No matter how much care you may take of your skin, it is still going to be exposed to impurities and toxins, which is why skin detoxes are essential.
What exactly is a skin detox?
The methods vary, but, basically, it is a way to cleanse your skin of all of these harmful impurities, while stimulating a healthier environment in which your skin can thrive. With results ranging from a boost in collagen and elastin production, to an increase in cell turnover, a skin detox is something that everybody should be doing on a regular basis.
1. Daily Dry Brushing
One of the easiest ways to detox your skin is by dry brushing it every day.
Wondering what dry brushing is?
It simply involves rubbing a dry, soft-bristled brush over your skin in a particular way, and has a number of different skin-boosting benefits.
To begin with…
Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating all of the waste that your cells produce. The lymphatic system is easily prone to congestion, and, when this happens, it means that toxins end up building up in your body, leading to everything from inflammation to illness.
Dry brushing also increases blood flow and circulation, leading to a healthier complexion and a boost of energy, while exfoliating the skin at the same time.
For those who have cellulite, you may find that dry brushing is able to help reduce this. While there is not much hard scientific proof to back this up, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there showing that this may be yet another benefit that dry brushing has.
So, what kind of dry brush should you buy?
There are many choices out there, and you may even want to purchase a couple of different ones. While long-handled brushes are great for hard-to-reach areas, such as the middle of your back, brushes with a shorter handle will fit into your hand with more ease, making it quicker and easier to brush your skin.
Now that you have your dry brush, it is time to learn how to use it….
Here are the steps to follow:
- Begin at your feet, brushing the bottoms of your feet and slowly moving up your legs. Use long, smooth strokes, and always brush towards your heart, because this is where the lymphatic system drains
- Slowly move up your body, brushing each section about ten times
- When it comes to your stomach and back, you can use circular motions instead of long strokes
- Finish with a shower
Make sure that you do not brush too hard. Remember that dry brushing should never hurt.
Your dry brush will need to be washed every week or so, in order to cleanse it of the dead skin cells that will have accumulated in it. You will also need to replace your brush every six months, or even just each year, as the bristles will wear down over time.
Is there any reason you should not use a dry brush?
Sadly, yes. If you suffer from dry skin or eczema, dry brushing may only exacerbate your condition.
2. Detox Baths
When you take a bath, your skin is exposed to all that is in the water for quite a bit of time, meaning that the ingredients that you put into your bath can actually have quite a big effect on your skin.
So, what exactly does a detox bath involve?
The most popular type is an Epsom salt bath.
Its name is a bit misleading, because Epsom salts are not actually a salt…
They are actually a naturally occurring mineral compound, known as magnesium sulfate. When this enters your body, it helps to regulate over 300 biochemical reactions, and also acts as a toxin repellent, flushing toxins out of your cells.
You may be wondering…
Can’t I just take a magnesium sulfate supplement instead?
You could, but it would not be as effective when it comes to your skin, as it would have to pass through your stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and liver, before it can even enter your bloodstream.
However, by being absorbed directly through the skin, it is able to bypass all of these obstacles, and make its way into the bloodstream much quicker.
Ready for a soak?
All you need to do is mix together one cup of Epsom salts with two cups of baking soda. Add this to a hot bath, while the water is still running, and mix it in well. Do not be alarmed if the water appears cloudy. For some extra fragrance, you could even add in around ten drops of an essential oil, many of which will have their own skin-boosting benefits.
Don’t have any Epsom salts to hand?
There are many other ingredients out there that you could also add to a bath to help detox your skin:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt
- Bentonite clay (see below)
When it comes to how long to soak for, try to limit yourself to around 15 minutes. While it may be tempting to soak in the warm water for longer, this will only have a drying effect on your skin, and may end up doing more harm than good.
3. Bentonite Clay
Also known as monmorillonite, bentonite clay is formed after volcanic ash has weathered and aged, and consists of a number of different minerals, including:
Bentonite clay has actually been used as a detoxification aid since ancient times, but modern science has now backed up its incredible abilities.
How does it work?
When bentonite clay is mixed with water, it creates a negative electrical charge. The toxins in your body, whether this may be chemicals or toxic metals, have a positive electrical charge, meaning that they are attracted to the clay. Working just like a sponge, the clay soaks up all of these toxins, and then eliminates them from the body.
In addition to detoxifying your skin, bentonite clay can also rebalance your skin’s pH level by providing it with the trace minerals that it may be missing.
So, how exactly do you use bentonite clay?
The easiest way is with a face mask. You can find face masks that contain the clay, as well as other ingredients, or you can simply use the clay on its own to create your own mask.
All you need to do is mix it with some water and then apply a thick layer to your face, giving it around 20 minutes to dry.
Then, simply rinse it off with warm water.
You can use this treatment weekly, either on your whole face, or as a spot treatment on certain areas of troubled skin.
Bentonite clay can also be used as a detox bath.
Just mix a couple of cups of powdered clay into your bath, and then soak in this for 15 to 20 minutes.
Did you know that you can also eat bentonite clay?
Just mix it with a bit of water and either drink it straight, or mix it in with a smoothie or another drink. This will help to detox your body from within, which your skin will also benefit from. However, make sure that you purchase a food grade bentonite clay if you want to do this, as you need one intended for human consumption.
4. Double Cleansing
Cleansing is something that everybody should be doing at the end of each day, as this is so important for removing all of the toxins and impurities that settle on the surface of your skin.
However, double cleansing takes this one step further…
It began as a trend in Asia, but, thanks to its quick effects, it is now a technique that is used by people all over the world.
So, what exactly is double cleansing?
It basically involves the use of an oil-based cleanser first, followed by a water-based cleanser.
You are probably wondering…
What’s the point of this?
Well, the oil-based cleanser melts down and removes any makeup and sunscreen remnants, as well as excess sebum. This allows the water-based cleanser to properly enter your pores, removing any sweat, pollution, dirt, or other toxins that may have settled within them.
Now that your pores have been properly cleansed, this means that any other skin care products you apply afterwards will be able to penetrate your skin’s layers so much more effectively.
One of the best parts of double cleansing is…
It can be used be people with all skin types. However, if you suffer from acne, you may need to use a specialized cleanser as part of the routine.
5. A Skin Detoxification Diet
Most people tend to only look at ways in which they can detox their skin externally, but a skin detoxification diet can have just as much of an impact as all of the methods listed above.
How long should you follow a detoxification diet for?
The minimum is two weeks, but the rest is completely up to you. The longer you follow the diet, the healthier your skin, and overall health, will be.
So, what exactly do you need to be eating?
Well, let’s begin with what you should not be eating…
Refined sugar is the first thing, as this causes your insulin levels to spike, which then leads to inflammation. As you are already likely aware of, inflammation is a big no-no when it comes to your skin, as it can lead to everything from acne and blemishes to premature aging.
You should also stay away from soy, especially if you are prone to acne.
Because soy contains phytoestrogens, which can cause hormonal breakouts.
If you drink a lot of coffee, this is something else you may want to consider cutting back on. While coffee does contain a number of antioxidants, it can also have a dehydrating effect on your skin.
Now on to what you should be eating…
Start your day with a glass of lemon water, as this will help your body and skin to detoxify first thing in the morning, and will also give your metabolism a boost, setting yourself up well for the rest of the day.
Healthy fats are also essential, and these can include:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring
Of course, leafy greens are also a must, and you should be trying to add a portion of these to every meal. There are so many different leafy greens out there, so try to include a wide variety of them in your diet, from spinach, kale and lettuce to collard greens, mustard greens and chard.
Wondering how they help with detoxing your skin?
It is all down to their chlorophyll, which helps to rid the body of toxins, while purifying the blood and increasing oxygen content.
Other vegetables that are great for detoxing the skin include:
- Garlic – unclogs any build-up in your arteries
- Beets – purify the blood and cleanse the liver
- Broccoli sprouts – contains phytochemicals that stimulate detoxification enzymes
- Sea vegetables – contains alginic acid which draws out toxins from the digestive tract
- Artichokes – aids in toxin removal while regenerating liver tissue, therefore strengthening the liver’s natural detoxification process
Herbs are also important, especially parsley and cilantro. The chemical compounds in these herbs actually bind to the toxins in your body, pulling them away from your blood, tissues and cells, and then eliminating them from your body.
While following this diet, you need to also make sure that you are not using any harmful chemicals topically, as they will prevent the diet from working to its full effect.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and can easily become clogged up with toxins. By following these skin detoxification treatments, you will be helping to cleanse your skin, as well as your body, of any waste, which will soon have your complexion looking better than ever.