There are a million products out there which claim to be great for skin and will even improve it, what if there’s a simpler way? In a new book, Clean: The New Science of Skin, the easiest and best solution for improving you skin is to stop over cleaning it with too much soap. In North America it’s common to shower everyday, which leads to water wastage and to poor skin health; whereas, in other cultures it’s more common to shower every 2-3 days. Once you stop showering everyday your skin will thank you and so will the planet.
Of course, you should keep washing your hands!
But what soap hoarders and hawkers overlook is that wiping out our symbiotic microbes may make us more vulnerable to other, unexpected maladies. First-line eczema treatments, for instance, include topical antibiotics, cleansers, and drugs that dampen immune response, but some researchers say these approaches can make the condition worse in the long run. “Perturbing the skin barrier by washing or scratching can change the microbial population,” Hamblin notes. “That can rev up the immune system, which tells the skin cells to proliferate rapidly and fill with inflammatory proteins.”
Here’s some good news for lazy people (really for everyone): you don’t need to shower everyday and you don’t even need to use soap. After years of propaganda from the “skin care” industry people are starting to stop following the instruction of lather, wash, repeat. The benefits of not showering include using less water and letting your skin take care of itself. Not using soap can save water and it also consumes fewer resources since you’re not using detergents. Obviously, if you get really dirty then you’re going to want to use soap on those areas.
There’s nothing wrong with just rinsing,” says Sandy Skotnicki, a Toronto-based dermatologist and the author of the 2018 book Beyond Soap. “I’ve talked to people who haven’t used any kind of detergent in years and they’re perfectly fine.” She says that, since 1950, we have gone from bathing once a week to every day. “Has that changed our skin microbiome? I think the answer is yes. And has that caused a rise in inflammatory skin diseases? I think the answer is yes, but we don’t know.”
For Whitlock, a former chemical engineer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, not washing has been a serious science experiment, the success of which has led him to become a trailblazer in a skincare revolution in soap-free, microbiome-friendly and probiotic products. His inspiration came from researching why horses roll in dirt. His conclusion? To top up their ammonia-metabilising bacteria, making the skin less susceptible to infection.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are known for their cleaning power, but are increasingly getting known for their political power. The CEO of the company is a good example of a leader that practices what he believes – and leverages the company to ensure his thoughts are shared. In one example, David Bronner, has capped all executive pay at his company to be five times the lowest paid employee.
He’s in getting news right now for his support of labelling genetically modified organisms sold in stores. In the past, he also took the government to court over their insane anti-hemp laws. One interesting fellow and company!
Limiting executive pay and spending virtually nothing on advertising left a lot of extra cash for improving the products and funding social campaigns—which have often gone hand-in-hand. For years, the soap had included an undisclosed ingredient, caramel coloring. As the new CEO, Bronner wanted to remove it for the sake of purity, but feared that die-hard customers would assume the new guy was watering down the product. So he decided to incorporate hemp oil, which added a caramel color while also achieving a smoother lather. But there was a hitch: A few months after he’d acquired a huge stockpile of Canadian hemp oil, the Bush administration outlawed most hemp products. “Technically, we were sitting on tens of thousands of pounds of Schedule I narcotics,” Bronner recalls.
Rather than destroy the inventory, he sued the Drug Enforcement Agency to change its stance on hemp, which comes from a nonpsychoactive strain of cannabis. Adam Eidinger, who now heads the company’s activism efforts in Washington, DC, served DEA agents at agency HQ bagels covered with poppy seeds (which, in theory, could be used to make heroin) and orange juice (which naturally contains trace amounts of alcohol). In 2004, a federal court handed Bronner a victory, striking down the ban and allowing him to keep his stores of hemp oil.
Read more at Mother Jones.
Cleaning too much and using too many strong cleaning products can hinder the development of a robust immune system in teenagers. That’s right, it’s imperative that teenagers do what they do best: get dirty.
It seems teenagers are becoming over-exposed to a compound called triclosan, widely used in household products such as soaps, toothpaste, pens and nappy bags.
Allison Aiello, associate professor and principal investigator, said: ‘The triclosan findings in the younger age groups may support the hygiene hypothesis.
‘Triclosan may play a role in changing the micro-organisms to which we are exposed in such a way that our immune system development in childhood is affected.
‘It is possible that a person can be too clean for their own good.’ Adults also can suffer a weakened immune system because of exposure to plastics.