What’s the hubbub about all natural chamois cream or any all-natural skincare product for that matter? In other words, our skin seems tough enough so why not use any ol’ skincare product that gets the job done?
Our skin is the largest organ of the body and is constantly bombarded by pollutants in our environment as well as by the myriad of substances we intentionally place on it in the form of personal care products. Our skin is the primary defense against the outside world including infectious agents and pollutants, however, it is not completely impermeable to everything. In fact, almost 60% of personal care products can be absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. Shockingly, a study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found an average of 91 industrial chemicals in the blood and urine of volunteers. Some of these chemicals were traced back to personal care products.
Knowing that our skin is not completely selective about what it absorbs, it only makes sense to avoid questionable ingredients in skincare products. Common ingredients in chamois creams like silicone and mineral oil are particularly worrisome. Mineral oil is a petrochemical that is produced as a by-product during the distillation process used to transform crude oil into gasoline. Although NOT conclusively proven to occur with topical application, mineral oil is linked to cancer, allergies and immunotoxicity according to the Cosmetics Safety Database. At the very least, both mineral oil and silicone block the pores of the skin and inhibit the skin’s ability to clear bacteria and moisturize itself. Blocking the skin’s natural functions while in the saddle is a recipe for fungal and yeast infections as well as saddle sores.
It pays to know what you are applying to your skin. As some experts assert, we should be as mindful about what goes on our body as what goes in it. Check out our next series of blog articles where we’ll be highlighting some the most common ingredients used in Doc’s Skincare products.