Beyond Skin Deep: All About the Largest Organ in the Body
Read time: 6 mins
It’s not that deep. In fact, all you have to do to find the largest organ in the body is simply scratch the surface. That’s right, your integumentary system, composed primarily of skin, is your body’s largest organ. Skin covers the entire human body and accounts for roughly 16% of your body mass. As a barrier between your external environment and your body’s essential organs, tissues, muscles, and bones, the skin is your body’s primary defense against all sorts of biological threats. Read on to learn more about why the skin is so important and the role the largest organ in the body plays in your overall health.
Functions of the Skin
In addition to containing vital chemicals and nutrients within the body, the skin also acts as a shield from external hazards to the body. Your skin protects your body from a myriad of potentially harmful threats, including changing temperatures, bacteria, and chemical exposure. The skin can be further classified into three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer. Each layer performs its own set of specialized functions.
As the outermost layer, the epidermis is the only visible layer of your skin. The epidermis varies in thickness depending on the area of the body. Skin is thinnest on the eyelids, measuring just 0.5 millimeters, while the skin on your palms and soles is the thickest, typically measuring 1.5 millimeters thick. The primary purpose of the epidermis is to serve as protection, both as a physical shield to protect internal organs from injury, as well as protection from sunlight. Cells in the epidermis called melanocytes produce melanin, which is commonly known to determine skin pigmentation but also works to filter out ultraviolet radiation from the sun that can damage DNA and cause skin cancer, among other dermatologic issues. The epidermis also contains Langerhans cells, part of the skin’s immune system. These cells can detect foreign substances and defend against infection.
Underneath the epidermis is the layer of skin known as the dermis. This thick layer of tissue is what gives the skin its flexibility and strength. The dermis contains nerve endings, hair follicles, sweat and oil glands, and blood vessels. Consequently, the dermis serves many important functions, including sensing pressure and pain, moisturizing the skin, producing hair, and regulating body temperature.
The lower layer of the skin is the subcutaneous layer—also sometimes called the fat layer. This layer of skin provides protective padding, insulates the body, and stores energy. Unlike visceral fat, which accumulates as a result of diet, exercise, and other factors, subcutaneous fat is necessary for your body and will always exist under your skin. In other words, you don’t need to rewrite your health regimen to deal with this fat; it’s helpful. This is the layer of skin that attaches to the muscles and tissues below it.
How to Keep Your Skin Healthy
As it is technically the largest organ in the body, maintaining healthy skin is hugely important for ensuring your integumentary system can continue to perform its many functions. Adequate skin care is essential but far from complicated. In fact, maintaining healthy skin is really as basic as taking three simple steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection.
The purpose of cleansing is to remove dirt, germs, and excessive oils from the surface of the skin. Different cleansers work for different people. Many products can actually dry out or irritate the skin. The key to finding the perfect cleanser is to start with the mildest options first, such as non-foaming cleansers. All your cleanser really needs to do is effectively remove dirt and excessive oil from the skin without drying it out. We know the fancy soap smells nice, just make sure it’s also actually good for YOUR skin!
Moisturizing is the next essential step in any good skincare routine. An acceptable moisturizer will keep your skin from getting dry and cracked. Many older moisturizers were wax and water-based mixtures that essentially trapped water on the surface of the skin, creating an unnatural slick feeling. Today’s state-of-the-art moisturizers are made to naturally replenish the skin’s moisture with ingredients such as glycerol, ceramides, and hydroxy acids. You should pick your moisturizer based on your skin type and any skin conditions you may have.
Often forgotten or overlooked, sun protection is the last important step in a good skincare regimen. Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can lead to sunburn and photoaging as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. Many people don’t realize it’s important to take preventative measures beyond just when you’re tanning or spending all day outside. Damage can occur in everyday life, even if it’s just a walk around the block or sitting next to a sunny window. Every bit of exposure to the sun can add up and lead to wrinkles and dark spots. When picking out a sunscreen, pay close attention to the SPF and ingredients and consider the situation(s) for which you’ll be using it. It’s also helpful to cover the parts of your body that tend to get more burned.
Absorbing Nutrients Through the Skin
We absorb most of our nutrients through the foods we eat, as well as any supplements we may take. When you think of the typical vitamin supplements, you probably think of pill tablets or capsules. But what if you could take your vitamins via the largest organ in the body? We had the same thought, which is why we created OnMi Patches.
Our skin is comprised of an impressive 19 million skin cells and it’s porous. This is significant because it allows nutrients to be absorbed through the surface. Our patches are able to deliver vitamins and nutrients transdermally.
Aside from extreme convenience, transdermal vitamin patches have many other benefits. For example, many oral methods have proven less effective because the liver can prematurely metabolize certain ingredients. When vitamins are absorbed through the skin, you bypass this issue completely. Our patches are also safer, less painful than pills or injections, and generate less medical waste than the latter.
Get Started with OnMi
Our transdermal patches are simple, all-natural, and easy to use. We offer a wide variety of patches, including the Multivitamin Patch, Energy Patch, and Sleep Patch. All of our patches contain ingredients that are safe for the skin. You can visit our store to find the right patches for you. Why not try taking vitamins through the largest organ in the body? Take our word for it, you’re gonna stick with OnMi once you try us.