I believe that practising healthy hygiene and including regular hand washing in your daily life should – and can – be done without disrupting the good bacteria on your skin. We formulated our Purifying Hand Wash as well as our Body Lotion, which is also perfect as a hand lotion, to cleanse, yet to protect the skins microbiome system.
We turned to nature instead and selected natural plant foaming agents with an excellent track record for its use in healing ceremonies, like Yucca. This lovely ingredient has antiseptic and antioxidant properties, and calms and soothes the skin. Another ingredient that adds to the efficacy and soothing quality of our Purifying Hand Wash is Saponaria extract (Quillaja) – and I love that it blends so well with Rooibos and Aloe.
A good 30-second long hand wash, with our Purifying Handwash is a sure way to melt the fatty layer of a virus away. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to honour and maintain the integrity of your precious immune system.
Instead of using chemical perfumes and colourings, we choose to harness the antiviral qualities of aromatherapy oils. Not only do they smell heavenly, but they’re completely aligned with that nurturing ‘spa feeling’ – inducing a much-needed sense of peace, serenity and wellness.
I’ve always believed that what you put on your skin can either heal or harm you. Our Purifying Hand Sanitiser cleanses and protects, without disrupting your biology. It’s naturally chelated, ensuring there will be no heavy metal overload in your body.
The skin’s role in our health and wellbeing is much more important than most people realise and according to research its ecosystems. A healthy balanced skin microbiome can positively influence neuro-signalling in the skin.
It was recently discovered that the skin is an independent steroidogenic organ that can influence whole-body states as well as emotions, which certainly puts the spotlight on the importance of microbial communities and cutaneous homeostasis.
Psychiatrists and alternative health practitioners increasingly highlight the relevance of the gut-brain axis for maintaining homeostasis, emphasising its critical role in the central and enteric nervous systems as well as neural, endocrine, metabolic, and – importantly – immune pathways. When your internal microbiome is disrupted, thousands of neural pathways are also interrupted and it’s well documented that depression is a typical side effect of this imbalance. Studies show that there are significantly more pro-inflammatory cytokines in depressed people than non-depressed ones, which may stem from interactions with a dysfunctional gut microbiome – and even a disrupted skin biome – in depressed individuals.
Applying chemicals on to your skin can disrupt its microbiome. It’s like biting on to tinfoil. Creating electrical shock waves on the tiny neuro cells on the skin.
Consider this: the human gut is lined with more than 100 million nerve cells, which is significantly more than in the spinal cord or in the peripheral nervous system, and it’s been said that it’s practically a brain unto itself! This explains why antibiotics, which wreak havoc on the gut’s microbial ecosystem, not only affects the immune system, but also disrupts neuro-signalling.
The gut is also where strong emotions that have profound health repercussions are seated. For example, happiness chemicals like serotonin are produced in the digestive tract, not in the brain; while stress hormones such as cortisone (best known for creating the ‘fight or flight’-response) can ravage your microbiome and hijack your immune system, wearing your defences down at a time you need them most. While cortisol is typically anti-inflammatory, chronic elevations lead to the immune system becoming resistant. An accumulation of stress hormones and increased production of inflammatory cytokines further compromise the immune response.
There’s no doubt that the amount of stress-induced by Covid-19 is nothing short of enormous in the past few months, and the fear of getting infected, anxiety about the unknown, and confusion about the future has put a tremendous amount of strain on our nervous systems.
It’s no wonder that amid all the panic, there was hardly a moment to think logically before rushing to the shops for a steady supply of chemical biocides – which are filled to the brim with ingredients that disrupt the immune system, like the overuse of alcohol. Unfortunately, this turned out to be quite ironic, as a strong immune system is such an important factor in the fight against viruses, including Covid-19.
I believe that as with other diseases, personal accountability and wisdom are vital to keeping you healthy and strong.
It, therefore, saddens me to see just how destructive common chemical ingredients, used in skincare can have on our microbiome.
That’s why we need to be empowered with sound scientific information – and ensure that we keep our immune systems strong, whilst sanitising and washing our hands.
Common cosmetic ingredients can disrupt their functioning and cause a chain reaction of side effects that can be profoundly detrimental to your health. Similarly, using anything on your skin that contain parabens and phenoxyethanol, for example, can seriously damage its bio-system.
Harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate – which is widely used as a foaming agent – are known to disrupt the skin’s microbiome. But it’s just one of the no-nos on the list to look out for at Africology.
With love and healing,
PS Treat yourself with some inspiring, insightful reading – and follow one of my favourite humans, Zach Bush MD
* Scientific References:
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9427014/ (antibiotics: neuropsychiatric effects)
- https://www.pnas.org/content/108/38/16050 (probiotics)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6060389/ (skin microbiome)