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The Skin

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Introduction

The skin is a very crucial part of a human being; it is a homeostatic regulator and provides a barrier to the external environment and at the same time acting as a protector to the internal environment. The skin is the first line of defense against most elements that come to contact with a person such as; microorganisms, pollutants and the wind. The skin also acts as an acid mantle; it has a fine film that has a slightly acidic pH and this gives it the protector characteristic; provides indirect invasion by microorganisms and direct protection against alkaline substances. The formation and maturation of the epidermal lipids is supported by the acid mantle and this property makes the skin to act like a barrier hence makes the skin less permeable to water and any other polar compounds. The textbook authors only covered the skin in three pages and should have given more insight on how the importance of the skin, how it is crucial to take care of the skin and the dangers of using products with chemicals. This way they could have attracted more readers especially the youth and give the information about their skin. Just think of the billions of dollars spent annually on skin care products; from soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners.

The good, the bad and the ugly on skin care products

The skin is made up of several layers when skin care products are used excessively they may penetrate the layers and enter the blood stream some such as the acid mantle may be damaged and the protective characteristic of the skin may be lost. It is therefore very important for a person to know what is contained in the skin care products that they use.

The good side

Some individuals usually have dry or oily skin and hence need to visit a clinician to get safe skin care products for their condition since dry skin may lead to severe conditions and hence there are skin care products that can correct this condition. Oily skin as well may clog the pores leading to adverse conditions and there are safe skin care products that can heal the conditions.

The bad and the ugly side

Clinicians always advise people to use safe skin care products for the conditions they have. However, the market of United States has come up with all types of skin care products some of which are harmful to the users. Some of the skin care products contain chemicals that are not safe for the skin. They include;

Mineral oil

This is a bi product from the distillation of petroleum and is an inexpensive ingredient that is contained in most cosmetic products that help the products from easily spreading on the skin. The oil clogs the skin’s pores and prevents the skin from removing toxins hence a build up in the internal environment, thus causing skin ailments such as acne, drying out of the skin which eventually slows down the renewal of the skin cells and hence earl y ageing of the skin.

Propylene Glycol

This is also a bi product of petroleum and used in most products, it is used as a preservative of skin care products; this posses a risk on the skin such as skin sensitivity, irritation and nausea.

Parabens

They are synthetically produced from alcohol and are also used as preservatives of skin care products.

Research shows that the chemical posses’ great risk such as affecting hormone levels that have a link to cancer.

Sunscreen, its effectiveness, safeness and alternative ways to protect sunburns

Sunscreen is a topical product but mostly in lotion form that absorbs or reflects some of the sun’s UV radiation on the sun exposed skin. Therefore, it protects the skin from sunburns. Sunscreen is essential in times when the sun is scorching however, the user should be aware of the contents of the sunscreen before use. A research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that not all sunscreens are safe since the chemicals contained in them break down when exposed to sunlight while others penetrate the skin and cause great health concerns. The chemicals include;

Artificial fragrance

Most companies manufacturing sunscreens use this as it is way cheaper than sourcing the real deal of natural fragrance. These artificial fragrances are harmful to the skin as they may cause skin irritations.

Formaldehyde

This is a colorless liquid used in sunscreens as a preservative. Research shows that this chemical is a carcinogen with a link to cancer. It also causes skin irritation and increases existing skin conditions such as eczema.

Parabens

This chemical used as a preservative in sunscreens reacts with UV rays from the sun exposure hence creating skin damage.

The chemicals could actually be worse than UV radiation, UV radiation is important up to a certain sensible level since it activates production of Vitamin D and most people lack that critical vitamin. Sunscreen users block vitamin D production and chronic vitamin D production may lead to Cancer. Most of the sunscreens have cancer causing chemicals hence they are more dangerous than the UV rays themselves. Since UV alone exposure does not cause cancer, it is the combination of UV exposure and chronic nutritional deficiencies that create skin vulnerabilities.

An individual should avoid sun screens with chemicals such as; methyl.., propyl.., Butyl.., Ethyl.., Trieth.., Dieth and such like chemicals.

Natural ways to prevent sunburns

  • Stay out of he sun during peak hours i.e. between 11am and 12 pm
  • Frequent short exposures are better than prolonged exposures
  • Diet is important so watch your diet.  A person with diet high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats is more susceptible to skin damage through the sun. The oils find their way to the skin and the sun oxidizes those creating radicals that damage the skin.
  • High intake in supplements or foods of vitamin C and E may reduce the tendency of sunburns.

Deodorants

Use

Most adults use deodorants to mask bad body odors or prevent the bad odors. A normal person has an average of 26 sweat glands and is bound to perspire when the sweat mixes with the bacteria on our skin it gives the foul smell. Deodorants come in by neutralizing the smell and killing the bacteria on the skin that metabolize the protein and fatty acids. Antiperspirants however prevent sweating by blocking the pores by use of aluminum.

Disadvantages

Most of the deodorants contain chemicals such as paraben that may cause cancer, potassium aluminum sulfate and mercury which are termed as natural are the leading cause of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and infertility. Aluminum mimics estrogen hence causes unbalance in the hormones causing breast cancer. Deodorant’s safety therefore depends on the ingredients and they are also necessary to prevent bad odor armpits.

Cosmetics/makeup

Cosmetics enhance a woman’s physical appearance but most of them however come with health risks. Most chemicals in make ups have been linked to cancer, depression and immune dysfunction.

Chemicals to avoid in make up:

Lauryl sulfate

It is used as an emulsifier and is a bi product of petroleum. It is a carcinogen that has been widely linked to liver and kidney damage as well as skin inflammation.

Amine family

These are ammonia compounds mostly used in face powders, shaving creams, foundations among others; they act as a preservative and an emulsifier. Amines pause a cancer threat when they come into contact with nitrates and are also skin irritants hence can cause dermatitis.

Phthatale family

Are used to make plastic supple and are mostly found in nail polish, sprays and body lotions. They are carcinogens that are linked to damage to reproductive organs, cancer and premature breast development

Paraben and Foemaldehyde are preservatives that may cause cancer, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.

Shaving of women’s arm pits

Shaving by the American women has become a norm and has been emulated by women all over the world. They do this to feel clean, attractive and happy. There are no established reasons why women shave but mostly it is because of hygienic purposes.

Shaving of facial hair by men

In the old days men preferred beards but during World War 1 the soldiers were required to shave hence the advent of men shaving, Gillette launched its first product and shaving clean became a fashion amongst the men. Shaving is more of a fashion statement than a healthy choice and in today’s world; people take you seriously when you are clean shaven.

Tattoos have become epidemic: the good and the bad

In today’s culture, body art and piercing have become very popular as a form of self expression. The tattoo may have effects as they include ink and needle especially during the healing process but once the tattoo is healed there are no complications. A tattoo should be done in a clean and sterile environment to avoid complications such as bacterial infections. Another great risk is the spread of infectious disease such as Hepatitis B, C, tuberculosis, HIV and tetanus.

Conclusion

The authors of the book may have included the above to cut across the border on the skin so as to make the audience especially the young generation on how to take care of their skin, the chemicals to avoid in products and health and non health benefits of regular routines such as shaving in both men and women.

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