You probably already know that skin is the body’s largest organ, but delve a little deeper and there’s so much more to discover – these skin facts will make your jaw drop!
1, Your skin weighs roughly the same as a small-medium sized dog. Skin weighs in at about 9kg for an average adult (so there’s some give and take of course!). That’s about the same weight as a small Dachshund or an adorable medium sized Terrier.
2. Up to half the dust in your home is dead skin. Sounds icky, we know, but it’s true – we shed 30-40,000 dead skin cells every minute. Some scientists estimate that there could be about a billion tons of dust in the earth’s atmosphere, largely made up of the dead skin cells we shed.
3. Your skin contains around 17 kilometres of blood vessels on average. That’s twice the height of Mt Everest if you were to lay them out flat. Some people’s blood vessels are more visible than others, which can leave skin looking red.
4. An average adult’s skin covers a whopping 2 square metres.
5. 300 million. That’s how many skin cells the average person has (which is why shedding tens of thousands a day goes unnoticed!).
6. The skin on your eyelids is the thinnest on your whole body (0.5mm). It’s no thicker than a few sheets of paper, so that’s why this delicate area needs extra TLC.
7. Not surprisingly, the skin on your feet is the thickest (about 7 times thicker than around your peepers). Even if you only do an average 5000 steps a day, that’s still a full-on workout for your heels – all that friction creates thicker, harder skin.
8. Skin is waterproof. It’s designed not to let any water out (or you would ‘leak’ 10-20 litres a day!), so that also makes it harder for water to penetrate into the skin, too.
9. Soaking in H2O only leads to dehydration (hence the pruney fingers after a long bath). Quality skincare needs to have more than just water as the base, it needs oils as well – oils can penetrate deeper into the skin, and so can drag the water molecules along with it. Oils also help ‘lock’ the moisture in for longer.
10. In really hot weather, you can lose over 10 litres of sweat a day. You can sweat pretty much everywhere except the nail bed, your eardrums or scar tissues, which have no sweat glands.
11. Your skin is home to more than 1000 different types of bacteria. There’s good and bad, just like in your gut. You need more of the former to keep your skin’s ‘ecosystem’ in a healthy state. Just like in the gut, bacteria are an important part of your skin’s immune system and a crucial part of protecting your complexion from external stressors. So, how do you keep your skin bacteria in balance? Don’t cleanse with harsh products (that strips off the natural oils and will throw your skin out of balance already), and keep it hydrated (good bacteria needs a healthy protective barrier and plenty of moisture to flourish).
12. Changes in your skin can signal a change in your inner health – it’s no myth that your complexion is a reflection of what’s going on inside. For example, if your skin is very yellow, it can be a sign of liver issues (unless you’ve just eaten a mega dose of carrots, which can also give skin an orangey tint!).
13. Your skin also affects your mental health. Studies have shown that patients with acne have a 63 per cent higher risk of being diagnosed with depression in the first year after diagnosis than those without acne.
14. It hurts more to wax when you have your period. That’s because the skin is more sensitive during your menstrual cycle. Your pain tolerance is highest 3-4 days after, so that’s a good time to book in any kind of treatment that might ouch.
15. Yes, you can depuff eyes with a cold spoon, but there’s a drawback: an extreme change in temperature can cause the tiny capillaries around your eyes to break, resulting in spider veins. What else can you try? Sleeping on your back, applying an eye cream, and cutting back on salt may help