Did you know your skin is your body’s largest organ? (Did you know your skin is actually classed as an organ?).
Your skin plays a huge role in detoxification. It’s the first line of defence against any toxins you don’t eat, drink or breathe, and it has three layers; the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (containing blood vessels, hair follicles oil and sweat glands) and subcutaneous fat, which is stored under the skin.
Your skin acts as a barrier between your body’s tissues on one side and many toxic influences on the other. So it’s important we take good care of our skin, keep it clean (but don’t over-wash), and be very careful about what we put on it.
While it helps to keep most of what’s on the outside on the outside, like every other organ in our body, our skin isn’t completely invulnerable, and many things do become absorbed into the body through the skin.
Many toxic chemicals can penetrate the skin barrier, including household cleaners, paints, and commercial and industrial cleaners. So you should always make sure to wear gloves when handling anything that comes with a warning label!
But its not just the obvious toxic chemicals that we need to be aware of. Many of the personal care products we use everyday are absorbed through your skin into your body, including, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, perfumes, and makeup.
Unfortunately, many of these products contain nasty chemicals that should never reach our body, and unless you read and understand the ingredients listed on them, most of us would have no idea what they are or the damage they can do to us. This is becoming more recognised over time but the solution to this global problem is still far from grasp.
I try to steer clear of most of the well-known cosmetic brands such as L’Oreal, Nivea, Johnson & Johnson, etc. and instead opt for companies that use natural ingredients. I love Neals Yard Organics, because they don’t use harmful or toxic ingredients in any of their products (and I love their glass packaging!)
Back to detoxification, thankfully we can sweat a lot of chemicals out of our body through our skin. Sweating is one of the best ways to rid your body of toxins that may have been hanging around, potentially for years, especially inside fat cells. It’s horrible to think toxins can hang around in our body for that long. But unfortunately that’s what happens when the body doesn’t know how, or isn’t able to get rid of toxins effectively, they get stored in our fat cells so they can’t damage our vital organs by circulating in the bloodstream.
When undertaking vigorous physical exercise, we can sweat up to a litre in an hour! So physical exercise is a wonderfully effective way to detoxify your body. When we sweat heavily, stored toxins in our fat cells are mobilised to our sweat glands to be removed.
We are made for physical activity, have you ever heard that sitting is the new smoking?! Being immobile for a large part of our lives is no good for us, for countless reasons, but we are losing out tremendously if we do not utilise the detoxification benefits of sweating through exercise. Make a point of exercising to break a sweat at least three times a week, where possible, and consider using a steam room or sauna to enhance the intensity.