Your skin is quite literally a part of you (well, duh). You carry it with you every minute of every day of your life, and you probably think you know pretty much everything there is to know about it. We beg to differ!
There’s actually a lot to understand about your skin — some of which is less obvious than you might think.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered a few especially interesting skin-related facts for your learning pleasure. Have fun learning more about that old, reliable friend. We have a feeling that the more you know, the more motivated you’ll be to take good care of this very crucial part of your body.
1. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. Shoutout to the heart and intestines and brain and all those other vitally important organs, but none of them can claim the title of the largest in the body. According to Everyday Health, it’s the skin that has that distinction. Skin accounts for about 16 percent of a human’s body weight and occupies roughly 18.5 square feet! Mental Floss notes that the average American woman carries over 25 pounds of skin.
2. The rest of your body counts on your skin to achieve important balance. It should hardly come as a surprise that your skin plays a key role as a first line of defense between your body and the outside world. After all, it’s the only thing dividing you from, well, all the things. Just as your skin is responsible for keeping the bad stuff out, it also has to keep the good stuff in! Per Mental Floss, this is especially critical for helping you maintain a healthy fluid balance. That’s big stuff!
3. Everyone’s skin ages differently. You can go ahead and commiserate with your pals about the (not-so-great) changes to your skin — but just because you can relate to each other doesn’t mean that you’re dealing with the exact same thing. Per LifeCell Skin, if you’ve struggled with more oily skin over the course of your life, you might find that your skin ages more slowly than others. See? The universe was bound to pay you back for that annoying acne!
4. Skin regenerates itself. “Your skin sheds its dead skin cells on a daily basis, creating a new layer of skin every 28 days,” dermatologist David Bank (who also happens to be the director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York) tells Everyday Health. “Even while you sleep, Mother Nature is doing her job by making sure your skin exfoliates itself, without your help.” Even if you’re feeling more drab than fab, you can rest assured that your body is doing what it can to make your skin as fresh as possible!
5. Dust is partially made of dead skin cells. Resist the urge to get grossed out, because this is totally natural. Per Everyday Health, that pesky layer of dust hanging out in your house — we’ve all been there! — is made of more than just leftover dirt. There are dead skin cell particles in there, as well.
6. Your legs might be the driest part of your body. If you find yourself constantly feeling like your legs are more thirsty for moisturizer than any other part of you, you’re not going crazy. “You have fewer oil glands on your legs than any other area of your body,” University of Mississippi Medical Center dermatology professor Robert T. Brodell tells Mental Floss. Over time, this means that less oil will be secreted on your legs, causing you to feel a little extra dryness there.
7. The sun doesn’t help with breakouts. You already know that we like to preach safe sun habits and as little unprotected sun exposure as possible. After all, that is why we created our all-natural airbrush tanning formula! If you’re tempted to risk the sun because you’ve heard rumors that it’s good for your acne, think again. According to Dr. Bank on Everyday Health, “sunbathing makes zits worse, not better. The initial, temporary drying effect and the blemish-concealing tan may fool you, but UV rays actually stimulate oil production.” No, thanks.
8. Your gut and your skin are connected. Gut health is pretty trendy right now… and for good reason! “The skin becomes very unhealthy when the microbiome of the gut goes into a state of dysbiosis,” former neuroscience professor and founder and chief scientific officer of BioRegenerative Sciences Gregory Maguire tells Mental Floss. Dysbiosis is basically a fancy word for “imbalance,” so focusing on keeping your tummy healthy and well-balanced is a great way to support healthy, glowing skin, too.