How much does the skin absorb?

I spoke with one of my new customers at the farmer’s market today about salt bars. She said she had tried one before and it raised her blood pressure. I wondered about that… Really makes you realize how much your skin absorbs – and why it’s so great to use handmade soaps and lotions! icon smile How much does the skin absorb?

I found a great article about this at EcoVoice.com. Here are some excerpts:

Our skin, the largest eliminatory organ in the body and our first line of immunity, is permeable to all chemicals. Medical research shows that significant amounts of cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogenic substances, penetrate the skin and end up in the blood stream. Many chemicals in cosmetics don’t cause obvious signs of toxicity on the skin but slowly poison us thorough repeated use.

This makes perfect sense too:

Today, the administration of drugs and medicines is often through transdermal skin patches. This has been shown to be up to 95% more effective than oral medication. However, cosmetic manufacturers are not supposed to claim that the skin absorbs their products. If they did the products would be labelled a drug and governed by much stricter regulations.

This is both good and bad for us. Good because it means our skin can be fed, nourished and treated from the outside with some wonderful substances.

Yes! Like fresh goat’s milk soaps, Jojoba-Shea lotions without petroleum products…

Bad because it means we can absorb commonly used cosmetic ingredients that would never be allowed to be taken orally as a food or drug, through our skin.

Want to see what you’re putting on your skin? Check out the Skin Deep cosmetic database. It has the ingredients that go into most of the personal care products on the market with a toxicity rating for each one. Pretty interesting stuff!

skin absorb, , chemicals penetrate skin

93 thoughts on “How much does the skin absorb?

  1. i’m joining this conversation rather late. ^_^ but as a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed at age 25) i wanted to share some information relevant to the first post.

    the reason that insulin is usually injected is because it is a protein. if it was taken orally as a liquid or a pill, the stomach would digest it before it could be completely absorbed into the blood stream. and even as a shot, it can’t be injected just anywhere. it has to be injected into fatty tissue, because muscle tissue will also break the proteins down.

    this applies to other medicines as well. it’s why sometimes you get a shot in your butt/hip and sometimes it’s your arm. tissues sometimes handle chemicals differently.

    now, as for an insulin patch, this has been in the works for a while now. you can do a simple search for “insulin patch” and you’ll find several articles about research methods and product testing. and despite the fact that your stomach wants to eat insulin, there are pills in the works too.

    all of this is to point out that things that might not get absorbed if eaten just might get absorbed by your skin. (and vise versa.) and it’s possible that neither would absorb it. or both would! a lot depends on what the chemical is and how the cells will react to it.

  2. I saw this link on your blog and read through. Love your comments. I learned from a bio chemist that rate of absorption depends on the molecular structure of the product. Even for EO’s. Each EO has a different absorption rate. Since we don’t know the absorption rate of many chemicals, since they haven’t been studied thoroughly it is a good idea to avoid what isn’t known and also refer to the resource that you (AMY) sited (the cosmetic safety database) since they do a plethora of research on products the FDA just doesn’t have time for.

  3. All interesting stuff, basically natural (and organic) has to be the best choice for anything you put on your skin, whether the argument of absorption of chemicals into your bloodstream is true or false. My immediate recent experience is nicotine patches when giving up smoking. Nicotine is one chemical and there can be many chemicals in any product you put on your skin – even natural olive oil can still contain traces of sprays used in the growint process of the olives. I say – user be informed. But my main question/reason which led me onto this site is this – if i apply oil (and i use organic almond oil) onto my body every day after my shower, is this oil absorbed into my bloodstream, adding to my caloric intake? I know it is a vain, perhaps simple question but i tell you – there seems to be no answers on the net that i have found so far. Anyone?

  4. My kneejerk reaction to Michelle’s question about caloric intake through the skin is NO WAY! I can’t imagine that those calories are absorbed. However, I’m no chemist, so perhaps there is validity to it. Hoping someone with more knowledge than me will chime in!

  5. Answering your question as to my source…I am a research bio chemist. Things ingested do not have to deal with the epidermis, so they can be absorbed in your digestive tract, or thru lung tissue, etc. Nothing penetrates skin, however, unless engineered chemically to do specifically that (i.e. medicinal patches). Lotions are either light, or heavy with varying degrees of oily greasiness. They are not absorbed. Really, folks, this is high school biology 101. Pour rattlesnake venom on your arm and see what happens. Nothing. Pour any virus on your arm and see what happens. Nothing, unless you inhale it, perhaps. Lots of nonsense on this board.

  6. My boyfriend works at a peanut factory with alot of salt and I am trying to convince him that is the cause of his high blood pressure although I am not sure and I am open for suggestions? The salt does get in the air and on his clothes …..Thanks

  7. I don’t think you will find much support for your argument here, Lynn. It seems that several who have commented here will tell you that it isn’t possible – including a bio chemist. Appreciate your question!

  8. Hi i must say that i agree everything that goes onto your skin gets into your blood stream. I have celiac disease and can’t eat wheat, oats, barley or rye and recently had a bad tummy and couldn’t make out why? It turned out the eye cream i was using contained wheat and oats. Also i had some bad bites on my legs once and the gp gave me a cream and i had bad dizzy spells and felt unwell the gp told me to stop the cream as this can be a side effect of it. So i agree what goes onto your skin gets into your blood stream. Also i use a natural progesterone cream and it works explain that ???
    Any answers would be great. thanks lynn p

  9. My mom has celiac as well – she told me there are varying degrees of sensitivities. Some are extremely sensitive, as you are, to even touch anything that contains gluten. I’m not sure that it’s because your skin is absorbing it as far as your bloodstream, but just that your body as a whole is sensitive and the allergy reacts upon contact. The progesterone cream is manufactured to cross your skin barrier, so that’s why it does!

  10. I have not read this thread in a while but I believe Amy is correct in her explanation to Lynn. Progesterone cream is made by pharmaceutical companies with penetrations enhancers SPEFICALLY designed to push the chemicals past the skin barrier. Also, if the eye cream caused a reaction, the skin can become irrated and thereby no longer be an effective barrier. If you have an allergy to certain ingredients in the cream you are going to feel the effects by the body and have a natural reaction to this sensitivity. There have been very logical, very sensible arguments here about why the body does not absorb everything. Take the HIV post-you CAN NOT get HIV simply by exposing you skin to the virus-would you not hold the hand of an HIV infected person because you can absorb the virus through your skin? OF COURSE NOT! Because the virus must make it’s way INTO the body. If you touch a doorknob for example with a virus germ on it from someone with a virus who previously touched the doorknob you are not going to get the virus simply by touching the doorknob! You must transer the virus to the inside of the body via the eyes, nose or throat. Yes, some parts of some chemicals are small enough to pass through the skin but in such small amounts they cannot cause harm in the body (unless perhaps there is constant overexposure to the component). If anyone who believes that skin absorbs everything can refute any of the above logical, sensible, scientific facts with their own logical, sensible and scientific (not anecdotal) evidence by all means, please post it. This is not sarcasm, I assure you. Please explain why I can’t rub cough medicine on my arm and feel better so I don’t have to taste it, please explain why I can put soap on my skin but will not find soap bubbles coursing through my blood. I would truly love to know your thoughts.

  11. Another thought on this if someone would like to explain their belief in skin being porous to the point of being able to absorb everything: bruises (black and blue marks) are broken blood vessels below the skin but, because the skin is unbroken, the blood from the broken blood vessels pools below the surface of the skin. If the skin were porous and could absorb everything from the outside in, why would the blood from a bruise stay under the surface of the skin and not conversely “leak” out?

  12. There is no simple blanket “yes” or “no” answer to the question about what does or does not get through the skin. I have a Ph.D. in human physiology, and I’ve consulted on trans-dermal delivery systems for “natural” health products, so I have an extensive background in both the theory and real world applications of what does and does not cross the skin and how. The short answer is, “It depends – some things do cross the skin, some things do not. And some things that don’t “usually” cross the skin can cross under certain conditions, such as carrier molecules or nano-particle encapsulation.”

    What crosses or does not cross the skin depends on many factors, such as which chemicals, which compounds, the condition of the skin and physiology, individual variances, etc. To be relatively brief and simple, without writing a book or even short paper on the topic, the “simple” fact you MUST consider is that skin is VERY complex, and has both active transport as well as passive diffusion of various chemicals and compounds across the skin – in both directions. In addition to what will naturally cross or not cross the skin, various “carrier” and/or permeability compounds can be included in a product formulation to increase (or decrease) the amount and rate of trans-dermal “delivery” of various substances through the skin. Some things will cross the skin on their own, some will cross with various carriers (passive or active), and some things are impossible (with current technology – never say never!) to get across the skin and into the body. Some areas of skin are easier to cross than others, depending on how thick the skin is – the “keratizined epithelium” on the soles of your feet (particularly if you go barefoot a lot) or even your hands (particularly if you do manual labor) is a lot thicker (and more resistant to “things” crossing it) than your lips (and for those who might be confused, yes, the outer part of your lips are considered skin (“keratizined epithelium”) to the line where your lips touch when your mouth is closed. Inside that line is considered “mucosa” or mucous membrane. But the skin is very thin on the lips, and that’s one reason why whatever goes on your lips should be of more concern than what goes on other areas of your skin. Plus it is a very short distance from lip skin to the mucosa of the mouth, where what crosses into your body and at what rate can be very different than on skin. And from the mouth of course it is easy to get into the “stomach” – the whole gastrointestinal tract – or into the lungs – with very different set of variables determining what gets into your body or not!

    (BTW, a small side note for the person who asked about inhaling salt in a peanut factory, and a significant factor for everyone to consider: the lungs are structured to be permeable, so if salt dust – or any other dust or aerosol – is being inhaled into the lungs, significant absorption MAY (again, depending on what it is) occur that way. For salt, I have not looked for any studies on that, but based on general physiology and biochemistry, it would be very likely for inhaled salt dust to be absorbed in the lungs. Also, for everyone, a comment was made about concern over inhalation of chlorine from showers – this is also a significant factor, and many people may absorb more chlorine (and other toxic chlorine by-products) from their shower in chlorinated water than from drinking chlorinated water! The is also a growing concern that many cleaning solutions may be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs, particularly when applied with spray bottles or cans. This is a becoming a significant issue in hospitals, with their frequent cleaning, particularly with disinfectants – which are intentionally toxic to “germs” but are also often toxic and/or allergenic to people too, particularly with frequent exposure! So if you are concerned about the toxins you may be exposed to and that you may be absorbing, check out the ingredients of your shower water and your cleaning products as well as your “personal care” products. Now back to the main topic here of absorption through the skin…)

    Even if something gets through (instead of just into) the skin, “it depends” on many more factors if that substance gets to other locations in the body. And “it depends” on what the substance(s) is/are as to what it does or does not do in the body. Some things are very reactive in the body, some things are inert. It (“it” varies a lot, and what happens varies a lot depending on what “it” is) may just stay in the sub-dermal tissue(s) (just below the skin) immediately adjacent to the application site. “It” may just passively diffuse across the skin and throughout the body. “It” may get into the blood or lymph system. It may circulate throughout the body for a prolonged time, or be broken down or converted or excreted on its first pass through the liver, kidneys, or other organs. And in the body, a substance may be converted into something else that is more or less nourishing or more or less toxic to the body. The complexity goes on and on. Individuals vary, between people and even in one person over time. As extreme examples of individual variability, just think of the growing number of people who are sensitive or even lethally allergic to peanuts, shellfish, wheat, eggs, etc. Most of those people did not start out sensitive or allergic, but became so over time. It is becoming more and more clear that the body (with significant individual variability) can only handle a certain amount of stress / toxic load for so long, and them starts to break down in its ability to handle the stress / toxic load. What you could handle at one point in your life / environment, you may not be able to handle at another time and/or place.

    So the simple answer is, “There is no simple answer! What gets through the skin – and what it does if it gets through – depends on what the substance is, where and how it is applied, and even to whom it is applied. And the situation gets rapidly more complex when there is more than one substance in combination, and when you consider that individual people vary in their sensitivities, with variances both between people and also in one individual over time!”

    Be well, and most of all, Enjoy!

    PS: I just happened by this site today when I had some spare time, and probably won’t be back for follow-up comments. Hopefully I’ve written enough to satisfy the general reader. For those wanting more details, it is an extremely complex subject, and worthy of several Ph.D. dissertations and/or books. So please do the research to uncover the facts already known (there is a LOT already out there in the scientific literature) and do the original research to discover the many facts not known, particularly on the interation of all these chemicals and compounds in the “soup” we breathe, drink, and apply to our bodies daily.

  13. What a wonderful dialog to read. Thank you Darrel for all the info and website listings and thank you David for the summary.
    Can anyone educate me if ionic footbaths really work? How they enhance the discharge of toxins thru the sweat glands of the feet.
    I also have a absorption question,
    is the absorption also by way of the sweat gland or is it the tissue?
    In China herbal foot baths have been used for centuries as a health enhancer..any research on the absorption of herbal tea absorption via the feet. (I know of the garlic test ). I believe the feet have the highest amount of sweat glands then any other region of the body.( or so I was taught) So if absorption does occur via the sweat glands, the feet would be the ideal candidate.
    In regards to having our bodies absorb water and the example of our prune skin after long exposure…
    for centuries various cultures have healing baths such as natural mineral springs and such. Even having such simple baths as epsom salt for aches. Have there been any studies from some of these areas on the people who are there on a regular frequent basis to see if the qualities of the waters are in their blood or tissues? 30 years ago when I lived Tobago, many of the locals would bath at a particular beach to benefit from the high iodine content. This was not a water they would consume as they do at some springs and baths…..so it would be interetsting to see if there was absorption via the skin into the dermis,blood or tissue. After reading Davids comments, I wonder also if some of the health benefits of these healing waters or springs have come about by also inhaling the steam or general air there, such as the therapeutic salt caves and being by the sea or waterfalls which also I think gets back to ions.
    We also have the studies of Dr. Emoto who looks at water not only being a carrier of organic matter but also of vibrational messages. So when we look at the questions,” to what extent does our skin absorb chemical toxins or the healing waters, we also must ask now, what are the vibrations of these waters, toxins, ingrediants, product. Then we also have the placebo affect which is HUGE.
    So I guess what I am also pointing out, when we ask if our skin is absorbing everything….it absorbs even more then merely an ingrediant. It absorbs also the vibration of that ingrediant and also the vibration of how it is applied ( such as a mothers touch or healing touch)
    Yes the skin is our first barrier of protection. It is also our external nervous system which is highly based on vibrations and science is just now beginning to look at how those vibrations effect us on a cellular level. So you could also have the scenerio of someone putting on a topical organic products but in a rushed, anxious manner all stressed out to stay on schedule and then downing a cup of organic coffee and cursing at morning traffic while they try to get makeup on or shave. That is going to effect how that product is received into the body. Or if every time you put it on you feel guilty you spent so much money on it
    I am not saying that then putting a known toxic substance on our skin in a loving manner is the answer…no, but gracing our food and nourishing our skin in a thoughtful grateful manner benefits us. Another aspect of historical cosmetics in a holistic manner is of the eye treatments in India. How even babies would have a black eye liner circling their eyes that would contain herbs to protect the child spiritually. I am just pointing out in a somewhat autistic manner the quantum aspects of this topic.
    Also, aren’t some toxins hereditary? When I was a kid they use to spray DDT and we use to go out afterwards and run around in it amazed at how it looked like a light snow fall in summer. We were also equally amazed at finding dead birds. But anyway, I have been told that toxins such as that will not only be found in my daughter, but also in her children due to her eggs having been developed while in my womb. These tests of teenagers for toxins could then be showing toxins that were carried via the mother. It would have been interesting to have also tested teenagers who did not wear makeup.
    I also would love to share a story with you of a friend i had who was Navajo and lived to be 98 years old. He often had periods of starvation and his mother had him drink kerosene on a regular basis to rid the body of worms. The body is amazing and we have soooo much yet learn

  14. Another thing to consider, other than skin absorption and inhaling, is how these products are brought into our bodies in other ways. For example, how often does one rub their eyes and distribute mascara, eye liner, and eye shadow into them? Or even just when applying, how often do these products get into them? How often do we use lotions on our hands, just to eat something, like a hamburger, afterwards and even lick our fingers? How often do we get shampoo in our eyes, dust our noses with powder, and accidently swallow mouthwash? These are all other ways that these chemicals enter our “internal” systems. Mixed with chemicals in our food, our drinks, and our air, the collective amount of our exposure to all this, day after day, is more than we think about each day. Of course, its not so easy to remove all these chemicals ourselves (at least at the moment, until we stop using them), and not all can be easily avoided. But if you can simply try to make informed decisions about what you buy, and cut back on chemicals where you can, and increase use of natural, beneficial products (cosmetic and otherwise), there is no doubt less risk of such things. Especially since, as others have said, we don’t know how our own bodies will react to them. We may already have damage to our organs, such as kidneys, which are meant to get rid of these toxins… why add on pressure? It all adds up over time. And switching to healthier alternatives might even help our bodies get rid of what we do have build up.

  15. You ought to really think about expanding this website into a serious player in this niche. You clearly have a fundamental knowledge of the topics all of us are searching for on this site anyways and you could potentially even make a dollar or two off of some offers. I would explore following recent trends and raising the amount of write ups you put up and I bet you’d start earning some awesome traffic soon. Just a brainstorm, good luck in whatever you do!

  16. I have personal experience with a medication being absorbed by the skin. As part of a diagnostic procedure at the hospital they put a patch(s) (nitroglycerin?) on my thigh. They told me that when I started getting a headache to let them know and they would take it off.

    I was very skeptical because the patch(s) didn’t appear to be very secure. It/they didn’t lie flat or anything. In fact, it seemed a bit unbelievable to me that anything could *even be absorbed* by the skin because the medication wasn’t rubbed in or anything. But I was surprised to find that after awhile (1/2 hour or less?) I developed a headache.

    I think the answer here is that certain medications due to their inherent nature or due to special formulas lend themselves to being used in this way. Other medications do not. I’m sure that if the cosmetic industry is unregulated no one knows what chemicals or other ingredients are easily absorbed by the skin and would enter the bloodstream and which would not.

    As an example, some vaccines can simply be injected under the skin and into the muscle to find their way into the bloodstream. Other medications have to be injected directly into the vein in order to work.

    I guess what I’m saying is that people on both ends of the spectrum are correct on this issue. It just depends on the properties of the chemical(s) involved as to whether they are absorbed and find their way into the blood stream or not.

  17. WOW! I ran upon this “soap” blog, looking for information on skin absorption. The many links *thanks* provided by other posters, will lead me to a plethora of good information on this subject. How REFRESHING to read posts, from those with differing opinions – without name calling :)
    For SEO purposes, this blog was listed on the 3rd landing page of a Google search for “how much does the skin absorb topically”.
    GREAT blog & comments!

  18. It’s definitely been an interesting topic, Sandy! The page does come up rather high in searches, and I know a lot of people are finding it. Hope you find the info you are looking for!

  19. BAsed on this information I used liquid vitamins on my skin today. My skin has never looked better. I really do believe they were absorbed.

  20. Hi, I’m a first year undergraduate in Biochemistry and I am minoring in Chemistry. Here’s my POV from someone who studies this kind of stuff:

    You have to look at what the cell membrane is made of. Your skin CAN absorb lipid soluble chemicals. Your skin most probably can absorb oils and fats (dependent on size) your skin is not water soluble – if it was, you’d absorb all the bathwater when you had a bath. It’s why people have applied oil to their skin for hundreds of years. However, absorption depends on many factors, most importantly size of the molecule in question – smaller molecules, regardless of polarity or solubility in hydrophobic regions, can be absorbed as they can enter the membrane as they are small enough. This is also why organometallic compounds, specifically mercury, are so dangerous. We’re not allowed to handle them in laboratories. So really, it depends on 1) what the chemical is. I.e hydrophilic or lipophilic? (basically, oil or water) 2) Size 3) Absorption kinetics 4) How quickly the body can metabolize whatever hydrophilic chemical is absorbed into your body. In fact, I spoke to my PhD professors about this, both of whom said lipids can pass through the cell membrane.

  21. I believe I experienced some type of toxic chemical poisoning that has had a major impact on my ability to tolerate many types of fabrics, cosmetics, soaps, etc. Because I seemed to develop an increased sensitivity to so many things in my environment at one time, it is difficult to know what initially sparked the problem. I not only experienced many types of skin sensitivities/breakouts, but have often felt foggy or confused, and have had more hair fall out than I have previously. I feel a sensitivity to toxins in the air as well. These problems crept into existance so slowly, it took a long time to figure out something was up. In retrospect, it must have begun a year or two ago or perhaps much longer. I feel very strongly that the aluminum in my deoderant has been a major factor. Aluminum is a toxin that must build up in the body. Studies show alzhemier’s patients had elevated levels of aluminium in the brain. I have read studies that indicate it is the aluminum in combination with other chemicals, such as floride in toothpaste, that helps sluminium travel to the brain. More recently, I have figured out ways to avoid irritants and things I can do to be more comfortable. I switched from a memory foam mattress to a geniune latex mattress. I switched from high quality cotton sheets to 100% bamboo sheets. After experiencing immediate relief and unbelieveable comfort from my bamboo sheets, I began looking for other bamboo items. Bamboo towels, washclothes, and even lotions and creams containing bamboo. Since I have made these changes and many more (avoiding parabens, using all AVEDA products for body, hair, and cosmetics, etc.) I have experienced significant improvement. It has opened my eyes to how out of balance I have really been feeling for the past few years. I was told I had fibrystic breasts and have been referred to diagnostic’s for mammograms, ultra sounds, etc at least a few times a year since my mid to late twenties. (Just the past few years. Same ammount of time I noticed chemical sensitivities, etc.) I have had multiple biopsies, and have had areas in my breast asperated, and have a lot of breast cancer in my family history. (My mom, grandmother, paternal aunt, etc.) I am a thin framed person with disproportionately large breasts. My doctor has said that the ultra sounds are needed because my breast tissue is too dense for the mammogram to pick up problems. They said I still needed both ultra sounds and mammograms because I have calcifications on both sides. With each problem, each tissue sample removed, they have left a small piece of titanium or something as a marker. So they can go back and check the same place later. The areas that I have needed biopsies run along the side of my breast nearest to my underarm. And some places of the lower outer area. Since removing certain additives from my environment, avoiding chemicals, and most importantly, changing the products I use on my skin, I have noticed a difference in the number and size of places in my breast tissue that feel abnormal or slightly harder. My breasts seem a bit less swollen and sore as well. I QUIT USING MY REGULAR DEODERANT AND HAVE NOT HAD TO ENDURE ANOTHER NERVE RACKING BIOPSY SINCE. And I don’t stink! There are natural alternatives. When I bathe with products like AVEDA, I feel like my body feels cleaner inside and out. My bamboo sheets and geniune latex bed are also freakin’ incredible. It took me forever to find 100% bamboo sheets, but finally found some at a reasonable price at Tuesday Mornings. If your worried about what you put on your skin, you should be. The fact that we don’t know exactly what toxins can travel through our skin and into our bloodstream isn’t an excuse to plead ignorance and avoid making changes. The fact that we know for a fact some toxins can and do travel into our bodies and poison us, should be more than enough to motivate change. I use to use all kinds of chemicals, loved to try every product, cleaned with bleach, the works. But by the time you notice a problem in yourself, it may be too late.

  22. Hi and thanks for such a nice topic of discussion and research .. I totally believe that skin absorbs high amount of components applied topically it surely depends on the SIZE of molecules applied and their FREE nature and BINDING with rest of its components..
    If it does not as some do not believe then the whole idea of facials masks is defied .. Any obviously the patches , abortion pills which are taken sublingually reach into blood stream readily .. Anyways thought provokotive yet interesting and nice !!

  23. It’s funny how people give out comments like “why can’t we put cough syrup in our skin?” or “does lotion get absorbed and goes to my blood?” Our skin does absorb chemicals. As for the cough syrup thing, medicines have different routes of administration depending on their purpose. If you want quick acting effects, medicines are given through sublingual(under the tongue), buccal (inside of the cheek) or better yet intravenous. For long and slow absorption, subcutanenous or skin patches. So if you have a cough and rubbed cough syrup on your skin, probably you’ll feel better before the levels of the medicine in your blood reaches its therapeutic level.

  24. @joanne – I’m not sure how one could measure it…from the responses I’ve received so far on this subject it seems that there are plenty of factors involved that might affect how any substance is absorbed into the skin.

  25. Kudos for such a great discussion with no name calling and just interested people talking about this discussion.

    I just read the EWG study (http://www.ewg.org/node/26954) that has been mentioned several time in this comment thread. The study clearly states that there was NO statistical correlation between use of product and chemicals in urine or blood.

    Quoting from the study:

    “Extensive analysis revealed no statistically significant correlations between participants’ contaminant levels and recent (daily or within
    24 hours) or overall product usage for each chemical under study. In addition, no correlations were noted between body levels and exposures for chemical families, or for body levels of musks, phthalates, or
    diethyl phthalate specifically and exposures to “fragrance” in cosmetics.”

    So, while the information in the study is interesting reading, there is no correlation (as reported in the body of the study in two separate places) proving use of product and chemicals in blood and urine.

  26. I can relate to Jenn’s post. I recently was exposed to a pesticide. A thorn lodged in my hand. Roses are the only flowers that I used a pesticide on. I pulled it out immediately but I still had horrible pain and swelling. At the same time I had a horrible asthma/allergy attack. My immunologist put me on high doses of Prednisone. I got better but since then I’m very sensitive to any/all types of chemicals! I’ve had to get rid of all conventional cleaning chemicals & go with simple cleaning supplies such as vinegar & baking soda. I found a natural line called CaryKindly that dosen’t irritate my lungs or skin. It’s been a challenge to heal myself in the last month. I’m much better but I still have to be really careful. I’ve gone organic with my food and my skin supplies. I’m hopeing that by being really strict on what toxins I expose myself to , I will be able to heal myself & get back to normal (or almost.) I’m doing better so I must be doing something right!

  27. i stumbled across this page and felt i could add some pieces of the puzzle, as i have worked with natural cosmetics for many years and designed products.
    our skin is absorbent and can potentially absorb anything. Our skin can also release things in the same way. This does not mean that stuff is absorbed into the rest of our body. very little can pass through the epidermis on the majority of our body. However, our skin is not the same all over our body. The skin on the palms of our hands and soles of our feet is very absorbent and if anything was to pass into the body it would be easiest to do so here and also the skin under our eyes as it is very thin.
    When it comes to people with allergies. our skin is part of our immune system and has an intelligence to hold what will make it stronger, release what it no longer needs and warns us of what is bad for us. For those who are hyper sensitive to certain things, when they come into contact with your skin will trigger your immune system in the rest of your body and you will have similar reaction to if you have ingested it.
    The efficiency of our skin as a barrier depends largely on good hydration. we are so often dehydrated. This really weakens our skin and its role in our immune system. 8 glasses of water a day and no more than one caffeinated drink is a good practice to help stay hydrated.
    we are all different and all react differently to different things. As a, rough, rule; If our skin is not functioning properly then there’s something wrong internally, whether it be nutritionally or medically, and our skin is not being supported to enable it to heal and function properly.
    rachel´s last blog post ..Shea Butter And Coconut Oil Deodorant And Moisturiser

  28. Pingback: What’s In YOUR Bottle? « Well Grounded Hopes

  29. I would like to say that a common compound added to dermal patches to create an efficient skin absorption is SLS = sodium laureth sulfate . Which is fair enough if it helps the patient absorb the drugs they need . Here is a huge BUT . Try going to your supermarket and check out the massed ranks of shampoos and bath soaks and washes etc . Try to find one that doesnt include SLS as a major ingredient at the top of the list of ingredients .
    So , as you bathe and the warm water opens your pores the SLS actively enables the rest of the chemicals in the ingredients – including salt and a dozen or more other weird chemicals – plus the chlorines and other chemicals added by the water company – to pass through the skin barrer and enter your body while you bathe .
    A massive red flag to the users of these bathing products who’s manufacturers fling all but the kitchen sink of chemicals into their cleaning product – just to say their formulation is different from their competitors they add another chemical to their brew . We know there is chlorine based chemicals in our bathing water , into which we add the cocktail of bathing cleansers so they nicely mix and then soak our porous skins in the brew ,How many times have we read the warnings not to mix household cleaners with chlorine bleach – we do the same thing every day when we bathe and wash our hair – how can this not put us at a toxic risk and why havnt we been warned ?

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