Well, hello everyone!
Completely random question: what’s your largest organ?
How’s it doing?
Weather’s getting cooler and drier where I am. Okay, maybe the weather itself isn’t drier—but the inside air sure is. And I am noticing my lips getting drier with it.
Wait—didn’t you ask about the largest organ? Don’t you mean the liver? Lips being dry—wait, that was a trick question, wasn’t it?
Well, kind of. We don’t typically think of our skin as an organ. But it is. It isn’t an inert wrapper which keeps our important bits in. It has a whole life of its own and we depend upon it for life-supporting functions such as temperature control, infection-management, invasion-prevention—to say nothing of helping us get toxins out through sweating. We are nothing without our skin.
So we really owe it to ourselves to listen to it. If it gets dry or changes color, gets itchy or uncomfortable—what to do?
Put on lotions, balms and salves, right?
If your heart needed attention, if your liver was dry, what would you smear on? If you burnt your tongue, what would you put on that?
Sure, I’d go grab that popular lotion-potion from the drugstore shelf. The one I can buy on discount in a big bottle from my favorite big box retailer. Or order from the good ole internet.
If I were putting a lotion-potion on my internal organs I would for sure certain read every ingredient and be sure that every one of them was safe and clean and pure—and understandable.
Would a list of ingredients look like this?
Active Ingredients: WHITE PETROLATUM, USP 30.0%; Inactive Ingredients: WATER, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, STEARIC ACID, GLYCERIN, SODIUM HYDROXYPROPYL STARCH PHOSPHATE, GLYCOL STEARATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYLPARABEN, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, PROPYLPARABEN, STEARAMIDE AMP, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, DISODIUM EDTA, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, CEDROL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891).
Would I smear that on my insides? Would I drink it? Eat it?
Heck no. Heck. No.
So why is it okay to smear it on our skin?
The skin don’t get no respect. To misquote Rodney Dangerfield.
We abuse it daily. Exposing it to chlorine and chemicals in our water, smearing goodness-knows-what chemicals on it, wearing it everywhere we go and allowing it to breathe in toxins found both indoors and outdoors. Oh my. And the sun?
Don’t get me started on what’s in the sunblock lotions, potions, and salves we use.
The bottom line is that we do not, in this country, have sound regulations governing what is allowed in our personal care products. So we get to step up and regulate it ourselves.
I’m not going into the legislative-lobbying-corporate miasma which has allowed this state of affairs. The question at hand is—what is to be done with this information?
Be aware. Make choices. Be empowered.
And possibly make our own skincare products.
I rely on the Environmental Working Group to guide me as to which products are safest to use in personal care products. It is a great starting point in the quest to educate ourselves without having to spend all day doing it.
Believe me there are plenty of rabbit holes to go down in this arena.
I keep it simple by buying products with ingredients I understand. Ingredients I would eat if push came to shove. Ingredients I know came almost directly from the earth.
I use coconut oil for just about everything. I use almond oil after bathing. I use thicker salves made with variations on these themes for tricky patches.
And I remember that my skin is fed first from the inside and make sure to eat plenty of good, healthy fats to nourish it—along with a variety of vegetables to get a balance of minerals to support the health and healing of this, my largest and—in some ways—most precious organ. It’s like the top of your lawn, isn’t it? Whatever we put on trickles and soaks into the soil underneath. If I put chemicals on—in they go. If I use quality water and clean products—in they go.
The choice is ours.
So my biggest tips are to use a filter on the shower so that we aren’t dousing ourselves in chlorine every time we bathe. Chlorine is a known carcinogen and the heat of the water gives it extra ability to penetrate our skin. So a shower filter is a fantastic gift for the holidays, don’t you think?
And let’s commit to 1) feeding our skin from the inside, and 2) using the most basic ingredients when we do need to put something on the outside.
I’m going to keep this message short so that we have time to go experiment in the kitchen.
I’ve dabbled with making lotions and I look forward to doing more. Sounds like a fun thing to do Live in my private Facebook group!
Please reach out with comments and what you would like me to cover next! And be sure to check out my upcoming events:
1) a half-day Vision-Impact-Power Retreat on December 19th AND
2) my first class of 2021: Meet You Where You're At--a deep dive into mind, body, spirit wellness which will help you shed pounds as well as anxiety! January 7th-March 4th. 9 weekly meetings via Zoom.
Curious and want to know more? Clarity call with me!
Big hugs, y'all!