Organic & Toxin-Free Solutions for Skin Disorders
While working as a Comfort Therapist in Hospice at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, WA with cancer patients nearly 15 years ago, I noticed the skin disorders with which many of the patients were afflicted such as rashes, atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. I watched week after week as these patients applied everything from over-the-counter lotions to medicated prescriptions but never did I see any real healing of their skin. At that time, I was a Certified Hypnotherapist and I taught positive imagery to these patients for relaxation, stress, pain control, sleep, and many other afflictions. I was also an Esthetician at my own salon & spa, and later working with plastic surgeons as a Medical Esthetician. I had suffered from rashes, dermatitis, and eczema on and off over the years and had watched my grandmother agonize over severe eczema on her hands. Her eczema was so extreme that her physicians wrote her up in medical journals as she was given radiation treatments and anesthetic injections to deaden the pain, on top of all the topical medications she applied daily. As she aged, she lost most of the sensation in her fingers, her hands were deformed, scabbed, and raw but bless her heart, she never complained. I started to wonder if I was a “skin care specialist,” how could I possibly help others if I could not help myself or my family? By this time, I would scratch the tops of my legs until they bled, my underarms itched horribly after shaving, my scalp was dry, itchy and scaly, and occasionally in between my fingers I would get red little itchy bumps that drove me crazy!
CONNECTING THE DOTS.It finally dawned on me that perhaps I should research the ingredients in the lotions and creams that we were applying to our skin. What I found shocked me! The ingredients that are standard in most skin care formulations are petroleum plastics, perfumes, parabens, and many others that can be hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing! EPA tests conclude that ingredients in shampoos, dyes, and other personal care products “may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development.” Harmful petroleum ingredients can plasticize and “constipate” your skin, making germs more likely to get in and toxins less likely to get out of your body. As your body’s largest organ, your skin is your most important immune defense barrier as well as your largest organ for eliminating waste. However, it is not an impenetrable shield. Skin absorption is the number one form of chemical absorption and contamination. Ever since 1938 when the FDA granted self-regulation to the cosmetics industry, such products can be marketed without government approval of ingredients, regardless of what tests show believe it or not. Most of the 25,000 chemicals used, have not been tested for long term toxic effects. Medical research, including those at Brunnell University, Tufts University, Boston Research Center, and Centers of Disease Control, has found that these chemicals are absorbed through the skin and often remain in fat tissue for indefinite periods of time. Yes, they are trace amounts, but the cumulative effects could be devastating. These chemicals are present in our personal care, oral care, and household cleaning products. Daily exposure slowly weakens the immune system, causing longer recovery time from surgery, stress, and illness. It also contributes to allergies, respiratory ailments, hormone disruption, memory lapse, nervous system disorders, birth defects, sterility, and cancer as well as skin irritations, itching, inflammation, and the appearance of acne, brown spots, saggy skin, Rosacea, wrinkles, and fine lines…just to name a few! Perhaps the most dramatic recent example is that parabens (a chemical used as a preservative in many personal care products) were found in breast tumors.
FORWARD PROGRESS ON PRODUCT LABELINGIn 2005, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger passed the California Safe Cosmetics Act, requiring any company that sells personal care products to disclose to DHS (Department of Health Services) any ingredient deemed to be a carcinogenic or reproductive toxin. This only confirms that we must be proactive about the choices we make for our own health and the health and wellness of our families. I recommend reading product labels and choose products free of any toxic, poisonous, or carcinogenic ingredients. Nutrition Connection Around this time, I was thirsty for even more knowledge. I had been working with a Naturopathic Physician and wanted to provide internal nutritional support for healthily aging skin. I decided to go back to school and become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. What I have found since then is that about 90% of people suffering from acne, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, alopecia, etc., all have possible food allergies and two common deficiencies.
- The first deficiency is that these people are usually zinc deficient. Zinc is in all our cells to help us heal and is very important in aiding digestion. I found that aqueous zinc is healing when used topically as well as internally.
- The second deficiency is in Essential Fatty Acids like fish and flax oil. EFAs help to maintain cell membrane function, help regulate pain, inflammation and swelling, mediate immune response, and promote healthy skin.