The skin is more than just the layer separating us from the outside world. The skin is our largest organ with important functions to support our survival. It acts as temperature regulator, a major route for the elimination of toxins, produces vitamin D and with the right nutrients, has the ability to heal itself and defend us against trauma and infection. Therefore, if the eyes are the windows to our soul, the skin is ultimately the barometer of our inner health.
When it comes to skincare products we all know that companies spend a lot of money on advertising to sell more products. As a marketer, I don’t see anything wrong with it unless the consumer health is at risk. Unfortunately, advertisers often use misleading messages to seduce us by playing on our vulnerabilities and insecurities, especially with the female skincare products. For example, once you simply check the small print on many labels, you see that the ‘scientific tests’ were done on 30 women, using ‘self-education’, or compared to ‘unmoisturised skin’. This is the same as testing vodka to see if it gets people drunk, those who drank it got drunk, those who didn’t remained sober – no surprises there!
The situation becomes worse when we look at the ingredient list. It can be daunting to look through a whole lot of unknown Latin names and unpronounceable Chemical Ingredients!
The first ingredient on the list is the main ingredient, sometimes making up 50% of the product. In most creams the first ingredient is water (Aqua) followed by a nasty Paraffinum Liquidum- Petroleum by-product. We are unknowlingly exposing ourselves to harsh chemicals (many linked to health issues) through the daily use of commercial skin care products. Most of these products contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – a synthetic detergent made from petroleum or plant fatty acid. It is known to be harmful to our skin and its use in children products is particularly worrying.
Recent studies also found that Parabens applied to our skin from commercial products get absorbed directly into the blood stream and these chemicals enter our body. The Methylparaben has also been linked to the premature ageing of skin.
I consider such actions as crimes against healthy skin and only we as consumers can stop them. Health is a two-way process starting from the inside, ie the food we eat and the outside, ie skin care products we use.
What about our simple routine of having a shower? Commercial soap is usually produced from tallow and other animal fats plus synthetic compounds added to produce texture and hardness. However, during its manufacturing, the glycerin produced is separated out to get sold on to the cosmetics, food or explosives industries. This is an enormous loss – glycerin is a natural moisturizer and its removal dries out skin dramatically.
Therefore, we should look for 100% natural ingredients in our skin care products, coupled with anti-aging oils such as coconut, olive, jojoba and eco-sustainable palm oils, fuelled by shea butter – all must be in their virgin, organic and unrefined forms to ensure that their full benefits are preserved. Essential oils penetrate to all layers of the skin due to their small molecular size which allows them to speed up the process of cell renewal and enter our skin capillaries.
Another reason to choose natural ingredients is to protect yourself from toxins accumulating in the body and causing long-term damage. Moreover, constant exposure to toxins can lead to fat gain. Fat has the function of toxin storage and when we are exposed to environmental toxins, or when we consume them in the form of preservatives, additives, coffee, alcohol and so on, the body is unable to metabolise and remove these materials and they tend to become store in the fatty tissues. The body may even produce fat especially for the storage of dangerous substances. Due to the slow metabolism of fatty tissue, once toxins are stored they are likely to remain undistributed – the body does not want to circulate them again.
Healthy skin, nutrition and beauty go hand in hand, and the skin reflects our wellness. The best way to achieve optimum skin health is by taking time out every day for ourselves – choosing the right products, food and reducing toxins exposure.
Skin is like a mirror – it reflects everything that’s happening inside the body and the mind. Make your mirror worth watching every day.
Let’s walk the walk of glowing and healthy skin together………..
With health & balance,