I am not going to get too scientific on you but I think it’s important we go back to our science class days and remind ourselves how our skin works.
The skin is the largest organ in our body. Adults carry some 3.6 kilograms and 2 square meters of it.*
There are three layers to our skin. I liked this little image which explains it simply..**
These layers create a strong barrier which means chemicals have a tough time getting through. However the flip side is that the skin is also a carrier and we know that chemicals can penetrate through the layers and end up in our bloodstream – consider nicotine patches and fentanyl which recently killed Prince!
In this great post which answers in detail the question of whether cosmetic ingredients can enter your bloodstream via the skin, the biologist author explains “our skin protects us from exposure to certain chemicals while actually intensifying the effects of others.”
Her conclusion: “One thing is absolutely clear. It is impossible to put a figure on this absorption rate and it is impossible to estimate how much ends up in our bloodstream. Every person is different and every chemical is different.“+
The reality is that many chemicals have already be banned from cosmetics by government bodies so there is obviously enough research to show the negative effects of some chemicals in our body.
In fact, The European Union (EU) law bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. Scary thing is the the US has only banned 11 !#
So back to your skin..
Skin covers our whole body and it does absorb certain chemicals. When we use products on our body that contain a large amount of ingredients, some of them questionable, we know that some of these will get through our skin and enter our bloodstream. The results on our health may vary, the effects may not be instant or obvious and they may take years to appear but there is evidence that
So you need to decide whether it’s worth the risk of using products on yourself and your family if you know they contain harmful ingredients or whether its worth investigating alternative products you could use which are more natural and is likely to have less negative effects on health.
That’s my thought for today.