This whole detox-and-clean-living craze isn’t going anywhere. Temps are on the rise, and it seems like everyone and their mother is on some kind of diet or cleanse to get their bodies swimsuit-ready for summer. And if it weren’t enough to detox one’s innards, the notion now extends to skin. The gist: Lots of gunk, like pollution, makeup, and bacteria, sits on our skin and clogs pores. “Pollution ages our skin more than we ever thought,” says Dr Low Chai Ling “Some sources even act like UV radiation on skin, creating the same free radicals that cause wrinkles and age spots.” Detoxing your skin, though, is more appetizing than a sludgy ash smoothie.
Everything from winter weather to product overuse to diet can wreak havoc on your complexion, and the best way to find your natural glow again is to put your skin on a detox of its own. It might sound a bit overwhelming, but the results speak for themselves. So it’s definitely worth the effort to get your complexion to follow a ‘clean living’ path. Here are some easy steps to unearth a naturally beautiful skin.
BE RELIGIOUS ABOUT CLEANING
When it comes to cleansing skin, being meticulous does pay dividends. This does not mean using body soap to lather your face. Rather, it is about using the combination of right pH balanced products to deliver clean results without disrupting your skin barrier or altering your skin’s acid mantle. Experts have found that using the gentlest cleanser frequently on your skin keeps it healthier and clearer than using harsh soap. For this task, we love Sake Ritual, a rice based gel that does not use SLS to clean, yet melts away dirt and debris, dissolving rapidly on contact with water.
If you wear makeup, then go for a dedicated makeup solvent such as Lemon Quartz to completely remove waterproof makeup or UNDO, a full face makeup remover that leaves skin sparkling clean with one swipe. Don’t forget that despite our daily regime, dead cells can still build up on our skin over time. Invest in a good facial that you can turn to anytime your skin needs a pick-me-up. Our beauty editors love Deep Red facial for its extra perks on top of its ultrasonic deep cleansing— LED photobiomodulation, vitamin C therapy.
Read More: Countdown to a Killer Body
FOCUS ON WITHIN
“Focus on eating plenty of whole, nutrient-dense vegetables, prioritizing leafy greens.
They’ll give you the most bang for your buck in the skin department, as they’re loaded with antioxidants (which fight free radicals) and also contain high levels of vitamin A (which repairs damaged skin), along with a slew of other beauty vitamins and minerals (folate, beta-carotene, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium)” says Dr Low.
Doctors also say that healthy fats (also known as EFAs, essential fatty acids) are critical to helping your body produce healthy cells, including skin cells. They’re also important elements in the production of sebum, which is responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and youthful-looking. Find them in avocado, eggs, walnuts, and wild salmon.
There’s an ongoing debate in the wellness community about just how much water we should be consuming. Ignore the details and just drink more, period. Cancer patients are told to drink up to a gallon a day– a gallon!–to flush the chemotherapy toxins out of their system. This is a pretty extreme example, but it illustrates just how powerful drinking water can be in detoxifying.
REPLACE LIKE WITH LIKE
AVOID THESE SABOTEURS
Processed sugar, processed fat, synthetic flavor (often masquerading as ‘natural’ flavor), fake coloring, and preservatives are just some of the many common no-nos you’ll find here in wrapper land. We call them dead ingredients; they do nothing for your skin except aggravate it, since your body is working so hard to figure out how the heck you’re going to process them. Rule of thumb? If you can’t understand what the ingredient is, don’t eat it.”
Another thing to avoid is dairy in the form of milk, and protein in the form of meat. Why? Most cows are fed a diet that’s loaded with hormones and antibiotics. This will end up in your milk or in your meat, and of course in your body. The result? Hormones affect your skin, potentially causing imbalances and breakouts; antibiotics kill good bacteria, which, as I’ve discussed, is also not good for your skin. Be really picky about the products you’re buying (always look for grass-fed and organic) and eat them prudently.”
Alcohol is essentially ‘liquid sugar,’ and it’s known to be one of the most inflammatory things we consume—terrible news for your skin. Moreover, alcohol is dehydrating; overconsumption causes the skin to become bloated and puffy in an attempt to retain as much water as possible. While I firmly believe in moderation, severely cutting back on your alcohol intake is an important element of a skin detox.
I am not just talking about food, which may be a tall order if you live in an urban city far away from organic farms. But the least you can do is to source for natural organic ingredients for your skin. Granted some skins will need some moisturisation even while they are on detox, we don’t believe that drying your face out like a prune is a healthy route to take. Substituting a plant-based oil for your daily moisturizer is a great place to start. Emerald oil features 100% organic grapeseed oil that is non-comedogenic and penetrates quickly to nourish skin such as the delicate area around the eyes. Because it is formulated without preservatives, it will help your skin look naturally flawless without veering off the ‘clean-living’ path. These natural ingredients will eventually become your arsenal for a true skin detox.