Fun Skin Facts for Kids: The Surprising Science of Your Skin

Fun facts for kids about your skin

Believe it or not, the skin is your body’s most gigantic organ. Not only is it stretchy and strong, but every layer is also full of fun skin facts for kids. Some of these scientific facts about your skin might even surprise you!

The skinny on fun skin facts

Even though your skin might seem thin, it’s like a coat of armor for your body. The three skin layers are:

  • The epidermis on the outside that you can see and touch.
  • The dermis in the middle that contains things like nerves, blood vessels, and hair follicles.
  • The hypodermis, the deepest layer, that’s made up of fat and connective tissue to cushion and keep your body warm.

8 fun facts about skin that might surprise you

Which of these skin facts have you heard about? Which facts are new to you?

1. Your skin is heavier than you think

If you could take the average person’s skin and weigh it, it would measure around 6 pounds. That’s almost as heavy as a gallon of milk!

If you could take the average person’s skin and stretch it out, it would measure around 22 square feet. That’s around the size of a car!

2. The top layer of your skin is dead

Skin Layers Anatomy Diagram - Labeled

As strange as it might sound, the topmost part of your skin is made up of dead cells. Even though these skin cells are dead, they still play an important role in protecting your body from germs, chemicals, and UV sun rays.

But these dead skin cells don’t stay there forever! You shed your skin like a snake!

  • Every single minute, your skin loses about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells. In a whole day, that’s around 5 thousand million skin cells!
  • Every year, you shed about 9 pounds of dead skin cells.

Since you’re constantly shedding, some of the dust in your home may actually be dead skin.

3. Most of your skin has hair

Did you know that almost every part of your body has hair? Just a few areas are bare:

  • Lips
  • Eyelids
  • Palms of the hands
  • Soles of the your feet
the skin on palms of hands have no hair

4. Your skin is waterproof

fun skin facts: the top layer of skin is waterproof

The top layer of your skin is like a special rain jacket that we wear all the time. It’s filled with proteins that make the skin super tough and fat that keeps water from escaping, so that we don’t get too dehydrated.

When you take a shower or go swimming, you waterproof skin keeps you safe!

But it’s important to know that your skin is not totally waterproof like a rubber raincoat. If your skin soaks in water for too long, the fatty waterproof barrier can start to break down, and small amounts of water can pass through your skin. This is why your skin can get uncomfortable after a long bath or day of swimming.

So, even though your skin is pretty good at keeping water out, you still need to be careful about your skin. After you wash your hands, make sure to dry them. And try to keep showers shorter than 5 to 10 minutes!

5. Thousands of bacteria live on your skin

Did you know that your skin is home to more than 1000 types of bacteria? Other germs like viruses live on your skin, too.

But don’t panic! This is totally normal.

In fact, many of these invisible bugs are “good germs”. When “good germs” take up space on your skin, “bad germs” have less room to grow. This helps your immune system stay healthy.

6. You have skin inside your ear

skin on outer ear and inside ear canal

Most of your skin is outside of your body, with one exception: your ear canal!

In many ways, the skin in your ear is similar to the skin everywhere else. Its main job is to protect the inside of your ear from water, germs, and junk.

But the skin inside the ear canal is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body. It also has a unique superpower: it can make sticky yellow ear wax! Earwax trap dust and dirt and keeps your eardrum moist and comfortable.

7. Skin is like a thermostat

Your busy skin has another special job: to help keep your body at the right temperature.

When we you feel hot, your skin makes sweat to cool you down. When the drops of sweat evaporates, it takes some of the heat away with it. This is why you feel cooler when you sweat.

The blood vessels in your skin also get bigger or smaller depending on the temperature. When you feel cold, the blood vessels in your skin shrink to keep warm blood near your organs in the middle of your body. This can make your hands and feet feel cold because there is less warm blood flowing to them.

When you feel hot, your blood vessels get bigger to release more heat from your body. This can make your skin look pink or red because more blood is flowing close to the surface. This way, your body can stay at the right temperature no matter what the weather is like outside.

8. You can get a sunburn on cloudy days

peeling sunburn - top epidermis layer of skin

This skin fact is not so fun. But we can’t ignore the scientific truth.

Clouds are not thick enough to block all UV rays. Even when the sky is gray, powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate through the clouds and reach your skin.

So if you spend a lot of time outside without protection, you can get sunburned. The chance of getting sunburned is higher when the UV index is high during the summer and when the UV rays are reflecting off of snow or water (like an ocean or swimming pool) and onto your skin.

That’s why sun safety tips like sunscreen, hats, shade are important whether it’s cloudy or sunny outside.

Which of these skin facts surprised you the most? Share these interesting skin facts with your friends!

Human Body Learning Lab Book banner Image
Human Body Learning Lab is the best anatomy book for kids! Have fun learning science facts and health tips with cool hands-on projects and diverse, realistic images!

More fun facts about the human skin for kids

Updated on May 9, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Updated on May 9, 2023

by Betty Choi, MD