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The protective pigment


This month, Michelle reveals all about one of the top anti-ageing concerns we face.

Those of you who know me know how passionate I am about the ARTISTRYTM line of products. But many of you may not know that the burning passion within me comes from my knowledge of skin, understanding how it functions and sharing that knowledge with others.

That being said, I want to take you to a new level of skin care knowledge and educate you on one of the largest skin care concerns around the world today: uneven skin colouration and dark spots. These concerns currently top the list of anti-ageing concerns – even more than the worry of wrinkles!

The natural colour of our skin comes from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes and is completely influenced by genetics. What is not influenced by genetics are dark spots and pigmented areas that develop later in life. To understand what causes this, you must understand the behaviour and function of the pigment-producing cell, the melanocyte.

Skin’s protector

The melanocyte resides in the bottom layer of the epidermis called the basal layer. Its job is to protect the cells in the upper layers of the skin by producing pigment and depositing it within the skin cells to prevent cellular damage.

To put it in perspective, consider a trip to the South of France and long, relaxing days lounging on the beach. The deeper and darker the resulting tan, the harder those melanocytes have worked to try and protect healthy skin cells. The interesting factor is that although the melanocyte resides in the basal layer, the majority of excess pigment it deposits is in an upper layer called the stratum germinativum.

This means that there can be a high rate of success in lightening dark spots and uneven colour in the skin when using the right skin care products.

OK, now re-read this, and understand the behaviour of this pigment-producing cell ... because your next lesson is right around the corner!

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