I looked closely in the 5X magnifying mirror. Was that dark spot on my face bigger than it had been? Not sure. It definitely looked different. It definitely had more than one color.
I made the appointment with the dermatologist that day.
The cool thing about your skin is that we can see it, so it’s pretty easy to keep tabs on its health.
Sun damaged skin=not healthy.
Dry, flaky, or peeling skin=not healthy
Red or inflamed skin=not healthy
New or changing mole=see your dermatologist
Smooth, clear, moist, glowing skin=healthy
November is Healthy Skin Month.
Healthy skin month was started to raise awareness around melanoma and other skin cancers. The melanoma and skin cancer issue is super important. Skin cancer rates are on the rise and you need to aware of your skin and any changes. It’s easy to put this stuff off for later, but please don’t. A new growth or a changing mole (as well as non-healing lesions or areas, itchy, peeling, or discolored spots) should be looked at by a board-certified dermatologist.
I know that I’ve spent a lot of time in the sun and that I haven’t always been as conscientious about sunscreen as I could/should have. Possibilities flitted in and out of my mind as I waited for my derm appointment.
The good news for me is that the biopsy showed no cancer and the dark spot turned out to be one of the common warty that we tend to form as we get older (I know-sounds gross,but it really just looks like a large freckle).
Relief. But also a renewed appreciation for my health and my skin.
The biggest single thing you can do for skin health is to apply SPF 30 or greater sunscreen every single day, regardless of the weather.
Your Amazing Skin
But healthy skin is much more than not having skin cancer. You’ve probably heard more than once (maybe even here on the blog) that your skin is your largest organ.
Here are some fun facts about your skin:
- The average adult has approximately 16 – 22 square feet of skin, which weighs around 9 – 11 lbs.
- Skin accounts for about 15% of your body weight.
- The skin serves as a protective barrier that helps to keep water in the body and harmful chemicals and germs out.
- The skin has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutis or hypodermis.
- The thickness of the skin varies between different parts of the body. It’s thickest on the soles of your feet and thinnest on your eyelids.
- The skin completely renews itself every 28 days by constantly shedding dead cells. This begins to take longer as we get older (after about 30) and can take up to 60 days by the time we’re 60. But still pretty amazing
- Skin sheds around 30,000 cells per minute. A large part of the dust in your home is actually made up of dead skin cells. (you may not have wanted to know this).
- Your skin is home to millions of bacteria, from over 1,000 different species. These are the good guys that make up your skin microbiome.
- Skin that is damaged can heal itself by forming a scar. Unlike normal skin, scar tissue lacks hair and sweat glands.
- Skin that is exposed to repeated friction or pressure can become thicker, forming a callus. Pretty smart.
- Skin is a major sensory organ. There are different types of receptors and nerve endings in the skin that respond to pressure, pain, and temperature.
Keep It Healthy
In other words, your skin isn’t just a covering for the rest of you. It’s a multi-functional structure that is in close communication with the other organs, like your gut, liver, heart, brain, kidneys and so on. One reason to really keep an eye on skin changes.
Just like the rest of your body, skin needs to protected, nourished, hydrated, and taken care of. And because it’s on the outside of your body, it needs more active protection. The good news is that you can take care of it from the inside out and the outside in.
The basics of good health help keep your skin looking good and healthy too-diet, drinking plenty of water, exercise, sleep, time in nature, time with friends, stress reduction.
But because it’s on the outside of the body, it’s constantly exposed to sun, wind, weather, pollution, and other environmental stressors that don’t affect the other organs as directly. It needs some extra help. Here is where good skin care comes in:
- Cleansing to remove dirt and debris.
- Serums with active ingredients to help supply nutrients that are in shorter supply starting in our 30’s
- Moisturizers to help hydrate the skin and seal in our natural moisture.
- Protection from the sun’s UV rays and other environmental insults (sunscreen is essential, plus antioxidants, adaptogenic herbs).
It’s not complicated or hard. A few basic steps done daily and consistently over time can make a huge difference to your skin’s on-going health and beauty. I developed our line of clean skincare products at SunWindSnow for just this reason. We use natural and organic ingredients combined with botanically derived actives and ancient herbs to deliver safe and effective skin care to you. Try our products and bundles at www.sunwindsnow.com.