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The Skin Detox Guide: How to Remove Toxins and Reveal a Healthier Complexion

With all the talk about pollution and toxins in our environment, it’s easy to see why skin detox has become a popular topic lately. But there is a lot of information and advice concerning skin detox on the internet, and it can be a bit confusing.

This blog post will clear up some of the confusion and tell you everything you need to know about how to achieve your purest and healthiest skin!

What is skin detox?

The phrase “skin detox” is a bit misleading. That’s because toxins don’t really leave our body through our skin. Only a very small amount of toxins can be removed through sweat, but this isn’t the primary process of toxin elimination.

Our bodies are constantly working on getting rid of bacteria, pathogens, harmful substances, and waste. The primary systems that help us detox are the digestive system, the lymphatic system, and the respiratory system. The organs most responsible for detoxing are the liver, lungs and kidneys. But the liver is the most important detox organ.

So, when we talk about detoxing the skin, we really mean improving our body’s natural detoxification processes to enable our organs, including our skin, to function better. It also means cutting down on toxin exposure to give our systems a break from overworking. This involves eating foods that encourage efficient detox by healing organs like our liver. And we can also do a few things to directly purify our pores, prevent exposure to toxins, and heal the damage caused by pollutants our skin encounters daily.

Ultimately, it's best to tackle skin detox from the inside and outside to maximize the results and allow your skin to fully flourish.

Why do we need it?

Our modern, fast-paced way of living isn't always the healthiest way. It’s hard to keep up with everything demanded of us. We are bombarded with unhealthy options that are often too tempting to ignore because they offer us time-saving convenience. This is one reason our bodies can become overwhelmed and start to feel sluggish and tired.

Another reason detox is needed is that we unfortunately live in a polluted environment. Pollutants are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. It wouldn't be possible to avoid all the toxins we come across in our daily lives. And these chemicals keep our detox systems working extra hard to keep up.

Also, many of the products we buy and put on our skin are riddled with chemicals. If you use all-natural products that don’t contain toxins (like ours!), you’re already doing something great to detox your skin. But store-bought products contain many ingredients that often do us more harm than good.

The fact is that cosmetics and self-care products in the U.S. aren’t reviewed by the FDA for safety before they hit the shelves. And there are only 11 toxic ingredients banned by the FDA. This is compared to a whopping 2,495 ingredients banned by the European Union. That’s a huge difference! So it’s easy to see how many store skincare products can contribute to the toxin problem.

Benefits of Skin Detox

Detoxifying your skin will help your skin look smoother, brighter, and more supple. As you detox, your skin cells will regenerate faster, and new cells will be stronger and healthier because they’ll be more nourished and more resilient to damage.

Skin detoxing can also help reduce acne and other skin conditions by helping to balance oil production, bacteria, and pH, making skin less reactive. Signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines, and sagging and dull skin will also diminish. Plus, your skincare products will be more effective because your pores will be cleared of dirt and debris. This will allow your skin to absorb the nourishing ingredients much more readily.

But detoxing benefits more than just your skin. Here are some of the other benefits you get from a skin detox plan.

1. More energy

2. Less inflammation

3. Possibly lose weight

4. More mental clarity

5. Better sleep

6. Improved mood

How to Detox Your Skin

So how do you do it? First, you want to block off some time to detox for a few days. You can choose to do a detox for just three days or up to a week. You shouldn’t need longer than that. So do what you can manage. Consistency is key!

Your detox doesn’t have to be overly complicated or cost you lots of money. Getting the right foods may take some planning and effort. But you won’t need expensive treatments, supplements or devices to get the job done. In fact, the simpler, the better, so you’re more likely to stick with it.

The following are the guidelines for a simple but effective skin detox. Remember that it’s essential to consult your physician before you start any type of detox because it could interfere with any other treatments you may already be doing.

1. Eat Detoxifying Foods

The healthier you eat, the more effective your skin detox will be. The general healthy-eating rules apply, such as avoiding fatty foods and foods high in salt and sugar, but you also want to stay away from dairy, gluten and red meat. These foods are harder for your body to process and can slow down the detox process. Focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables mainly, with some meat and/or fish if you're not vegan. Include healthy sources of good fat and fiber to help flush things out.

Here's a list of some particularly detox-friendly foods.

  • Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, especially kale and arugula
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Turmeric
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Dandelion tea

2. Drink Water

Drinking water is the best way to hydrate your body and your skin. It’s best to avoid drinks with sugar and caffeine since they aren’t as effective at keeping you hydrated and may even dehydrate you. Alcohol should be avoided because it is toxic and dehydrating to the body. If you can drink filtered or purified water, you’ll avoid even more toxins! The recommended amount is 90 ounces of water for women and 125 ounces for men.

3. Exercise

Besides being part of any healthy routine, exercise is excellent for improving blood flow and making your detox efforts even more effective. Moving your muscles stimulates your lymphatic system, encouraging your body to get rid of waste faster. Doing a mixture of cardio and resistance training is best.

4. Sleep Well

Proper sleep is crucial to detoxing. That’s because certain hormones are released during sleep that help your body recover and heal from the day’s damage. You'll have better results if your body is working at its best. 

If sleep is a challenge for you, there are some things to try that can help. For one, keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule every day. Avoiding food and water right before bed can also help. Meditation or light yoga stretching can help stop a racing mind before you try to sleep. And staying away from blue light from your phone, computer and TV is always a good idea.

5. Avoid Wearing Makeup (or minimize what you wear)

It may be challenging to stop wearing makeup altogether for the detox week, especially if you usually wear it. But it would be beneficial to keep your face and pores as clean as possible. If you need to wear makeup, try using a mineral-based one that’s all-natural, and use less than you normally would. It’s a great time to embrace your natural beauty!

6. Adjust Your Skincare Routine

While you detox, it’s vital to avoid putting toxins onto your skin whenever possible. Your skincare routine may need to be modified if you aren’t already using clean, all-natural products. Check the labels on the products you use and look for ingredients that may be harmful and do some research. It may even be time to ditch your old routine and start using toxin-free skincare all the time!

Your routine should also consist of cleansing every morning and night, using a toner for balance, and hydrating with a serum or moisturizer. You can even try double cleansing, which means first cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, followed by your regular cleanser. This will help unclog pores of more dirt and debris.

7. Add Facial Treatments

Besides cleansing your face and keeping it hydrated, a few treatments will help you remove impurities from your pores. A mild, all-natural exfoliator will slough away dead skin cells, allowing your cleanser and moisturizer to go deeper into your pores. Do this 2-3 times during the detox week (do less if your skin is extremely sensitive).

A few other treatments can help you clear your skin too. Face masks made with clay are especially good for detoxing. And doing a facial steam (hovering over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head for a few minutes) will open pores and flush out dirt.

You may even have some ingredients in your kitchen to make your own treatments. You can easily whip up a face mask using avocado, honey, oats and/or almond meal. Look for recipes online!

Every now and then, our skin and bodies could use a break from the overwhelming amount of toxins we are exposed to. Doing a simple detox following these guidelines will leave you feeling refreshed and looking rejuvenated, from the inside out!


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