Why our skin feels tight after being washed? Stanford study reveals the secrets

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You know that tight feeling your skin gets after you wash your face?

Scientists at Stanford University have found out why this happens and how our favorite moisturizers relieve that tightness.

Our skin is not just a protective layer; it’s a super organ that talks to our brain, telling it what’s happening on the surface.

When you wash your face, and it feels tight, it’s your skin sending signals to your brain about changes on its surface.

When you apply a moisturizer, it sends different signals, letting your brain know it’s relaxed.

Scientists published their findings in PNAS Nexus, explaining how the outermost layer of our skin, known as the stratum corneum, plays a crucial role in how we feel our skin. It acts like a shield, keeping bad stuff out and good stuff in.

When we use strong cleansers, they remove some essential elements, causing this outer layer to contract, making our skin feel tight. A good moisturizer does the opposite; it makes this layer swell by increasing its water content, relieving the tightness.

This research is not just a new discovery about our skin but also a step forward in understanding how different products affect the physical and sensory properties of our skin.

The scientists tested various moisturizers and cleansers on human skin samples. They wanted to understand how the changes in the stratum corneum, caused by these products, translate into signals to the brain. They developed a special model to predict what signals the skin sends to the brain when it contracts or swells.

Then, real people tested these products, and their feedback was compared to what the model predicted. The results were astonishing! What people felt was exactly what the scientists had predicted using their model.

This research opens the door to creating better skin products. Companies can now understand and predict how people will feel after using a product, allowing them to improve their products even before testing them on humans.

Understanding how skin sends messages to the brain could help in designing products that can intentionally send specific signals. It’s like translating braille into words, but here a device could create tiny changes on our skin to convey specific information non-verbally.

This research is not just about creating better skincare products. It gives scientists a framework to develop new products and devices that could communicate through the human skin, using our understanding of these skin-to-brain mechanisms.

This groundbreaking study sheds light on how our skin talks to our brain, helping us understand why our skin feels the way it does after using different products.

It paves the way for designing better, more effective skincare products and exploring innovative ways to use the skin’s signaling mechanism, potentially leading to the development of devices that could communicate information through the skin.

So next time your skin feels tight, remember, it’s not just a feeling; it’s a conversation between your skin and your brain!

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