We take skin for granted as it has always been a part of us and it only seems to draw our attention to it when it has a problem, such as a pimple, a rash, a cut, or a funky looking mole. But skin is our largest organ, and it is vital in regulating our body temperatures and protecting us from infection and disease and harmful chemicals.
Skin also assists the functioning of many other parts of our bodies. For example, it manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones, and it is packed with more than 11 miles of blood vessels and millions of nerves (some of which are connected to your brain and others of which are connected to muscles and send signals through the spinal cord).
You have about 300 million skin cells, and a single square inch of your skin has up to 300 sweat glands. (Think about that on your next run or on a sunny day.) And your skin accounts for approximately 15% of your body weight.
Some things you may not know about your skin though is that it is thickest at your feet and thinnest at your eyelids. DermSpecialists report those at 1.4mm and .02mm, respectively. And that your epidermis can thicken if exposed to repeated friction or pressure (we often call this additional thickness and toughness a callus).
Your epidermis constantly sheds its dead cells—between 30,000 to 40,000 of them every minute (or close to nine pounds of them each year), and it renews itself every 28 days. Changes in your skin can sometimes signal changes in your overall health. That is why we believe that taking care of our skin is part of our personal responsibility in being a Whole Champion.
While we all know the basics: wash your face, get some sleep, wear sunscreen, we may not understand the best ways to love our skin.
7 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR SKIN
- Limit time in the bath or shower as long, hot water can remove the oils from your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. When you do shower or bathe, use warm water instead of hot, and use a mild cleanser as opposed to a strong soap.
- Shave carefully and use a cream, gels, or lotion before and during shaving and a clean, sharp razor. Always shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it (this will prevent ingrown hairs).
- Moisturize your whole body daily and consider using a moisturizer that contains an SPF (especially on exposed areas of skin).
- Drink plenty of water as water hydrates your skin. The recommended daily water intake amount is half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 130 pounds, you need 65 ounces of water each day for optimal hydration.
- Minimize processed foods in your diet and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Use cleanser, toner, serums and moisturizer on your face daily and wash your face before you go to bed each night. (Buy these based on your skin type and needs, which you may need to consult with an esthetician or a dermatologist for understanding which products are ideal for you). Toners deliver extra shots of nutrients and help serums and moisturizers absorb better. Serums are concentrated doses of “medicine” and may include hyaluronic acid to seal in hydration, vitamin C to brighten dullness and decrease dark spots (over time), retinol to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, or niacinamide to reduce redness and irritation or acne. And moisturizer is to prevent water loss.
- See a dermatologist or doctor regularly for check-ups, especially if you have a lot of hyperpigmentation, discoloration, freckles, moles, or sun damage. Also consult a dermatologist at the first sign of a problem.
We only get one birthday suit to live in, so it’s smart to make its care a priority in 2022 and beyond.