The Body’s Largest Organ: The Skin
With skin covering approximately 22 square feet on the outside surface of the human body, it is the largest human organ and the first line of defense against harmful substances, infections, and dehydration. In adults, the skin is between 15 and 20 percent of total body weight.
Because of its large surface area, the skin can soak in many types of toxins and petrochemicals. This can result in cancer-causing compounds leaching into the body and accumulating in fat.
Many people complain that commercial soaps make their skin feel dry and itchy, or worse. Trapped “free alkali” is the most common irritant in soap, which is made from oils (acids) mixed with water and alkali (a base).
Acids and bases neutralize each other to form salt, in this case soap, with glycerin as a byproduct.
Oils that do not combine with the alkali are “free,” which creates a “superfatted” soap. These mild soaps are exceptionally good for the skin, even though they have a reduced lather and shelf life. Alkali that is not neutralized by essential oils is “free alkali,” which makes soaps harsh and drying.