'Detox' has emerged as a popular concept in recent years and almost everyone will have, at the very least, encountered references to detox diets, detox fasting, abstinence from certain substances and cleansing therapies, all with the intention of removing toxins from the body and improving some aspect of health.
While some of these detoxes have questionable scientific merits, one part of the body which can certainly benefit from a detox process, where impurities are removed, is the body's single largest organ - the skin. Moreover, there are many different components which help to make up a genuinely useful and effective skin detox plan.
We will now take a closer look at some of the benefits associated with going through a skin detox process, examine some of the components that make up a successful skin detox, and explain how you can take steps to remove impurities and improve the health of your skin.
Cut out processed foods
It is important to adopt a holistic approach to a skin detox and while a skin care regime will certainly help, there are other steps that can be taken. One of the most significant is related to diet and in addition to improving digestion, certain foods and drinks can improve the skin. At the same time, there are also things to try to stay away from.
Fingers away from refined sugars
Various studies have shown that the skin benefits greatly from restricting refined sugars. While unrefined sugars in things like brown rice have nutritional value, refined sugars do not. Worse still, they can spike insulin levels, causing skin inflammation. Try to avoid sources of refined sugar: cookies, doughnuts, ready-made sauces, etc.
Reach for the fruits and vegetables
Try to eat a diet that contains plenty of fruit and vegetables; especially leafy vegetables. Healthy fats are also vital for maintaining both healthy skin and hair, so try to include sources of these in your diet too. Examples include nuts and seeds, while olive oil is a good addition to a salad.
As a simple first step, you should drink water as much as possible and try to eliminate soft drinks and other unhealthy fluids, some of which can actually dehydrate the skin. Ideally, people living in the UK or countries with similar climates should be aiming to drink around two litres of water each day. If you require an alternative to water, try to turn to things like green tea, rather than soft drinks, energy drinks or sugary squashes.
Keep away from alcohol as much as possible, avoid smoking and while it is important to get some sun exposure, take precautions. Caffeine is also a diuretic and can contribute to problems like dry skin and dark circles.
Clay masks, used once or twice a week, will go a long way towards detoxifying the skin and preventing breakouts.
Using bath salts, such as epsom salt and sea salt, is a good natural remedy for the skin and can help to alleviate symptoms associated with a variety of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. It can also assist with the removal of dead skin cells, making skin appear smoother and less dull.
Dry brushing once a day, before a bath or shower, has been shown to unclog pores, exfoliate dead or damaged skin and improve circulation, giving skin a healthier appearance.
Commit to a robust skin care regime. However, this regime should not rely on products which are overly acidic or filled with harsh chemicals, as these can strip the skin of its natural oils, which is counter-productive.
For this reason, ideally, you should look to buy skin care products that are alkaline based, with a pH score higher than seven. Many cosmetic products have a pH score of around 5.5 and this indicates they are acidic. Alkaline products will help to keep skin cells in their natural pH range and protect the skin's natural barrier.
In terms of the products you need, a high-quality cleanser is essential and this should be used with warm water each day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night before bed. Foaming cleansers are preferable to more abrasive cleansers, as these can cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin types.
This skin cleanse can then be supplemented with a day cream, which can be applied throughout the day, as needed, in order to keep skin hydrated. Then, a high-quality night cream will lock in moisture through the night and provide anti ageing benefits, by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Sönd's Clean Slate Cream Cleanser, Sidekick Day Cream and Midnight Feast Night Cream are all ideal for this, because they share the same pH score, meaning they can be used together without restricting any of the benefits of the individual products. The regime can be enhanced through use of a detox mask a couple of times a week.