin
The subcutaneous layer is the deepest layer of skin. It is also called the subcutis. This layer has collagen and fat cells. While excessive fat is unhealthy, moderate levels of fat cells serve vital functions. The fat cells and collagen in the subcutaneous layer keep heat in the body and cushion the body when it bumps against something. These fat cells provide long term energy storage. Like the dermis, the subcutaneous layer is rich with blood vessels.

Many skin creams never reach the living layers of skin. The epidermis evolved to keep substances out of the deeper skin layers. Most skin creams merely sit on the dead cells of the epidermis without affecting the dermis or the subcutaneous layer. We don't quench thirst by swimming in a pool. We quench thirst by drinking water. Similarly, we don't nourish our organs by rubbing food on our skin. We nourish our organs by eating. Nutrients from collagen supplements, such as TOKI, get absorbed into the bloodstream by the digestive system. The bloodstream then delivers these nutrients to the deep layers of skin where collagen does its job. Supplements are a more feasible way to nourish skin.

The skin is made of 3 layers. The outermost layer has dead cells, but the inner 2 layers are living tissue. Skin creams sit on the dead outermost layer without penetrating deeper. The nutrients in supplements travel through the bloodstream to the deep living layers of skin. An accurate understanding of the skin makes it obvious why supplements are better for nourishing skin.

Understanding the Skin Layers
Epidermis Dead Cells Full of Keratin
Dermis Living Tissue with Blood Vessels, Hair Follicles, Glands, and Collagen
Subcutaneous Layer Living Tissue with Blood Vessels, Fat Cells, and Collagen


1. Skin. National Geographic

2. Dermatology: Anatomy of the Skin. University of Maryland Medical Center