Toxins and How They Effect More Than Just the Skin on Your Potatoes
So often I see someone confused as to why it is important to avoid chemicals in their body wash or shampoo. “I’m not going to EAT my shampoo!” they say. The fact is, you don’t have to ingest a product for the chemicals to enter your body. The skin is our largest organ, covering our entire body and it is quite porous. A study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that we absorb 64% of chemicals found in drinking water through our skin. Medications are often prescribed in a cream for the skin to patients who can’t handle them orally and transdermal application is the best way to supplement with magnesium. The skin is a great way to get substances (good and bad) into our bodies quickly. Other studies have found the face to be several times more permeable than the rest of the body, aside from the armpits and genitalia which absorb 100% of fragrance ingredients (I’m looking at YOU deodorant and feminine hygiene products). So what does this mean for me and you? It means that not only should we concern ourselves with how our food is grown, ensuring that it is organic and free of toxic chemicals but that we must also be aware of what is in our skin care regimens.
When I started my journey to a more holistic lifestyle, I became more and more aware of the chemicals in everyday products. I slowly began switching out my toxic products for non-toxic, organic options. I started with cleaning products, ditched my scented candles for essential oils and quickly realized what kind of terrible ingredients were in my shampoo, body wash, face wash and even toothpaste. I was shocked when I started looking up some of the ingredients and their negative effects. Propylparaben, benzalkonium chloride, petrolatum, and fragrance, just to name a few. I challenge you to look up the negative side effects linked to these chemicals if you are not already aware. They include allergies/immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, developmental/reproductive toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), and organ system toxicity. Every one of those ingredients I listed are all found in a popular baby lotion. Babies are much less able to filter and detox these chemicals than grown adults. 1 in 6 children have a neurological disorder and America has the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation. Those numbers should cause everyone to look more closely at what we are putting on and in our bodies and our children’s bodies.
I have always had sensitive skin, needing to use plant based, non-toxic laundry detergent and avoid all synthetic fragrances. Do you know how many things contain synthetic fragrances? A LOT. I had so much trouble finding skin care products that were clean, gentle, organic and actually effective. I tried drug store brands, prescriptions from a dermatologist, plant based cleansers… you name it, I tried it. Finally I decided to make my own. I turned to the age old tradition of oil cleansing. Using organic carrier oils and organic essential oils, I formulated the perfect combination, free of all the nasty ingredients, gentle and very effective. My red, blotchy, angry skin calmed down. It stopped itching. It wasn’t overly dry in some spots and oily in others, just perfectly hydrated. I was amazed at what natural oils could do that hundreds of dollars in other products could not. During that time I was working in a natural health store and came across person after person who had tried many different brands and just could not find skin care that didn’t irritate their skin, cost an arm and a leg, or contain harmful ingredients. I began making my oil cleansers for other people as well. I formulated three cleansers for different skin types. All simple, organic oils such as castor, almond, jojoba, avocado, grapeseed and essential oils of lavender, frankincense, and rosemary. Each of these nutrient dense oils have incredible properties that have been used by our ancestors for centuries. Mind Your Own Skin Care was created out of love and a passion for health.
I source my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, a small company in Oregon for several reasons. They don’t green wash their ingredients. If you aren’t aware of green washing, make yourself aware. The term refers to a company who makes their products appear “green” (non-toxic, good for the environment, etc.) and usually charge a pretty penny for them when in reality they are just as bad for you and the Earth as any other brand. Mountain Rose Herbs is an organic, sustainable, fair trade company. The benefits of sourcing ingredients from a company like this far surpass the health benefits that my customers will get from using an organic product. I and in turn, my customers, are supporting fair trade principles, the health of the farmers who plant and harvest these crops and the health of the soil from which they are grown.