Beauty Myths, Part 3: More False Beliefs About Skin Care
Chemicals in Cosmetics can’t absorb into the Body.
Our skin is the largest organ we have and often the most abused. We scrub the exposed skin, usually our face and neck, apply lotions, creams, pastes and ointments and then neglect the skin not seen by others.
Many people think the skin makes us air and water tight and don’t consider that what applied to the skin can, and is absorbed into the blood stream and then into the other organs. But that is how HRT and nicotine patches work. They deliver medication into the blood stream to remedy the ailment. A few years ago, experiments were started with dermal patches to deliver medication to the brain for people suffering dementia.
It is, therefore, reasonable to assume chemicals in cosmetics and skin care products do travel through the skin layers into the blood stream and are carried to the organs.
Scientists have documented an enormous amount of research results indicating the adverse effects of some chemicals that are included ingredients in cosmetics. Consumers are left in the dark about the results of such research unless a lobby group makes an effort to expose a potential problem with a particular chemical.
Phthalates are an example of toxins in skin care products that alter the hormones. Used as a fixer in synthetic fragrance and colour and a plasticizer in nail varnish. Phthalates are present in many consumer products and there is mounting evidence they have detrimental impact on the human body.
Scientific studies from researchers’ worldwide find absorption of some chemicals impact adversely on animals of many species, from mammals, fish and amphibians.
That Fine, Flaky Scalp is ‘Dandruff’
Like the skin, the scalp is shedding skin cells each day. Our hair makes it more difficult to remove the skin flakes from the scalp and, if left for a length of time, warmth and moisture from the head may cause bacteria to form a crust on the scalp that is known as dandruff.
The result is a yellowish, thick build up of scalp skin cells that take patience and several treatments to remove, sometimes loosening clumps of hair as well.
Fine, powdery flakes from the scalp are actually dry scalp, usually caused by an ingredient in shampoo, sodium lauryl sulphate. This chemical inflames the scalp skin cells causing them to lift and flake.
Clever marketing from shampoo companies promote dry scalp as dandruff, but they invariably contain the same foaming chemical that causes the problem. Shampoos with non-chemical based foaming agent are rare, but worth seeking as they are not as drying. Massage the scalp regularly to promote blood supply to the scalp and hair follicles as well as loosening the dead scalp skin.
‘Natural’ Skin Care products are Chemical-Free.
Worldwide, it is not illegal to advertise skin care products as ‘natural’ even if they contain chemicals. As an example, Manufacturers will claim that coconut oil, synthesized to produce the foaming agent Cocomide DEA is a natural ingredient. But once the chemical reaction has taken place on the coconut oil it is no longer natural or even safe as the manufacturing process may produce a contaminant called nitrosamines. This will not be listed on the label, as a contaminant it is not an intended ingredient. Nitrosamines have shown to cause cancer in all species of laboratory animal including the primates, the closest relative to the human race.
Inspect the ingredients label closely of most ‘natural’ skin care products and you are likely to find the botanicals, usually marketed as the benefits of the product, are in the middle, if not the end of the list.
When you understand that the first 3 to 4 ingredients listed make up 90% to 95% of the entire product, the ‘natural botanical’ ingredients are in such small a proportion they will be of little benefit to the user. Many products are mainly water and chemicals with a few herbals thrown in so they can be promoted as ‘natural.’