Know your skin

What is skin?

Skin is the largest organ in our body and it has several physiological functions. Mainly, it is a barrier that contains all our organs so It is the first and most important innate immune system. It keeps us protected from all pathogenic organism such as bacteria and viruses. Apart from its immunological functional, it also plays important roles in heat regulation, absorption, and sensation. Apart from the physiological function, Skin has the most important cosmetic appeal.

Skin Anatomy:

skin is comprised of three layers


The epidermis typically consists of 5– 6 separate layers (depending on the body location) As the outermost portion of the skin, the epidermis plays a vital protective role against external factors that necessitates constant renewal (usually every 28 days), irregular or abnormal epidermis peeling will result in unhealthy look and rough texture of the skin. The Epidermis layer is further divided into the outermost non-living layer, the stratum corneum, and the living cellular layers of the stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and stratum basale.  Throughout the layers there are four types of cells It is composed of four cell types: keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, and Merkel cells.


  • The stratum corneum is composed of corneocytes (non-living keratinocytes) and lipids, and is referred to as the epidermal barrier. It functions as an evaporative barrier maintaining skin hydration and suppleness, and as a protective physical barrier against microbes, trauma, irritants, and ultraviolet light. The epidermis requires continual renewal to maintain its integrity and function effectively. In young healthy skin, it takes approximately 1 month for keratinocytes to migrate from the living basal layer of the epidermis to the stratum corneum surface and desquamate during the epidermal renewal process. Melanin pigment, which determines skin color and causes hyperpigmentation, is primarily concentrated within the epidermis, and in some conditions, is found in the dermis (e.g., some forms of melasma). Melanin has a protective physiologic role in the skin to shield keratinocyte nuclei by absorbing harmful UV radiation, and eumelanin has the greatest UV absorption capabilities. When skin is exposed to UV radiation, melanin synthesis is upregulated which is clinically apparent as skin darkening or tanned skin. Stratum corneum is the target for all peeling procedures such as chemical peel (Jessner peel) and mechanical peel (microdermabrasion)
stratum corneum



The dermis:

lies beneath the epidermis and is divided into the more superficial papillary dermis and deeper reticular dermis. The main cell type in the dermis is the fibroblast, which is abundant in the papillary dermis and sparse in the reticular dermis. Fibroblasts synthesize most components of the dermal extracellular matrix (ECM), which includes structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid, and adhesive proteins such as fibronectin and laminins. All wrinkles and skin tightening working mainly on the dermis layers.

Subcutaneous layer:

or superficial fascia, is the layer below the dermis and above the underlying muscle is the. This layer is composed of both fatty and fibrous components. This layer is not involved in any cosmetic treatment.

Why do we have different skin color?

The number of melanocytes is similar for both light and dark skin types; however, the quantity and distribution of melanin within the epidermis differ. Light skin has less melanin per square centimeter and smaller melanosomes that are closely aggregated in membrane-bound clusters. Dark skin has more melanin and larger melanosomes that are distributed singly. In addition to differences in coloration, other histologic and pathophysiologic differences exist between light and dark skin. The stratum corneum is thicker in dark skin, which may contribute to skin conditions exacerbated by compaction, such as acne. The dermis also tends to be thicker in dark skin. Dermal blood vessels are more prominent and dilated, suggesting an exaggerated inflammatory response, which may contribute to increased susceptibility to hyperpigmentation.

dark skin and light skin


Why do we age and get wrinkles?

A photoaged skin has slower, disorganized keratinocyte maturation and increased cellular adhesion relative to healthy, young skin. These factors reduce natural peeling and result in a rough and thickened stratum corneum which has impaired barrier function. The stratum corneum also has the poor light reflectance which is evident as dullness or a sallow (yellow-gray) discoloration. Water escapes more freely from the skin causing dehydration, which can be measured as increased water loss and results in dry skin. The disrupted epidermal barrier also allows for increased irritant penetration which can be associated with skin sensitivity, redness and itchiness. It aslo demonstrates pigmentary changes due to overactive melanocytes and disorganized melanin deposition in the epidermis. Regions with excess melanin are evident as hyperpigmentation and regions with melanin deficits appear as hypopigmentation.

Photoaged skin

What is skincare procedures?

All skincare procedures aim to restore the natural cellular structure of Epidermis and dermis. In general, skincare and skin rejuvenation procedures can be gentle, medium and aggressive. The treatment of choice depends on the client complain, skin type and other compatibilities.

Regular exfoliation with procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion, combined with daily home skin care products, improves overall skin function and appearance and effectively treats photodamaged skin. These exfoliation procedures also referred to as superficial skin resurfacing treatments, remove the outer skin layers by chemical or mechanical methods, respectively. Their effects on the skin are based on the principles of wound healing whereby, controlled wounding of the epidermis with the removal of superficial skin layers stimulates cell renewal and generates a healthier epidermis and dermis. The skin’s natural cell turnover process is a complex series of steps that ultimately lead to the shedding of dead skin cells.



This process can be easily disrupted by aging, skin diseases, and environmental insults. Improper peeling leads to a dull complexion as well as rough, dry skin and is a key contributor to many common skin concerns. Regardless of the exfoliation method used the effects are similar, to regulate the skin’s natural epidermal renewal process, stimulate the production of ECM components such as collagen and glycosaminoglycans, even melanin distribution, and improve epidermal barrier function. Histologic changes observed in the skin after a series of exfoliation treatments include a thinned, smoother stratum corneum, increased dermal thickness with enhanced production of new collagen and elastin, and increased skin hydration. Visible clinical improvements may be seen in rough skin texture, fine lines, pore size, superficial acne scars, acne, and hyperpigmentation. These procedures are good enough to considered gentle and good to for maintenance.

One of the best examples are laser carbon peel and skin tightening by the YAG laser and Q-switch laser (read more about this procedure here)

this includes microneedling and fractional ablative and non-ablative laser (please click here to know more about these type of procedures)


We, at Albany cosmetic and laser centre, are the most advanced skincare clinic in Edmonton. We combine the most advanced beauty machines with the most experienced medical staff in Edmonton.

Our consultation is always free and has no obligation. Do not hesitate to contact us and let us help you shine again





In 1990, A park in Edmonton was named after James Ramsey. He was acknowledged for bringing the penny to Edmonton.

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