“Detox” has been one of the trendiest buzzwords of recent years. You might’ve tried a matter of diet detoxes with juice cleanses and meal plans after extra indulgent vacays. Or maybe you drank detox tea to get rid of excess bloat before a big event (where you’ll potentially be in a tight dress). But what about a detox for the biggest organ in your body?
No matter what you think about the trending buzzword, you can’t deny there are days when your skin could use a detox. Some days our skin is extra dull or breaking out, especially after long vacations, and we know it’s because we slept in our makeup, overate bad food, neglected our skin after beach days, or, god forbid, all of the above. If any other part of your body isn’t functioning correctly, from your gut (too much junk food) to your brain (too much stress), it can show up on your skin because your pores get clogged up when trying to compensate for the other incorrectly functioning systems in your body.
A facial detox means dedicating one week (or whatever your schedule allows) to remove all impurities, toxins, pollutants, and dead skin cells possible to renew and revitalize your skin back to how it usually looks — or, maybe if you detox right, better than it’s ever been before.
How To Know If Your Skin Needs A Detox
This is easier than you’d think. If everything is functioning correctly in our bodies, we shouldn’t have any outward signs of inflammation or irritation like breakouts, redness, excess oil, discoloration, eye bags, puffiness or general dullness.
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and any internal issues are directly reflected through our skin. The healthier you are on the inside, the healthier you are on the outside!
If you’ve been dealing with chronic skin problems, it’s probably a more severe look at your health to uncover what’s happening inside to cause these problems. For the longest time, you could’ve assumed that breakouts and acne were caused solely by genetic or personal hygiene, but know that it couldn’t be further from the truth!
Detox for Clear Skin
We’d all love it if detoxing our skin was as simple as throwing on a face mask, but it’s pretty clear that our skin health starts internally. If you want to truly heal your skin or make it as beautiful as possible, you’ve got to start with what you’re putting in your body.
Think of your body as a car. If you only put in the cheapest gasoline, eventually, you’re going to get buildup, leading to more significant issues. But, if you’re filling it with only the best, it’s going to perform at its best!
Support your liver
Our livers are crucial in detoxing our skin as they’re responsible for removing toxins from our bodies. Eating foods that boost our liver function and help it to detoxify will only speed up our skin’s recovery. Foods that are high in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids like avocado, walnuts, olive oil, cod liver oil are great. Cilantro and parsley are also great herbs to add to your diet for liver detoxification.
It Starts with Diet
A proper diet is essential to our overall health. Fueling our bodies with nutrient-dense foods that help boost our bodies natural detoxification systems is critical.
It’s also essential to make sure you’re cutting out the junk. Avoid all processed, waste, and fried foods as well as refined sugars.
Detox Through Diet
Yes, even in a skin detox, you may have to be careful with what you eat. If you’re like me and love your mac n’ cheese and milkshakes, it’s a harsh reality to face that these are not helping how your skin looks.
For total skin rejuvenation, it’s essential to adapt your diet to your skin cleansing goals. Stay off dairy products, fried foods, and added sugar, which is all pore-clogging and skin-dulling, for the duration of your detox. Instead, opt for lots of alkaline-rich fruits and veggies like peas, broccoli, kale, watermelon, and bananas. Alkaline minerals (like calcium, magnesium, and potassium) keep skin strong (and hair, bones, and teeth, just for bonus points). Glow from the inside out with healthy fats like avocados and walnuts.
The key to any detox is implementing what you enjoyed from it into your everyday life to continue to see results after the detox is over. You may not be able to promise your skin that you’ll always say no to greasy pizza or spicy margaritas or that you’ll keep up with facials and daily steams. Still, you can put more care and effort into your daily skincare and add foods into your diet that you feel make a difference. With minor changes like that, your skin won’t need a detox very often!
Drink water, lots of water! This is key in detoxing your skin! If you’re not sure where to start, take your body weight, divide it in two and drink that many ounces of water. Aim for 96 ounces of water each day. If drinking water is hard for you, try adding citrus to it. Not only is that beneficial to your liver’s health, but it also tastes good!
Start each morning with a glass of warm water (or you could add apple cider vinegar). It acts as a probiotic and helps improve digestion, and wakes you up more naturally. When you’re detoxing your skin, avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption (or at least limit it to one) as that can contribute to dehydration.
Properly Hydrate and Protect Your Skin
Serums should be used twice daily in the morning and at night, as they not only hydrate but also allow whatever ingredients you put on top of them to sink deeper into your skin, allowing better results. Morning routines should follow serums with moisturizer and sunscreen (as well as any other preferred products for your skin type).
Night routines should be followed by a night moisturizer, cream, or mask (also depending on skin type). Add in a facial oil to your way at least twice that week for best results (even if you have oily skin — bacteria doesn’t grow in the suitable facial oils and does not clog pores). If your skin is dry, dull, or sensitive, add in some hydrating/cooling sheet masks as well.
Drink Lots of Water (and Only Water!)
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily water intake of around 91 ounces (this number varies depending on your gender, weight, etc.). While this is the daily recommendation to eliminate toxins from your body and stay hydrated, very few people get this much, and on top of that, they’re drinking dehydrating liquids like coffee, sugary juices, and alcohol. I am by no means a fan of cutting out any of these crucial categories from my life.
But if your skin is asking for help, maybe a break from these liquids will do it well. At least for your detox days, while your skin is being cleaned from the inside out, swap your morning cup (or three) of coffee for hydrating and skin-clearing green tea. Avoid alcohol, sugary juices, and all other liquids except water/tea and try your best to get your daily recommendation.
Deeply cleansing your skin is essential when detoxing. It speeds up the process and helps to remove any buildup from the outside. Plus, washing your face this way feels like a spa experience! Before you cleanse, permanently remove your makeup.
Start With The Facial
A proper facial can clean out your pores more thoroughly than a regular skincare routine can. Treating yourself to a facial (complete with a face massage!) might be the most relaxing thing you’ve splurged on for yourself in a long time, meaning a fantastic de-stressor while your pores get cleaned. Start your detox the cleanest way possible with a facial at your preference of dermatologist or spa, or learn how to do your spa-level facial at home (don’t forget the face massage!).
The first step to recovery? Starting with a clean slate. All that contouring, defining, and blending you did over the holiday break was excellent for your makeup technique—not so great for your skin. To make sure you’re cleansing your skin thoroughly and starting your detox correctly, make sure you are double-cleansing. Use an oil-based cleanser first to melt off oil-based makeup residue, then your normal (hopefully sulphate-free) cleanser afterwards.
Cleansing your face twice might seem excessive (not to mention time-consuming), but it’s vital to a clear complexion—trust.
Cleanse Twice A Day (The Right Way for You)
Cleansing should be a daily habit, of course, but no matter your typical skincare routine, a skin detox requires cleansing morning and night. Be mindful of your skin type when choosing which cleansers to use. It’s important to note that you do not have to and maybe should not use the same cleaner for both times every day. If you have drier skin, an oil cleanser in the morning and a foam cleanser at night will be cleansing, gentle, and hydrating. If you have oilier, more acne-prone skin, a water-based gel in the morning and at night would be beneficial to get out all of the buildups.
To bring back your baby-soft skin, use a gentle exfoliator like a konjac sponge a few days a week while cleansing. This will help your cleanser do its job and help buff away dead skin cells. Avoid any harsh, grainy exfoliators in the first week—they’ll only irritate your already aggravated (and most likely dry) skin.
If you’re a pro at peels, feel free to jump right back to your favourite at-home product (don’t overdo it—stick to using it only once or twice a week at first). If you’re a peel newbie, now is the perfect time to introduce a gentle peel into your routine. Try something with fruit acids that will leave your skin soft, balanced, and radiant without any irritation.
Steam Your Face
During your skin detox, it’s full steam ahead—literally. DIY facial mist treats your pores while also releasing toxins, dirt, and debris. Plus, the products you apply afterwards will penetrate much more profound.
After cleansing, exposing your skin to steam is crucial to allow the ingredients to penetrate pores and extract as much grime as possible. If you don’t have a steam shower, it’s simple, easy, and free to make your own. Bring a pot of water to boil, then transfer the water to a bowl. Hover your face above the bowl and drape a towel over your head to concentrate the steam on your facial pores for about ten minutes.
A mask is the ultimate indulgence for your face, and it’s the closest thing you can get to a spa treatment at home. Depending on your skin needs, you’ll either want an oil-balancing clay-based mask or a super-hydrating moisturizing mask. OVI Deep Cleansing Face Mask is a mineral-rich, age-defying Volcanic Ash facial mask that gently absorbs oil, helping to reduce large-sized pores and eliminate built-up impurities leaving tired and stressed skin feeling energetic, vibrant and whole again. OVI is a powerful raw detoxifier & cleanser made for stressed and sensitive skin with natural oils and rich nutrients found from volcanic islands worldwide.
Make Mud Masks Your Best Friend
Formulas with clay or mud draw out the most impurities in the top layers of the skin. Dilute any mask with warm water and leave it on only until it soft, not dried. We have it programmed into our brains to leave on covers until they’re cracking and our faces can’t move (we’ve all felt the pain when you need to laugh or yawn with a dried mud mask on).
But this tactic dries out our skin and strips it of essential oils that are key in keeping the skin hydrated and clean.
Apply the mask every other day for the duration of your detox.
If you can, avoid wearing makeup while detoxing your skin. Try not to wear makeup, just SPF. If you need to wear makeup, go light and use safe products free of toxic ingredients. A simple routine could be a tinted moisturizer, blush, mascara and lipstick. You’ll still look put together, but it’s very light!
Let Your Skin Breathe
Just breathe—the slogan for Nike’s imaginary sister yoga brand but also a mindset you should apply to your skin. After a month of heavy makeup, it’s time to give your skin a break. Forgo your favourite foundation and let your skin breathe for a day (or more, preferably). A light moisturizer will seal in all your work in the previous steps without clogging your pores. If you must insist on some coverage, opt for an oil-free tinted moisturizer.
For the rest of your body, dry brushing is an excellent way of detoxifying. Plus, it leaves your skin feeling so much softer and smoother. It provides fantastic exfoliation for your whole body and has a whole host of other benefits as well!
How to Detox Your Skin & Keep It Looking Beautiful
Detoxifying Teas & Supplements
Sipping on green tea and warming teas with flavours like anise, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are great for detoxification. If you can add those spices to your meals, too, do it! Turmeric and ginger are both very anti-inflammatory.
As far as supplements go, adding a probiotic to your daily routine is highly recommended. Our gut health is also known as our second brain, and when our gut health is out of whack, it often results in skin issues. Probiotics can add healthy bacteria back to your digestive tract and make it easier to digest your food properly. You can also add probiotic foods to your diet like fermented pickles, kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Tea tree oil is excellent for detoxifying. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a neutral oil like jojoba to make a face serum. You may diffuse this in your house, though. It helps keep the air clean, and the scent keeps me calm. Peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender and orange are all great for detoxification.
Skin Detox Tips
Employ all of the above things to your life when working to detox and clear your skin. A few other things to do to boost skin detoxification are:
- turn the shower from hot to cold; this helps push out toxins from the pores
- sit in the steam room—opens pores, make sure your skin is clean before you go in!
- hot yoga—my skin always looks clear after I leave; make sure you’re not wearing any makeup
- wash your face after exercise—you don’t want all that sweat and gunk sitting on your face
- avoid touching your face—I’m so bad at this, but the less I feel my face, the less I breakout
- clean your phone screen—bacteria can sit on our phones and get transferred to our faces