Skin comes in the most beautiful spectrum of colors, shininess and textures. We know the beauty of skin in all its forms. We also know how to judge someone by their skin. By color, by scars, by hormones and acne. People get celebrated for their skin. Imagine not having a skin. Weird, isn’t it? Are you still you without your skin? Probably not, you would be a walking musclebag with a serious leakage problem. So why do most people know so little about their skin? There is so much to know.
- What is the biggest organ of your body?
Men: reproductive organ is wrong. Women: “feelings” are not an organ. The answer, you’ve guessed it: your skin. Skin is made of multiple layers of hair, nails, nerves and blood vessels. And because of this, it is considered an organ. Not the most spectacular fact, I know, but useful for your next trivia date.
- Anti Deadly Diseases Superhero
Your skin is the primary barrier for so many infectious diseases, you have no idea! Many different bacteria on your skin just hang around, not doing any harm. During your day you obtain more and more bacteria, especially on your hands, and still you don’t fall down under that tremendous bacterial load. Only when the barrier is broken – you have a wound, scratched open a mosquito bite or you bit off one of those annoying skin tags next to your nails (never done any of those myself of course) – the bacteria seize the opportunity to slither under your perfect barrier and start to infect. You get a red spot, maybe some pus, but sometimes it can be much more severe. Cellulitis (not the normal dents in the upper legs, but a real skin infection) and erysipelas are severe skin diseases. If you are very unlucky you can develop a heart infection as a result of the lovely necrotizing fasciitis, aka flesh eating bacteria, aka bye bye arms, legs, noses and sex appeal. Protecting your skin from getting these breaks in barrier is very important. If you do have a breach and develop a red spot, clean it thoroughly. If it doesn’t go away or you get fever, you die, no just kidding, but please see a doctor!
- Leather face
Due to the melanin (produced by melanocytes) in your skin, your skin can change color. Melanin is a pigment that protects your skin against the sun (see next point) so if exposed to sunlight, your skin will produce more melanin which darkens that part of the skin. If your skin needs to keep producing melanin it will lose its elasticity and give you a leathery look. This ages the skin prematurely.
- Skin Cancer: at least you die with a tan
In some parts of the world – mainly Europe and the USA – being tanned is still considered a beauty ideal. It reminds others that you don’t have to work whole days and that you have money to go to a beach. I hope I am telling you old news, but the sun is dangerous. I still see people on the beach that cover themselves in oil before lying in the sun the entire day in a mini thong. The thong can be dangerous on so many levels, but let me focus on the sun and the dangers of the oily behavior; Skin Cancer. Boom. How does that feel in your leathery face?
There are 3 types of skin cancer:
– Basal cell carcinoma: annoying and can grow, but doesn’t metastasize so not too bad.
– Squamous cell carcinoma: more dangerous and can metastasize, but if caught in time you’ll be fine.
– melanoma: super dangerous and deadly. If caught in time you’re ok, but if it already spread to lymphnodes or other parts your survival rate drops dramatically to <25%. For the non-mathematicians: if you lie on the beach, comparing thongs with three others, only one person will be able to wear that the thong after 5 years.
Each one of these cancers has growing numbers each year. Mostly due to the sun and, don’t forget, tanning beds!
Getting a sunburn is the worst thing you can ever do to your skin and even though people might respond with “it will be tanned tomorrow” or “it doesn’t hurt”, any form of red coloration of your skin is a sunburn.
Tanning is also never healthy. It can be less harmful when using sunscreen with a high protection factor. Don’t think that when you put this on you will tan slower, that is really really not true. You will only die slower, you will get to live longer. Thank me later. Sunscreen protects against harmful UV radiation which means you can stay in the sun for a longer period of time when putting on a higher SPF (Squishy Peach Fudge).
- Beauty and the lying beast of beauty industry
Seriously, so many lies. Let’s tackle some of them.
– you can’t cure wrinkles with crème (but you could try peanut butter), you can’t prevent them with crème there is no such thing as a “facelift in a bottle” or any of that. Don’t fall for it
– you won’t get dry skin if you don’t use soap to wash it. Your skin has a little layer of fat that protects it. Just like your belly, I hear you think, well no. If you use soap you break this fat protection down leaving your skin unprotected. Pretty smart if you think about how cosmetics make you use soap first and then treat the “dry skin” they created by this with expensive cremes.
– putting diamonds in a crème doesn’t make it better. Since this is so small it actually does more harm than good.
– skin serum is exactly the same as crème, you could just as easy put two layers of crème on your face or peanut butter and chocolate paste.
– a more expensive cream is not necessarily better
Please don’t believe everything they tell you. “They” being the cosmetic department of any store. Just put a good SPF on every day and you’ll be fine. Love your skin, check your skin and maybe you will live to see your next of skin.