Your Skin 101: The Breakdown

Your skin is made up of three layers. The top layer, called the epidermis, is made up of cells called keratinocytes. These cells are the protein-rich material in your hair and nails. The epidermis is covered in a thin layer of dead skin cells called the >stratum corneum, also called the “horny layer”. This layer is often thick on areas like feet (when you have calluses), and is thinner on areas like your face.Regular exfoliation helps keep the stratum corneum thin.

Below the epidermis is the dermis.Blood vessels run through the dermis, which helps regulate body temperature, and an intricate network of nerves pick up feelings from the outside world, like touch and temperature.

Sweat and sebum glands live in the dermis, which are responsible for regulating the moisture content of your skin. The dermis also contains the fibers collagen and elastin to give your skin elasticity and strength.

The very bottom layer is made up of fatty cells that act as a cushion to absorb impact, called the subcuticus.