Skin Conditions | July 20, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
To understand why certain oils work well for skin care it can help if you have an understanding about skin.
The skin is a cutaneous membrane that covers the external surface of the body. It consists of two main layers; the Epidermis (meaning above), is the thinner, outer most layer made of epithelial tissue, and the Dermis which is the deeper, thicker connective tissue component of the skin.
The epidermis is composed of keratinized stratified squamous epithelium (a lining that provides protection for underlining tissue) and contains 4 main types of cells.
About 90% of epidermal cells are Keratinocytes (hornlike cells) arranged in 4-5 layers, which produce the protein keratin (a tough, fibrous protein that protects the skin and tissue from heat, microbes and chemicals. Lamellar granules are also produced by keratinocytes. These release a water-repellent sealant which helps prevent the entry of water and foreign materials and water loss. This layer also contains melanocytes which produce melanin responsible for skin colour, Langerhans cells which protect the skin from microbial invasion and Merkel cells associated with touch sensation.
Growth of the epidermis begins in the deeper layers where newly formed cells are pushed up towards the surface. As these cells move up through the layers they accumulate more and more keratin (keratinization). The harder skin like that on your feet may be 5 layers thick. When the cells finally reach the surface of the epidermis (the skin you see) they undergo apoptosis (they die) and shed from the surface. This process takes about 4 weeks.
People who suffer from dandruff of the scalp have an excessive amount of keratinized cells shed.
With psoriasis immature keratinocytes make an abnormal keratin that shed in only 4-7 days, forming flaky, silvery scales on the surface of the skin.
The dermis is the deeper layer and mainly contains connective tissue. This is where you will find blood vessels, nerves, glands, and hair follicles.
Sebaceous glands are oil glands that are mainly connected to hair follicles. The secreting part of the gland is in the dermis and opens into the hair follicle. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which is composed of a mixture of triglycerides, cholesterol, protein and inorganic salt.
Sebum prevents excessive water evaporation from the skin, is responsible for the softness and pliability of skin and prevents the growth of certain bacteria. It coats the hair shaft and keeps the hair from becoming brittle and breaking.
Acne is an inflammatory condition of the sebaceous glands that usually occurs at puberty when there is growth of the sebaceous glands and an increase in production of sebum. This usually occurs because of Androgen hormone that increases at this time. Acne occurs mainly in the sebaceous follicles where bacteria accumulate, some attracted by the lipid-rich sebum.
Natural plant oils contain varying amounts of fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants which are used to support the integrity, protection and regeneration of the skin.
Rosehips are the fruit from the wild rose bush left after the rose has died. Rosa moschata or Rosa rubiginosa and Rosa canina are popular plant species used in the production of Rosehip oil.
Rosehips contain vitamin A and C and essential fatty acids (EFA’s); Oleic acid, Palmitic acid, Linoleic acid and Gamma linolenic acid.
The oil is extracted from the seed by cold pressing.
Even though there are few studies on rosehip oil itself for skin, the nutritional content, Vitamin A, C and EFA's have proven results for skin care. Studies provided by individual companies and testimonials are also encouraging.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is constituent of skin, found in the epidermis and the dermis. It is full of antioxidants and known for its collagen building properties and its ability to protect the skin from wrinkles and ultraviolet radiation (sun damage).
Vitamin C has been found to help dry skin by supporting the growth of the lipid layer of cells helping to retain fluid.
Vitamin C can help with wound healing by reducing free radical damage when inflammatory markers are present, as happens with an injury. Vitamin C can be taken internally or used topically - such as through rosehip oil.
Vitamin A (retinoids) the compounds of Vitamin A have been a popular choice for use topically for skin especially the treatment of acne vulgaris. It has been noted to protect the skin from sun damage and help repair skin already succumbing to damage. This includes fine lines, deeper wrinkles and smoothness and pigmentation. Unfortunately topical application of strong vitamin A formulas may result in "retinoid dermatitis," making Rosehip oil a gentler option.
Essential Fatty Acids (omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated) are most important for the health of the skin. Omega 6 plays a role in supporting skin integrity, supporting the structure and barrier function of the skin. Omega 3 has been associated with protection of the skin from sun damage and the signs of aging, and both omega 3 omega 6 play a role in the inflammatory response to the skin in trauma. Dry, scaling skin as in dermatitis for example can be a sign of a deficiency of essential fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have been found to be effective in use both internal (as in evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil and fish oil), and externally - again the use of Rosehip oil is a suggestion.
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Tortora, Gerald J. and Derrickson, Bryan 2006, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. USA