Your body doesn’t absorb just the food and supplements you ingest but also the personal care products you slather on your skin. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and one of the most complicated. Its main function is to protect the body and act as a barrier to, among other things, toxins. Though the jury is still out on exactly how much of what we put on our skin is absorbed, it is true that some things we apply topically are absolutely absorbed into our bloodstream. Some ingredients can penetrate the surface and come into contact with the second layer of skin (called the dermis), and then they reach the blood vessels and structural tissue like collagen and elastin. This gives ingredients in your skin care a chance to make skin look firm, tight, and plump, but it also means those compounds circulate into lymph and blood, so the healthier the ingredient, the better. These chemicals can affect the immune system, nervous system, and reproductive system.
Another reason it pays to be selective with the ingredients in your skin care is that skin is thinner on the face than other areas of the body, like hands and feet. Ingredients are more easily absorbed by the skin when applied to the face, and this is why facial skin is more reactive to ingredients.
According to studies done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), women can put an average of 168 chemicals on their body through their skin care every day. While it’s hard to believe, the FDA doesn’t regulate chemicals in skin care and hasn’t passed a law on personal care products since 1938. In fact, there are only 11 cosmetic ingredients banned by the FDA, while in the EU, over 1,300 ingredients are banned. Simply put, switching to all-natural ingredients gives you peace of mind. Chemicals found in non-clean beauty can wreak havoc not only internally but also on the outer appearance of skin—causing irritation and breakouts. Natural skin care products are gentler on skin though just as effective and luxurious. Many people find that as they make the switch to an entirely clean routine, the products work better.
When to make the switch:
- You’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If chemicals from skin care ingredients can penetrate your bloodstream, they can reach your baby as it develops.
- You care about the environment. Not only is natural skin care better for your body, it’s better for the environment. Every time you use products high in potentially harmful chemicals, they’re being washed down the drain into local waterways, which harms the environment.
- You care about chemicals getting into your bloodstream. Everyone should be concerned about this.
Let’s take the best care of our skin with clean beauty!