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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Janeane speaks with James Hamblin, a doctor, lecturer at Yale School of Public Health and staff writer for The Atlantic. He will discuss the new science of skin health


JAMES HAMBLIN

Doctor and Atlantic staff writer discusses the new science of skin health


Keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. Confusing messages from health authorities and ineffective treatments have left many people desperate for reliable solutions. An enormous alternative industry is filling the void, selling products that are often of questionable safety and totally unknown effectiveness. In his new book CLEAN: The New Science of Skin, James Hamblin explores how we got here, examining the science and culture of how we care for our skin today. He examines the history of hygiene, the new science of skin microbes and probiotics and the surprising and unintended effects of our hygiene.

James Hamblin is a doctor, lecturer at Yale School of Public Health and staff writer for The Atlantic. In his writing and daily podcast, “Social Distance,” for The Atlantic he covers health, science and this year, the coronavirus. His article “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus” went viral in late February and he continues to write informative and crucial pieces on the pandemic and COVID-19. In CLEAN, he talks to dermatologists, microbiologists, allergists, immunologists, estheticians, bar-soap enthusiasts, venture capitalists, Amish people, theologians, and straight-up scam artists, trying to figure out what it really means to be clean. He even experiments with giving up showers entirely, and discovers that he is not alone.

Along the way he realizes that most of our standards of cleanliness are less related to health than most people think. In fact, our overuse of soap, sanitizers, and untested, misleading skincare products may be to blame for many problems. But a little-known area of science is shining light on our skin microbiome--the trillions of microbes that live on our skin and in our pores. These microbes influence everything from acne, eczema, and dry skin to how we smell. The new goal of skin care will be to cultivate a healthy biome--and to embrace the meaning of "clean" in the natural sense. This can mean doing much less, saving time, money, energy, water, and plastic bottles in the process.



James Hamblin discusses:

· The history of hygiene and it’s introduction of soap 100 years ago to prevent the spread of disease

· The importance of washing your hands

· Why people have an obsession with over-cleaning themselves

· The quickly evolving skincare industry and how it is full of misleading advertising

· Research on the skin microbiome, how our overuse of products is affecting it, and the best ways to build a strong one

· His hopes for the new era of skin care

· How with the history and science of your skin and the products you’re using that you can separate the “need” to use them from the societal, economic and cultural pressures that are making you feel that way

· How the pandemic could mark a chance to reexamine how much cleanliness is good for us, and what practices we’d be better off without (but again! Wash your hands!)

· The most effective ways to prevent contracting the coronavirus and the most recent science and news surrounding the pandemic.


CLEAN explores the ongoing, radical change in the way we think about our skin, introducing readers to the emerging science that will be at the forefront of health and wellness conversations in coming years.


ABOUT CLEAN
A preventative medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic explains the surprising and unintended effects of our hygiene practices in this informative and entertaining introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics.

Keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. Confusing messages from health authorities and ineffective treatments have left many people desperate for reliable solutions. An enormous alternative industry is filling the void, selling products that are often of questionable safety and totally unknown effectiveness.

In Clean, doctor and journalist James Hamblin explores how we got here, examining the science and culture of how we care for our skin today. He talks to dermatologists, microbiologists, allergists, immunologists, aestheticians, bar-soap enthusiasts, venture capitalists, Amish people, theologians, and straight-up scam artists, trying to figure out what it really means to be clean. He even experiments with giving up showers entirely, and discovers that he is not alone.

Along the way he realizes that most of our standards of cleanliness are less related to health than most people think. A major part of the picture has been missing: a little-known ecosystem known as the skin microbiome—the trillions of microbes that live on our skin and in our pores. These microbes are not dangerous; they’re more like an outer layer of skin that no one knew we had, and they influence everything from acne, eczema, and dry skin to how we smell. The new goal of skin care will be to cultivate a healthy biome—and to embrace the meaning of “clean” in the natural sense. This can mean doing much less, saving time, money, energy, water, and plastic bottles in the process.

Lucid, accessible, and deeply researched, Clean explores the ongoing, radical change in the way we think about our skin, introducing readers to the emerging science that will be at the forefront of health and wellness conversations in coming years.


About the Author

James Hamblin, MD, MPH, is a staff writer at The Atlantic, a lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health, and a specialist in preventive medicine. He is the author of If Our Bodies Could Talk and hosted a video series of the same name. He's based in Brooklyn, New York. He only uses soap on his hands.

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