The amazing part of the body that we call skin is actually our biggest organ and performs many incredibly important functions.
It helps to regulate body temperature. It supports the ‘good’ bacterial colonies on its surface that forms part of our immune system. It is one of our important organs of elimination – sweating out toxins and waste products from the body. It is an environmental barrier that prevents our water- abundant bodies from drying out. It incredibly produces its own moisturiser called sebum.
The skin is roughly divided into layers, with the two principal layers being the dermis, composed of tough, elastic connective tissue with a rich network of blood vessels and nerves, and the epidermis, a protective outer layer made up of things called squames – the bit we see and collectively refer to as our ‘skin’. There are actually four layers to the epidermis, but we won’t get too technical here.
The deeper layers are nourished with blood vessels but the top layer (keratin) isn’t – it’s hard and dry. The reason that our outer skin is made up of hard dry cells is for our protection. As the top outer layer falls off, it is replaced by the layer under. The layer under it is replaced by the deeper layer. In all it takes about 40 days for a living cell to reach the top layer, but this is a continuous process that goes on all through our lives.
In a way, the skin is a waterproof jacket for the body that adapts to our changing environment. Since it is waterproof, the skin prevents rapid absorption or evaporation at the surface of the body and so helps keep the amount of water in the body constant.
Our living cells are about 80% water, whereas normal air is about 1% and thus should a living cell make direct contact with air, it would shrivel up and die. Skin is a fairly good shield against injury – after all, it is leather – and it heals quickly if damaged, unless a large area is lost, while it may surprise you to know that sweat and sebum are both mildly antiseptic, but the most elaborate function of the skin is to keep the internal temperature of the body constant.
Most of us understand the concept that we have a certain ‘skin-type’ be it dry, oily, combination or normal – with normal being the skin type that babies and children have – and that adults crave in older life – and some women spend fortunes in its pursuit, but it need not be this way.
Considering that the skin has its own physiological processes to keep it in good working order, it should need little in the way of lotions and potions to maintain its health. But, just how many skin-care companies are there, and indeed, do you ever read the label to see just what sort of chemical combination you are slapping onto the biggest organ in your body. Indeed this is why at Moss-Grove we are striving to ever-change and evolve our products such that they can be as harmless as possible to you, the user and to the planet that we live in.
Natural Deodorant & Shampoo
Our Natural Deodorant though, is one product where we won’t be changing anything. It is ‘Vegan’ in that it contains no products derived from animals, fur or leather. All of the ingredients are food-grade and can be found in your kitchen cupboard, apart from the carefully selected, clever blend of plant-based therapeutic essential oils that kill the bad bacteria on the surface of your skin that in turn prevent nasty odours.
Currently we are working on a shampoo that we hope will be more natural than any other currently for sale. Lots of the shampoos available contain all sorts of chemicals that you wouldn’t rub onto your liver, so this being the case, why would you allow them to be on your skin and in your hair?
It is astounding just how many commonly-used shampoos and soaps, detergents and even toothpaste, contain sodium laureth sulphate – when far from giving healthy skin and shining hair it is unfortunately a dangerous, irritant chemical that can lead to all sorts of complications. Thus you can be assured that our shampoo won’t contain this ingredient as a foaming agent.
To put it simply, all we really need is something to clean the skin and perhaps something to moisturise it afterwards.
Diet is by far the most important factor in skin-health and it is important to remember that every cell in our bodies is built from the food that we eat. A diet of sensible, natural foods will create healthy skin, whereas, a diet of junk, processed food, full of salt and sugar, combined with alcohol and smoking will create puffy, dull, saggy skin that is prone to infection.
Smoking is especially harmful. People who do, invariably have grey sallow skin with lots of wrinkle around the mouth that simply make them look old before their time. However, just by taking a sensible approach to your eating baits and by taking one very important step – drinking lots of water – will improve your skin immeasurably.
Sleep, often called a ‘beauty sleep’ is really important. As we sleep our bodies (in every single cell of the trillions that we have in us) manufacture ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) otherwise known as energy. Thus when we wake in the morning our batteries are full of ATP and we have lots of energy. As the day goes on, we use ATP at a faster rate that we can produce it, and so as the day goes on our batteries of ATP start to empty, with the result that at bed-time we are tired as we have no energy left. Then we go to bed for another ‘beauty sleep’ and the whole process starts all over again.
- Drink two litres of water per day.
- Cut down on tea and coffee – try to replace with herbal teas.
- Cut right down on alcohol.
- Be Raw-some. Try to include plenty of raw foods in your diet.
- Eat the rainbow. Colourful foods have the best nutrients.
Image credits: Nithya Ramanujam, Macin Smolinski