The human body is very efficient and has its own natural detoxifying systems in place. But sometimes it needs a little bit of help and so we have to be more proactive—especially if we haven’t exactly been treating it with the best care. Take your skin, for example. If it’s been looking a little dull or if you’ve been suffering from breakouts, then it might be time to do a quick skin detox to get you glowing.
A detox can help your skin fight off the damaging effects of daily exposure to pollution and any sneaky makeup buildup on your skin. The bonus? You’ll not only look good on the outside but you’ll feel good on the inside, too!
Tips to Detox Your Skin
1. Eat clean. Go on a detox diet for glowing skin. It’s not surprising that things that are generally bad for your insides can wreak havoc on your skin as well. So, first things first: Cut back on refined sugar—studies have linked refined sugar consumption to an increased risk of developing acne.
Next: Introduce the good stuff into your diet. Dark, leafy greens are chock full of nutrients that are good for your skin (and overall health). This doesn’t mean you have to eat a salad at every meal; there are plenty of ways to include greens in your diet. Start the day with a green smoothie for breakfast, eat a hearty kale salad for lunch, and add a serving of spinach to your dinner.
Other things you should consider adding to your diet: healthy fats, like avocados, which are rich in antioxidants, as well as probiotics. These microorganisms can keep your gut microflora balanced; an unbalanced gut microbiome has been linked with a variety of skin conditions. You can get your dose of probiotics from fermented foods like kimchi, miso, yogurt, and kombucha. There are even some skin-care products that have probiotics. (Try Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel, available at Healthy Options.)
2. Have a cup of green tea. A study published in the Archives of Dermatology concluded that, although more clinical studies are needed, “supplementation of skin care products with green tea may have a profound impact on various skin disorders.” Green tea is also a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants, which can help fight off free radicals, the cell- and tissue-damaging bad guys.
3. Use natural products. Just as you’re getting rid of refined ingredients from and including whole foods in your diet, consider switching to more natural skin-care products that have no harmful chemicals.
4. Use charcoal. Activated charcoal is a great detoxifying agent as it naturally draws out impurities. Because of this property, it’s now being used in many skin-cleansing products. Look for this ingredient to help draw out dirt and other gunk from your pores. (Try Derma E Purifying Charcoal Mask, available at Healthy Options.)
5. Exfoliate. If your skin is looking lackluster, it may be because your complexion is hidden away under dead skin cells. Gently scrub away at the top layer of your skin to reveal younger, smoother, and suppler skin underneath.
6. Have a spa day at home. Pamper yourself and slather on a facial mask. It’s more than just a self-care ritual—mud and clay masks can help rejuvenate your skin.
While the two are often used interchangeably, there are some differences: Clay masks are typically ideal for oily skin. They can help control oil, tighten pores, and treat acne. Bentonite and kaolin are two of the more popular types.
Mud masks are more moisturizing, possibly because of the water content of the mud. Both masks are used to draw out impurities. Whichever mask you choose, make sure not to leave them on longer than recommended. This can dry out your skin and trick it into thinking it has to produce more oil.
Signs Your Skin Is Detoxing
Don’t freak out if you experience a breakout at the start of your detox; this may just be the toxins leaving your body. If you’re also used to consuming plenty of refined sugar, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches and irritability. Just keep at it—once you get over the hump, you’ll look and feel so much better and might even decide to make the changes permanent.