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Our skin

It’s our body’s first line of defense against injury, UV radiation, infection, disease, pollution, and other external invaders.

Human skin is often overlooked as our body’s largest organ, but its care is just as important to our health and survival as our heart, lungs, etc. Nurturing this incredible membrane requires supplying it with what it needs to thrive and protecting it from harm. 

Skin is composed primarily of water, protein, fats, and minerals. Along with your hair, nails, sweat and oil glands, it’s part of the body’s integumentary (outer covering) system. It plays host to vast communities of microbes that we’ve evolved alongside over millions of years.

But daily use of cleansers can wreak havoc on the diversity of this army of helpful microbes and strip it of its protective lipids. Using Lumanitas Facials can help shift the balance of organisms on skin back toward a healthy equilibrium, while deeply nourishing, gently exfoliating, and helping repair damage to the fortifying lipid barrier.


The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, serving as its protective barrier against pathogens, UV radiation, and moisture loss. Composed of multiple layers, the epidermis consists mainly of keratinocytes, which produce the protein keratin responsible for the skin’s strength and flexibility.

The outermost layer, called the stratum corneum, is composed of dead keratinocytes that continually shed, renewing skin’s surface. This layer is thinnest on our face – about as thick as a sheet of paper – and completely replaces itself every 28 days, requiring no work on our part at all. However, this process slows down considerably as we age, hence the recommendation from dermatologists that we intervene to keep this turnover speed going if younger-looking skin is a priority. 

The epidermis also contains melanocytes; specialized cells that produce melanin – the pigment that gives skin its color. When skin is exposed to UV rays, these cells fire into action, producing melanin asap to protect us from the sun’s harmful effects. This is why using sunscreen daily is so important for the prevention of dark and pigmented spot formation, particularly on light skin tones where it is most noticeable. 

Beneath the stratum corneum are several layers including the stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and stratum basale, where keratinocytes divide and undergo differentiation and maturation before migrating upwards toward skin’s surface. The structural support of our skin is based here, and it’s where lipids and other enzymes develop.

Together, these layers form a dynamic system of cell proliferation that is essential to maintaining skin’s integrity, barrier function, and defensive capabilities. Disturbing the skin barrier by constantly washing it and applying a plethora of synthetic products is hobbling skin’s ability to do its job and changing its microbiome in unnatural and problematic ways. 


What we see in the mirror as pores are actually the openings for hair follicles. Glands attached to the lower part of the follicles in the dermis layer of the skin emit the dreaded sebum – a waxy, greasy-looking substance causes that oily look that we tend not to like. The problem with trying to get rid of it is that sebum has some pretty important jobs. Sebum:

  • Moisturizes (sebum contains fatty acids and vitamin E!) and lubricates cells.
  • Protects skin from external damage and infection and helps ward off skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne.
  • Naturally moves the acidity of your skin to where it should be – a pH of around five. It’s your skin’s built-in toner!
  • Helps skin to absorb healthy substances such as antioxidants.
  • Creates your skin’s “acid mantle” – protecting you from environmental aggressors such as pollutants, dirt, bacteria, viruses, microbes, and other nasty stuff that you encounter throughout the day.

Over-cleansing, exfoliating, and using harsh products strips sebum and the precious barrier of lipids that we need to lock in moisture, maintain skin tone and protect against elements and outside invaders including pollution and pathogens. When we strip it too often by over-washing, or mess with its balance by applying myriad products, we leave our skin irritated and vulnerable to the elements. We should avoid doing this as much as possible and add a pre- and probiotic-rich treatment to our regimen at least twice a week to help restore a healthy acid mantle and diverse microbiome. 

More about the Acid Mantle and pH

The surface of our skin is naturally acidic, with a pH around 5 (7 is neutral.) This acidity is important to maintain as a first line defense against potentially dangerous microbes and bacteria. For the plentiful and diverse community of microbiota our skin calls home to survive and flourish, skin needs to maintain this naturally acidic environment.

Putting products with a pH higher than five on your skin disturbs its natural acidity. Most true soaps are quite alkaline, with a pH around 9 or 10. Even many gentle cleansers are still closer to 7 – too high for beneficial microbes to thrive and high enough for bad bacteria so live comfortably (the acidity of our skin helps naturally keep bad bugs at bay).

Lumanitas uses whole fruit and other naturally acidic ingredients to formulate our facials to a pH below 5. This carefully crafted formulation removes dead skin cells and the grime of the day without disturbing its protective, acidic barrier. 


The dermis – the middle layer of skin – is where fresh cells are made. 

Throughout this layer a weave of elastin and collagen proteins crisscross, creating a strong, elastic-like structure. When your skin gets stretched, it’s this matrix that allows it to spring back. As you age, these fibers become fewer, leaving your skin less able to recover from stressors. This aging process can be accelerated several ways:

Keep this vital layer of skin churning out fresh cells by avoiding harmful substances and engaging in healthy habits like eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, staying out of the sun, and looking after your protective microbiome.


The hypodermis is the subcutaneous layer of skin made of fat and connective tissue. It produces sweat, stores energy, insulates, and connects your skin to muscles and bones. It also houses the fat that gives skin the plump, full look that lessens as we age. The hypodermis thins over time, causing sagging and the gaunt or “hollow” look often seen in the faces of older people. 

The hypodermis contains fibroblasts – cells that secrete elastin and collagen proteins to create the extracellular matrix that gives our skin its youthful structure. They are the most common cells in connective tissue and, like so many cellular functions, decrease in production and renewal rate as we age.

The same things that protect and support the other layers of skin into old age – and keep things like volume loss at bay for as long as possible – are the usual: safe sun, healthy food, exercise, adequate sleep, and maintaining a diverse microbiome. No amount of dermal filler or miracle medical procedure can undo the damage caused by these long-identified factors.

Taking good care of all three layers of your skin will affect the way skin looks and performs now and in the decades to come.

Best practices that apply to everyone include: