Where's my suit of armour? July 09 2014, 0 Comments


Were you thinking that your skin is an impermeable protective shield against the world? It's not- it's a semi-permeable membrane that acts as a natural barrier against infection entering the body. The skin is essentially water resistant, so that nutrients aren't washed out of the body- but the skin does absorb many substances that are applied to it. The applied substances can have just as much impact on your health as the foods you eat.

The skin is the largest organ of the body- covering about 2 sq m on average, with a variable thickness of 1-3mm depending on location. It's made up of four layers. The deepest layer- the Basale layer- is where skin cells are made, and they gradually migrate to the outermost layer- called the Stratum Corneum. This is the layer that you see- a layer of dead, shedding skin cells that form a protective barrier, much like a brick wall. These cells are surrounded by a natural oil layer called lipids, acting much like the mortar in a brick wall. These surface skin cells- the comeocytes- don't have a blood supply and are held together by proteins. These proteins disintegrate over time and release the dead skin cells- exposing, and replaced by the skin cells underneath in the next two skin layers- the Stratum Granlosum and Stratum Spinosum. The dead skin cells detach irregularly- making your skin look and feel rough and patchy. 

Applied skin creams can act like a buffer- filling and smoothing the gaps left between the intact skin cells. However, what gets absorbed through the skin is not fully established. It's estimated that 60% of what is applied to the skin is absorbed- with some compounds being 100% absorbed through the skin and systemically entering the bloodstream. Absorption rates of chemicals vary tremendously depending on the molecular size of the substance, the concentration applied and the length of exposure. Chemical absorption is then further affected by other variables- such as variances from person to person, age, gender, race and the general condition of an individual's skin.

Our skin layers form a flexible shield against our environment. If the molecular sizing of a substance is too large, it simply won't pass through the Stratum Corneum and systemically enter the body. However, the cosmetic/personal care industries rely on various substances to allow ingredients to permeate the skin effectively- providing an enhanced pathway into the body. Not only are the desirable compounds assisted in this pathway, but also the highly toxic, undesirable chemicals- like the preservatives used (listed in post 02.07.14). 

The shedding of skin cells is a natural process, but it can be disrupted when the natural skin oils are depleted through the use of harsh skin care products, excessive exfoliation, ultraviolet radiation, climate factors, dehydration and even hormonal levels. Disruption to this precious protective layer can make skin more permeable to pathogens, allergens and dehydration, and lead to a variety of skin problems.

ilo ORGANICS soaps are free of any chemicals, colouring agents or fragrances, and are made with selected organic plant oils to nurture and moisturise the skin, whilst gently cleansing it. The molecular sizing of the selected plant oils readily permeate the skin to nourish it with the natural beneficial qualities of the oils. The soaps are made using the cold process method of soap-making to retain the natural, organic oil qualities. ilo ORGANICS soaps are fragrance free, as fragrance ingredients are up to 100% absorbed through the skin. Many are known skin irritants and allergens- causing many skin reactions, but rarely investigated as the cause.

Reduce your daily chemical exposure through personal care products...become conscious of what you apply to your skin- read those ingredient labels. Our bodies were never meant to process petrochemicals. Would you prefer to nurture your skin with a quality organic plant oil, or spray your suit of armour with WD40? It's a simple choice.