A standard medical school question, asked by the instructor during the dermatology rotation is, “What can be determined from your observation that this patient exhibits numerous skin imperfections?”
The best answer: “I deduce the patient is human and has skin.”
If you are a human beingâ€”and you have skinâ€”sooner or later you will need to treat a skin condition. Be it scaling and dryness, sunburn, eczema, age spots, itching, rashes, or any of a myriad other ailments–we all experience times when something is needed to comfort or heal the primary barrier between the world and ourselves â€¦ skin.
Miracles Are Everywhere
Your skin contains more cells than there are people on the planet. Moreover, your body sheds and replaces skin cells to the tune of about half-a-billion cells per day.
I know the figures are almost unimaginable. It’s like trying to understand how small an atom isâ€”I mean, does “There are more atoms on the head of a pin than there are grains of sand on a beach” really make sense?
Sometimes, all science seems like science fiction.
Why Doesn’t Your Skin Heal Itself Completely?
An often-heard “fact” is that, since cells are constantly being shed and rebuilt, you have a totally new body every seven years. But, if that is true, why do you still have that unsightly age spot or wart? And wouldn’t that tattoo you thought was the coolest thing ever when you were twenty years younger have removed itself by now?
The reality is that some of our cells get replaced often, some get replaced over longer intervals, and some never get replaced at all.
The skin cells you lose and replace daily make up the outer (stratum corneum) layer of skin only. Those age spots, warts, and tattoos are lodged deeper in the skin, so they aren’t much affected by the daily cycle.
Did You Know this about Skin?
Skin is an organ, and it is the largest organ of all. Without skin, you could not live for long. The protection skin offers is critical to survival. Your skin prevents germs and other threats from gaining direct access to your internal parts.
But that’s not all skin does.
The three primary physical functions of skin are:
- Skin protects you from external danger
- Skin helps regulate body temperature
- Skin facilitates touch and feeling
Skin serves a psychological purpose too: it is important to your self-image and affects what others think of you. Clear skin radiates health. Blemished skin does not. And the older you get, the more your age is reflected in the condition of your skin.
Which leads us to the big questionâ€”one sought through the generations. How can skin be maintained in a youthful, healthy state as long as possible?
Is there a Skin Care Substance that Treats Dry and Damaged Skin Effectively?
Once upon a time, there was a scientist named Carl Wilhelm Scheele â€¦
A German-born chemist, Scheele made some of the foremost discoveries in science. He is even credited with the discovery of oxygen. Among Scheele’s other finds were chlorine, barium, tartaric acid, citric acid, and lactic acidâ€”to name but a few. Scheele was a marvel in his day.
So What Does Scheeleâ€™s Work Have to Do with Skin?
One of Scheeleâ€™s greatest discoveries was glycerin. And glycerin is, perhaps, the most useful substance known for the moisturizing and healing of skin cells. Â Scheele described glycerin as the “sweet essence of fat” (Scheele tasted everything he came across, and that is probably why he died at only 44 years old).
Glycerin is found in every living cell, and is more useful than even George Washington Carverâ€™s peanut. As far as manufacturing is concerned, Glycerin is a component in everything from soap, to beauty products, to dynamite and bio-fuels.
And, by the way, when you get your cholesterol levels checked, one of the primary components evaluated is the level of your triglycerides (glycerin and fatty acids).
The Secret of Soft, Supple Skin
Unfortunately, many of the products available to treat skin problems work on a surface level only. To get maximum effectiveness, you need to reach down further, down to the deeper skin layers of skin.
Glycerin brings a three-fold message of good news to those who suffer from skin problems:
- Glycerin is absorbed into the underlying layers of skin
- Glycerin attracts moistureâ€”and skin cells need ample moisture
And the trump card â€¦
- Glycerin can help skin cells heal themselves
There is no bad news, where skin is concerned, about glycerin. Your skin needs it. The question is, “How can you make sure your skin gets ample glycerin?”
One thing is certain: If you are currently using a skin care product containing glycerin, but it isnâ€™t helping your skin, itâ€™s not glycerinâ€™s fault. Much of what you find on the shelf either donâ€™t use a high enough grade of glycerin or combines the glycerin with other ingredients in such a way that it doesnâ€™t perform as it should.
To find help for your beleaguered skin, you will have to do your homework. Ask questions about ingredients, read product reviews, go with a reputable manufacturer, then observe the results.
And when you find something that works for youâ€”stick with it. If Ponce de Leon had found his Fountain of Youth â€¦ chances are, it would have been filled with glycerin!