You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. Well, you are also what you put on your skin! Some medicines like nicotine patches and anti-inflammatories are applied to the skin and absorbed for use by the rest of the body. In just the same way, the skin care products we apply to our bodies contain substances that may also exert an effect on the rest of the body.
You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. Well, you are also what you put on your skin! The skin is a living organ, just like your gut and lungs. And just like you absorb food through your gut and air through your lungs, you absorb substances that come into contact with your skin.
In fact, there are even some medicines that utilise this important characteristic of skin in order to be absorbed into the body and exert their effect. They are administered topically by applying them directly to the skin, rather than, say, swallowing them in a tablet form.
One example is opioid pain medications that are applied via a small adhesive patch stuck to the skin. The patch slowly releases the medication over time, which is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream and the rest of the body.
Nicotine patches work in the same way, delivering small amounts of nicotine through the skin and to the brain. Also, hormonal preparations containing for example, oestrogen or testosterone, can be applied in patch-form.
In addition to patches, creams containing anti-inflammatory medications are another example. The cream can be applied directly to the skin so that the medication it holds can be absorbed for use by the rest of the body.
Similarly, the creams, oils, body lotions and cosmetics you apply to your skin on a daily basis contain substances that can be absorbed through your skin and into your body. These substances can exert a range of effects on your body… from harmful to beneficial or no effect at all. You could say that you are in fact ‘medicating’ your body with some of the substances these products contain!
Some ingredients have been shown to cause harmful effects on health and have been banned in some countries. Other chemicals have been used for a very long time and can be confidently considered safe. It’s not just the type of ingredient that is important, but also the amount or ‘dose’.
This becomes particularly important for pregnant women and children. What may be a safe ingredient or a safe amount for an adult may not be safe for babies and children, whose little bodies are still developing.
It is our aim here at Earthrose to help you find safer and healthier products, so that what you put on your skin makes a positive contribution to your health, instead of harming it.