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The Poop on Great Skin. Part 1

December 03, 2012

There’s something that I love about running this unconventional skincare biz (well, besides everything, of course!): I get to talk about ALL kinds of things with you! As you know (or will find out) Stark’s credo is so much more than about the quality and content of our products, we’re about lifestyle. From eating to relaxation, to sharing a laugh and travel, it’s all relevant. Your entire LIFE affects your skin, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

One facet of life that we haven’t touched on yet is the ultra-glamorous subject of pooping.

So, part one of this sexy series is to first, try to warm us up to the idea that it’s ok to talk about these things. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; skincare can be very unglamorous. Its not all bath salts and things that smell like kiwi and lavender.

Ask anybody who knows me well, and they’ll tell you that I’m not shy to discuss poop one bit (which I think will only get worse/better in a few months when I become a mom!). In fact, the importance of bowel movements is one of the lifelong lessons my dad has instilled in me. It’s right up there with good posture and daily walks. As a teenager, every complaint I had, from “I’ve got a headache” to “my friends are annoying me today” was met with “but did you have a good B.M today?” Sometimes it was ridiculous. Sometimes he was bang on.

It’s not that I went around promoting the importance of regularity back then (no no, that would come later!), but I have this vivid memory of my first realization that not everyone had the same opinion as my dad and I. I was in math class, goofing off with my best friend who sat right behind me, and we must have been about 15 or 16. We were, for whatever reason, talking and joking about pooping at our boyfriends’ homes and how awkward it could be (much to our math teacher’s chagrin, I’m sure) when a girl the aisle over, turned to me and said “Ewww…how often do you poop!? Like, every day?” I was completely taken aback. “Of course! Twice on a good day!” I stammered out. “You?” I asked, because hey, now I was curious. “Oh my God…that’s so gross. I poop once a week, max.” My jaw dropped and my friend started to howl with laughter. I was in total disbelief. “What! So you just have all that…shit…festering in you for a WEEK at a time!? That’s seriously disgusting!” Although I think she thought she’d be vindicated by her response, she now clearly had that classic teenage look of “uh oh, I’m not the normal one here.”

I remember feeling repulsed and angry by her (teenage hormones, what can I say?). How could she possibly think holding all that in to be less disgusting than flushing it all out?  I just couldn’t understand it. I mean, I know that the act itself isn’t something to rave about, and it can be more than inconvenient at times (hence the chat I was having with my friend) but… it’s just what a healthy body does! This conversation really struck me, which is obvious since I am remembering it 15 years later, because until then, I never really realized that some people just didn’t, or couldn’t, get all that waste out of their system. I was fascinated!

I couldn’t help but note every mistake and flaw this girl made for nearly two years, and chalk it all up to a lack of B.Ms. She became the human equivalent of raw sewage in my mind; someone septic and vile, hiding a week’s worth of waste and poison in her body. I couldn’t help but notice the bumps and blackheads her makeup hid. I couldn’t help but notice every over-processed snack she snuck into class. I certainly made a mental note when a few years after school, she gained an awful lot of weight very quickly.

It made me shudder.

Thinking back, that was pretty mean of me. I could have suggested she eat more fibre or calmly told her some benefits of being regular…or at least more frequent. I could have felt bad for her, since there was obviously something very wrong with her diet and/or digestion. I really didn’t need to villainize her in my mind but, alas, I did. However, that moment marked an important moment in my life: realizing that there are those who will be ok with the notion and importance of pooping, and those who won’t be. I was happy to be on team pro-poo.

I hope you’re down with poop, because it’s a necessity when it comes to maintaining beautifully healthy skin. In fact, some might say it is THE most important thing.

I would like to mention that despite my previous story, I’m actually sensitive towards those who have toilet troubles. I have suffered for years with IBS (I don’t get constipated though…just diarrhea…and we’ve gone waaaayyy into TMI-land here, folks.), but I have learned to control it through stress management and diet. I admit to that because I am aware that for many people, being regular isn’t so easy, and I’m not suggesting that frequency is a choice, as I had thought as a teenager.

Part 2 will gently push (lol!) how and why elimination is vital to gorgeous skin, and what can be done to ensure that your body is doing its thing optimally.

So sit tight (but not too tight….again, lol!) for Part Two, where I will cover the juicy aspects of pooping.