In our modern age, the skin is commonly believed to be a strong barrier that protects the body (and it is), but it is often forgotten how permeable it is! Lotions, potions, deodorants, sunscreens, makeup, anti-[insert symptom here] cream, you name it- gets rubbed on, lathered, and re-applied. But where does it all go? How many pounds of parabens, sulfates, glycols, and chemicals you can’t pronounce is that a year? Those chemicals get absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body! Eventually they end up getting processed by the liver, and IF you have the right nutrient stores on hand, they will be eliminated via urine or out the digestive tract. But what if you don’t have the right nutrients on hand in your liver to process the chemical burden? Then what happens?
When the liver can’t process something properly for removal, it often stores it in adipose tissue where it is safer than it would be if it were to be left circulating in the body. However, over time these toxins can add up, and before we know it, we are carrying around a huge toxic burden. Not to mention these chemicals are often found in cancer samples.
“New research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled. Parabens are chemicals with estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer” (Dr. Mercola, 2012).
So what can we do about this? First, reduce your toxic burden by using food on your skin. I like to [try] follow a simple rule: If I wouldn’t eat it, my skin probably doesn’t want to either. Of course there are exceptions from time to time, but the key is the reduction of chemicals going into the body.
Second, build up nutrients in the body by eating real food and strengthening your digestion. This will help create more available nutrients and co-factors needed by your liver to ensure that you have on hand what your body needs to process toxins.
Foods for your skin (just a small list to get you thinking, read more ideas here)
- Essential oils: (my personal favorite) can be used to make your own beauty products, household cleaners, as well therapeutic plant medicine 🙂
- Coconut oil: works well to moisturize any part of the body (works great mixed with Aloe Vera), can also be used as a base to make your own deodorant, and toothpaste!
- Aloe Vera: great to moisturize, but be sure to check the ingredients for additives, they often sneak in there!
- Jojoba oil: great diluted with water on the face, or another area of the body.
- Tea Tree oil: Great for inflamed ingrown nails, it’s a strong anti-fungal/anti-microbial
- Shea butter/beeswax/coconut oil/zinc oxide/vitamin E oil: great ingredients to make your own sunscreen or lotion
Not sold? Try this: take 1-2 crush cloves of raw garlic, and place in the sole of your sock. Keep track of how long it takes to taste the garlic in your mouth!
Are there toxins in your skincare routine? What is the hardest product to give up? Please share in the comments.