Did you know that skin is our largest organ, and is one of our greatest protectors? One square inch of skin contains approximately 71 feet of blood vessels, and 300 feet of nerves. That same square inch houses approximately 100 hairs, 100 sebaceous (oil) glands, and 650 sweat glands. All told, our skin has approximately 20 million cells, including those responsible for touch, pain, heat and cold.
The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which is a complex mixture of lipid substances (fat-like materials that are insoluble in water.) This emulsion is acidic and as such offers protection from harmful bacteria. Sebum is also an essential ingredient in maintaining elasticity and supple skin. Sebum reaches the skin's surface by way of the opening of the follicles, specialized skin cells that are capable of growing hair. Blockages in the follicle caused by dead skin or synthetic chemicals clog the pores, leading to inflammation, break-outs and black-heads.
Sweat glands are also essential in maintaining the health of our skin and body. Similar to the lungs and kidneys, they provide an avenue for releasing toxins from the body through the skin. When perspiration evaporates, it cools the skin, the capillaries and the blood to prevent body over-heating. Every 24 hours, 1-1 1/2 quarts of moisture may be released from the skin. Chemicals in cleansers, moisturizing products, sunscreens and makeup clog and damage these important sweat glands.
Skin is a living organism. It breathes, interacts and absorbs information from everything it encounters. It's in constant communication with the environment. Without healthy skin, we are vulnerable to the effects of everything we encounter. Unfortunately, years ago we were lead to believe that the skin acted as a barrier to the outside world, blocking out whatever was applied to it. We now know that whatever we put on the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. You only need to look to medical patches, anti-smoking patches and hormone replacement patches for proof.