First impressions count
We all know how the saying goes – first impressions count? Well, never could this be truer than when we talk about our skin.
Yes, it is an organ – the largest organ in the body in fact – weighing almost 10 whopping kilograms (5 pounds) and making up about 15% of the weight of the average human being But it also has its functions:
It is a protective layer shielding us against harmful substances and the harsh environment; regulating body temperature, storing water, fat and the much-vaunted vitamin d, and as part of the immune system guarding us from illness while interacting with our nerve cells. But the skin is also a– a physical canvas reflecting and projecting our inner selves, our lifestyles and our emotional, physiological and spiritual states of mind to ourselves and the world.
Skin – a connector
On the surface, the skin enables contact, touch and sensuality with ourselves and with others. Through the skin we feel. A mother gently caressing her new born child, lovers sharing the intimacy of touch or a hug from a friend.
Underlying skin factors
Beneath the surface, however, this outer sheathing – embodies layers of our physical and internal experiences in many different ways.
Our skins speak emotions – the paleness of skin tone when we are ill, the goose bumps and “chicken skin” when we are cold or nervous, our flushed cheeks when we are warmed or excited, and the tracks of sweat after exercise or in moments of fear. The Skin is also a façade highlighting our internal workings:
The pallor of exhaustion from lack of sleep, the strains of over-exertion, emotional turmoil and depression– as much as the evidence of our lifestyle habits – smoking, binge drinking and bad eating habit ooze through our pores.
Skin – a divider
Skin has also served as a separator. In years gone by where – skin conditions as from acne and psoriasis to as extreme as leprosy drew ostracism and aversion to people with albinism remains in some communities. There were times even “complexion” was an issue with “dark-skinned” people being pitted against the “high-yellas” and the “yellow-bones” and until very recently in countries like South Africa – where passing the “colour test” and meant classification as “coloured” and access to privilege. The skin scarifying, tattoos and rituals of different cultures still cause a divide and sometimes that mere reality of natural aging can cause a reaction.
Yes, some conditions are beyond skin-deep but others we can control.
Investing in your skin
Skin– like it or not has a great deal to do how we perceive ourselves (Our faces for most are one of the first things we see in the morning, and the last we see at night.); – how we want others to perceive us (by how we present ourselves) and how others actually see us (by how well we care for ourselves).
So, where we are in a position to invest in our skin – with a little self-love, good rest, good nutrition and extra care such as naturally cleansing, toning, moisturising – it is well worth the effort.
It is said:- “Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” This quote attributed to Linden Tyler could never be truer than when it comes to first impressions.