Typically when we think about how the body receives nourishment, it is by oral ingestion. We eat food, it is digested in the stomach and nutrients are absorbed into the blood from the intestines. The skin is also an organ of absorption. Some substances we put on the skin will remain in the outer layer of the skin, but some are actually able to absorb directly into the blood. There are various opinions on what kinds of molecules and how much our skin actually absorbs and while it is still an area requiring more research, I think that when we are dealing with known toxins, carcinogens, endocrine disrupters and irritants, it is better to be cautious and avoid exposure. So, the next time you slather on a thick layer of moisturizer or suds up in the shower, take the time to read the ingredients that you may be ingesting, much like you would when preparing a meal. Would you eat these ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Methyl Paraben, Fragrance? If you knew that some of the ingredients in your common skincare products were toxic and that some of those toxic ingredients may end up in your blood stream, would you still use them? The choice is up to you, but know that the choices you make may not only effect you, they may effect your children and even your grandchildren as toxic ingredients, such as Parabens and Pthlates (found in fragrance) can accumulate in your body and the world around you.
It can be hard as a consumer to steer clear of products that contain toxic crap. It is in the food we eat, household cleaners, baby products and our cosmetics. Some of the toxins, like Pthalates, are hidden in words like “fragrance” or “perfume”. Shopping for me takes a lot more time now that I read each label carefully, but I have made a commitment to myself to stop blindly consuming poison and supporting companies who knowingly poison the world trying to make a buck. I do it for myself, my children and the environment. I believe a lot of these toxins are unnecessary and avoidable. So, how do we get rid of them? Simple, just stop using them. Educate yourself about these common toxins and do not support companies that put them in their products.
Just like the food you eat, the ingredients in your skin care products should be nutritious and non toxic. Healthy skin, skin that has proper structure and optimal function, is often what we associate with beautiful skin. While this amazing organ does receive nourishment from the inside via the network of vessels and capillaries, it also has the capacity to absorb nutrients applied topically which can help to mitigate the effects of external stress, such as sun damage and pollution. Oh, need a hint on where to find Nutritious skin care products? Look no further (insert shameless plug for Twisted Sisters Skin Nutrition here).
Want to find out if the ingredients in your products are safe visit The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/