5 Reasons To Be Grateful For Your Skin

Routine 101

5 Reasons To Be Grateful For Your Skin

By Hanna Yowell

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It’s the season of thankfulness, so in that spirit, we’re taking a moment to meditate on everything we have to be grateful for. One of those things? Our skin.

Practicing gratitude for your skin is just as beneficial of a step as cleansing, moisturizing, and everything in between. First, read our expert-advised mantras and reasons to be grateful for your skin. Then, we have a prompt for you to create your own, too.

  1. Thank you, skin, for keeping us healthy.
    As our first line of defense against illnesses, healthy skin serves as a barrier to keep pathogens out of the body. There’s actually one type of skin cell whose job is entirely dedicated to alerting the immune system to harmful viruses and germs. These Langerhans cells protect skin from infection and stimulate allergic reactions so the body can start fighting off invaders.
  2. Thank you, skin, for being the most honest communicator.
    Your skintuition, or your skin’s instinctive tendencies, can be a highly perceptive external indicator of our internal health. Oftentimes, external signs in the skin can be messages from our body. For example, dry, itchy skin or acne on your jawline can signal hormonal imbalances. So while these skin conditions may be frustrating, it’s also pretty incredible how much our body can tell us without saying a word.
  3. Thank you, skin, for making us happier and helping us connect with others.
    We have about five million touch receptors beneath our skin. Not only do these receptors protect us by letting us know if something is too hot or cold, but they can also help us connect deeper with other humans. Skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies has been shown to be majorly beneficial for everyone involved, helping lower the risk of postpartum depression for a new parent and enhancing nutrient absorption for the child. Touch has healing, happiness-boosting powers, even with the simple acts of holding hands and hugging, which both cause the body to release stress-lowering endorphins.
  4. Thank you, skin, for helping to tell our story.
    The skin color, texture, and characteristics we inherit make us unique and can give us insights regarding our ancestors. Our genetics influence both how our skin looks (thanks to melanocyte cells that make melanin, giving our skin color) and also how our skin behaves (your skin type is largely determined by your DNA).
  5. Thank you, skin, for keeping us safe.
    Our skin works as a shield to keep internal systems safe and secure. It regulates our body temperature by keeping us warm or cool according to the environment via perspiration and our hair shafts. Our skin also works hard to heal us from the inside out. The process by which our body heals our skin after a dermis injury (our most outward layer of skin), is truly remarkable. Within minutes or even seconds, blood cells get to work and start to clot to protect the wound. Next, white blood cells rush in to disinfect and increase blood flow to the area. Then, rebuilding begins thanks to collagen and elastin synthesis that replace damaged issues. Finally, in the remodeling stage, our tissues get stronger as the newly formed skin begins to close around the wound.
What are you thankful for?

Now it’s your turn. Using what you’ve just read as a jumping off point, put pen to paper (jotting something down in your notes app works, too!) in response to this prompt: why are you grateful for the skin you’re in? Like, that scar that tells the story of not just your skin’s strength, but your spirit’s, too. You and your skin have been through so much this year, and giving yourself some grace and love will always nourish any skin type.

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