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Musings of a False Philosopher
or
Back to the Roots?

RAINER VOEGELI
Skin Biology – DSM Nutritional Products. Member of
Household and Personal Care Today’s Scientific Advisory Board

During a recent sailing trip in the Aegean Sea we moored one afternoon on the small island of Pano Koufonisi, where we enjoyed a brilliant dinner in the tavern opposite the old harbor, accompanied by a carafe of free house wine. Back at the boat, the skipper welcomed us on board with yet more of that wonderful Greek wine. With each sip the uncountable stars in the infinite firmament sparkled more beautifully, and slowly I began to identify with those wise ancient Greek philosophers. My mind filled with questions like: Where did all these stars come from and where do they go? Where do we come from, where are we heading…?

Human evolution took a great leap forward with our expansion from the forest into open savannah. We learned to walk on two feet and lost our protective fur. In consequence our skin had to develop alternative strategies for protection. It is speculated that beneath their fur the early hominids had non-pigmented skin, like today’s apes. About 1.2 million years ago, UV-radiation and xeric stress to the epidermal barrier drove the development of cutaneous pigmentation, whereby melanocytes migrated from the hair shaft into the basal layer of the ep ...




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