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Skin is the body's largest organ, and it plays a key role in immunity: it’s the first line of defense against potential pathogens. Therefore, it’s essential to wash our skin (and hands) to ward off the toxins we encounter in our daily lives. With extra hand washing comes dry, cracked skin.
In fact, too much washing without adequate moisturizer can irritate your skin and decrease your immunity over time. That’s why it’s important to give your skin and hands some extra TLC. As a bonus, learning how to better care for your skin can actually help protect your health and boost your immunity.
This is your guide to understanding your skin’s role in your overall health.
Read on to learn how to heal dry hands, maintain a skin-friendly diet, and incorporate botanical-infused moisturizers into your skincare routine.
Skin is not only the largest organ in the body, but also the most exposed. Unless you leave the house in a bubble or a hazmat suit, your skin interacts with your environment. Your hands, your scalp, your arms, and your face.
That’s not a bad thing.
In fact, our skin is designed to protect our internal organs from the outside world. Researcher Julie Salmon and her colleagues emphasize that “the skin functions as more than a physical barrier: it is an active immune organ.”
But how does the skin fit into the immune system? Our immune systems are made up of various components, including:
You may not think of your skin as part of the immune system, but it is. Your skin actually has 20 billion T-cells—many more T-cells than are present in the blood.
And beyond T-cells, the skin has other abilities that impact our immunity. The skin contains several other kinds of cells that can detect and combat invaders, such as Langerhans cells and Keratinocytes. In addition, skin has a symbiotic relationship with beneficial and protective bacteria that live on its surface.
These days, you’re probably hearing more about the gut microbiome—the collection of fungi, viruses, and bacteria that live in our GI tracts and help us with everything from digesting our food to fighting off infection.
Did you know that your skin has a microbiome, too?
While the idea of bacteria living all over the surface of your skin may make you want to reach for the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer, these organisms actually play a crucial role in our immunity. In Future Science OA, Kativia Bari explains that:
“For centuries, ancient practices like Ayurveda have connected the importance of the gut to overall health, and now, through medical science, we are beginning to notice an interaction between the skin and the gut, and their respective microorganisms, and the connection to a healthy, balanced, immune system.”
So, while washing your hands is important, it’s also important to take actions that help the skin maintain the delicate balance of this ecosystem.
Healthy skin plays a vital role in protecting you from disease. When it comes to keeping your skin healthy, topical treatments are important. At the same time, we’ve also learned that the skin is intimately connected with our immune system. When our skin is in poor health, it impacts our immune system. Likewise, when our immune system is in poor health, it impacts our skin. The effect of stress on the immune system is mighty and when our health is at risk, we’re more likely to break out in rashes or face dryness and irritation.
Therefore, it’s also important to take a whole-body approach to wellness. Thus, use the following tips on how to manage stress in order to care for your skin:
If you’re looking to boost your skincare routine with all-natural ingredients, consider adding CBD products to your regimen. CBD is known to have the following skincare benefits:
When your skin is inflamed, it’s less able to serve as a protective barrier. Soothing your skin with CBD can help to reduce irritation and maintain hydration. As an added bonus, it can also help to reduce signs of aging and give you glowier, happier-looking skin.
Curious about getting started? Here are some ways you can incorporate CBD into your skincare routine:
When it comes to skincare, don’t forget your hands. You interact with the world around you through your hands on a daily basis. From swiping a credit card to giving a friend’s shoulder a much-needed squeeze, your hands are constantly used to carry out tasks for you.
It’s important to wash your hands in order to protect yourself from potential disease—our ten fingers are the body parts that we most frequently expose to the outside world. However, all that handwashing can take a toll on your hands and lead to dry, cracked skin.
As you now know, it’s important to find ways to heal your skin while keeping its ecosystem in balance. Below are our top tips on how to fix dry cracked hands:
Try giving your hands a thorough massage using CBD balm as the massage oil. This can help ease the stress and tension from typing and texting all day, as well as heal your dry skin.
Be sure to:
Masks aren’t just for your face. You can also apply an extra-nourishing moisturizer directly to your hands. Invest in a specialized hand mask product, a face mask, or make your own hand mask at home. Try out the following recipe:
If you leave this mask on overnight, you’re bound to wake up with happy hands.
Plant People has a wide array of CBD products, from supplements to CBD oil to nourishing topicals for your skincare routine. Our 100% organic, hemp-derived CBD products feature full spectrum CBD as well as adaptogenic herbs that can nourish your skin and boost your overall health.
Your skin is a vital protective barrier against potential disease. However, there’s more to staying healthy than showering six times a day. Developing a nourishing, CBD-infused skincare and CBD Topicals routine can help you protect yourself and improve your immunity. As an added benefit, it can also leave you feeling nourished, rejuvenated, and relaxed from toes to fingertips.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.
Medical News Today. Skin moisturizer could reduce risk of disease. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324717#Can-we-reduce-the-risks-of-inflammaging?
Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets. Brain-skin connection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082169/
WebMD. The ABCs of a healthy skin diet. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/abcs-of-healthy-skin-diet#1
Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Skin resident T cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922675/
Cancer Treatment Centers of America. What's the difference? B-cells and T-cells. https://www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2017/05/whats-the-difference-b-cells-and-t-cells
Western Journal of Medicine. The skin as an immune organ. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1022320/?page=1
Future Science OA. Skin microbiome & host immunity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6060389/