The brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are all recognised as vital organs. But our skin — the body’s largest organ — is just as important to human health.
For example, while most of us appreciate that skin serves as a flexible outer sheath, what’s not immediately obvious is that it also functions as a barrier against a multitude of threats.
Essentially, humans regularly come into contact with a variety of allergens and pathogens. Yet, we’re often protected from the worst consequences thanks to our skin — or more specifically, the highly specialised Langerhans cells located within it.
The problem, though, is that our skin, like other organs, comes under a lot of stress daily.
So, to ensure it functions efficiently, we need to take better care of it. And one of the most effective ways to do that, experts say, is to be more aware of skin’s diverse roles.
Here are a few of them:
Regulates body temperature
One of the primary functions of skin is the maintenance of our body temperature. This is done by utilising various in-built mechanisms, including by perspiring when it gets hot.
Humans have up to 5 million sweat glands in our skin, and when the body’s exposed to heat, these secrete a combination of water, salts, and other substances to cool us down.
Yet while sweat is excellent for regulating the body’s surface and internal heat, the impurities secreted can lead to skin conditions if not dealt with adequately.
As such, it’s essential to maintain a daily skincare regime that includes regular showers and face-washing with a dedicated cleanser like Physio Radiance’s Gentle Foaming Cleanser or the DEFY Dirt Fighter that not only get rid of grime, but are also gentle on the skin.
Prevents moisture loss
In addition to sweat, the body secretes sebum, an oily substance designed to protect skin and hair from water and moisture loss.
One problem, however, is that sebum production differs between individuals. So, we often need to support the body’s natural manufacturing process.
Protects against UV radiation
Human skin tends to tan and darken when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. And the reason for that, science tells us, is melanin, a natural pigment that protects the body from harmful UV rays that can lead to various complications, including skin cancer.
True, it doesn’t automatically follow that protracted exposure to the sun results in cancer. Nevertheless, what’s clear is that as we age, our skin undergoes changes that weaken our defences.
Hence, the solution is to ensure that you’re always protected when out in direct sunlight.
Make sure to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen for this, one that is at least SPF 40. In addition to that, apply Physio Radiance’s Firming & Lifting Double Serum in the morning and at night to help your skin correct any hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone that may have occurred during your time under the sun.
Aids Vitamin D production
On the topic of sunlight, our skin plays a vital role in producing Vitamin D, a substance that’s crucial to the effective functioning of organs and the immune system.
In a nutshell, important receptor cells live on our skin. And when sunshine hits them, they help our bodies produce and synthesise Vitamin D.
For various reasons, though — including long hours indoors or even on account of our unique skin types — many of us unwittingly suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
Yet the issue is, fortunately, solvable. All you need to do is add Vitamin D-rich foods to your diet, take a daily oral supplement as recommended by your doctor, or invest in a good topical serum or cream.
The long and short of it is that our skin does a lot for us. But we really need to take better care of our skin so we can help it help us.