Your Skin Is a Sponge—What You Put On It, Goes in It

The skin is the largest organ of the body and very efficient at absorbing anything, and everything, it comes into contact with. Hard to believe? Peel a clove of garlic and stand on it with bare feet. See how quickly you can taste garlic in your mouth… 

That means anything you put on your skin- deodorant, lotion, shampoo- goes inside the body as well. This isn’t a problem unless what you’re putting on your skin is filled with synthetic chemicals that have been linked to hormone problems, skin irritation, digestive issues, and cancer risk. Scary, right? 

As athletes and adventurers, we’re so focused on the innovative gear we use, the optimized nutrition we take in, and the technical clothes we wear, but little thought is given to the skincare products we put on our bodies.

A good rule of thumb is to check the ingredient list of the products you use on a daily basis. Steer clear of anything that includes sulfates (SLS or SLES), parabens (methyl, butyl, propyl), phthalates, oxybenzone, diethanolamine (DEA), or FD&C (artificial colors). Chances are, if you can’t pronounce it, you don’t want it going in your body.

The problem is that many products touted as “all-natural” typically don’t work that well and, let’s face it, a product is only effective if you use it. To help keep you going on all your epic, outdoor adventures, Zealios created a complete line of products that are paraben-free, oil-free, hypoallergenic, sulfate-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and actually work! 

Sun Barrier- This silky smooth sunscreen with SPF 45 dries completely clear and leaves no greasy residue thanks to 8% micronized zinc oxide. This isn’t your mother’s chalky white sunscreen. It was designed for, and tested by, top professional athletes for staying power- with FDA’s highest water resistance rating of 80 minutes- and effectiveness- filtering 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays that cause skin damage. The unique silicone emulsion keeps the sunscreen secure on the skin and feels like a light lotion that literally disappears. 

The secret is zinc oxide nanoparticles that physically block the sun’s rays providing an instant barrier as soon as the sunscreen is applied. Safe for sensitive skin, zinc oxide is actually used as a topical treatment for minor skin irritations. It’s one of only two ingredients the FDA considers to be “safe and effective for sunscreen use.” It’s also unscented, oil-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.

Safe ingredients + clear formula + highest broadband UV protection = Magic.

BETWIXT- This product was once described by a user as the “chamois cream of the Gods,” so you know it’s good. The extra silky texture and smooth glide comes from decyl oleate, a naturally derived fatty acid. Combined with organic aloe vera, sweet almond, and coconut oil to condition skin cells, and green tea and chamomile extract with soothing properties, it’s the ideal, all-natural skin lubricant and chamois cream. Loved by cyclists, it’s also a hit among hikers, golfers, and all victims of chafing. Long lasting, paraben-free, and vegan with ingredients derived entirely from plants for all your sensitive areas- betwixt and between. 

Zealios Swim & Sport – Zealios’ sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are specially formulated for athletes to remove the build-up of sweat, salt, and chlorine. Whether you’ve just logged your third swim session of the week or ran hard intervals at the track, you want those fitness gains to show up on race day, not in the way you smell…   

The key is tetrasodium and disodium EDTAs that naturally scavenge for free ions, like dirt, sweat, and chlorine, and entrap them so they can be safely washed away. As a bonus, all products are safe for color-treated hair. 

Swim & Sport Shampoo contains Vitamin B (panthenol) to strengthen hair follicles. Swim & Sport Conditioner hydrates, repairs, detangles, and protects with aloe juice and sunflower oil. Swim & Sport Body Wash restores skin with arnica, white tea, lavender, and calendula extract and adds much needed moisture with aloe juice and jojoba oil. Top off your shower routine with Advanced Hydration Body Lotion that has hyaluronic acid and sunflower oil for smooth skin. 

Race Relief- Unlike similar products on the market, Race Relief doesn’t rely on NSAIDS or steroids for pain-relief. Instead, muscle and joint recovery is powered by 12 herbal extracts like Arnica, St. John’s Wort, Yerba Mate, Wormwood, and Birch Leaf. Aided by the cooling sensation of 4% menthol to soothe tired muscles, it’s the perfect remedy after a quad-buster on the bike or a big race. It has no artificial dyes, added fragrance, and is paraben-free.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this topical discussion and have soaked up all the helpful information about how your skin is a sponge. It’s been absorbing for me as well. 


Written by Brittany Bevis | July 27, 2022

Brittany Bevis is a writer, photographer, artist, and triathlete based in Tallahassee, Florida. She can most often be found swimming, cycling, running, and exploring the great outdoors with her fiancé, Matt, and pup, Ellie Mae.