Through Thick & Skin: A Closer Look at the Skin and Its Functions

Through Thick & Skin: A Closer Look at the Skin and Its Functions

Ready, Sweat, Go!


The skin has not one but many functions. It comes in different colors. You can cover it or show it off. Next to the brain, it’s the most complex organ of the body. Skin is made of a protein called Keratin. Hard keratin makes up our nails and hair while soft keratin makes up our skin. The epidermis is the only layer you can see and is essentially composed of keratinocytes (cells that produce keratin). Below, we lay out the six primary functions of the skin.




Underneath the epidermis lies our dermis, rich in blood vessels and nerve endings called receptors. These receptors can detect pain, respond to extreme temperature, and sense pressure. 




The skin is responsible for maintaining the body’s internal temperature at 98.6° F. If our temperature increases, our Sudoriferous glands will start secreting sweat to reduce our body temperature through mechanisms like goosebumps.   



Skin is the body’s largest waste removal system. It plays a role in excretion through the production of sweat. Two types of sweat glands can be found in humans. The Eccrine glands are located throughout the body, especially on the forehead, hands, and feet. They are most active during physical activities since they’re the ones responsible for lowering body temperature. 


The Apocrine glands are located under the arms and genitals and are triggered by emotions. They will secrete an odorless substance unless they attack bacteria. That’s when our deodorant comes in handy. 




Sebaceous glands (aka oil glands) produce sebum: a complex blend of fatty substances. Besides our palms and soles, sebum is secreted all over the surface of our bodies. Sebum helps to seal in moisture and prevent dryness. 




Our skin protects us from pollution, UV radiation, and other harmful toxins. Our Langerhans Cells protect us by identifying foreign substances like bacteria. If they sense any kind of danger, they will then activate immune cells, providing the body with its first line of defense against infection. 


Our Acid Mantle is composed of lipids (from oil glands), mixed with minerals and moisture that form a protective barrier hostile to bacterial growth. Therefore, it’s best to avoid harsh soaps that can strip your acid mantle, leaving it more vulnerable to infection.




Vitamins and water are absorbed through pores to moisturize, nourish, and protect the skin. Using a cleanser like our Bare Bar will improve hydration, balance sebum, and reduce inflammation without disrupting the acid mantle. 


What do you like the most about your skin? When in doubt, remember… Smile and keep your skin up!


Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash

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