Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Skin Care with Chemicals – Does It Cause More Harm Than Good?

Today I read an article advising that people with itchy, dry skin use petroleum jelly, moisturizers and over-the-counter medications containing hydrocortisone cream. There is so much information out there regarding the damage some of these products do to the skin, body, and environment, and their success rate is so low, it’s amazing that people still recommend them. The fact is, they not only prevent dry skin from healing, they can actually make it worse. If you really want to handle dry skin, you need to use natural skin care treatment products with non-toxic, non-drying ingredients.

How do these products affect dry skin? Let’s start with hydrocortisone cream – people with eczema and dry skin routinely go from one medicated cream to another. These medications rarely handle the problem and, when they do, it’s usually only for a short time. They do nothing to actually cure the problem, and they often exacerbate the condition. Unless you have a very serious problem, try to solve it with natural skin care products rather than drugs. And make sure you’re on a healthy diet.

Petroleum Jelly – in a nutshell, petroleum-based products, which include mineral oil, coat the skin with a film that makes the skin feel smooth and soft. However, what you’re feeling is not your skin, it’s the product. Underneath the product is the same dry skin, but now the pores are clogged so the skin can’t breathe, can’t release toxins, can’t slough off dead cells, can’t absorb moisture from the environment and, in short, can’t go through the natural healing process. To make matters worse, the skin is fooled into thinking that its moisture content is higher than it really is, so the body may slow down its own moisture production - exactly the opposite of what you need for dry skin treatment, and enough reason in itself to use natural skin care products.

As if that weren’t enough, you are also slathering your body with something that has proven time and time again to be toxic. For example, a Columbia University study found that women with breast cancer had significantly higher levels of petroleum in the breast tissue than others. This is one of many studies that have come up with the same findings. One in eight girls born today is expected to get breast cancer, and one in 30 is expected to die from it. Petroleum skin care products have also been proven to cause Candida infection, and a myriad of other problems. How much more do you need to know about a substance before you stop using it?

The problem with most moisturizers is much the same. Check the ingredients. Some type of petroleum or mineral oil will likely be near the top of the list. Bottom line - there really is no place for petroleum-based products in natural skin care.

The fact that something has been around for years doesn’t make it safe. In fact, during those years we’ve seen an increase in dry skin, eczema and other types of skin problems to near epidemic proportions. We keep coming up with more and more products to handle the damage while ignoring the evidence that our solutions have turned into problems. If you want healthy skin, live a health lifestyle – good diet, exercise, and adequate sleep – and use natural skin care products that don’t exacerbate the problem.

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