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Fun fact: the largest organ of the body is the skin. Less fun fact: you are not treating your skin with kindness. 

Skin as an organ is quite complex. There are two main layers of the skin, the inner dermis, and the outer epidermis. The inner dermis’ purpose is to regulate your body’s temperature, mostly through producing sweat. Sweat is essential to flush out toxins and cool down the body. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin and it is designed as a protective sheath. The epidermis is your first defense against environmental pathogens and free radicals and monitors water expenditure. 

Many people treat the skin as a barrier to our insides. While that is technically the case, it’s not the whole story. Skin does not act as a wall between the outside world and what’s going on inside our body but acts more like a mesh net. What we put on our skin has an effect on our overall health. 

The world has been moving in a more conscious way–from the foods, we eat to the cars we drive. But, have you ever wondered what happens to the lotion you lather on your skin each day? We know it absorbs into your skin to soften and soothe, but is that it? No. 

Skin is permeable. The products you put on your skin leech into your bloodstream and therefore, your whole body. Nicotine patches are a prime example of this. This is why people see measurable changes in their skin and health when they use clean and good skincare products. While not everything can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, it is important to be mindful of the products, ie. chemicals, you are introducing to one’s body. 

Here is an experiment–think of your daily routine, what are you putting on your skin? Personally, I instantly thought about 5 things. But then, after thinking in-depth, the number rose exponentially. 

-Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash

-Makeup products/Makeup removal products

-Deodorant

-Lotion

-Skincare products

-Hair Products

-Sunscreen

-Hand sanitizer/soap

-Nail polish/remover

And then, think of all the other things your skin comes in contact with:

-Dish soap

-Food

-Drinks

-Air pollution

-Cleaning supplies

-Other people/germs

-Laundry detergent

-Perfume

Before you know it, your skin has been in contact with 25 different “things” in a single day, and each one has potentially absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream. While this thought is daunting, this does not mean you need to throw out every product you own for a “cleaner” version.  A good rule to follow is how long it stays on my skin and what purpose is it meant to serve?

Your lotion and your face wash are not equal in that lotion is literally meant to stay on the skin, while your face wash is only on your skin for a fraction of the time. Reevaluate the products that linger and have the chance to potentially do some damage: lotions, deodorant, make-up, and sunscreen to name a few. But over time the switch to fully clean, organic products in all facets of life will provide the best outcome for your skin and overall health.

We can’t stop our skin from being penetrable, but we can be mindful of what we allow our skin to absorb. Your skin is vital and is a major component of your health. Take a few extra minutes to learn about the ingredients in your products, your skin, and your whole body will thank you.

 

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