Your skin protects your internal organs, nerves, muscles and blood vessels from damage. The epidermis, the thin outermost layer of skin, protects you from the harmful effects of sunlight, bacteria and environmental toxins. The epidermis is also responsible for the look and health of your skin.
The outermost layer of the epidermis — the stratum corneum — is relatively waterproof and prevents most bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances from entering the body. The stratum corneum helps maintain the skin’s homeostasis, the relatively constant conditions in the internal environment, while continuously interacting with and adjusting to changes originating within or outside the system. Damaging the stratum corneum interferes with the skin’s equilibrium.
Some skin care products and skin rejuvenation procedures remove or temporarily damage the stratum corneum. Exfoliation removes the epidermis to get rid of dead skin cells, resulting in a healthy glow. Exfoliating too often, however, can cause skin problems. Removing too much of the skin’s protective barrier may cause inflammation, dryness and sun sensitivity. Over-exfoliating damages the stratum corneum, may cause over- or under-production of sebum and may accelerate the aging process. If you remove the stratum corneum, cosmeceuticals may cause inflammation instead of improving your skin’s appearance. If you see signs of inflammation, such as excessively red, tight or dry skin, you need to decrease the frequency (or strength) of your exfoliation routine.
Impact of Skin Rejuvenation Procedures on the Epidermis
Microdermabrasion involves spraying tiny crystals onto the skin to gently remove the skin’s outer layer. Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation procedure that leaves skin looking softer and brighter. Your skin will be photo-sensitive after microdermabrasion, so be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and avoid sun exposure for a few days after the procedure.
Chemical peels cause controlled erosion of the epidermis. Chemical peels lead to exfoliation and removal of superficial lesions, followed by regeneration of new epidermal and dermal tissues.
Laser resurfacing removes the epidermis and shallow dermis, stimulating the healing process. This results in an overall tightening of the skin. However, laser resurfacing results in greater inflammation than micro-needling and, therefore, may lead to dyspigmentation in patients with darker skin types.
Cosmetic micro-needling leaves the epidermis mostly intact and doesn’t significantly damage the stratum corneum. Therefore, your skin retains its natural barrier against pathogens, UV radiation and damaging free radicals. The SkinPen micro-needling device uses short needles to create micro-channels through the epidermis. The epidermal cells are simply “pushed aside,” and the body’s reaction only seeks to “reseal” the channels and increase epidermal cell turnover temporarily. This leads to a rejuvenation of the outer layer without unwanted effects such as infections, pigmentation issues or scarring. Cosmetic micro-needling with SkinPen can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the signs of aging skin.
Contact your SkinPen provider to learn how micro-needling can enhance your skin’s health and appearance.