Clean
James Hamblin

Book cover image

Narrated By: Barrett Leddy

Duration: 7 hours and 12 minutes

What to expect

Introducing the new science of skin and a more natural approach to being clean: Our skin plays an essential role in our health. But our understanding of what skin is and how it works is changing. Much of what we think of as cleanliness and skincare might actually be harming it. In Clean specialist in preventive medicine Dr James Hamblin draws on the latest science to offer an exciting new perspective: on our bodies, our health and our relationship with the natural world.

'You'll never think about your largest organ the same way again' David Epstein, author of Range

'A thought-provoking and deeply-researched investigation' Bianca Booker, author of Cork Dork

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We treat our skin as a surface to be kept clean and clear, requiring daily application of soap, moisturisers and many other products. But while hygiene - and hand-washing especially - is essential to prevent the spread of disease, this attitude to skincare might actually be damaging our health.

In fact, our skin is a complex and diverse ecosystem, playing host to trillions of bacteria that are integral to our immune system. By removing them with soap, we potentially compromise the protection they afford. Not only is our overuse of soap and skincare products harming the environment, it is likely to be exacerbating or even causing many of the skin conditions we seek to remedy or avoid, and increasing our vulnerability to allergies.

In Clean, specialist in preventive medicine James Hamblin shows that this is a relatively recent development, and a healthier, simpler way is available. An irreverent and entertaining journey through our complex relationship with our bodies and cleanliness arrives at a new and scientific conception of skincare that is now taking hold: the cultivation of a healthy biome and a natural approach to being clean.

Genre

Health, illness & addiction: social aspects, Popular medicine & health, Personal & public health / health education, Popular science, Hygiene, Society & culture: general

Listen to a sample

James Hamblin's strange, good-humoured and persuasive book sets out to dispel the comfortable notion that our skin is a smooth protective barrier between us and the outside world... Clean made me chuckle and then left me thoughtful, which isn't bad for a book about soap

Daily Telegraph

James Hamblin's characteristic mix of clarity and levity shine through every single page. You'll never think about your largest organ the same way again