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The 'Outside' Job of Skin Care

Your skin is much more than an outer surface for the world to see — it’s the largest organ of your body!

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Plus, it has a number of amazing responsibilities that you probably don’t think about on a daily basis:

  • Protects your internal organs from injury and infection.
  • Helps detoxify wastes through perspiration.
  • Provides an important line of immune defense against infections — your healthy skin creates a barrier to viruses and bacteria.
  • Protects you against extreme changes in temperature, through its thermoregulatory effect of controlling heat flow between you and your environment.
  • Produces and stores vitamin D, which is important to your immune system.
  • Rich in receptors, it allows you to sense conditions around you — like hard/soft and hot/cold — and send information to your brain so you can react to it for self-preservation.
  • Protects your body from sunburns.
  • Protects you from dehydration.

The loss of any of these functions will compromise your best health — and can accelerate signs of normal aging.

Put simply, your skin plays a major role in your health.

It functions as an organ that can absorb and excrete both nutrients and toxins through its pores. The condition of your skin is a powerful reflection of just how healthy you are on the inside.

Because your skin has the ability to absorb whatever you put on it, careful choices are critical. You want to give your skin the same thoughtful care you give your internal organs. In a moment, I’ll tell you about some things that help support the health of your skin.

But first, let’s take a quick look at some of the ingredients in today’s skin care products that can compromise the health of your skin (or even more of your body functions).

What if Looks Really Could Kill?

We believe containers when they show a “danger” warning, or a “skull and crossbones” to warn of toxins in a product. And we respond by not applying them to our skin or eating them!

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Potential toxins used in the name of beauty – not a fair trade…

Yet many skin care products use ingredients with unrecognizable and unpronounceable names.

Personally, I rarely put anything consciously on my skin that I wouldn’t be willing to put in my mouth.

It is well-proven that when you apply these chemicals to your skin, they enter your bloodstream and become integrated into your body tissues, In fact, it is probably safer to eat these ingredients than to rub them on your skin (although I strongly recommend you don’t do either!).

However, if you do happen to eat these chemicals, your digestive system can produce specific enzymes  to break down these toxins and excrete them… something that doesn’t  readily occur when you absorb them through the skin.

Potentially controversial ingredients continue to be used. Why? Because they are cheap, readily available, and easily diluted.

Does Your Skin Care Product Contain These Chemicals?

Why don’t you run and get a bottle of any of the skin moisturizers that you are currently using. You might find that your personal care products contain one or probably more of many possibly dangerous ingredients.

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:

  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
  • Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
  • Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.
  • Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.
  • Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.
  • Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.
  • Toluene Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
  • Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.

    Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin? Hopefully not...

You’d be better served by switching to skin care products made of plant names you recognize, can pronounce, and could even eat (if you had to).

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