Our Skin: Beyond The Job We Think It Only Has


Our skin has many jobs. Many more jobs than we often think about.

Very often, I wonder why are so many people presenting with cancer, autoimmune disease, multiple chemical sensitives, hormonal imbalances, and much more? Is there a correlation between personal care products we put on our skin and disease?

There sure might be.

  • Women, on average, use 12 products a day
  • Men use  6  a day
  • And teens, use A TON

(And these products range from shampoo & conditioner, soap, shaving cream, body cream, hair products, and makeup.)

We are exposed to approximately 80 to 126 different chemical ingredients every day.

And 80 to 90% of them have never been tested.

I was educated, with the help of a customer, how unregulated the personal care industry is. Only 30 chemicals banned in this industry ( in the EU, 1500 are banned) and the last time Congress passed a federal law within the beauty industry was in 1938 and was only a page and a half long.


OUR SKIN (a little physiology)

It is our largest organ and when completely spread out, takes up approximately 20 square feet. It has numerous jobs from the obvious a protective barrier to temperature regulator, relaying sensory information to the brain and vitamin synthesizer.

The 2 main layers: Epidermis and Dermis.

These layers keep our skin hydrated by regulating evaporation and allows for substance absorption. This is important because what you put on your skin will be absorbed and if not beneficial, it just may add much more work in your body and create disease or body imbalances.

The question asked most of the time, doesn’t our skin have rapid turnover? Yes, it does turn over: new cells are continually being made and shred. Although, as we age, it decreases. In a younger person, it is approximately every 30 days and as age, it’s about every 75 days.

It’s a good thing our skin has a rapid turnover, however, what we apply to our skin will be absorbed within a minute.

And this poses an extra challenge and can be a little more tricky than with the food we eat.

With food, we can choose whole foods with lots of fiber, look for certified organic and avoid processed foods, however, with the personal care industry, we need to be much more aware and careful.

Since there is barely any regulation in this industry, we can not assume it is safe. A brand may say it’s organic, which is fabulous BUT do they add chemicals? Chemicals that are linked to disease? They just might because no one is regulating them.

Pay attention to personal care products labels: ALL OF THEM.

There are many great companies that are careful with their ingredient choices. However, I decided to work with one of them because they go above and beyond to not only make safe products but also have a mission of changing registration to pass stronger regulating laws. Beautycounter stands by every single ingredient they use, and they are happy to give a detailed explanation of the safety and use of the ingredients. They work with the EWG, they are a B corp (which is fascinatingly amazing – like Dr. Bronners – another great company – and Patagonia), they are going to DC to demand more regulation, and best of all their products are high performing.

They never exploit industry loopholes that allow companies to keep secrets. They tell you everything. (I LOVE THIS)

I have spent the last 15 + years talking about the importance of what we put in our bodies but have not spoken enough about what we put on it. I realize what a mistake this is and I feel grateful to be learning more about this industry and sharing what I now know.

Be aware with me and make changes in the products you put on your skin.


dr. heather

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