Amazing facts about the skin

As a skincare therapist and personal skincare coach, I work with skin every day and find it so fascinating. Take a look at the below facts to see how amazing your skin is!

After reading this you may just want to give your skin a little more love and attention.

Structure of the skin
  • Our skin is the largest organ in our body
  • The average person’s skin, when stretched out covers about two square metres
  • Your skin weighs about 15% of your body weight
  • The skin contains about 17 kilometres of blood vessels that provide it with oxygen and blood
  • There are two types of skin, hairy and glabrous. Glabrous skin occurs on your lips, palms of your hands and soles of your feet. Hairy skin is found everywhere else.
  • The thinnest skin is found on your eyelids 0.02mm thick
  • The thickest skin is found on your feet 1.4mm deep.
  • Your skin has its own microbiome with over 1000 species of microbes living in and on it
  • There are about 1 trillion microbes on your skin right now
  • Your skin has three main layers
    • The epidermis is what you see when you look at your skin. It consists of multiple layers, is mostly transparent and is waterproof.
    • The dermis is the thickest layer of the skin and is responsible for the elasticity, flexibility and strength of the skin.
    • hypodermis or subcutaneous layer is responsible for energy storage, temperature control and protection
  • Every inch of your skin has an exact stretchiness and strength for its location. This means that the elasticity on your knuckles is different to that of your belly
  • Our skin can renew itself and the entire skin is replaced every 28 days
  • The skin renews by shedding dead skin cells. It sheds over 30 000 dead cells every minute
  • We shed about 4.8 kilograms of dead skin cells every year
  • Half of the total amount of dust found in your home is actually made up of dead skin cells
  • Dead skin comprises about a billion tons of dust in the earth’s atmosphere
  • Some of the nerves in your skin are connected to muscles instead of the brain, sending signals (through the spinal cord) to react more quickly to heat, pain, etc
  • The skin is responsible for keeping our bones, muscles and internal organs protected and free of disease
  • Our skin has over five types of receptors that respond to pain and touch
  •  The skin’s outer layer remains healthy and moist because of a special kind of natural fat known as a lipid. Alcohols and detergent are known to destroy lipids.
  • Our skin contains about 300 sweat gland per square inch
  • Sweat does not make us smell, it’s the bacteria that create body odour as a by-product of digesting our secretions
  • Melanin is made by melanocytes, a tentacle shaped cell that controls the colour of the skin
  • Everyone has the same amount of melanin. It is not the amount of melanin, but the activity of melanin that determines a person’s skin colour.
  • Melanocytes make up about 7% of skin cells
  • One in 110 000 people have albinism, a lack of melanocytes
  • Fingerprints are tiny ridges that help to increase friction so that we can better grip objects
  • Our skin can create extra thickness when aggravated. This is called a callus
  • Changes in the skin may indicate changes in overall health and so it’s important to notice these
  • There are about 14 different fungi species living between our toes

Next time you look in the mirror thank your skin for the incredible work it does to keep you healthy every day!

What are you doing today to take care of your skin?

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