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Skin Science 101

By: Ada Polla
Posted: August 29, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
skin science 101

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Dermis. This layer maintains the mechanical properties of the skin and serves as the water reservoir of the skin, thanks to the extracellular matrix. The dermis contains fibroblasts, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.

Hypodermis. This layer is loose tissue containing collagen and extracellular matrix, as well as adipocytes that form clusters that store fat.

The stratum corneum is the layer of skin overlaying the epidermis. It is a complex layer that is composed of nondividing cells embedded in a live environment. Because it is the uppermost layer of the epidermis, its penetration is not as questionable as, for example, penetration to the dermis of ingredients said to activate collagen and elastin production. And a healthier and stronger stratum corneum will better protect the epidermis, which will make a difference in its health and appearance.

High-tech treatments

With the development of new technologies, and the continued growth of the medical esthetics segment, it is common for day spa clients to ask therapists about laser treatments and the latest fat-melting techniques. Although all of these questions should be referred to a medical professional, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Lasers and light-emitting devices (LED). Not all LEDs are lasers. Indeed, in order to be a laser, the light being emitted by the device has to be of a single wavelength (monochromatic), coherent and collimated. An intense pulsed light (IPL) device, for example, is not a laser, because its light is not of a single wavelength.