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Posts tagged 'skin toxins'

Fighting Evolution - why modern skin looks bad

By Arthur W. Perry, MD July 26, 2019 No comments

© 2019.  Back in the old days – no not 1990 – let’s go back about 10,000 years when homo sapiens(that’s you!) started acting…human.  Back then, we rarely bathed – water was something we drank.  We dipped into it to catch fish.  Our skin was covered with a slimy goo called “sebum”.  This natural moisturizer is really a wonderful creation – it repels water, keeping us from getting waterlogged.  Its pheromone containing smell attracts mates and repels people we might be genetically incompatible with. Its antioxidants protect skin from inflammation and sun damage.  And it even kills bacteria, repels insects, and makes you harder to grip when encountering a foe.

Fast forward to 2019 – when we do everything possible to destroy our sebum.  Heaven forbid we have oily skin.  Since the mid 20thcentury, we have tortured our skin with thousands of substances in cosmetics, skin cleaners, medications, and workplace chemicals that destroy our natural skin coating.  This contributes to acne, contact dermatitis, and the common syndrome of red, swollen, unhealthy skin.

When we fight nature, we create havoc.  But there are ways to deal with sebum and still look and smell clean.  I spend my professional life keeping my cosmetic surgery patients looking as good as possible.  So here’s the first tip for you -and it may be the hardest to do.  Start with a skin detox.  Many products are simply unnecessary and so many are frankly toxic.  Eliminate these products – toners, moisturizers (yes!), makeup removers, are on the top of my list.  And cut out as many other products as possible for a few weeks, especially Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) from soap and shampoo.  Sometimes that’s all it takes to look better.  

In upcoming blogs, I’ll be giving more tips to help you choose safe products and keep your skin looking as good as your prehistoric ancestor’s…minus the dirt… 

Tags: sebumskinskin toxins

Your soap is poisoning you

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS July 6, 2013 1 comments

The average American poisons their skin twice a day...every day.  I'll bet you do, too.  But you don't know you're doing it.

When you wash your face, chances are good that the soap that smells so good is actually harming your skin.  Here's why.  No matter what soap companies tell you, all soap is artificial.  It has to be, because soap is the result of a chemical reaction between fat and lye.  Chemists call the reaction "saponification" and chances are pretty good that you heard about that in 10th grade and forgot it by 11th!  The soap reaction requires that the end product, that's the soap, is alkaline.  OK, your eyes are glazing over....but just for a minute remember that lemon juice is acidic, baking soda is alkaline, and water is right in the middle.  Your skin should be acidic, at a pH of 5.5.  But when you soap it up with those alkaline suds, the pH rises.  That rise makes your skin a playground for all sorts of bacteria and yeast, which have a hard time surviving at the normal acidity of the skin.  For 3 hours, those germs frolic and your skin becomes inflamed trying to restore its pH.  While the pH is off, your barrier is weakened, allowing other toxins to enter the body.

You might think that's enough, but add to that the usual cast of toxic characters that reside in your soap (like sulfates, preservatives, parabens, and other toxins), and you've got quite an assault on your skin.

When I designed my CleanThyme soap, the first thing I wanted was the correct pH.  That wasn't the hard part.  The hard part was making my soap perform nicely so that you would want to use it.  Acidic soap doesn't froth well without adding sulfates or other toxic substances called surfactants.  Sulfates are terrible irritants to the skin and also weaken the skin barrier.  Combined with the wrong pH, that's a pretty nasty "1-2 punch".  And in some people, it's a knockout, creating slightly red, slightly swollen, oily skin.  Skin that is doing everything possible to fight those toxins.  Do you think that's enough?  Add in toxic preservatives like parabens, and a  whole lot of toxins that if I named, you would stop reading this...

All those toxic chemicals make your soap feel and smell nice.  But I won't use them. Here's where science meets art...and a little cooking.  So, to create froth, I used the stuff that makes root beer foamy.  And I added glycerin for just the right amount of slip, oatmeal to give it body, and I held the bar together with beeswax, not petrolatum like most other bar soaps.  But no one would buy any soap wtihout fragrance, and despite the fact that I am very anti-fragrance, I had to use it in my soap.  So, I combined lemon oil without irritants, lavender oil and thyme oil and came up with an irresistible smell.

In the end, I hit a home run with my CleanThyme.  Yes, I'm biased, but I believe it is the best soap in the world. Once you try it, you won't be able to use your old toxic stuff again.