Under the skin largest organ in your body

http://healthinyou.com/under-the-skin/Find out more about the largest organ in your body…Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies with an average individual
skin’s surface area measuring around two square metres and accounting for up
to 16 per cent of total body weight. It is made up of three distinct layers.
These are the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis and they all have
differing functions. Humans are rare in that we can see these layers

The epidermis is the top, waterproofing layer. Alongside helping to
regulate temperature of the body, the epidermis also protects against
infection as it stops pathogens entering the body. Although generally referred
to as one layer, it is actually made up of five. The top layers are actually
dead keratin-filled cells which prevent water loss and provide protection
against the environment, but the lower levels, where new skin cells are
produced, are nourished by the dermis. In other species, such as amphibians,
the epidermis consists of only live skin cells. In these cases, the skin is
generally permeable and actually may be a major respiratory organ.

The dermis has the connective tissue and nerve endings, contains hair
follicles, sweat glands, lymphatic and blood vessels. The top layer of the
dermis is ridged and interconnects securely with the epidermis.

Although the hypodermis is not actually considered part of the skin, its
purpose is to connect the upper layers ofskintothe body�s underlying bone
and muscle. Blood vessels and nerves pass through this layer to the dermis.
This layer is also crucial for temperature regulation, as it contains 50
percent of a healthy adult�s body fat in subcutaneous tissue. These kinds of
layers are not often seen in other species, humans being one of few that you
can see the distinct layers within the skin. Not only does the skin offer
protection for muscle, bone and internal organs, but it is our protective
barrier against the environment. Temperature regulation, insulation, excretion
of sweat and sensation are just a few more functions of skin.


Putting It on Your Skin Does Let It in:
What�s in Skin Care and How It Affects Your Health


CEO and
Founder of sumbody and author of �Look Great Live Green�

You might have heard that sure, parabens and other chemicals in your
skin care are bad if ingested, but they can�t penetrate your skin so you
don�t have anything to worry about. The fact is, much of what we place
on our skin is
into our bloodstream. Just think about nicotine and birth
control patches. We administer effective doses through the skin to our
bloodstream, enabling us to forgo a daily oral pill in lieu of a patch
that prevents pregnancy. Or a patch that keeps nicotine in our system
without the side effects of smoking, allowing us to wean off of an
addiction. While there may be some chemicals that are too large to enter
our bloodstream, many are
small enough
to penetrate.

In 2005, the Environmental Working Group
published a combination of two studies that found toxic
in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies born in the
U.S. in the fall of 2004. They screened for more than 400 chemicals, and
an astounding 287 toxins were detected within the umbilical cord blood of
these newborns.

Of these 287 chemicals, 217 were neurotoxins, and 208 are
known to damage growth development or cause birth defects. These toxins
included mercury, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated and
polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and furans (PBCD/F and PBDD/F),
perflorinated chemicals (PFCs), organochlorine pesticides like DDT and
chlordane, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated
napthalenes (PCNs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and many others.
These study results have been largely ignored by the media.

Since we know without debate that some chemicals can and do enter your
bloodstream through topical application, I you�re better off doing your
best to avoid all known harmful chemicals on the chance they are entering
your bloodstream.

The task of scrutinizing every ingredient in the bevy of daily products
the average consumer uses can be daunting. Start with the products that
are having the most negative impact. The next thing you want to think
about is the level of exposure you�re getting from the products you�re
using. Different products mean different levels of exposure and concern.

For instance, if you use a lotion all over your body and it soaks into
your skin all day, you�re getting a lot more exposure to those chemicals
than if you were to use the same ingredients in a face cleanser that is
quickly washed off. So be strategic � try to get the best ingredients in
products that you have a lot of exposure to (shampoo, lotion, sunscreen,
etc.), and if you want to, relax your standards a bit for products like
hand soap.

When we try to be perfect, we get paralyzed. It can get so overwhelming
to constantly worry about each ingredient in every product that we just
want to forget the whole thing and buy a bar of soap already. The way to
avoid this is by choosing when to demand a certain standard and when to
relax. That way you don�t have to worry about every ingredient all the
time and you can still drastically improve the overall quality of your
beauty products.

Top products to look for cleanest ingredients:

1. Anything you soak in (ie bubble bath)

2. Anything you apply and do not wash off, such as lotion, face and
body creams, and oils

3. Body powder

4. Shampoo and conditioner (which is a wash off, but has high exposure
due to where you use it and the way it �washes� over your entire body)

5. Any product you put on your child

Products that have limited exposure (so you can relax your
standards if you choose):

1. Eye shadow

2. Nail polish remover (unless you are changing colors daily)

3. Hand soap

4. Blush

5. Leave-in hair care products � while it may seem confusing to have
leave-in hair care products in the limited exposure and shampoo and
conditioner as high exposure, there is a difference in application and
exposure (not chemical content). Leave-in products are applied out of the
shower (so the product is not �washing� all over your body), and they
are also not applied on the scalp (only on the hair itself where it is
absorbed by your hair, not your skin). Additionally, when you rewash your
hair a large percentage of the leave-in has been brushed or worn off,
allowing for fewer chemicals to be �washed� over your body.

Top 10 products/ingredients to avoid, scrutinize or reduce use:

1. Talc-based powder

2. Nail polish

3. Baby shampoo: Do your homework well when choosing baby shampoo (and
all baby products)! A chemical called 1,4-dioxane is all too common in
most brands. Product tests released by author and researcher David
found 1,4- dioxane in more than 12 different best-selling
brands of both shampoo and bubble bath. And 1,4-dioxane is cited as a probable
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as an animal
by the National Toxicology Program. Unfortunately, this is
a clear-cut example of the hidden dangers that lurk in your products that
are not listed on the label. Because 1,4-dioxane is produced during
manufacturing, the FDA does not require for it to be listed as an
ingredient on the labels of products.

4. Bubble baths

5. Hair dyes

6. Petroleum-based products

7. Fragrances

8. Deodorant

9. Skin primers made with silicone or other cone products

10. Baby wipes

My Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid:

1. Parabens

Parabens are taking all the heat and getting a bad rap. Parabens are
used to preserve products, and the jury is still out on how harmful they
are, but if we don�t need to be exposed to them, then why put ourselves
in that position? Even if a product replaces parabens, they may use an
equally bad or worse preservative, so check to see what the substitution

2. Formaldehyde

The following ingredients contain formaldehyde,
may release
formaldehyde or may break
down into

  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium 15

3. 1,4-dioxane (Remember, this isn�t listed as an ingredient. See

4. Phthalates

Not listed on the label; found in fragrance and other ingredients in
your products. A lot of companies are, however, starting to list
�phthalate free.�

5. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA)

6. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea

7. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium laureth sulphate

These have the same problem as parabens; they are getting all the heat
while their substitutes are equally bad or worse.

8. Propylene Glycol and PEG�s

9. PVP/VA Copolymer

10. Nanoparticles

11. Fragrance

  • Know who you are buying from and what the manufacturer proclaims
  • Find answers to any of your product or ingredient questions
  • Avoid claim-heavy products that are filled with �junk,�
    impulse beauty buys, name-drop or nostalgia shopping


For more by Deborah Burnes, click

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