Your Skin, The Bare Truth
Our skin is our first line of defense.
The skin is only a few millimeters thick yet is by far the largest organ in the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. Amazingly, we replace our skin about every two weeks.
The skin has very important vital functions for keeping the physiological and biochemical conditions of the body in its optimum state. The most important functions of the skin are:
Regulates body temperature.
Prevents loss of essential body fluids, and penetration of toxic substances.
Protection of the body from harmful effects of the sun and radiation.
Excretes toxic substances with sweat.
Immunological function mediated by Langerhans cells.
Sensory organ for touch, heat, cold, socio-sexual and emotional sensations.
Vitamin D synthesis from its precursors under the effect of sunlight.
The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. It stands to reason that we need to keep our skin healthy and that a quick turnover time is beneficial.
Our skin is our first line of defense and often rather than help, we hinder it with toxic chemicals in our cosmetics and personal-care products. We are often the victims of savvy marketers claiming to have a healthy product when in most cases there are thousands of chemicals in these products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. Researchers in the U.S report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.
The same way you look at food labels, you should do the same for labels on your personal care and beauty products. Putting chemicals on our skin or scalp may be more detrimental than ingesting them. When you eat, enzymes in the saliva and stomach break down what’s ingested and flush it out of the body. However, chemicals on the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream without any filtering or degrading. Imagine what the cumulative effects of long-term use may do.
The top 12 toxic ingredients to avoid include:
- DEET (diethyltoluamide)
- DMDM (dimethyl-dimethyl) Hydantion
- FD&C Color Pigments
- Mineral Oil
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
- Synthetic Fragrances
To limit, or avoid exposure to these chemicals, read labels, avoid heavily scented or colored products and buy certified organic products.
Be Healthy by Choice and not by Chance
author: Gary Lindner, Ph.D.