Your skin covers your body and acts as a physical barrier to many of the pollutants in the atmosphere. When you use products such as cosmetics, lotions, and shampoos, the ingredients in these products come into direct contact with your body’s largest organ, the skin, which absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals in products that it comes into contact with directly into the bloodstream. When we apply these chemicals on our bodies, they enter directly into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, depositing in internal organs and body fat.
Did you know that many beauty products contain the same basic ingredient used in cars?
Many people might not be aware that the same product used to make a plastic bag or run a car is also used in products like shampoo, soap, hand and body lotions, and numerous cosmetics, from lip balm to mascara. Mineral oil is legally allowed to be added to our foods, drugs and cosmetics and is integrated into every facet of modern life, including the very make up of our bodies.
Petrolatum, a main derivative and common ingredient in most beauty and hair products is a non-polar hydrocarbon hydrophobic. Hydrophobic means ‘water-hating’ and in simple terms is the absence of attraction to water. It makes the skin slippery, but it repels moisture. Why would you put something strictly hydrophobic on your skin to moisturise it?
Petroleum products form a barrier that the lotion companies tell you will lock whatever moisture is already there into your skin. Petroleum jelly creates the illusion of moisturised, hydrated skin, all the while suffocating your pores. If you put it on wet skin, it does lock that moisture into the deeper tissues, though it still dries out the outermost layers of skin. If you put it on dry skin, it does no good at all, and in either case it suffocates the skin cells because that barrier does not allow them any oxygen.
Petroleum products appear in different forms under different names in the ingredients list, for example:
• Petroleum, petroleum oil, white petroleum oil
• Paraffinum Liquidum
• Mineral oil (also white mineral oil, heavy mineral oil, light mineral oil, etc)
• Petrolatum (also liquid petrolatum)
• Mineral Jelly
• Vaseline (also Vaseline oil)
• White oil
• Paraffin (also liquid paraffin, paraffin oil, soft paraffin, paraffin jelly, etc)
• Prolatum oil
• Wax oil
Almost every lotion in the market has a petroleum product in it, so what should you use?
Vegetable glycerine and other natural oils have hygroscopic properties, which mean they attract water to it. Natural oils include coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter; they seal in moisture and don’t come with the health risks associated with petroleum based products.
Olives and olive oil are packed with antioxidants, the body’s built-in defense against free radicals, molecules that become damaged by sun exposure among other environmental hazards. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which can lead to cancerous tumour formation.
As well as making your skin soft and supple, olive oil is an antimicrobial, antibacterial remedy which may help treat microbial skin infections. Olive oil also has regenerative power over skin tissue and thus regular usage ensures that your skin remains soft and smooth while keeping it toned and firmed. The squalene present in this oil helps in increasing the elasticity of the skin thus preventing sagging of skin and leaving it firmly toned with youthful glow. This not only helps in preventing stretch marks from coming back but also helps in lightening the ones that are present.
Coconut oil is primarily composed of saturated fats and contains medium-chain fatty acids, which not only help to repair the skin barrier and trap water, thus hydrating the skin, they also reduce inflammation. Coconut oil’s main fat is lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that positively impacts cholesterol levels. It also contains vitamins E and K, and iron, and has both antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. Since it is both a moisturiser and an anti-inflammatory, coconut oil can help calm itchy and irritated skin.
Shea butter is an all-natural vitamin A cream, a superb moisturiser and has healing properties. The moisturisers in shea butter are the same as those produced by the sebaceous glands thus stressing its importance to the skin. Shea butter strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, which is the youthful scaffolding protein in your skin. It makes it more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant. It is also a rich source of Vitamin E which contains anti aging and anti free radical agents. Vitamin E assists in micro circulation to the skin, which results in increased blood supply to and from the skin.
You should never put on your body anything you cannot, or would not eat.