When was the last time you looked at the label of the deodorant, face cream, shampoo, or soap you use? For some time, this was something that I was not concerned about and it was more out of sheer ignorance. I didn’t know any better. When I learned about the world of “natural” skin products, I was — without a doubt — appalled! I couldn’t believe the sorts of things that companies would put into products. I really hope that the intention was never malicious. Anyway, let me walk you through some of my logic.
Take a clove of garlic and peel it down to a piece about the size of your thumbnail. Now, take off your shoe (and your sock) and then put the piece of garlic between your toes. Wait between 2 and 3 minutes, and I’m fairly certain, you will taste garlic. Yes, taste garlic. The garlic will not have moved from between your toes, but in your mouth, you will taste garlic. Why? Simple. For one, the body is infinitely connected. Two, humans don’t just breathe through the nose/mouth, oxygen is also absorbed through the skin. [Here are two other articles that support the idea that oxygen is absorbed through skin: here and here.]
Really, I implore you to take 5 minutes to experience this viscerally. It may really have an effect on the way you think about your body. Interesting fact: the integumentary system (the organ that makes up your skin and appendages [yes, this is actually an organ]) is 1/6th the total mass of the body. So now that we know that our skin is so important to the function of our body, what do we do with that information?
Well, consider that “…The chemicals and toxins that enter our bodies through our food, water, the air we breathe and through our skin can wreak havoc on our body…” Wouldn’t you want to think twice about the kind of deodorants/antiperspirants you put under your arms? I recently came across an older (February of 2010) post by Eliot Burdett recently who had collected some of the information about FDA and EPA regulations regarding the kinds of requirements that companies must follow in order to have their products approved. It’s a little scary the lack of transparency in this area. You’d think that it being the kind of things that we put on our body, daily, that there’d be more oversight.
Luckily, there are organic deodorants, just like there are organic fruit and vegetables. And just like with organic fruit and veggies, organic may not always mean what we think it means. I learned this the hard way with the word “natural.” Intuitively, you’d think that something that said “natural” contained nothing ‘harmful’ in the product or in the making of the product, but (legally) speaking, something harmful (like poison for instance), can still be natural and included in a product, theoretically speaking, of course. If you’re curious about whether or not the product you’re considering purchasing meets some ‘higher standards,’ I’d advise you check out the database of Skin Deep. They have quite a number of products rated in this department.