Something wicked this way comes – or maybe it’s with us all the time. It might seem innocuous, but our own skin can be pretty spooky when it comes down to it. In honour of the Hallo-season, we’re thinking on our favourite spooky skin facts – skeletons were getting too much press, anyway.
Spooky Skin Facts for Scary Souls
Your skin is heavy.
Skin is the largest organ – not a revolutionary idea if you’re a follower of The Skin Nerd, but here’s something a little bit spooky for the day that’s in it: it covers about 2 square metres and weighs roughly 5 kgs. That’s more than some the Nerds in HQ can curl (alright, mostly the writing Nerds, but still). It’s a lit bit skeevy to think of your skin weighing something, isn’t it?
Your skin is the home to bugs.
Your skin, no matter how glowing, has a microbiome, which you might remember if you were a very good student in school. We’re all about that – our very own Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse was formulated expressly to preserve the glorious microbiome of our skin – but sometimes it’s got some spooky bits going on. Have you heard of skin mites? We had to be the ones to steal your innocence, but hey – we’ve all got them.
There’s actually two kinds – the Demodex folliculorum hangs out in your hair follicles (even your eyelashes, bleck). The other lads are called Demodex brevis, and they’re all about the sebaceous glands. They’re such a gross idea that they don’t really bear thinking about – but importantly, we know that they simply hang around until they decease on the surface of your skin – argue if you want, but the compelling reasons to double-cleanse are only growing. There’s a potential link between demodex and psoriasis, too, which is intriguing.Would you really be able to rely on a face-wipe to clear those away?
A tan is your skin’s attempt at protecting you from sun damage.
Your skin sacrifices cells to sun damage in an attempt to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun. We all know by now that tans are not good for your skin, and we should be SPF’d mightily, but sometimes we need a bleak reminder.
In your skin, there are cells called melanocytes. These produce melanin, and exposure to sun causes these cells to produce more and more melanin in order to protect the rest of your skin from UV. And so, your tan is born. The tan is the result of healthy skin cells sacrificing themselves for the good of the rest of the skin. A noble pursuit but really quite metal – and definitely not something we should be encouraging our skin to do. A truly spooky skin fact, hiding in plain sight!
Human skin can be used to bind books.
This might sound like something lifted straight from the realm of horror b-movies, but its true. Did you know that there are books which are bound in human skin? We do prefer our skin when well cared for and moisturised rather than used for spooky literary purposes. Harvard University’s Houghton Library’s copy of Destinées de l’Ame (On the Destiny of the Soul) might be one of the most famous examples but it’s far from the only one.You might wonder – why? Why would such a thing be made and why does it exist at all? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers – only more questions. It’s possible to go down a real rabbit hole on this one – definitely the creepiest thing we discovered!
Disclaimer: The Skin Nerd book is not bound with hooman skin… But maybe if we had known it was possible…
Humans shed around 1 millions skin cells every 24 hours.
It hardly bears thinking about. The numbers sound enormous. Over the course of the average human life, we will lose about 35kgs of skin. That’s about half of the average human body weight. As if it wasn’t bad enough to think about the volume of skin, it means that we walk through every day in a fog of human skin. Love might be in the air, but do you know what else is in the air? Skin. Lots and lots of skin.
Women used to apply poison to make their skin fashionable.
The Victorian era is the one most closely associated with Halloween, as it was a time of serious creepiness. Victorian beauty and scary skincare practises were particularly grim, however. In the pursuit of pale skin, women would apply arsenic to their faces in order to make them appear lighter. Mercury was also seen as a handy-dandy cure for any hair-loss, or to keep your eyes looking beautifully watery and glassy. Homemade skin peels were also fashionable, with mixed results – but the Victorians had more pressing fears than their skincare, so the dangers close to home were a little bit overlooked.
So there you go – if you look in the mirror this evening and don’t catch your reflection, you have two choices: 1. Be spooked because you have clearly been turned into a vampire without your consent, or 2. Be immensely thankful because now you never have to look at your skin and think about skin mites ever again.
We joke, of course – skin might be spooky when we put it under a microscope, but when we feed it all the good stuff that it needs, it’s sure to provide more delight than fright, even on the spookiest day of the year! Be sure to share your spooky skincare facts with all your trick or treaters – really give ‘em something to be scared of.