According to Ayurveda we should “never put on the skin what cannot be put on the tongue or in the mouth”. I pondered this when I first heard it. A quick glance around the bathroom and there were all kinds of products that would have been better served cleaning the loo than the face, hair and body! From soaps to shampoos to toothpastes and deodorants, it was a chemical ticking time bomb! The long lists of ingredients were far from “natural” and “healthy” as stated in the blurb on the packaging. The shortest of internet searches revealed the ingredients of the products and their side-effects were the stuff of nightmares and convinced me to bin the lot!

For this special post on skin I am delighted to share with you the words of my dear friend and Ayurveda Consultant, Mr Gerard Joseph, founder of kalpavriksh, Ayurvedic Centre for Ethical Healing, Wellness & Natural Beauty, Ayurveda and Panchakarma Consultant, author and freelance writer on health, nutrition and Ayurveda and who has kindly contributed from his extensive knowledge on the subject.

“What’s on your mind?” The usual query, I retort,


We have been blissfully oblivious to the toxic overload our bodies are subjected to daily through our skin. The skin is a multi-faceted organ: one among its many functions is to absorb anything that is
applied on it. In short, the skin eats! The skin can absorb up to 60 percent of the chemicals that come into its contact and send them straight into the bloodstream. The underarms and the genital area are
the most sensitive places where absorption is much higher. Scientists estimate that it takes as little as 26 seconds for these toxic chemicals to travel from the skin to every organ in the body.

All the commercially available toiletries are loaded with toxic chemicals. Sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) is found in almost all major brands of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body washes, toothpastes etc.,
however “natural” or ”herbal” they may claim to be. This dangerous chemical is also used as a major component in car wash soaps, engine degreasers and industrial floor cleaners. Continuous exposure to SLS may lead to burning sensation, cough, breathing difficulties, headache, nausea and vomiting. SLS penetrates the eyes, brain and liver, and can remain there permanently to degenerate the cell membranes and damage the immune system. It can cause blindness and induce certain types of cancer.

The magical lure of attractive packaging and aggressive advertising is so strong that we never bother to look on the back of the product to find out its contents. We make our hearts believe that the product can buy us youth and a vibrant, vivacious look, even though our minds tell us otherwise.

Besides entering our systems through the skin, we can swallow them and inhale them; they also permeate through the mucus membrane of the eyes. Many of the cosmetic products contain emollients
(oils and fats), solvents like propylene and glycol, and humectants like glycerine for enhanced absorption, thus increasing the permeability of the toxic ingredients.
Volumes can be written about the toxicity and ill-effects of added fragrances, such as acetone, benzaldehyde, ethanol etc. which can cause dryness of mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, lack of muscular coordination, slurred speech, skin and eye irritations, and, even, coma in severe exposure.
Besides, there are penetration enhancers and many other carcinogens and contaminants present.
Bubble baths and gels contain SLS and many other cancer-causing chemicals. They also clog the pores to give the alluring feel of moisturisation whereas it prevents the natural regulating process of the skin. These are to be avoided at all costs.

Now, let’s talk about the herbal/Ayurvedic products, most of them are just riding on the glory of these ethereal sounding words that the gullible fall for. A couple of herbs that have a fleeting glimpse of the same chemical cocktail is enough to put them in this hallowed category. A grassroots revival of ethical business is the need of the hour.

Here is an experiment, a cockroach can survive a nuclear holocaust, but just sprinkling a few drops of these soaps or shampoo can kill them on the spot. Give it a try with your favourite shampoo. First thing when treating a cancer patient should be to keep him or her away from these chemicals. Like cigarettes, these products should come with statutory warnings.

Give yourself and your loved ones absolute wellness this glorious season onwards. When it comes to your health, don’t settle for the mediocre or even the second best. Let’s take a positive step…. beyond
exercise, yoga, nutrition and organic food!

Think natural, Ayurveda beckons.

Many thanks Gerard for your illuminating and informative low-down on skin and the toxic chemicals waiting to ambush the unwary buyer of toiletries; and the need to incorporate authentic Ayurveda into our daily lives for wellness and beauty inside and out.

The cold, windy weather can play havoc with the skin at this time of year. Outside, the bit that is exposed to the elements is the face; the rest being wrapped in layers of thermal everythings! Indoors, central heating dries the skin and so, what better way to help maintain the natural moisture and glow of healthy, petal-soft skin than an Ayurvedic facelift massage.

This wonderful treatment rejuvenates the skin, is antiaging, anti-wrinkles and a highly effective way of achieving both healthy and younger looking skin. During the massage the marma points of the face are massaged to cleanse, energise and nourish.

For Christmas gifts or a gift to yourself, enjoy a 10% discount with a package of 3 Ayurveda facelift massages (this package can be used for 3 Gift Vouchers too).

Here is my client Liz, who was so pleased with the results that she wanted to show you herself!

Picture 1 before massage 










Picture 2 after massage   










Picture 3 after 5 treatments










This is not medical advice – please consult with your GP / health professional if you have a serious health concern or considering taking herbs if you are pregnant.

For medical advice with an Ayurvedic doctor please contact me.