The Reason I Care What Touches My Skin.
Why the Personal Care Products You Use, Matters.
There is a growing amount of focus on the importance of eating clean food and drinking clean water. Equally as important are the products we use to care for our physical bodies. There isn’t much sense in cleaning up what you put in your mouth. If you don’t pay attention to what you put on your skin. Especially since the skin is the largest organ of the body. Exactly what is in the Personal Care Products you use?
The skin has many functions. One of them is keeping all the bad stuff in our environment on the outside. But it would be silly to think that it keeps everything out. The fact is, the skin cannot keep everything toxic out. Which is why it is important to know what is in the personal care products I use. Since the skin can only keep so much out. It is safer to know what my skin is potentially absorbing.
Just How Much Does the Skin Absorb?
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this question. Mostly because it depends on a number of factors. Factors include the thickness of the skin where contact is made. The specific substance that has come into contact with the skin. The length of time the substance is allowed to remain. And if there is any other substance involved.
Why it’s Important to Know What’s in Your Personal Care Products
In a paper by Marcy Laub, for Harvard University, the author describes how compounds such as parabens and triclosan can disrupt the endocrine system. This is because they mimic hormones like estrogen. Parabens and triclosan are preservatives and are used in a wide variety of products. For example, they keep the cosmetics we use from becoming rotten before we used them up. The author, goes on to mention that there is no knowing the internal damage occurring as a result of these chemicals being absorbed. Without a way to test, there is no way to know.
As if that isn’t a scary enough thought. Consider that a lot of these products are being rinsed directly into our drains. Meaning they inevitably end up in our water supply. I admit the body can handle a certain amount of toxicity. The problem arises when the environment is saturated with products containing these toxins. Even if there is a safe amount that the body can process. How can anyone hope to stay within a safe range when these chemicals can now be found in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the products we put on our bodies?
Personally, I am not willing to wait to find out if using products containing these chemicals is safe. I prefer to be proactive, so I search out the cleanest products I can find. Even the FDA has started to take a closer look at what using these products are doing to our health. In 2016 the FDA banned triclosan and 18 other antimicrobial chemicals from use in household soap according to an article by NPR. A year later, in a final ruling, 19 active ingredients used in OTC antiseptic washes were removed from the Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective (GRAS/GRAE) lists.
A Fun Activity
Instead of taking anyone’s word for it. You can test your skins ability to absorb substances it comes into contact with yourself. It’s simple. All you have to do is find a raw clove of garlic. Bruise the clove and cut it in two. Rub the exposed inner portion of the garlic on the bottom of one of your bare feet. Within about 20 minutes, you will be able to notice a bit of a garlic odor to your breath