A little ‘skinsight’ into a very clever organ
Skin is famously the largest organ on your body. In fact, the average person’s skin covers about two square metres and equates to about 15% of your body weight. So it’s pretty significant. And although it is only 2mm thick on average (thickest bit is the soles of your feet by the way!) it is made up of three layers – the epidermis (outside bit), dermis (middle bit) and hypodermis (deepest bit). Across those three layers you will find – in just one inch of skin – a whopping 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes (this is what gives your skin its colour) and at least 1,000 nerve endings.
That’s a lot packed into a small place.
Skin is obviously very important – it is our protective shield; it regulates our temperature, and it permits us the sensations of touch. It is also incredibly clever. It is constantly shedding dead cells, at a rate of about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every single minute in fact, and completely regenerates itself every 28 days.
Our skin is constantly defending, growing, regenerating, breathing, absorbing, cooling, warming, healing and we need to make sure we look after it as best we can.
Whilst everyone’s skin is different, we all need to look after it just the same. Skin needs support and it needs it every single day to perform to the best of its abilities. The first thing it needs – and please don’t roll your eyes – is water. And plenty of it. The recommendation is at least six glasses a day to flush toxins, prevent pimples and acne, and maintain its pH balance. You need to cleanse your skin too – ideally twice a day! And finally, moisturise – this isn’t a cosmetic thing, it’s a health thing. Remember that.
Moisture is very important to skin. Much like it is for cake, though cake isn’t great for your skin. Moisture is delivered to the skin via blood vessels, but they only supply it to the dermis – the middle bit. After that, the water travels up and out via the outside bit (epidermis) and then evaporates into the atmosphere. So, moisturising essentially does two main things – it either traps the moisture in your skin to stop it from escaping, or it restores the moisture on the outside layer of the skin.
When you think of what your skin needs at a very basic level, it is a constant supply of extra hydration. The fact is that in our busy lives, we may forget to drink enough water, or moisturise using an ointment, but wherever possible we need to make it part of our daily routine.
That said, could you imagine if someone invented a product that meant your skin was constantly getting the extra support it needed? Maybe a base-layer of clothing that helps to lock up the moisture in your skin and offer symptomatic relief from itching associated with dry skin conditions, including sufferers of contact dermatitis and eczema? Wait a minute, I’m sure I’ve heard of something like that…..