Skin - Body's Largest Organ

The Body's Largest Organ: The Skin

With skin covering approximately twenty square feet of the human body, it is the largest human organ and is your first line of defense against harmful substances, temperature, infection, and dehydration. For adults, the skin is between 15 and 20 percent of total body weight. Therefore, healthy skin is very important for overall well-being.

The skin can absorb many types of toxins and petrochemicals due to its large surface area. This can result in cancer-caused compounds slowing building up in the body and accumulating in the fat.

This is the primary reason why you would not want to buy soaps made with poor quality essential oils, or use poor quality essential oils. There are some I've seen who say it doesn't matter and to use a high quality essential oil is a waste when you can get the same scent from a synthetic.

Since skin is one of our largest organs – I certainly don't want cheap essential oils in my soaps!

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration does not regulate the ingredients in soap

Some ingredients in mass-marketed soap including Isopropyl Alcohol, fragrances, DEA, FD&C Colors, Propylene Glycol and Triclosan have been proven harmful to human health. Isopropyl alcohol's drying effects can also remove protective oils and create microscopic cracks in the skin, which can trap and harbor bacteria and other pathogens. DEA (diethanolamine) are hormone disrupting chemicals known to form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. Dr. Samuel Epstein of the University of Illinois has found that repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancers.

Regarding coal-tar derived FD&C colors, A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients states "many pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation…and absorption (of certain colors) can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death." Do you really want pretty colors when they could cause sensitivity, irritation or worse?

Instead of synthetic colors, German chamomile can be used instead. Rich in chamazuline, an intense blue pigment, chamomile actually has anti-inflammatory properties that accelerate skin healing. Moreover, other compounds in chamomile and other therapeutic-grade essential oils combine therapeutic action with delightful aromas. Peppermint oil imparts a delightful fresh fragrance to a soap while containing compounds such as menthol that act as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory.

Selecting The Right Soap

Carefully review the ingredients in the soap you are currently using. If you can't pronounce the ingredients or your skin is dry or irritated, identify a natural vegetable-based soap bar that addresses the needs of your skin type. Another way to test for the right soap: wash one forearm with the soap near the elbow joint. Skin tends to be very sensitive in this location and potential irritation will be noticed quickly.



Creating beauty out of nature's bounty, one bar at a time. The Natural Cottage



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