Why is Skin so Important?
Your skin is more than just a shrink wrap designed to cover your body. It is your largest organ (like your heart, your liver, your spleen, etc.), weighing in at around six pounds. Stretched out, it averages about 20 square feet.
Your skin is important for two primary reasons:
- It is a major organ of transportation in your body. It moves waste such as sweat and carbon dioxide out of your body. And it moves vital nutrients such as oxygen and moisture into your body. It is vital to remember, that as an organ of transportation, it can easily carry harmful substances (pesticides, hormones, etc.), as well as beneficial substances, into your body — if you are not careful.
- As the most visible organ in your body, it serves as a canary in the coal mine, constantly indicating the state of your overall health. If your skin is dried up, wrinkled, gray, and generally unhealthy in appearance, it is a strong indicator that all of the other organs in your body (heart, liver, kidneys, etc.) are very likely seriously compromised as well.
Essentially, your skin is composed of two basic layers. The external layer is called the epidermis. Before any substance can enter the body, it must first pass through the tough outer layer of the epidermis.
This is the skin’s major barrier. It consists of tightly-packed dead skin cells and is roughly about the thickness of tissue paper, except on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands where it is generally much thicker. So many dead cells are constantly being lost from this layer that it is totally replaced about every five weeks.
At your next dinner party you can amuse and delight your guests with these additional tidbits about skin.
- By the age of 70 each of us has shed about 40 pounds of dead skin.
- And if that doesn’t impress them, maybe this will. Of all the dust you see floating around in the average house, 75% of it is composed of dead skin cells.
- Or how about, in one square inch of skin there are 625 sweat glands and 90 oil glands. There are also 19 million cells, 19 feet of blood vessels, 19,000 sensory cells, 65 hairs, and, best of all, 20 million microscopic animals such as mites.
- The dermis is generally between 1.5-2 millimeters thick. Here a rich field of blood and lymphatic vessels can carry any toxic substance that reaches it quickly throughout the body.
Dangerous Contact: Toxins
Our skin is not the impervious barrier that we have been led to believe in our school science classes. For example:
- You absorb more chlorine through your skin in a 15 minute hot shower than you do by drinking 8 glasses of that same water throughout the day. (So much for drinking bottled water.)
- Any of you who have played with Pain Away know that you can transport pain relieving essential oils through the skin and down to the bone, in a matter of seconds if you combine them with the proper natural solvents.
The trick is if you want to make sure you are not absorbing toxic substances into your body, you have to avoid contact with the skin..
If you must handle them at all, then always wear gloves when handling anything like:
- Insect sprays
- Household cleaners
- Hair dyes
Final Thoughts: Baseline of Health® Program
Remember, in addition to avoiding toxic contact with your skin, keep in mind that your skin is a window to your overall health. This is easily seen, for example, in heavy smokers. The dried up, heavily wrinkled, gray looking skin seen on the outside of the body is highly reflective of the damage that is also appearing out of sight in the lungs and cardiovascular system for example. If your skin doesn’t look healthy, if it doesn’t have that rosy healthy, youthful glow, then you might want to start making changes in your lifestyle and start doing more of the Baseline of Health® to change that.