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Skin 101

Heike Zelnhefer
Years ago, when I started making my own body products, I became interested in not only the ingredients of cosmetics but also why it was so important to me to make my own pot of cream. I needed to know what I put onto my skin. With having been unable to read most of the ingredient list that was printed on a label, I felt the need to keep it simple. So in an effort to write about topics that pertain to wellness, I also feel it is important to understand the functions of our skin. Today’s entry is dedicated just for that…

Recently, I had downloaded an iPod application about different toxins or pollutants found in my neighborhood. Curious as I was, I was shocked to see that there are 63 pollutant sources, ranging from Air to Water to Ground and Radio Waves in my neighborhood! Wow! All of these affect us one way or another. We either eat or drink pollutants, breathe them in, or absorb them through our skin.

With so many different pollutants and especially with the recent natural disasters and the radioactive scare in Japan, it is easy to understand why we are leaning more and more toward purchasing organic products. However, do we apply the same wisdom to our skin care products? Not so much. Commercially available skin care includes many ingredients that are borderline harmful. While some of the ingredients listed may not be harmful in a single application, using the product over a longer period of time may then be a different story. In order to understand why it is so important to use organic products not only for the foods we eat but also for our skin care, it is important to know how our skin works and functions.

It is obvious that our skin is a complex organ that protects us from many environmental influences, chemicals, pathogens and/or sun exposure. Little thought goes into the function of the skin and even less thought goes into what our skin is absorbing. A study done in 2009 reported that silver nanoparticles absorption through intact and damaged skin was very low but detectable. Silver nanoparticles could be detected in the stratum corneum by electron microscopy.

That all said, whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed sooner or later by your body through the blood vessels in your skin. In making your own body products and by using organic ingredients, you can be sure that whatever you put on your skin is safe and nourishing so that you have a functioning organ for a very long time.



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