Clean: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less.
The things we do every day to keep ourselves clean can have surprising and unintended effects, as this entertaining introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics reveals
Keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. What one person says is vital another says is toxic. We have not cured acne or eczema, allergies keep getting worse, and autoimmune conditions are becoming increasingly common.
In Clean, doctor and journalist James Hamblin explores how we got here, examining the science and culture of how we care for our skin today. He talks to dermatologists, microbiologists, allergists, immunologists, estheticians, bar-soap enthusiasts, venture capitalists, Amish people, theologians, and straight-up scam artists, trying to figure out what it really means to be clean. He even experiments with giving up showers entirely, and discovers that he is not alone.
Along the way he realizes that most of our standards of cleanliness are less related to health than most people think. In fact, our overuse of soap, sanitizers, and untested, misleading skincare products may be to blame for many problems. But a little-known area of science is shining light on our skin microbiome—the trillions of microbes that live on our skin and in our pores. These microbes influence everything from acne, eczema, and dry skin to how we smell. The new goal of skin care will be to cultivate a healthy biome—and to embrace the meaning of “clean” in the natural sense. This can mean doing much less, saving time, money, energy, water, and plastic bottles in the process.
Lucid, accessible, and deeply researched, Clean explores the ongoing, radical change in the way we think about our skin, introducing readers to the emerging science that will be at the forefront of health and wellness conversations in coming years.