Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
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The epidermis

Skin layers
The epidermis is the skin’s surface, the outermost layer.
At last, grooming comes to the help
of its desquamation process.

The epidermis is composed of several sub-layers.
Its thickness varies, but it remains very thin.

Epidermis sublayers

The epidermis sub-layers


Your epidermis is your first barrier of defense against the environment.
Grooming concerns only the top of the epidermis, where the cells are dead.

The epidermis formation layers

At the bottom of the epidermis lies the basal layer where millions of new epidermis cells are produced every day through mitosis or cell division.
These cells get flattened and hardened as they climb up the epidermis.
This takes close to a month.
When they reach the corneal layer, the cells are lifeless.

The corneal layer
and desquamation

The corneal layer is the top layer of your skin.
The one we can see.
«Corneum» means horn.
It is composed of deceased and deformed cells that are supposed to flake off and fall daily.
This action is called desquamation.

The self-renewing epidermis

This process is in fact a self renewal system, comparable to some other animal species shedding their skin.
The difference is that this operation is continuous.
The bottom layer is a new cell producing factory.
As fresh cells arrive, older ones are pushed up.
When they get to the topmost layer, they are inanimate and crushed.

Desquamation not functioning

At that point, the dead skin scales are supposed to detach themselves, cell by cell, flake by flake.
Unfortunately, the system doesn't work by itself.
In most places, the cells remain fastened and coats of dead epidermis pile up and harden.
The corneal layer thickens.

Grooming complements desquamation

Grooming has been devised to take care of this situation.
Your flat nails are the perfect tools for the job, they have been conceived for this task.
Simply passing your nails over your skin, with light to moderate pressure, rakes off the dead cells from the surface.

Grooming the corneal layer

Only the top part of the corneal layer has to be groomed off, so make sure you don't press too hard on your nails.
Single or four finger scraping strokes are ideal for this purpose.
Use superficial grooming techniques to slowly grind down the surface.

Grooming the corneal layer

The top part of the corneal layer
should be groomed off

Science tells us there are only about fifteen to twenty coats of cells.
I have personally removed over a thousand piled-up, compressed flakes of skin in some places.

Layers and coats explained

Each layer consists of several coats of cells.
The cells are held together by proteins acting the way metal rods solidify armored cement.
They go up the epidermis as a flat, impermeable coat.
This explains the strength of the epidermis, but also why it is shed in fine flakes or coats.


Folds and wound healing

Your skin treats folds as injuries
and tries to repair their damage

We all know that a scab appears on skin that has been injured to the point where blood flows; this is part of a very complex healing procedure.
However, when you hurt your skin only superficially, healing still occurs on the surface, but without any scabbing.
For your skin, folds and fold crossings appear as lack of continuity in the tissue and this sets into action its healing response.
In this case, epidermis formation is initiated by growth factors that cause cells to proliferate at the edges of the wound.

The healing process paves the folds

Fresh epidermis cells try to bridge any gap that the fold or the fold crossing represents;
•In some cases, the opening at the top of the fold crossing's chimney receives so much action from your gestures that no healing takes place.
•Most of the time, partial closing and covering will occur.
•In other cases, the healing process completely paves over and obstructs the opening.

Open and closed fold crossing chimney

Closed fold crossing chimneys may become pimples, since the enclosed sebum cannot escape.

Imperfections get hidden

This skin restoration system has the secondary effect of hiding flaws.
This is one of the reasons why you sometimes can't see the folds or crossings at all, though you can feel them with your nails.
Many people don't realize how folded their skin is because of this.
Take, for example, the fold that goes right down the center of your forehead. It is seldom visible, yet it is much deeper than the horizontal folds that cross it.
Several coats of epidermis cover the region, often making the center fold unnoticeable.


The epidermis and aging

The corneal layer and age

Babies have very thin corneal layers.
Science says that the skin of children is immature. It has not yet fully developed and is unprotected.
Let me express my divergence.
Look at their skin and you see absolutely beautiful, healthy skin
It has a natural shine and its flexibility permits those endearing facial expressions.
The problem is with the skin of adults.
Since they haven’t groomed, the corneal layer of their skin has become dreadfully thickened, folded, compressed, tight, ...

Reduced epidermis formation

During your youth, lack of grooming alters the normal operation of the skin renewal system.
A thick crust is formed, inhibiting and slowing down every function of your skin: feel, perspiration, sebum, hair, ...
It stops the normal exfoliation of dead epidermis cells.
Your skin's corneal layer gets thicker and thicker.
New epidermis production is slowed down, sometimes halted.
Normally, your skin should stay the same all your life, except for changes at puberty.
Regular grooming goes hand in hand with the natural epidermis formation and desquamation process of your skin.
Some is produced daily, some is removed daily.

The corneal layer and folds

In spite of all what we have just seen, the corneal layer's thickening is not the main reason for your skin's general thickening.
The folds are responsible (we will discuss that below).
In some places, like your scalp or the front of your chin, the corneal layer has become so hard it prevents you from feeling the folds below.
Your nails have no adherence and they slide.


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