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Skin Deep

Tattoo Girl

The skin is a vital route for expelling waste from the body. Ever notice how clean you feel after a hard workout and a shower? The body flushes toxins to the outside through sweat and then the shower washes them off, leaving you cleaner inside and out. Now, what happens when we put a layer of toxins in the middle of that route? How about a layer of tattoo ink? Or even scented lotions or perfumes?

Why are they toxic, you ask? To start, some of the common chemicals found in tattoo ink are phthalates: a type of chemical compound which can mimic estrogen or disrupt testosterone, throwing your hormones off-balance. Another is PAH (Polyhydroxyalkanoate): a type of plastic in inks which was identified in an Environmental Protection Agency toxicity report as, “among the most potent and well-documented skin carcinogens.” That means it’s likely to cause cancer. PAH is so potent that it is routinely used in animal tests to grow tumors for medical research.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, 95% of chemicals used in fragrant products today are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum, including known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. So check your labels and watch for anything with ” Paraben” in it. This one mimics a basic hormone, creating an imbalance for your entire endocrine system, which can result in the symptoms listed above.

Keep in mind, what goes on our skin, gets absorbed into the body. Think about how nicotine and birth control patches work – they introduce the chemicals into the body through the skin. Same with anything else we put on our skin. Different collections of chemicals and elements, same path.

So, short of getting tattoos removed and banning all fragrances, you can limit the effects of these toxins by strengthening your insides. Namely your liver. This little guy processes everything that comes into the body and directs toxins to get broken down and flushed out. Back it up and it will be your best defense. You can strengthen it by eating liver-friendly foods like: blueberries, raspberries, tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, apples and romaine lettuce. These can all be easily broken down by the liver, leaving it free to put more attention and effort into filtering the rest of your body. Complicated foods overwhelm it. Complex foods include anything processed, anything with lots of sugar or starches and grains. Keep it simple, avoid complex foods and check your ingredient labels.

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