5 reasons to love your skin
We think you’ll agree that if we didn’t have skin, we’d be an icky mess. But although sometimes we might hate our skin for breaking out a crop of pimples just before that oh-so-important job interview/hot date/board meeting, once you find out all the good things are skin does for us, you’ll look at your skin differently. Here are just five reasons to love your skin:
- Our biggest organ
Yep, skin is an organ, just like our heart or our kidneys. It has the power to heal itself, and it works hard to keep us alive and kicking. If you flattened yourself out (don’t try this at home) your skin would stretch for about 21 square metres. It contains lots of different cell types and biological processes that keep us alive and looking awesome. Skin is amazing. End of.
It’s our first line of defence against the big, bad world that’s continually throwing challenges at us. Bacteria and microbes find it difficult to penetrate our strong (yet surprisingly gorgeous) outer skin layer called our stratum corneum. Sebaceous glands in our skin produce oils to help kill off the bad bugs, too. Our skin also protects us from harmful and ageing UV rays from everyday sunshine – the melanin it produces darkens our skin, whatever skin tone you already have. Think a tan is healthy? Think again; it’s a sign that your skin is protecting you.
- Temperature control
Skin prevents us from dying of heatstroke and hypothermia. It’s our body’s main temperature control mechanism. Hot day in the car with no aircon? Your first 5k at Parkrun? When we overheat, we sweat, which cools us down, and the blood capillaries in our skin dilate to help us lose more heat, too. Hot day in the car with too much aircon? We’ll start to shiver, our body hair (assuming we still have some) will rise to trap warmth and our blood capillaries constrict, to preserve our heat.
- Great waterproofing
When you’re swimming a few lengths in the infinity pool on holiday, do you ever stop to wonder why your body doesn’t just absorb water and sink without trace? How come you don’t absorb your bathwater and most of the bubbles, too? You can thank your skin, as it does a great job of waterproofing you. Lipids (that’s fat, to you and me) link together in your skin in just the right way to prevent water going either way – which is why you don’t leak, either.
- Gives us the feels
Our sense of touch happens through our skin and it’s in constant communication with our brain. From temperature to texture to movement, these sensations are felt by nerve receptors, called touch or pressure receptors. They’re part of our body’s somatic sensory system. Some of these receptors are attached to our muscles rather than our brain, which is why, if, for example, we touch our hot hair straighteners, our muscles acts to move our hand away before we can even think about it.
We think you’ll agree that your skin is a hard-working, amazing piece of kit! It pays to look after it, so follow us on social media for regular tips and tricks to keep your skin looking and feeling as healthy as possible.