Skin Disorders: Part Three
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In this, the final part of the series, we will look at the value of sweating for detoxing the body, and examine how excessive washing and bathing can impact skin health.
Regular sweating can improve skin health by speeding the removal of toxins from the body. This is obviously of great value if we suspect our skin disorder is due to the body cleaning house, and excreting toxins via the skin. While sweating during exercise, or in a regular steam sauna, are somewhat helpful, the best option for toxin removal is the infrared sauna. Of the infrared saunas, “near” infrared is the superior version, however both types of infrared are effective at removing heavy metals and chemical toxins (including xenoestrogens).
Note that it is generally suggested that we do only one such sauna a week, as the process can be somewhat depleting especially if one is not in robust health. One of the best infrared saunas on the market (very low EMFs) is made here in Victoria, B.C. by SunStream. But, for those not in a position to purchase a sauna, there are places where one can purchase a session in one, usually found in natural healing clinics or tanning salons.
Our other option is the detox bath, which though somewhat less effective than the infrared sauna for serious toxin removal, is still of value. It is also inexpensive and can be easily done at home. As with the sauna, this process should only be done once a week.
The Macrobiotic perspective on the long hot bath is that we are essentially making human soup. The hot water sucks minerals out of us, which, from their perspective, is good if one has a diet high in animal protein, since those people tend to have too many minerals. Whereas, those with a mostly plant-based diet can ill afford to lose their minerals.
Therefore, be sure to ingest extra minerals on the day of detox, as this level of sweating will remove good minerals along with the bad ones (heavy metals). Our Mineral Mix is a good source of the major macro and trace minerals, but it would also be valuable to use Concentrace mineral drops to cover the other 70-some trace minerals that our bodies use. The basic protocol for a detox bath is to add one cup of sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and one cup of baking soda, to hot water.
Get the water as hot as you can stand and, once in the tub, do not add anymore hot water. The reason for this is that the natural cooling down of the water initiates the process of osmosis. Remain in the water for at least 20 minutes, and shower off before getting out.
(Note: some suggest that epsom salts can be used for detox but my research indicates that it must be a sodium salt. We absorb magnesium from an epsom salt bath, but a sodium bath pulls minerals out of us, thus our bodies react quite oppositely to each form of salt: one we take in and the other takes out of us.)
Both the sauna and the detox bath are more efficient if one takes niacin (B-3) to the flush point (usually the average person will flush at 100 mg), about 15-20 minutes prior to beginning the sweat. However, do not take niacin on a totally empty stomach, as the niacin can feel like burning in the stomach if it does not contain some food. “Some” being the operative word here since neither do we want to enter a sweat with a belly over-full, as this can put a strain on the heart.
When examining over-all skin health, we also need to look at certain aspects of modern day-to-day life that are not helpful. One example being that we wash too much. And we wash with hot water that leaves the pores expanded and open to picking up contaminants from the environment (a cold water rinse afterwards will close the pores back down).
Our washing water also contains chlorine, which kills good bacteria on your skin. Then we use a detergent (soap) that strips the acid- mantle (the pH of skin combined with our skin microbiome of protective bacteria) off of our skin, leaving it defenseless against topical invaders.
A retired fellow who spent decades as a salesman in the cosmetic field, told me that one thing he learned and remembered was to never use soap on your face. It is far too alkaline for the pH of facial skin, and leads to premature aging of the skin.
Given the harshness of regular soap, I often recommend the use of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap which, being made from vegetable oil and potassium solution, is more gentle to the skin than tallow-based soaps, and those full of fragrances and chemicals. In fact, Dr. Bronner’s soap claims to help re-establish the acid-mantle on the skin.
The constant use of soaps, and sun blocks, also reduces our vitamin D intake dramatically, and a lot of vitamin D is stored in the skin to protect the body against surface invasion by bacteria, etc.
On top of these issues we have the added insult of commercial laundry detergents, which can leave chemical residues in clothing and on towels, triggering symptoms from itching to inflammation of the skin.
Then there is the problem with cosmetics, including moisturizers and anti-aging creams, which are often chemical soups that do more harm than good. I personally like to use pure jojoba oil, which mimics the body’s naturally sebum oils, and fortify it with a capsule of vitamin A, or E, along with some rosehip seed or seabuckthorn oil.
This approach requires no chemical agents, including no preservatives. These soothing and rebuilding agents can serve to mitigate the symptoms of inflammation while we try to discover the causes.
As mentioned in the intro, there are some skin conditions which are more complex in nature than the basics that I have covered in these two newsletters. For example those born by C-section: “Babies born by cesarean section don’t have the same healthy bacteria as those born vaginally”. However, new techniques are being developed to compensate for this in newborns. (Source)
Such techniques are obviously not available to those past the newborn stage, but knowing one was born this way can be a clue to finding answers for a difficult skin problem. In this example we would realize that the microbiome of the skin is compromised, and thus we would seek answers among those techniques which help to re-establish a healthy mix of good bacteria on the skin. (Related link 1, link 2)
But, to reiterate, for most of the simple skin disorders we only need to look at three aspects.
- Is our body trying to rid itself of toxins? If so, we follow the detox protocols. If simple detox protocols do not fully do the job consider using Liposomal Glutathione, which is a master detoxifier, cleaning the body of chemical contaminants (including chemotherapy residue), xenoestrogens, heavy metals, and radiation.
- Is there a foreign invader living on the surface of our skin? If so, kill it.
- Is our nutrient intake sufficient for maintaining skin health? If not, NutriPods are one way to cover these bases, with NutriPods for Women having the additional benefit of providing evening primrose oil and hormonal balancing agents, while NutriPods for Men offers omega-3 fatty acids, along with testosterone-regulating substances that can be of help for acne in males.