I can hear your skin

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Close up of human skin Photo Courtesy of Wallpaperflare.com

Hello Muhlenberg. We need to have a serious conversation. As temperatures warm and we bring our shorts and short-sleeved shirts out of the closet, our routines need to change. We need to get serious about a necessary staple in every adult’s self-care regimen: lotion. Lotion has reportedly been around for over 5000 years after it was first introduced by ancient Sumerians and Egyptians (and they gave us the Pyramids, so I trust their expertise). It was invented in harsh climates of high heat and strong winds as people recognized the toll that this weather took on their skin. Lotion makes your skin look and feel good, reduces skin problems, and can even act as a protective barrier for your skin. For a process that takes five minutes, moisturizing provides a plethora of positive effects.

So why am I running an advertising campaign for the concept of lotion? Because I can hear your skin. When we wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts, a lot more of our skin comes into contact with itself, and this friction produces a sound. This happens naturally, but unless the movement is aggressive, the sound should be very quiet. Dry skin is rougher and encounters more friction, so the sound it makes tends to be much louder than the sound of smooth skin. As we’ve freed our arms and legs, the sounds have become noticeable. A little too noticeable. From a simple scratch to a bold brush, I can hear the sound of exposed forearms and calves in class. And it’s distracting. How am I supposed to focus on the daily crossword the bored student in front of me has pulled up if I’m listening to your skin? I can only do so many off-topic things at once.

But don’t use lotion just because some random person said it annoys them when you don’t. There are other important reasons to prioritize lotion too. While Allentown has a very different climate than ancient Egypt and Sumer, we do experience frequent periods of very high winds. Worryingly, these winds can increase your risk of skin cancer. Our outermost layer of skin helps protect us from the sun’s UV radiation. Extreme winds often dry out and weaken this layer, which harms its protective capabilities. Weak skin can’t protect you from the sun like healthy skin, making you more susceptible to developing some forms of skin cancer. The best way to protect your exposed skin from the dangerous effects of wind is moisturizing to prevent the outer layer from drying out.

So please, I implore you, please make sure we’re not skipping this necessary step in our morning routine. You’ll be fostering your long-term health and wellbeing with less than five minutes a day. You’ll glow and feel silky smooth, and you can even impress everyone with your super quiet, super stealthy movements. Your skin and my grades will thank you immensely. Let’s all enjoy the nice weather in a happy and healthy way!

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