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The Keratin Layer



Guest post by Kay Stoll, skincare innovator. 


For the first part of your life, you probably never thought about your skin.  You might remember wiggling around anxious just to get into the pool or run down the beach, while your mother attempted to smear sunscreen on your body. But skin changes as you get older — just ask any adolescent whose baby-smooth, flawless exterior has been transformed by the arrival of lines and wrinkles.



When we are children, our skin is naturally beautiful and vibrant. We do not realize that it is the turn over of skin cells keeping us looking young and fresh. The turn over of cells occurs about every 28 days. The top layer dies and is sloughed off which stimulates the body to make a new layer in the subcutaneous tissue. That layer is full of plump keratinocytes, new cells that will migrate up to the surface quickly enough to still be living and beautiful. As adults when the top layer dies it does not automatically slough off. We begin to secrete cellular glue that mattes down the top layers as they die, preventing them from leaving. Our turn over of new cells slows down. This becomes the Keratin layer.
The Keratin layer creates a twofold problem:

  • We no longer get to see the fresh living cells on the surface.
  • Because the dead cells are not sloughing off there is no need for the body to produce new cells.

Therefore, we have the same skin on the surface, thickening up, dead layer after dead layer, no longer being sloughed off. Instead of sloughing off every 28 days it becomes every 85 or more. Common sense says, why not just use a good scrub and get rid of all that dead skin. Unfortunately, scrubs, exfoliants, and facial brushes only remove part of it, as the Keratin layer is too thick. Even micro-dermabrasion is not the best answer. We need something that will turn back the clock and make our skin behave as it once did when we were children.


The best tool we have right now are glycolic peels. The only drawback is glycolic peels work the best on fresh cells. If the keratin layer is too thick we need to remove it first then proceed to glycolic peels. Glycolic peels make our skin behave like younger skin. Glycolic is not a self-timed acid, it will descend into the skin as deeply as we allow. We start by allowing the glycolic to descend for only 2 minutes. This means that 2 minutes worth of skin has been dissolved on the surface. This stimulates the body to replace it. After which it is very important to leave the skin alone and allow it to rebuild its lost tissue. This is the problem with the daily use of stronger skin replacements like retinols, as eventually, they do cause a thinning of the skin because they never allow the body to replace the skin cells. The natural turnover of the cells is 28 days. After 28 days we come back with another glycolic peel. This time, we leave it on for 3 minutes and that stimulates the body to make a little more keratinocytes.


This is the same concept as working out with weights at the gym. If your goal is to lift 50 pounds you cannot do that in the beginning. You must first start out lifting 5 pounds and then work your way up to higher weights. The same idea applies with glycolic when used properly. After your skin becomes use to the peel, you should apply it every 28 days, but there will be no fallout, no thinning of the skin because we have taught the body to keep up by slowly building the cell renewal process.


There you have it, all you ever needed to about removing the Keratin layer and keeping it away!


About the Author:


Kay Stoll is the owner and innovator of DermaCare.  Kay’s  goal has always been to achieve clear, smooth, beautiful skin for every client, regardless of the initial problem.  Over the years she has developed unique techniques for acne control and anti-aging that are unparalleled in the industry.  After 36 years in the skincare field, Kay’s enthusiasm for beautiful skin has never diminished.



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