If you love skin as much as we do at Skincare.com, you most likely love hearing weird and surprising facts about it. Whether you’re looking to boost your skin care knowledge or prepare some fun facts for your next dinner party, read on to discover a few things you may not have known about your skin!
FACT #1: WE SHED BETWEEN 30,000-40,000 OLD SKIN CELLS PER DAY
Most people are unaware that our skin is actually an organ, and not just any organ but the body’s largest one AND fast-growing one. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), in every inch of skin there are around 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 1,000 or more nerve endings, and about 19 million skin cells. (Let that soak in for a moment.) The body is an intricate system constantly creating new cells and shedding the old—we’re talking about a loss of around 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells each day! At that rate, the skin you see on your body now will be gone in around a month. Pretty crazy, huh?
FACT #2: SKIN CELLS CHANGE SHAPE
It’s true! According to the AAD, skin cells start off looking fat and square. Over time, they move to the top of the epidermis and flatten out as they go. Once these cells reach the surface, they begin to flake off.
FACT #3: SUN DAMAGE IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF SKIN AGING
Yes, you read that correctly. Research shows that an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun. This is part of the reason why we urge you to protect your skin against harmful UV rays regardless of the season! By applying SPF 15 or higher each and every day and pairing it with additional sun protection measures—think: wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and avoiding peak sun hours—you are taking important steps to keep your skin protected against sun damage and even some cancers. In fact, research shows that people who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use Broad Spectrum sunscreen daily. What’s your excuse now?
FACT #4: SUN DAMAGE IS CUMULATIVE
Sun damage is cumulative, meaning we gradually acquire more and more of it as we age. When it comes to wearing sunscreen and other sun protection measures, the sooner the better. If you’re late to the game, don’t fret. Taking proper sun protection measures now—yes, right now—is better than taking none at all. Doing so can help you protect skin and reduce the risk of future sun damage over time.
FACT #5: SKIN CANCER IS THE MOST COMMON CANCER IN THE U.S.
Here at Skincare.com we take sunscreen use very seriously, and with good reason! Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting over 3.3 million people each year. That’s more cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer cases combined!
We said it once and we’ll say it again: Wearing Broad Spectrum SPF every day and pairing it with additional sun protection measures is an important step in reducing your risk of developing skin cancer. If you haven’t found a sunscreen you love yet, your search ends now.
Editor’s note: Although skin cancer is a troubling reality, it shouldn’t keep you from going about your life. Protect your skin with Broad Spectrum SPF, reapply at least every two hours (or immediately after swimming or sweating), invest in a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses, and other protective clothing. If you’re concerned about a certain mole or spot on your skin, visit your dermatologist right away for a skin check and continue to do so at least once per year. It’s also a good idea to educate yourself on common skin cancer warning signs. To give you a hand, we’re breaking down the basic signs that your mole may not be normal.
FACT #6: ACNE IS THE MOST COMMON SKIN CONDITION IN THE U.S.
Did you know that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States? It’s true! Acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually, so if you’re dealing with breakouts, know that you’re definitely not alone! Another fact you may not be aware of? Acne is not just a teenage problem. Recent studies have shown that late-onset or adult-onset acne is becoming more common in women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s. To be specific, studies have shown that acne affects more than 50% of women between the ages of 20-29, and more than 25% of women between the ages of 40-49. Moral of the story: You’re never “too old” to deal with acne.
Editor’s note: If you’re dealing with adult acne, it’s best to avoid popping and picking which can lead to scarring, and instead look for products formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.