Thursday, 24 May 2012

Health Tip of the Week: Our Skin

We expose our skin to harsh weather conditions and products containing toxic petroleum derivatives that are drying, irritating, and pore-clogging. Alcohols and solvents destroy the skin's pH balance, stripping away the skin's defence barrier to infection while contributing to wrinkles, fine lines, spots, red veins, or other discolorations. Skin is a living, breathing, blood-circulating organism that must be treated with the same care we'd give our heart, liver, and lungs. In fact, Chinese medicine considers skin to be the "third lung."

Contrary to previous beliefs that skin was impermeable, we now know that skin easily absorbs chemicals, hence the nicotine patch, nitroglycerine patch, and birth control patch. Toxic chemicals in makeup, personal care products, commercial, industrial, hobby, and household products are also absorbed into the bloodstream through dermal contact. Skin is a two-way membrane, and the body's largest organ of elimination via perspiration, which is why saunas are so healthful in ridding the body of unwanted toxins. 

Skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis (cutis), and the subdermis (subcutaneous). The epidermis has no blood vessels, but contains many small nerve endings, and its outermost layer is constantly shedding and being replaced. The middle layer, dermis or cutis, is highly sensitive with a vascular layer of connective tissue containing blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve endings, sweat and oil glands, hair follicles, arrector pili muscles, and papillae. The subcutaneous tissue makes up the third layer of skin. It is adipose (fatty) tissue, necessary for energy. The subcutaneous tissue acts as a protective cushion for the outer skin, hair, and nails.

Sebum is a complex oil released onto skin to slow down water evaporation while preventing excess moisture from penetrating into the skin. Exposure to wind and cold have a drying effect on skin. Mineral-oil based creams appear to be helpful, but eventually inhibit the skin's natural moisturizing process.

Exposures to toxic chemicals add up. According to a survey by the EWG and a coalition of health advocacy organizations, the average American adult uses nine personal care products daily containing a total of 126 unique chemical ingredients.

The survey also revealed the following:

12.2 million adults are exposed to known or probable human carcinogens through daily use of personal care products.

4.3 million women are exposed daily to toxic ingredients linked to fertility impairment and fetal development problems.

20% of all adults are exposed daily to the top seven carcinogens commonly found in personal care products: hydroquinone, ethylene, dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide.
Information found at

1 comment:

Thanks for your comments and feedback! I enjoy reading each one :)

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