Do you know that our skin is the largest organ of our body? Are there foods you’ve eaten all your life but had no idea how nutrient-rich they are for our skin? It wasn’t until I went through therapy for Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome that I learned how very important our skin is to our overall well-being. In fact, the skin is the first point of contact for trauma and plays a serious role in recovery from trauma.
Keep reading to learn about some of the interesting things we all need to know about our skin.
Our Amazing Skin
It the largest organ of our body and is the first contact for everything that goes on around our bodies at any given moment in time. Our skin takes the brunt of each trauma we experience. It records the trauma and never forgets. Yes! Our skin has a memory. Isn’t that amazing?
“Looking at the stem cells in the skin, what this group found is that the stem cells reconfigure themselves genetically so that they have a genetic memory of the previous injury. They have very tightly wound up genetic information in a form called chromatone.” — Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist
Do you know that your skin…
- Covers an area of 2 square meters?
- Is about 15% of your body weight?
- Comprises of approx. 21 square feet of skin on an average adult? It weighs 9 lbs and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels!
- Has about 300 million skin cells on an average adult? A single square inch of skin has about 19 million cells and up to 300 sweat glands.
- Is thickest on your feet (1.4mm) and thinnest on your eyelids (0.2mm)?
- Renews itself every 28 days?
- Constantly sheds dead cells, about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every minute? That’s nearly 9 lbs. per year!
- Is home to more than 1,000 known species of bacteria?
- Heals itself by forming scar tissue?
- Forms additional thickness and toughness — a callus — if exposed to repeated friction or pressure?
- Has nerves that are connected to muscles instead of the brain, sending signals through the spinal cord to react more quickly to heat and pain?
- Has at least five different types of receptors that respond to pain and touch?
- Sometimes signals change in your overall health? VIA Forefront Dermatology
What Damages Our Skin?
From the American Academy of Dermatology website here are some things to remember:
- Sun damage. We’ve all heard the warnings. My question is whether or not ‘sun-screen’ products do what they claim or if they add to the damage with carcinogenic additives to the lotion used to screen the sun’s rays. I prefer to wear a hat to ward off sun damage. Remember that sun damage doesn’t always show on our skin until years after the damage took place.
- If you like the ‘tan’ look, use a sunless tanning product.
- Cigarette smoking. You want to get ugly, old skin and get it fast? Smoke cigarettes.
- Never scrub your skin. Always clean it gently! There is no need for rough cleaning techniques when it comes to our skin.
- Choose your skincare products carefully. Ensure that they fit your needs and skin type.
- Wash your skin after waking in the morning and before going to bed at night. Also, be sure to clean the sweat off your skin as needed.
- Try adding plant-based nutrients to your diet to give your skin a healthy boost. Search and find skin supplements that contain lycopene, catechins, and epicatechins.
The Foods that Make us Beautiful
Now let’s take a look at some of our favorite foods that lend a hand to the beautification, healthy glow, and longevity of our skin.
⎆ Delicious, Versatile Eggs
This is my personal favorite. Eggs are high in amino acids which are the building blocks of collagen. I start each day with three eggs. Eggs can be cooked in so many different ways and they’re inexpensive. But don’t only reach for the whites as we have been taught in the last several decades! The yolks boast a fat-fighting nutrient called choline. So, eating the whole egg actually helps keep you trim.
⎆ Bright, Crunchy Carrots
This bright orange, delicious, and common vegetable contains a high concentration of beta-carotene which is a form of vitamin A and an active ingredient in Retin-A, a well-known medicinal skin repair treatment. Carrots are therefore very healing. In fact, as an additional benefit, regular carrot eating reduces the excessive production of skin oil. Carrots can easily be grown at home where you can benefit from the fresh vitamins contained in this common vegetable.
⎆ Tasty Tomatoes
Last summer I grew my own cherry tomatoes and ate lots and lots of them. There’s nothing better than fresh tomatoes off the vine. Tomatoes are an excellent source of Lycopene which gives the ability to naturally shield IV rays from the sun. Tomatoes are versatile and can be added to many of our favorite dishes or eaten right out of the garden.
⎆ Refreshing Watermelon
This wonderful summer delight inherently has such a rich concentration of water that it serves to reduce water retention in our skin and therefore eliminates puffiness around our eyes. Did you know that watermelon is so low in sugar that there is no fear of glycation (a chemical reaction that damages collagen and contributes to the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles.)
⎆ Green Tea Toner
This makes an absolutely great toner when applied gently to the skin with a 100% cotton pad. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties contained in green tea which makes it excellent for eliminating acne. Green tea can flush toxins out of our skin at the deepest layers. It can heal scars and reduce blemishes for a handsome, healthy glow. With a healthy dose of Vitamin K, it helps lighten dark circles under the eyes which you can do by applying chilled tea bags directly to the eye area.
⎆ Yummy Walnuts
I love walnuts! These delicious nuts contain a powerful density of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are instrumental in boosting the production of collagen which helps slow down premature aging. They also are known to reduce stress and therefore the stress factors that may contribute to heart disease.