We've all been there. After a couple of weeks of heavy duty partying, a less than admirable diet alongside a stress filled work life and your skin can start to look worst for wear - and that's putting it mildly. So where do you start in your skin detox? We bring you our top tips to leave your skin feeling fresh again - just try and keep it up this time.
Keeping up with everyday life can be much easier said than done. If you're not heading to the pub after a strenuous day's work, you're heading home to collapse on the sofa and probably surround yourself with junk food - let's face it, cooking a healthy, gourmet meal every night just isn't going to happen. While this doesn't sound like the worst idea in the world, it can be easy to underestimate the effect of your lifestyle on your skin. It's easy to forget that your skin is your body's largest organ, and neglecting it can have a massive effect on your appearance and more importantly your entire wellbeing.
Our fast-paced lifestyles mean we're constantly exposed to harmful chemicals, so your skin needs to get rid of these and replace them with nutrients and minerals to leave your skin clear, glowing and all-round healthy. Sometimes, if your system is overwhelmed, your skin may develop issues to compensate, and try to get rid of these impurities.
While there's a plethora of wonder-claiming products out there, the easiest and most effective ways to detox your skin naturally start at home. It's all about having a skin routine, and that includes thinking a bit more about what you're putting in to your body as well as on the outside. So where do you start on your face detox quest?
Skin Care Routine
When it comes to detoxifying your skin, taking a bit more care over what you put on your skin, particularly your face, is one of the most important factors. Starting a daily or seasonal skin care routine will massively brighten your skin and can significantly reduce redness and acne - and who doesn't want that? While there are a whole host of lotions and potions out there, these can often be super expensive - but a few small changes in your skin care routine don't have to cost a bomb, and will still hugely improve the look and feel of your skin.
Exfoliation might not sound like a revelation to you, but it really is the key to a bright, fresh canvas to work from. You might already dabble with exfoliation by using a textured body wash, but this alone won't give you the deep exfoliation you really need to fully detox your skin. This is when dry brushing comes in. Experts say that you should brush your skin with a naturally bristled brush before you have a shower and most importantly, whilst dry.
This helps improve circulation and stimulates your lymphatic system to release toxins, and also reduces puffiness and cellulite while improving muscle tone and encouraging skin cell renewal. Who knew? While this might be a bit too harsh for your face detox, this is great for an all-over skin detox. Make sure you brush in gentle, circular motions towards the heart, and do this for a minimum of three months for the most effective results. When it comes to exfoliating your face, stick to a facial scrub suitable for sensitive skin, but use no more than 2 to 4 times a week to avoid getting rid of your skins essential oils.
The next step in your detox for clear skin is finding a detoxifying cleanser that works for your skin. After your brushing routine, it's important to get rid of all the dead skin cells and general dirt that has come to the surface. There's loads of chemical based products that claim to have all sorts of powers, but you're better off checking the label and going for a product with as many natural ingredients as possible and is pH balanced.
While you want to give your skin a deep clean, you should avoid any foaming cleansers and course scrubs as these can be really drying, and will do even more damage to your skin. Use a clean washcloth to gently polish the skin whilst in the bath or shower, as the steam will help to open your pores and release even more impurities.
Whilst we're on the subject of baths, soaking in a detoxifying tub is another great way to detox the skin at home. Experts suggest to take a bath 2 to 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes as a means to clear all the toxins from your skin, as well as relaxing the body and helping circulation - all of which will help brighten the appearance of your skin. So what even is a detoxifying bath, I hear you ask?
You might have heard your nan talk about Epsom salts, and you should definitely raid her bathroom if so. Epsom salts along with a dash of apple cider vinegar supposedly bring out all the toxins in the body whilst soothing muscle pains to leave you feeling generally refreshed. If you're feeling fancy, you can also add some essential oils or a dash of olive oil in colder months for a bit of deep conditioning. It might not be the most macho look in the world, but trust us, you'll feel like a brand new man after a soak.
If you want a detox for skin that's acne prone, a detoxifying face mask can be a life saver. It's not just the stereotypical sign of beautification - clay masks actually do work. Soft clay masks are the new version of the tried-and-tested familiar mask and actually come with a lot of scientific research behind them than you might have thought. The negative charge of natural clays, especially montmorillonite clay, helps to detoxify the skin by attracting the positive charge of the impurities and pulling them to the surface of your skin.
So normal clay is great, but soft clay comes with the added benefit of being mixed with moisturising botanical oils (like lavender, sweet almond, and safflower) to hydrate. This is much better for dry and sensitive skin, as it won't absorb too much of your skin's natural good oils. You should only use it around twice a week to avoid drying out your skin, and it can also be used all over your body. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes (until your face becomes satisfyingly stiff), then wash off with a warm washcloth and check out your skin's newfound glow.
Top tip: it might seem like the least clean, fresh thing that you can think of, but charcoal is actually a great alternative for a detox face mask. It works like a vacuum, absorbing all the gunk you don't want out of your pores. Now we're not suggesting you rub a lump of coal over your face, but there are several face washes and sponges around that include charcoal as an ingredient, so get checking the back of your products.
Skin Detox Diet
So physically taking care of your skin goes without saying, but there's no point putting TLC into your detoxifying skincare routine if you're not looking after what's going into your body. Part of the detoxifying process is eliminating all the toxins that you're taking in through your diet, and some of these toxins are more obvious than others.
Cigarette smoke is obviously not great for keeping your skin looking fresh, and an alcohol detox also has many beneficial symptoms for your skin. It goes without saying that eating a good amount of fruit and veg will also do wonders for your skin, however they are sometimes covered in pesticides and herbicides, which can also affect the appearance of your skin - so try and go organic whenever you can.
Sugar is one of the main culprits in wreaking havoc on your skin, and there is loads of beneficial sugar detox symptoms for your skin. Consuming lots of refined sugars increases harmful molecules in your bloodstream, which over time damage surrounding proteins like the collagen and elastin that keep your skin firm and elastic. So cut down on the amount of sweets, fizzy drinks and white bread to keep your skin looking youthful. While it's important to eat a lot of fruit and veg, you should keep in mind that some fruits contain a ridiculous amount of sugar too - one of life's biggest paradoxes.
Meat And Dairy
Having a protein rich diet is really important in detoxing your skin, however a lot of mass produced meat has been reared using various hormones to treat either the animals themselves or their products. These hormones can have a big effect on acne sufferers, as the skin condition is greatly affected by hormone imbalances within the body. Take a bit more time in the meat isle at your supermarket, and look out for grain-fed meat and poultry and opt for organic dairy products instead - you could see a huge improvement in your skin.
With avocado becoming the ultimate of super foods over the last couple of years, we're all now aware that fats aren't necessarily a bad thing. They're actually super important in detoxifying your system, and help the body absorb essential vitamins while restoring and maintaining an ideal hormone balance - all of which are key in healthy, bright-looking skin. As well as avocado, try and eat more salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds, are they are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which create strong skin cells, improve skin elasticity, and help prevent wrinkles.
If you've not gathered so far, the key to maintaining healthy skin is balance, and to fully detoxifying your skin, you need to regain this balance. If your diet contains too much acidic foods (generally the foods that are all too delicious) your body will target the helpful alkaline minerals. These alkaline minerals include calcium, potassium, and magnesium and are what keep our skin, hair, teeth, and bones strong and healthy. Get a glow back in your skin and opt for a greener diet of broccoli, kale and spinach whenever you can.
It seems to be the go-to answer for everything, but water really is the key to detoxifying your skin and maintaining that covetable healthy glow. Water generally flushes out the system, carrying away toxins on its way out while keeping your skin hydrated, your complexion clear, and preventing wrinkles. Like magic really. It can be really easy to forget to drink enough water, and experts say you should try to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day to see benefits in your skin. That might sound a lot, but if you don't drink that much, then you probably won't see an improvement in the rest of your detox diet changes - so set an alarm every hour to remind you!
Skin Detox Tea
When it comes to liquid diets, most of us are sceptical of their benefits and unwanted side effects, but there are some scientifically proven benefits to drinking teas as part of a skin detox - call it 'teatox' if you will. High quality teas are rich in antioxidants and those including herbs like lemongrass, ginger, dandelion, and milk thistle have been said to support a healthy liver - one of the main organs in charge of detoxifying the body and therefore your skin. While you should be sceptical about big claims made by detox tea brands, you can't go wrong with natural based ingredients. Drink in the morning and evening to get your system going for the best improvements to your skin.
Exercise is also one of those things that your body just can't get enough of, especially if you're after a face detox. While your diet and caring for your skin all have a big impact, don't underestimate the value of exercise in keeping your skin fresh and clear. Exercise gets your heart beating and your body sweating, which means that toxins and impurities are pushed out of the body. Apparently the best exercises for detoxing your skin include hot yoga, boxing, running, and HIIT workouts, so get down to your gym to get your glow back.
On That Note
Every now and then your skin just needs a complete revamp, and getting into a healthy lifestyle routine will help this massively. Try and maintain your body's natural balances as much as possible by cutting down on the amount of toxins you're putting into your body, and try these home grooming techniques and natural remedies to get your body in peak condition again. But don't be fooled - 'detoxing' shouldn't be a 'every now and again' thing, it should be more of a lifestyle change to make sure your skin is healthy, fresh and clear all the time. Good luck!