As the body’s largest organ, your skin does a lot for you. Apart from being your first line of defense against germs and diseases, the skin also enables touch and different sensations, as well as regulates body temperature. It can provide clues to a health issue that affects the entire body and impacts both your emotional and mental well-being. The sad part is there is also a lot of misinformation out there and it can sometimes derail your efforts in keeping your skin clear and healthy. Continue reading as we share five interesting skin care facts you probably didn’t know about.
1. Sun damage can happen indoors too.
While it is true that being outdoors puts you at higher risk for sun damage, being indoors doesn’t guarantee total protection. There are two types of UV or ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for premature aging and certain types of cancer, while UVB rays affect the outermost layers and cause sunburn and most skin cancers.
A regular window glass can filter out most UVB light, but let UVA rays pass through. This means the UV rays can still enter your house and potentially affect your skin. This is especially true if you sit near a window or stay in a room that receives a lot of sunlight. UVA rays can penetrate glass windows in your office and inside your car.
This is why it makes sense to wear SPF even when you’re indoors. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as this offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You can also benefit from using curtains or drapes, as well as a window film. Just make sure to choose a solar window film, as not all window films can block UVA rays.
2. Drinking water doesn’t fix dry skin.
Many celebrities credit clear and glowing skin to drinking lots of water, with some even claiming that it can fight skin dryness and signs of aging. And while proper hydration is important in maintaining different bodily functions, there is no substantial evidence supporting that drinking lots of H2O can repair dry skin.
Dry skin happens due to a lot of things, including sun damage, over washing, cold/dry weather, and harsh soaps. It could also mean that the outer layer is damaged, with a compromised ability to hold water or moisture. Aging and genetics can also contribute to dry skin and affect the state of your skin barrier.
Using a good moisturizer can go a long way in preventing dryness. Just make sure to apply the right products to your body, face, and hands. Your choice of soap or cleanser matters too. Mild or gentle ones are ideal, as they can cleanse your skin without stripping it off or removing skin barrier lipids.
3. Oxidation (not dirt) is what makes blackheads black.
Blackheads are a mild form of non-inflammatory acne that commonly occurs around the nose and chin. They are also referred to as open comedones and form when the skin’s hair follicles become clogged. Excess oil and dead skin cells accumulate in the follicle’s opening, resulting in a bump that may stay close (whitehead) or open (blackhead).
Blackheads are black not because of trapped dirt, but oxidation. What happens is exposure to oxygen in the air oxidizes the substances in the follicle’s opening, turning them black. This forms a blackhead that may sometimes turn into a pimple or pustule. So, blackheads are a mix of oxidized oil and dead skin cells.
Over-the-counter acne medications with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid can help fight bacteria and get rid of excess oil and dead skin cells. You can also choose to have them extracted by a professional or undergo aesthetic treatments that exfoliate the skin, clear out pores, and improve the tone and texture of the skin.
4. Yeast normally and peacefully lives on the skin, but it can sometimes cause issues.
Many yeasts live on your skin and coexist peacefully with other organisms in your body. These microorganisms are called the skin microflora or normal flora. Some things, however, can upset their balance, causing the yeast to overgrow in certain areas. This can lead to infection or red, scaly, moist, or itchy patches on the skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff is one skin condition that happens when there is too much Pityrosporum yeast (Malassezia) growth on the skin and affects the follicles. Yeast skin infection tends to appear in areas with skin-to-skin contact, including the folds under the breasts or belly, underarms, neck, and groin. Warm and moist areas also make it easy for the yeast to grow or multiply.
Treating yeast infections in the skin usually involves a topical antifungal medication. This can be bought with or without a prescription at most pharmacies. For severe cases, your physician may describe oral medication like antifungal pills. The infection tends to resolve after a week of treatment, but you’ll need to take your medicine longer or as long as your physician advises you to.
5. Your skin regenerates itself every 28 days (this period can get longer as you age).
The skin’s outer layer renews itself about every 28 days by naturally shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with new ones. This cycle, however, can still vary with each person and can be affected by different factors such as age, stress levels, hormones, and overall skin condition. It slows to approximately 45 to 65 days in your 40s and 50s, and about 60 to 90 days in your 60s.
You can support your skin’s natural renewal cycle by practicing good skincare habits. This means cleansing and moisturizing daily, applying sunscreen regardless of the weather, and exfoliating about once to thrice a week, depending on your skin type or how often your doctor recommends.
Another way to support this cycle is giving new skincare products time to work. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results after several days; it can take about six weeks or more to see the effects of new products. It is advisable not to switch products constantly or use a lot at once, as this can irritate your skin and lead to several issues.
Cutis can be your skincare partner
Our goal here at Cutis is to help you look and feel your best with our evidence-based and non-surgical anti-aging and rejuvenation procedures. If you, for instance, are dealing with sun damage and other signs of aging, we have lasers, skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and cosmetic injectables that can improve these concerns.
We also have treatments that can promote a clear, healthy, and glowing complexion. Whether you’re worried about wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or mild skin laxity, we can help. Many of our procedures provide natural-looking results and don’t require cuts or longer recovery time.
Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and book a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which procedures are right for your beauty goals and needs.