Do You Know These 5 Skin Facts?

Day in and day out, your skin gets exposed to harmful toxins. Because of that, you want to protect it. And just in case you aren't as careful with skin care as you should be, I want to share these 5 facts about your skin so you can get a better idea of what it's exposed to on a daily basis.

5 Basic Skin Facts You Should Know

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is under constant assault by a variety of environmental toxins. UV light from the sun, pollution, and chemicals in our water can all take their toll. Here are a few skin facts you should know, including how to protect it.

1. Indoor Tanning Increases Cancer Risk

Many people already suspect indoor tanning is dangerous; in fact, there's a growing body of evidence suggesting that it can lead to cancer. A recent review examining current literature on tanning beds noted: “…tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year.” [1] And while there are other factors involved in a cancer diagnosis, high doses of UV light from tanning and a person's age could be big contributors. The World Health Organization (WHO) found indoor tanning “before age 30 was associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma.” [2] Even the FDA has finally recognized tanning beds as harmful. [3] Especially for kids and young adults. Given that fact, it's a little disconcerting that over half of the nation's top colleges still offer tanning beds on- or off-campus. [4]

2. It Might Be Best to Avoid Tattoos

You might want to think twice about that tattoo — not because it will upset your mother, but recent reports from New Zealand have suggested there are toxins in the dyes. High levels of arsenic and lead were found in some imported inks. [5] But before you decide on that temporary tattoo instead, “black henna” — not the true reddish henna — tattoos contain dye with p-phenylenediamine (PPD). This ingredient can cause “nasty allergic reactions in some people, including redness, blisters, oozing lesions, increased sensitivity to sunlight and permanent scarring.” [6] Yikes — maybe it's best to just avoid tattoos altogether?

3. Smoking, and the City, Are Terrible for Your Skin

Did you know smoking drastically ages your skin? A recent study had three people examine 79 photos of identical twins in their forties. The three participants identified the twin who smoked as older 57 percent of the time. [7] The non-smoking twin was also less likely to develop wrinkles around the lips. If you want to keep that youthful look, living in the city could be fairly risky, too. The culprit here: air pollution. Air pollution found in most cities could contain up to 200 dangerous chemicals that age your skin. [8]

4. Sunblock Isn't …read more

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