Astronauts Moisturize

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

If you live your life exclusively in the back woods and hang out with Paul Bunyan, then taking a heavy-duty bar of Lava or Mountain Man soap to your face as your daily regimen might be all you need. Bodybuilding.com conducted a survey of men 35 and over asking the simple question, “Do you moisturize?” The results showed 10 percent of men saying, “Only when my partner suggests it, ‘cause I’m a man.” Oh ya? Let’s see if that definition of manhood, in all its rugged, leather-faced glory, holds up among the hardest hitters of the world.

How NASA Does Skin Care

Visitors to the International Space Station (ISS) know that life in a microgravity environment ain’t no cup of tea (cups are ineffective, hot liquid would go everywhere). Extensive measures are taken to study, protect and improve living for astronauts carrying out their missions, particularly long-term missions like that of American astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 consecutive days at ISS. In that environment, even skin care becomes important.

A 2016 NASA program called “SkinCare” was initiated to examine the changes in skin before, during and after spaceflight. With the determination that “long-duration missions in microgravity affect skin by causing excessive dryness, increased cell loss and increased aging,” the challenge focused on measures that could assist in slowing and even reversing these changes. The tests used a skin emulsion (thin lotion) and found that treatment with it “over the course of the mission led to an improvement in the hydration of the outermost layer as well as in the barrier function (moisture retention) of the epidermis.” Translation: astronauts moisturize.

Adding More of a Good Thing For Your Skin

The average adult body reading this will be made up of roughly 60% water. You may live without many things, but as poet W.H. Auden put it, “Thousands have lived without love, no one without water.” That’s an important detail considering that we circle a very hot star every 365 days. We cannot even look at the sun unprotected without inviting damage. Our battle with the elements calls for a suit of armor. Incorporating more water into your routine is therefore about the manliest thing a man can do.

Drinking water and staying hydrated are no-brainers, though more than once we’ve probably all seen someone push away a glass of H2O because they are sticking to an alcohol-only diet. In the long run, the men and women who are living and thriving will be the ones who hydrate. This hydration calculator can help determine just how much water is right for you each day.

The same principle applies when choosing to hydrate that special organ that surrounds every inch of you. You know, the one that helps to regulate your body temperature, allows for that wonderful sense of touch, creates your individual look and protects you from foreign invaders. Be good to your skin astronauts and lumberjacks – give it the regular moisture it needs each day – and your skin will be good to you.

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