Often overlooked, our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. Because it’s porous, whatever you put on it absorbs directly into your skin layers, muscles and fat, and ultimately the bloodstream (some say in as little as 26 seconds!).
Although there is a growing understanding that toxins in our food (such as pesticides) harm our bodies, many people are still unaware of the impact of everyday bathroom products on their health.
You Are What You Absorb
When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body. But when you put chemicals on your skin, it gets absorbed without filtering, so there’s no protection against toxins.
While a lot of chemicals are too big to be absorbed by the skin, others are just small enough, and some (found in many lotions and sunscreens) are even designed to penetrate the skin quickly and easily.
Research says the average US woman uses 12 personal care products a day, containing 168 different chemicals. Overwhelming, right? Here’s some small steps you can take to cleanse your personal care routine:
1. What’s Your Number?
Create a list of how many products you put on your skin daily. This could include soap, toothpaste, moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, lotions, deodorant, perfume, toner, cleanser, body wash, shampoo, etc.
2. Prioritize Products with High Skin Absorption
The task of scrutinizing every ingredient in the bevy of daily products you use can be daunting. Start with these as the top priority for clean ingredients: 1) anything you soak in, and 2) anything you apply and do not wash off (lotion, face and body creams, and oils).
3. Replace One Product with a Natural Alternative
To eliminate a lot of toxic chemicals, choose natural skin care products where you can. But what on earth do those ingredient lists actually mean? Check out Whole Foods’ extensive list of unacceptable ingredients and pick one product from Step #1 to replace from your routine that fits the toxic bill.
4. Rinse & Repeat
Once you’ve replaced the first item, take a look at the next one you can replace until your entire lineup of products is something you’re happy with.
Something to keep in mind is if the products you use make it easy for to find the list of ingredients (like we do) then that’s a good start. If it’s a nightmare to locate, you have to question whether you can trust the product.
Your body is an excellent chemical delivery system, so do your body a favor and start to revise your skincare regime until your entire lineup of daily products is something you can feel confident applying directly to your skin and absorbed by your body.