Detoxing for skin care can take several different shapes and forms. Some will include diet changes, while others will focus on the products you use on your skin. For example, a complete skin detox consists of no skincare for an entire week. But as with most things in the self-care sphere, it's essential to find the proper schedule for you to make sure your detox is successful.
'Lemon water cleanses,' for example, consist of drinking large amounts of water with added lemon juice throughout the day. A 'juice cleanse' sees solid foods swapped for liquidized fruit and vegetables, and there are even tea-specific detoxes where different blends and infusions are incorporated into your daily meal schedule. There's no end to the number of different detoxes and cleanses that are popular at any given time, which can be overwhelming when trying to decide what the best detox is for you. To help, we're answering some of the most commonly asked questions about detoxing, with one goal in mind: help you achieve beautiful glowing skin from the inside out in the healthiest way possible.
How long does it take for toxins to leave your skin?
First things first, what is detoxing? Detoxing means cleansing your body of toxins or harmful substances. These toxins have a varied range of sources, from foods to environmental toxins such as pollution. Depending on the type of detox you are carrying out, recommended durations will vary from two days to several weeks long.
Tip 1: Staying hydrated is the best way to speed up the process of removing toxins from your body. "If the body does not have sufficient water, then metabolic wastes will not be removed as efficiently as they should," Amy Hess-Fischl, RD, CDE, of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center explained to Everyday Health. "In essence, the body would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them, as is required for proper health."
Does detoxing affect your skin?
Your overall health can affect your skin in lots of different ways. Have you ever noticed that you tend to break out more after eating greasy or highly processed food? Other food groups can cause breakouts, including dairy and sugar. Naturally, you would think that if the foods you're putting into your body affect your skin, then cutting them out would have an impact too. You'd be right.
Scientists have found links between nutrition and a number of common skin concerns, including acne and regular signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Choosing to follow a detox plan might help your skin, but there aren't any guarantees. Detoxes, in general, are a pretty controversial subject, with experts struggling to reach a definitive answer on whether they're worthwhile or not.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that detoxing, whether you're following a general cleanse or a specific detox for skin problems, can help your skin glow. If you're hoping to achieve glowing skin from the inside out, then you're going to want to focus on getting the proper nutrients during your detox. Vitamin C is known for its skincare benefits, as are vitamins D, E, and K. Foods that contain these nutrients include leafy greens, whole grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
How do you fix over-cleansed skin?
Over-cleansed skin is a common issue, especially if you're just starting out in skincare and haven't completely grasped which products your skin gets on well with. A symptom of over-cleansed skin would be noticing that your skin feels tight after having a hot shower or bath, and you might also find your skin becomes shiny without being oily. "When washing the face too much, you lose natural oils and fats in the skin," Dr. Roberta Del Campo, MD, a Florida-based dermatologist, told NBC News. "which technically will pull the skin cells apart, allowing room for debris and bacteria to enter the skin, causing infections and inflammation."
Tip 2: One of the best ways to fix over-cleansed skin is a detox for skin problems. Ditching complex skincare routines can be an effective way to allow your skin time to heal and balance itself out naturally. Instead of using harsh cleansers, look for an oil-based cleanser to use during your detox.
For example, we love Shiseido's Perfect Cleansing Oil for its paired-back ingredient list plus hydrating formula. Another great option is One Love's Botanical B Cleansing Oil, packed full of antioxidant ingredients. You'll also want to consider washing your face with warm water when detoxing your skin for over-cleansing: "Warm water is always best as hot can strip the skin of its natural oils, and cold does not allow the pores to open to remove dirt," says Dr. Del Campo.
How does clear skin flush out toxins?
When we're talking about detoxing skin, we're referring to ridding the skin of toxins that are naturally present in the environment or in your diet. Your body has the ability to filter out lots of these toxins itself, Dr. Tatyana Petukhova, a dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, tells SELF. The toxins extracted from your body via your skin come out when you sweat, but generally, the levels of toxins in sweat are minimal. "For the most part, the skin is not a huge excretory organ the same way that your liver and kidneys are," Dr. Petukhova says. "When people talk about the idea of 'detoxing skin,' it's more about what you can do to the surface to protect your skin from the outside environment, more so than clearing out what's on the inside."
How can I detox my body to clear my skin at home?
When it comes to figuring out how to detox skin at home, you'll need to take a few preliminary steps before getting stuck in.
Tip 3: It's worth talking things over with your primary care physician to make sure detoxing is safe for you. Once you have the all-clear on the medical front, you will want to consider which kind of detox is practical for your lifestyle.
Tip 4: Can you afford to have a fully planned detox delivered? Or would you do better getting the ingredients and juicing or blending yourself? Does your schedule allow for you to detox for a week at a time, or would a weekend-only plan be better suited to you?
Tip 5: Making sure you get enough nutrients throughout your detox will be critical, and many online resources have been reviewed by dieticians to help you with this. Our two favorites are the 7-day clear skin detox reviewed by nutritionist Maria Bella and dietitian Dr. Meg Hagar, and the 10 Day Detox Diet by the Naked Chemist. If you want to detox your skin without changing your diet, you could try this excellent 3-day skin cleanse by Adina Grigore, author of Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin.
The bottom line
Taking care of your body is essential for achieving clear skin. While the benefits of detoxes are widely debated, anecdotal evidence suggests that following a carefully balanced detox plan could help improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the frequency at which you break out. If you find yourself struggling with chronic skin conditions, consider speaking to a dermatologist or nutritionist to see if a long-term diet adjustment may be beneficial.