The most important factor to keep the skin and its attached structures in top condition is not beauty products but rather correct hygiene and a balanced diet. Skin is much more than a wrapper to the body. It is a protecting and excreting organ.
Skin is made up of two layers:
Epidermis. Cells in this layer divide constant and move toward the surface where they flatten, die and are transformed into a substance called keratin, which is eventually eliminated in the shape of almost invisible scales. Each cell in the innermost layer of the epidermis takes about three to four weeks to reach the outer part.
Dermis. Inner layer that remains firmly attached to the epidermis. The dermis is made up of bundles of protein fibers (collagen) and of elastic fibres. It is here where the seat, sebaceous and apocrine (located in armpits, breasts and groins, they produce odor and are considered a sex characteristic) glands are located. Additionally, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerve terminals are found in the dermis.
Both hair and nails are specialised formations of keratin. Nails develop through living skin cells, even though nails themselves are dead tissue. Hair develops from the pilose follicle cells.
To keep skin, hair and nails in good condition, it is necessary to follow a balanced diet, especially protein, vitamins, minerals (iron) and essential fatty acids. Besides, diet should be free from intoxicating substances such as alcohol.
Foods containing waste substance that must be eliminated through the skin, causing eczema, such as shellfish, sausages and variety meats, should be avoided.
Chemical substances that cause allergies such as artificial colouring, certain preservative and additives should also be avoided.