In January, you cannot turn a page in a magazine or open a wellness newsletter without coming across an article about detoxing. And understandably so. The party season is behind us and general overindulging, lack of exercise and sleep have left most of us feeling sluggish and less than healthy. Your skin is your biggest organ, so it is probably also showing some serious signs of mid-winter fatigue. Late nights, cocktails, holiday sweets, heavy party make-up, and cold weather can all leave skin looking dehydrated, dull, and prone to inflammation. But is it really possible to “detox” the skin? What are the best ways to rid your skin of toxins, and get back that healthy, natural glow?
In this article we will debunk some of the most common detox myths, and cover the most scientifically sound, 7 detox tips for healthier skin:
- Support your body’s own detox organs
- Double-down on cleansing
- Keep your pores unclogged with exfoliation – but don’t overdo it!
- Incorporate a hydrating clay mask into your skincare routine
- Protect your skin against environmental toxins and UV rays
- “Detox” your skincare products
- Prioritize sleep
What does “detox” really mean?
Detoxing means removing toxins from the body. Toxins enter the body through food, drinks, drugs, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and all the other substances we expose our bodies to (cleaning products, cigarette smoke, make-up, skincare and haircare products etc.). As long as you are healthy, your body has an amazing ability to rid itself of toxins. This is done by the body’s main detoxing organs the kidneys, the liver, lungs, and the intestines.
Is it possible to detox your skin?
Toxins cannot leave your body through your skin or pores – this is physiologically impossible. While sweating does eliminate water and trace amounts of minerals, lactic acid, and urea through the skin, it does not remove other impurities or harmful substances. “You cannot sweat toxins out of the body,” says UAMS family medicine physician Dr. Charles Smith. “Toxins such as mercury, alcohol and most drugs are eliminated by your liver, intestines or kidneys.”
However, you can adopt lifestyle changes that will help the body rid itself of toxins, which will also aid in detoxing your skin. And the right skincare routine will remove dirt, grime, and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, help keep your pores unclogged, and protect your skin against toxins.
Can detoxing help with acne?
Again, let’s examine the facts, instead of buying into marketing hype. Acne is not caused by toxins. Acne is caused when pores in the skin get blocked by dead skin cells, hair, or sebum (an oily substance produced by the skin). Normally, harmless bacteria that live on the surface of the skin can multiply easily in these clogged pores, causing an inflammation that can then lead to papules, pustules, nodules, or cysts.
Since hormones play a key role in causing excessive sebum production, you cannot prevent or cure acne just by detoxing your body. However, toxins do increase inflammation in the body, so eating clean, anti-inflammatory foods, drinking plenty of fluids and following a gentle, yet regular skincare routine can help skin combat inflammation.
Using the right skincare products can also help in keeping your pores unclogged, which in turn can help prevent breakouts. For example, regular use of a gentle exfoliating toner that contains fruit acids, or a non-abrasive physical exfoliating treatment, will remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and prevent them from causing clogged pores.
Continue reading here for the best 7 detox tips for healthier skin.
What are the best detox tips for healthier skin?
1. Support your body’s own detox organs
When your liver, kidneys, and colon function properly, they will remove toxins from the body, including your skin. Supporting the proper functioning of these organs is thus by far the best way to keep your skin free of toxins and inflammation.
“Your liver removes all toxins, clears medication from your body and metabolizes all your food,” says Dr. Alqahtani, Director of Clinical Liver Research for Johns Hopkins Medicine. You do not need to go on an expensive green juice cleanse to detox your liver. In fact, there is no real scientific evidence showing that cleanses help “detox” the body. Adopting a healthier diet and cleaner lifestyle in general will be a much more effective way to help your liver function optimally, and in turn remove toxins from your body.
Reducing your alcohol intake is one of the best ways to keeping your liver functioning optimally. This is not usually the most popular advice but taking alcohol-free days (or weeks!), swapping every other drink at a party for a glass of water, and keeping record of your alcohol consumption are good ways to make sure you do not stress your liver excessively. Pesticides and other toxins can also damage your liver. Consuming only organically grown foods, washing your produce carefully, and swapping to non-toxic home cleaning products are ways to prevent toxins entering your blood stream. And finally, making sure all the skincare you use is made using only clean, natural ingredients will reduce the amount of toxins entering your body.
The kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through the urine. Eating a diverse diet low in sodium, sugar, and processed foods will protect kidney and urinary tract health. Drinking enough water and fluids (at least 8 glasses a day) is essential for supporting your overall health, but it also helps to support kidney function. Water also helps to keep blood vessels open, efficiently delivering blood and essential nutrients to the kidneys. When the body becomes dehydrated, this may negatively impact kidney function and can even lead to kidney damage.
Your colon removes water, salt, and nutrients from the food you eat. The remaining solid waste is then expelled by the colon. This process rids the body of food waste and toxins. It also helps your colon maintain a healthy bacterial composition, known as your microbiome. “Your microbiome plays a crucial role in protecting your body from infections,” says Robert Bresalier, M.D., Professor in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at MD Anderson. It may seem like a great idea to give your body a little help in cleaning out toxins and waste with a colon cleanse. But medical experts generally agree that there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that a colon cleanse can help colon function and detox the body. On the contrary, cleanses can disrupt the natural bacteria balance of the colon. The best way to keep your colon healthy is to eat a plant-based diet high in fiber and avoid red meat and processed foods.
2. Double-down on cleansing
Double-cleansing involves washing your face with two different types of cleansers. The first cleanser is usually a creamy or oil-based cleanser, and this is followed by a water-based one. By double-cleansing you can be sure to remove all traces of make-up, impurities, and pollutants from the skin as well as improve absorption ability of the serums and/or creams you apply afterwards.
For the first cleanse, we recommend using NUORI’s Protect+ Cleansing Milk, which is suitable for all skin types – also those that do not tolerate oil cleansers. This milky cleanser is designed to remove oil-based impurities, including make-up, sunscreen, sebum, and pollution particles. The second cleanse is then done using a water-based cleanser that can really work its way into the skin and deeper into the pores, removing remaining grime, sweat, and excess sebum. NUORI’s Vital Foaming Cleanser is a luxuriously creamy foaming cleanser that meticulously cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It has a gentle, yet powerful formula that makes it perfect for daily use. Botanical glycerin helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance, leaving it smooth, supple and refreshed while the fermented pomegranate enzyme and radish root extract help remove dead skin cells and deliver antioxidant protection.
3. Keep your pores unclogged with exfoliation – but don’t overdo it!
To prevent pores from being clogged by dead skin cells and excess sebum, you should exfoliate your skin regularly. Just make sure you use products that are gentle enough to not harm the skin’s own protective barrier or disrupt its natural pH value. There are two ways you can exfoliate skin: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation is done using a scrub or polishing product that contains hard particles that “scrub” off dead skin cells. NUORI’s Supreme Polishing Treatment removes impurities and lifts away dead skin cells without damaging the skin barrier or causing irritation. It allows you to mix an exfoliating Powder Booster to a creamy Enzyme Complex in your desired ratio. The Powder Booster is made up of jojoba beads, rice powder, and aloe vera powder that gently exfoliate the skin without causing any irritation in the underlying epidermis. This product is perfect for combination skin as you can adjust the level of exfoliation your skin needs, using a bit more Powder Booster in your T-zone and a bit less on your cheeks.
Chemical exfoliation is done using acids like AHAs and BHAs that break down the bonds between dead skin cells, loosening them so they flake off. Chemically exfoliating your skin, when done correctly, has the potential to reduce dullness (that is caused by dead skin cells), improve the texture of the skin, keep pores clear, and diminish hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
The challenge is that AHAs like glycolic and lactic acid require either high concentrations, or very low pH values of the formula, in order to be perform their action. The immediate results can be exciting, but prolonged use of strong acid products with low pH values disrupt the skin’s own pH level and can result in a weakened protective barrier leading to skin that is prone to inflammation.
NUORI’s Gentle Glow Tonic formula combines lactobionic acid with an innovative complex of highly tolerated fruit extracts with naturally occurring AHA content. These naturally occurring AHAs from fruit filtrates stimulate gentle biological exfoliation, but also boost the synthesis of the extracellular matrix for firmer and smoother skin.
4. Incorporate a hydrating clay mask into your skincare routine
Clay masks are a great way to deep-cleanse pores and prevent breakouts. Natural clays absorb excess oil and draw out impurities from within pores. Unfortunately, most clay masks on the market can be overly drying. As Dr. David Lortscher, American Board of Dermatology-certified dermatologist, points out: “For masks that have drying ingredients such as clay — while it is true that the 'harder' a mask dries, the more dead skin cells it may remove as the mask is peeled off, for some complexions this can be over-drying.”
NUORI’s Clarity Mask effectively purifies and hydrates the skin. It contains several star ingredients, such as kaolin and bentonite clays that effectively absorb excess oil as well as draw out impurities and external toxins without drying or leaving skin feeling tight. It also contains natural squalane, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrate the skin and effectively strengthen the skin’s barrier function.
5. Protect your skin against environmental toxins and UV
Using skincare products that contain antioxidants and sun filters will help protect skin against potential environmental toxins, such as pollution and UV rays. Antioxidant ingredients in skincare include vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, and pycnogenol. These ingredients help protect the skin's surface from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors like UV and pollution.
Combining a sunscreen with an antioxidant is the best way to prevent environmental stressors and toxins from harming skin. NUORI’s Mineral Defence Sunscreen contains pure natural zinc oxide for SPF 30 broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This is combined with pycnogenol, a French maritime pine extract that is a potent antioxidant preventing and counteracting the negative effects of photo-damage, sunburn, and pollutants.
6. “Detox” your skincare products
Unfortunately, many cosmetics and personal care products still contain toxic ingredients that have not been banned. Therefore, it is up to the individual consumer to do their research and understand what ingredients are safe and what should be avoided. The Environmental Working Group has great resources for consumers to learn about cosmetic ingredient safety.
We at NUORI take great pride in the fact that we only use pure, natural ingredients of the highest quality. There are many brands that call themselves natural, but at closer inspection, the formulas turn out to be only 80%, 90%, or even 97% natural. The reason we are so committed to only using natural ingredients is three-fold:
Firstly, compounds that are organically found in nature (opposed to man-made compounds), tend to have a much greater affinity to our skin. This means that the skin cells more readily receive and utilize these compounds.
Secondly, natural ingredients are bio-degradable, which means that they do not pollute our planet.
Thirdly, natural ingredients are a much cleaner, naturally renewable alternative to petrochemical-derived ingredients. Many consumers aren’t even aware of the fact that commonly used skincare ingredients such as mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin wax, PEGs, MEAs, DEAs and TEAs are all derived from petroleum, which is an unrenewable resource with high toxicity concerns.
7. Prioritize sleep
There is increasing scientific evidence that sleep helps your brain and entire body flush out toxic molecules. During sleep our blood flow increases, improving transportation of oxygen and nutrients to cells, leading in turn to new healthy tissue growth. This is why our bodies repair tissue damage in muscles, organs, and the skin while we sleep. Getting at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep will contribute to a well-functioning immune system and a cleansed body and mind.
This is also why nighttime skincare is so important. Wearing a hydrating, soothing mask to bed will ensure that nighttime moisture loss from skin is minimized. NUORI’s Supreme Moisture Mask is a highly concentrated, yet lightweight moisturizing mask that is worn at night for strengthening the skin's barrier function and for bettering the moisture retention and protection.