Your skin says a lot about your health, and plays a significant role in regards to how you look and feel. Remember your skin is the largest organ of detoxification and serves, to protect by excreting toxins that are linked to skin problems and premature aging. Every day, you are exposed to toxins such as city pollution, contaminated water, artificial food coloring, preservatives, smoking, alcohol, makeup, solvents, pesticides and plastic chemicals, all contribute to toxicity overload, and can manifest in your skin as adult acne, flaky skin, redness, age spots and skin rashes.
After an arctic winter your face and body is likely to need a through cleansing. A skin detox may be just the ticket for rebooting your skin just in time for spring!
What is a skin detox?
Cleansing and detoxing are used interchangeable, are the same thing, and have the same goal of removing toxins from the body. Detoxing is the process by which your body eliminates toxic substances via the liver, digestive tract, kidneys, lymphatic system, and your skin. Toxins are in the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and the water you drink. Notably, Flint, Michigan, just recently in the news for having tainted water, containing lead and other toxins. When your skin is exposed to toxins, you may develop inflammatory conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, skin itching, together with headaches and fatigue.
The good news is that cleansing helps to regain balance, by enhancing organ functions, thus supporting the elimination process via of the skin, kidneys and digestive tract.
Here are 6 steps for skin detoxification
1. Drink more filtered: Water is very important for your skin health, as your body is comprised of 60 to 70 per cent water. You lose water through breathing, sweating and urination; therefore it highly important to replenish lost water often. Your water intake is essential for good digestion, and helps to keep your skin and mucous membranes hydrated. Try a glass of hot or warm water with fresh lemon juice, which will cleanse your system and enhance digestion. Lemon is rich in vitamins B, C, and abundant in potassium, making lemon an awesome moisturizer for your skin. Lemon’s properties are antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, which is great for acne and boils. Lemon water should be taken first thing in the morning to improve your liver’s ability to expel toxins. Water also helps in the detoxification process by flushing toxins out of the body.
2. Exfoliate: The key to healthy and radiant looking skin is regular exfoliation. Deep cleansing facials are great for removing surface dirt from your skin, but do not offer exfoliation. Exfoliation is the process of removing of dead skin cells that clog pores and may cause blemishes and acne, thus promoting healthy cell turnover. The benefits of exfoliation are increased blood flow, delaying the aging process and improving the appearance of fine lines. Exfoliation assist in your skin’s ability to retain moisture and better product penetration. There are various modalities of exfoliation such as, surface exfoliants, superficial mechanical exfoliation and superficial chemical exfoliation. Superficial mechanical exfoliation treatments consist of microdermabrasion and dermaplaning.
3. Dry brush: Dry brushing is the most efficient way to slough off dead skin cells, and rid toxins from your body. You can use a natural bristle brush, loofah sponge, soft pumice stone, washcloth or gloves to brush your skin. Take 5-10 minutes, daily to brush, preferably in the morning, since toxins build up when you sleep, and right before you take your bath or shower. Start brushing at your feet and upward to your legs in sweeping motions and then your abdomen in slow circular motions toward your heart, next move up your arms towards your armpits, finish with your back and neck. Avoid brushing your face and any skin irritations. Dry brushing increases blood flow, making your skin look younger. Dry brushing will remove waste and toxins, help slow the aging process, alleviate muscular tension, fluid retention and can remove cellulite.
4. Detox bath: A detox bath can be very healing, therapeutic and relaxing for your overall health. The goal of a detox bath is to cleanse the body of toxic substances, and the benefits of a detox bath will vary according to the ingredients used and type of bath you choose. Before going into your detox bath, be sure to be well hydrated, by drinking water for the first 20 minutes of the bath, being that the minerals in the bath can be dehydrating. The benefits of a detox bath not only flushes toxins, but relieves stress, improves sleep and concentration, helps muscles and nerves function properly, calm hypertension, forms proteins in brain tissue and joints, improve oxygen use, and absorption of nutrients. There are different types of detox baths such as Apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, Ginger detox, Hydrogen Peroxide detox bath is also referred to as an Oxygen bath, and Baking Soda. Just after one session your skin will feel softer, smoother and more youthful looking.
5. Break up with sugar: When you eat carbohydrates, they metabolize into a sugar called glucose, and then is converted into energy for your body and brain. Glucose that is not used for energy or stored as fat can attach itself to proteins and this process is called glycation. Once this process has occurred, the new sugar proteins are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Glycation adversely affects your skin health at the cellular level, thus resulting in accelerated aging, loss of elasticity, and a weaken barrier function.
6. Drink Green Tea: Green tea is a beverage made from the leaves of the tea plant when infused with boiling water. Green tea is an excellent source of enzymes, amino acids, polyphenols, folate, manganese, potassium, caffeine and phytochemicals such as polyphenols, tannins, and flavonoids. These phytochemicals are responsible for flushing out toxins, and neutralizing the body of free radicals, which causes damage to cells and can accelerate the aging process. Green tea is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory which have beneficial effects on the appearance of your skin.
Although your body is capable of cleansing itself of harmful substances; skin conditions and disorders are usually signs that you are full of toxins, and may need additional elimination support. Think of your detox as a spring cleaning for your skin. Traditional Chinese medicine, recommend that you cleanse twice a year, particularly at the change of seasons. Make your cleanse fun, by creating a spa detox weekend; taking time to relax, and love yourself. In addition to, the steps mentioned above, a sauna or steam room will help you relax, alleviate skin irritations and pull toxins out of your system.