Our skin is the body’s biggest organ. It provides the mammoth tasks of protecting our organs from disease and infection and regulating our temperature levels. To do so, it has an incredibly intricate structure. Roughly 11 miles of blood vessels run through the skin to provide oxygen and blood to the near on 300 million skin cells, equating to almost 19 million cells per square inch. Some of these cells are connected to the brain to transmit messages and some connected to muscles sending messages via the spinal cord, with a quicker response time to stimuli such as pain or heat.
Every part of the skin has a specifically designed threshold of stretchiness and strength; the thinnest is the skin on your eyelid, just 0.02mm thick compared to tougher parts such as the knuckles and knees, down to the thickest skin on the sole of the foot, about 1.4mm deep. When stretched out, it would take up 2m square. The average adult skin weighs about 8-10lb, or roughly about 15% of your body weight.
Whilst skin cells are growing for 6-8 years, every minute you lose about 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells. This adds up to total about 9lb a year and forms about 50% of common household dust. The surface layer totally renews itself every 28 days.
So below the surface, there’s a little more to our skin than meets the eye. Often our skin health can sometimes be a reflection of what is going on inside of it.
- Relax! Stress causes physical changes in the body that enhance the ageing process.
- Healthy fats found in some fish, seeds and nuts reduce inflammation in the body.
Vitamin C – crucial for the formation of collagen, without which amino acids cannot be linked to make proteins
Red peppers, dark green leafy veg, tomatoes, oranges and kiwi fruit
Vitamin A – treats for sun damage and cellulite
Vitmain D – reduces blemishes
Vitamin C – regenerating and provides protection from the sun
Vitamin E – protecting against sun damage and aging
- Less sugar – Sugar causes premature aging through a process called glycation where excess sugar in the blood attaches itself to substances within the body which accelerate the aging process.
- Eating a little bit less – In Okinawa, Japan, home to some of the world’s oldest people, centenarians stop eating when they are 80% full.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep deprivation also connected to many other health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure. When asleep, the damage to the body is repaired and everything brought back into balance. People who sleep less age quicker. Eight hours is optimum, less than that can lead to a dulling in complexion.
- Caffeine and alcohol – dehydrating effects Alcohol destroys lipids, the natural fats which keep the outer layer of skin healthy.
- Avoid bacterial build-ups; holding phone against cheek.