ASCP Skin Deep


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New member benefit! Get the ASCP SkinPro App at 33 INGREDIENT DECK Not Just for Lungs The correlation between oxygen and skin care by Ella Cressman OXYGEN (O2), NUMBER 8 on the periodic table of elements, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is imperative for human survival. It helps us grow, reproduce, and convert food into the energy we need to survive. It is a diatomic molecule, which is a fancy way of saying it travels in pairs. Oxygen is also essential for healthy skin. HOW OXYGEN AFFECTS SKIN Low oxygen levels in the skin result in a dull appearance, wrinkle formation, epidermal thinning, a decreased ability to fi ght free radical scavengers, and unfavorable infl uences on skin hemostasis and barrier function. In short, a long, slow functional loss of oxygen results in compromised skin health. The lungs and skin are the only two organs directly exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Except for the stratum corneum, all layers of the epidermis and dermis consume oxygen from both the atmosphere (ambient air) and blood. While the dermis receives its supply of oxygen through capillaries and blood vessels, the epidermis relies solely on atmospheric oxygen, a process known as cutaneous uptake. Though the skin does not have lungs, it still absorbs and metabolizes oxygen, a fact we have known since 1851 but were not able to measure until the development of the oxygen fl uxoptode in the early 21st century. 1 Many factors contribute to cutaneous O2 uptake, including overall health, environmental conditions, and elevation. Oxygen concentration around basal cells of the epidermis can be as low as 0.1 percent. A level this low is known as hypoxia and is defi ned as "oxygen defi ciency in a biotic environment," which means inadequate levels of oxygen in tissues and cells of the body. Hypoxia is a broad term used to describe a condition in which oxygen demand exceeds oxygen supply. Cellular functions cannot be

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