It’s the largest organ you have, amounting to about 16% of your total body weight. Most of us take it for granted, though, and seldom treat it with respect—we don’t even normally think of it as an organ at all.
Skin. It’s important
From your first kiss, to pressing your cheek against your newborn babe’s soft hair, many of your most precious experiences would not be possible without skin.
Without skin, you would quickly die.
You skin is the separation between you and the outside world. It serves as a barrier, keeping everything else out, and you safe inside.
- There are hosts of bacteria and viruses that would like nothing better than to invade the nourishing confines of your body. Skin prevents them from gaining an entry.
- Ultra-violet rays from the sun would damage your internal organs, but your skin absorbs those rays—eventually turning dark with age spots as a sort of badge of honor for the work it has done.
- Skin keeps toxic chemicals out, regulates your body temperature via sweat glands and even serves a metabolic function by synthesizing vitamin D, a vital nutrient your body cannot otherwise produce.
If you’ve never thought of taking a moment to be thankful for your skin … why not do that right now?
Question: How can I prevent aging and keep my skin as soft and supple forever?
Answer: You can’t. Nothing in this world is immune to the laws of nature. As you age, your body changes—and it begins to show the wear and tear of life; that is just the way it is.
But, while there is no true Fountain of Youth, there are things you can do that will give your skin the best chance of health and beauty.
A popular, but erroneous, belief about skin is that every cell is replaced every seven years. If that were so, those age spots and scars would not remain. Only the outer of the four main skin layers sluffs off constantly.
We tend to forget there is more to our skin than the part we see, and it is at the deeper levels that new cells are birthed. You must keep each layer nourished, not only the surface area.
How do you keep skin properly nourished and moisturized?
Find a skincare product that actually does what it claims it will do, and you will almost certainly see one of three primary ingredients listed: Glycerin, Lanolin, or Aloe vera.
Glycerin was discovered by the Swedish chemist, Karl Scheele, in the late 18th century. Posterity tagged the intrepid scientist “Hard Luck Scheele,” since he made several important discoveries (oxygen being one of them), but never received proper credit. Few people have ever heard his name.
Glycerin is a byproduct of soap making – Scheele called it “The sweet principle of fat.” His penchant for tasting everything he was working on may have contributed to his early death. Scheele lived but 44 years, yet proved himself to be one of the most capable experimental chemists of all time.
Glycerin is good for the skin because it is a humectant—a substance that attracts water. And water is the world’s best moisturizer. Moreover, because glycerin appears to soften skin beyond the effects of drawing hydration, many researchers believe glycerin may naturally contain other, yet unidentified, beneficial properties.
Bottom line: If you are reading the ingredients on a skincare product and do not see glycerin as a primary ingredient, you are probably looking at a cheap product with a great name, or an expensive product with great marketing. Either way, no glycerin most likely means “no good.”
The best skincare products always contain glycerin. And the very best source their glycerin from vegetables, not animals.
Lanolin is secreted by wool-bearing animals and serves to waterproof the coat. It is squeezed from the fleece of sheep as it is being processed for wool yarn or other goods. Unfortunately, many people are allergic to lanolin. Furthermore, there have been many concerns over the presence of pesticides in the finished product—sheep live outdoors and are often exposed to sprays meant for crops.
Lanolin works, not by drawing moisture, but by trapping moisture. It is an emollient substance and serves to protect skin from drying out. Once popular as a nipple treatment for nursing mothers, the threat of pesticide residue and the possibility of lanolin poisoning or allergic reactions has rendered that practice inadvisable.
Top quality skincare products are not likely to contain lanolin today.
Aloe vera – the “all-purpose medicine”
Aloe has been used as an herbal treatment for thousands of years. Christian scriptures cite it as one of the herbs used to anoint the body of the Christ for burial. Ancient cultures used it extensively to treat everything from burns and skin irritations to itchy scalp and ulcers.
Whether used externally as a cream ointment, or taken internally by drinking the raw gel, stories of Aloe “miracles” abound. It is one of the most popular herbals ever.
Aloe, though, resists the scrutiny of the scientists.
Some say Aloe works because it is exceptionally good at reducing inflammation. Others counter that Aloe’s secret sauce is the rich blend of super-nutrition found in the raw gel.
More recent research says Aloe serves as a binding agent—pulling several healing factors together and making them work synergistically.
However you understand Aloe vera, it is an excellent choice for treating almost any condition of the skin—whether inside or out—and will be found in any top-of-the-line skincare solution you find.
Where to find the two things your skin needs most
The best of both worlds, of course, is to choose skincare formulations containing both glycerin and Aloe vera. That isn’t easy to find, but it can be done.
We are persuaded, of course, that our Aloe cream is the finest one can get. If we thought differently, we would improve the formula.
At Stockton Aloe, we don’t let cost decide which ingredients should be used. Our products are made to work better than others, not to be the cheapest available.