The skin that covers your body represents your largest organ. Because it is permeable, anything you put on it will absorb through it and show up internally. Showering exposes the entire skin to whatever is in the water. One study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of all the chemicals, like chlorine, found in drinking water.  Other studies found 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients on the face and underarms because these areas are several times more permeable than broad body surfaces. Because of the porous nature of skin, it is important to consider the potential harm ingredients in skin care products can cause. Harsh, toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances can all make their way into your body, your blood and lymphatic system.

Skin Care Ingredients

The majority of typical body care products contain a mix of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, and irritants. To eliminate a lot of toxic chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances that are harmful to our bodies, it is important to find certified organic and natural skin care products. It is important to read labels and get educated about what ingredients to avoid when selecting skin care products. A good motto to go by is if you can’t say it easily or you would only see it in chemistry class, don’t use it!

Petroleum derivatives, preservatives, synthetic fragrances and dyes go by many names. A few examples of common ingredients to stay away from are Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Luaroyl Sarcosinate, Potassium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sulfates, Parabens, and Phenoxyethanol.  Below is an example of a common skin care product and the synthetic ingredients it contains:

Intensive Care Dry Skin Lotion

Ingredients from packaging: ACTIVE INGREDIENT: ETHYLHEXYL P-METHOXYCINNAMATE (SPF 5). OTHER INGREDIENTS: WATER, GLYCERIN, STEARIC ACID, GLYCOL STEARATE, SUNFLOWER SEED OIL, SOYA STEROL, LECITHIN, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, RETINYL PALMITATE, DIMETHICONE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, TEA, MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE, FRAGRANCE, CARBOMER, STEARAMIDE AMP, CORN OIL, METHYLPARABEN, DMDM HYDANTOIN, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PG, BHT, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, YELLOW NO. 10.

The developing organs of babies and children are particularly sensitive to chemicals so it is especially important to use safe products for them. Small changes can result in big improvements for long-term health and wellness of your family.

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