8 Things You Need to Know About ‘Skin Detoxing’

Detoxifying your skincare routine
Detoxifying your skincare routine

Thankfully, there are plenty of science-backed ways to help your skin look the way you want it to. Here are a few key strategies to take note of.

Assess your current skin care routine

What does your daily skin care ritual look like? Do you even have one? If the answer to that second question is no, try to get into a skin care habit morning and night.

“If you’re following a good skin care regime, then a ‘facial detox’ really is just another buzzword,” Dr. Perry says.

A basic routine involves products such as cleanser and moisturizer. “Make sure you’re cleansing twice a day at home, morning and before bedtime,” says Dr. Perry.

“A gentle cleansing foam should suffice, followed by a toner if skin is particularly oily and a light moisturizer. [Don’t] forget to use an SPF of at least 30 every morning.” (More on that later.)

Once you’ve got those important parts down, feel free to add products designed for your skin type and needs.

For example, people with acne may want to incorporate products that include salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in the ingredients list.

Whatever you end up using, sticking to a personalized routine every day can boost your skin’s appearance.

Add exfoliation to your routine

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the face or body.

This tends to happen naturally every 28 days, but factors like aging and oiliness can slow the process down.

A build-up of dead skin cells can reduce the effectiveness of any skin care products you use, lead to breakouts, and even dull your entire complexion.

Exfoliation has to be done right to benefit the skin rather than damage it. There are two ways to do it: physically or through chemical means.

Physical exfoliation involves things like scrubs and brushes, but it usually isn’t suitable for sensitive skin.

If you’re worried this method may be a little too harsh, stick to the chemical type involving alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

Remember to exfoliate gently and not to overdo it to avoid a red, raw look. Dr. Perry recommends exfoliation twice a week.

The same goes for sunscreen

The sun’s rays can be harmful all year round, so covering yourself in sunscreen is the best form of protection against skin cancer and signs of sun damage.

You can use whichever formula you and your skin prefer.

Just make sure that the sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, water resistance, and an SPF of at least 30.

Wear it daily, regardless of the weather! And remember to reapply every two hours or straight after sweating or swimming.

And don’t forget antioxidants and retinoids

Dr. Campbell calls sunscreen, antioxidants, and retinoids the “holy trinity.”

Antioxidants, she says, “help make sunscreen more effective and protect against free radicals that break down collagen and elastin and age us.”

Retinoids can also keep skin looking firm, notes Dr. Campbell. They are “one of the few things we can apply topically to the skin to stimulate collagen.”

Limit foods and drinks that trigger skin flare-ups

While research suggests that diet can play a role in the development of skin conditions like acne, you may have to go through some trial and error to figure out your personal triggers.

Foods and drinks to look out for include ones high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, or ingredients lists containing dairy. Alcohol can also have a negative impact on skin.

Try cutting individual items out one by one to see which, if any, result in improvement.

Stay hydrated

A general rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water — or water-based beverages — a day to benefit your overall health.

It’s also thought that hydration can help the skin by remedying dryness and dullness.

There isn’t much research to prove this, but keeping up your water intake certainly won’t hurt.

You can also directly boost your skin’s hydration levels by applying a hydrating moisturizer or product containing hyaluronic acid.