The Secret Organ Beneath Our Skin
New research has uncovered an entirely new organ in the human body, and it is located right beneath where we apply our beauty products!
That’s right, what was once thought of as a multi-layered single organ known as the skin, is now being re-evaluated as two separate organs- the skin, and the interstitium. This new discovery of the interstitium has uncovered the idea that our skin holds a deeper connection to the rest of the body than previously understood, and reiterates the fact that what goes on your body really does go in your body.
Before we get into what the interstitium is, let’s briefly dive into our previous understanding of skin physiology. Skin was known, and still is known to have two major layers; the epidermis (surface layer), and the dermis (lower layer) . It was previously thought that the dermis was made up of a thick dense tissue, but technological advancements have proven otherwise.
New technology has under-covered that the dermis is actually made up of fluid-filled compartments held together by collagen . Dr. Neil Theise, a professor of pathology in the School of Medicine at New York University, was the scientist who identified this fluid-filled space, and has termed it as the ‘interstitium’.
So what is the interstitium?
Unlike a thick tissue, we now know the interstitium is a fluid super highway that circulates throughout the entire body, from the skin to around other organs. It makes up 20 percent of the water in the body, making it the largest human organ by volume . The role of the interstitium is to transport important components around the body, act as a protective shock-absorber, and provide the fluid that will become lymph (a substance containing disease-fighting white blood cells) [1, 3].
The interstitium, is seen here beneath the top layer of skin, but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles. (Adapted from Jill Gregory/Mount Sinai Health System) [1, 4].
Why is this discovery so important?
It is well known that our skin absorbs what is applied to it, which is why products like hormone patches and topical creams exist. These findings open up a whole new way to view skin, as it is much more connected to the rest of the body than we once thought. While this new discovery is still being explored, this finding has shed light on just how important it is that we are conscious of what we put on our skin, as its interconnection to the rest of the body is much more fluid than we thought- literally!
Since the beginning, our slogan at Consonant has always been: what goes on your body, goes in your body®. That is why we take the guesswork out when it comes to avoiding toxic ingredients, so that you can be confident in the products you are putting on and in your body. Thinking of making the switch to green beauty? We would be happy to help! Shoot us an email at email@example.com and we can find the perfect skin care routine for you!
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 Benias, P. C., Wells, R. G., Sackey-Aboagye, B., Klavan, H., Reidy, J., Buonocore, D., ... & Theise, N. D. (2018). Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues. Scientific reports, 8(1), 4947.
 Dmarchez, M. (2011, January 28). Normal Human Skin. Retrieved from Biologie de la peau: https://biologiedelapeau.fr/spip.php?article4
 Louveau, A., Smirnov, I., Keyes, T. J., Eccles, J. D., Rouhani, S. J., Peske, J. D., ... & Harris, T. H. (2015). Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels. Nature, 523(7560), 337.
 Ruters, T. (2018, March 29). Meet the interstitium, medical science's latest and largest organ candidate. Retrieved from CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/organ-new-1.4596985
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- William Baker