Most often when we want to achieve clear skin, we tend to reach for complicated chemical-based cleansers and board-certified serums. We tend to lean toward masks, pore minimizing cleansers and flare-up clearing products. But, many acne targeting products and facial treatments tend to only offer quick fixes to our concerns and might end up dehydrating our skin. What many clear skin achievers and cleansing product hoarders usually forget about, is the largest detox organ in our body - our skin!
Our skin is a reflection of our digestive system and of our environment. So, why not start from the inside out and then compliment from the outside in? Instead of reaching for yet another quick fix or exfoliating cleanser - drink water and start with a detox!
What is a detox and how does it relate to my skin?
We live in a world full of chemicals, pathogens, bacteria, and toxins. Although not all of these might be directly affecting your skin (healthy bacteria is crucial to gut health), constant build-up and frequent exposure, poor diet and lacking certain nutrients will absolutely affect the health of your skin. Since we live in an industrialized environment, it is quite difficult to avoid toxins in our daily lives and that is where a detox to help cleanse your skin comes in!
Did you know your skin is the biggest detoxification organ in your body? We usually think of our liver and kidneys as the detox power houses and pay little attention to our skin and our lymphatic system. Your skin acts as a two way street, absorbing from the outside and detoxing from the inside. Accumulation of unwanted substances inside your body (from eating unhealthy foods, ingesting chemicals and pollutants from the environment), try to make their way out of your body through your skin's own detoxification process. This detoxification process can present itself on your skin as acne, inflammation, blemishes, dark spots, dry skin, blackheads and also uneven complexion. Using only skincare to cleanse and hydrate your skin doesn't fully address the toxin build up underneath your skin, but an internal detox does! Think of an internal detox as a skin detox or an acne detox!
At first, removing toxins might amplify acne-prone skin and inflammation, but the only way to reduce toxic overload is to detoxify it! Gentle and natural detoxes can effectively remove toxins without disrupting your day to day routine and should be used over a few weeks rather than a few days. Once you have helped your body detoxify, consider introducing an anti-inflammatory diet, or additional nutrients to help minimize toxin accumulation. That's when your skincare and cleansing routine can really shine! Detox diets and detox drinks are a great method to sustain detoxification long-term. And of course, remember to drink water!
How do I stimulate my body's own detoxification system?
Generally, increasing water intake, eating nutrient rich foods, addressing digestive concerns and stimulating healthy gut bacteria stimulates your body's toxin removal. But, when toxins increase due to bad habits or acidic foods there are a few extra things you can do to help kick start your body's detoxification systems.
- Support your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. Try to find detoxes that support all of your detox organs, rather than focusing on just your liver or just your kidneys.
- Further support your lymphatic system with dry brushing, lymphatic drainage and massages to help stimulate the removal of unwanted build up. Dry brushing stimulates blood flow, removes dead skin cells and improves elastin.
- Use skincare products without chemicals or harmful additives. These just add additional toxins to your body! Use natural products that support collagen elasticity such as hyaluronic acid in your at-home skin care routine.
- Use dermatologist tested products that help brighten and tone your skin, such as a Vitamin C Skin Serum.
- Avoid acidic foods in your diet and include more alkaline-rich foods, Omega-3s and other fatty acids. A great way to alkalize is through multi-mineral electrolyte supplements simply added to water, a daily dose of apple cider vinegar or enjoying a green juice!
Detoxify by choosing the right cleansing routine
so many options to choose from on the market from clay masks, to acne scar correctors, to pore shrinking treatments it's hard to choose the right products to care for your skin. When choosing the right way to cleanse and tone your skin remember that your skin absorbs everything you put on it! After a skin detox remember not to reverse your efforts by putting more chemicals or preservatives onto your skin. An effective way to care for your skin isn't a one step process, but once you settle on a routine ride it out for a few weeks, and allow your skin to get used to the products before you assess results.
Skin detox products to look for :
- Skincare that addresses not only your face and neck but your body as well. Body moisturizers and body serums are crucial to overall healthy skin.
- Products that help reduce the effects of free radicals such as Vitamin C serums, antioxidants, Vitamin E and selenium.
- Collagen boosting products containing hyaluronic acids. Face creams and serums containing hyaluronic acid help tighten the skin and achieve a desired glow.
- Try to find a simple routine that comes in a set, as they are most often used to compliment each other.
And finally, add in a weekly face mask that helps with an area requiring a little extra attention, such as hydration or brightening! A helpful hint is to try and increase your water intake during the 20-30 minutes while you're wearing your mask!