It’s that familiar time again. The desire for improvement arrives for most of us, handfuls of times during a year, but certainly guaranteed in January. Post-Christmas breakouts, tired eyes and skin that just lacks the same life it had before the holidays, when you left the house and didn’t eat and drink all day.
It’s time to detox.
I often advise my skin clients the points I mention in this blog post when they are experiencing a rough patch with their skin because of poor lifestyle habits, stress or just generally feeling run down, and I thought it would great to put together a post for you guys so that you can do the same.
What Is A Skin Detox?
Scientifically-speaking, there is no exact meaning for ‘Skin Detox.’
Skin detoxing is a casual term to describe a positive change in lifestyle factors to achieve healthier skin.
Here is an easy-to-follow list to empower you over the next few days, weeks and hopefully months to do just that.
Opt for a cleaner, healthier diet
It’s not rocket science. We all know the basics of leading a healthier life. If you put rubbish foods into your system, your body will find a way to manage that which can lead to inflammation of the organs, including the skin.
Research tells us consuming too much sugar and not enough variety of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, which has a direct impact on the skin.
You can start implementing good habits tomorrow, or today. When you dramatically cut down on the high-sugar and processed foods that are also naturally consumed in much higher amounts during holiday periods, you will start to feel better, perhaps healthier. Limit how much alcohol your drinking, read this blog post on the effects of smoking on your skin before you decide to have another cigarette and consciously decide how much caffeine you want to consume.
Stop thinking of it as ‘dieting’ and change your mindset to think ‘adaptation.’ Once you start to feel the positive effects of cleaner eating and drinking habits, it will be more difficult to resume those bad habits.
Perform a home facial routine & stick to your skincare routine moving forward
Skincare will help to nourish and protect your skin whilst you work on everything else. I have reinforced many times on The Skinfit Studio Blog the knowledge that skincare does not have to be crazy complicated. 2021 is all about skincare minimalism and there are so many resources out there to help you define what that means for you.
The basics of good skincare routine is a cleanser, moisturiser and SPF in the morning and a cleanser and moisturiser at night. Once you have this sorted, that is when you can start adding extra additions in for even better skin health. Here are just a few examples of other products to add to your routine once the skincare basics have been incorporated:
Antioxidant (such as Vitamin C) – applied in the morning – reduces free radical damage in the skin
Retinol – applied in the evening – stimulates cell renewal process
Other actives (such as BHAs, AHas, peptides, Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid are just a few examples) – can be applied both morning and night – targeted to help treat a specific skin concern such as acne or hyperpigmentation
As well as committing to a daily skincare routine, you can also perform a weekly facial from home using your most basic of skincare resources. Use this blog post to help you.
We know that regular exercise increases our chances of a longer, healthier life. Working out boosts our brain and stimulates our immune system, strengthens our muscles, regulates our sleep and helps with the body’s natural process of toxin removal.
A 2014 study carried out by McMaster University in Ontario previously studied how exercise can affect the skin. They found 29 male and female volunteers that ranged between the ages of 20-84; half of the group spent at least 3 hours a week partaking in vigorous exercise, the other half spend less than an hour a week doing so. The results of the study showed that the more exercise the test subject participated in, the healthier their skin was.
You can read more on the positive effects that exercise has your skin here.
Wash your bed sheets and catch up on some Zzzzzzzzzz’s
Not washing your pillowcase and sheets often enough is one of the easiest habits to fall into. Advice differs between experts, but I recommend to wash your pillowcase at least every 3 days. Why?
A recent study carried out by Amerisleep discovered that after 7 days, the average pillowcase still has over 170000% more bacteria than a toilet seat. After two weeks, the average pillowcase hosts 332 times more bacteria than a tap.
Sleep can also interfere with your skin health. “Beauty sleep” is no myth, deprivation of it can affect how our skin heals, hydration levels, texture and collagen growth. A lack of sleep causes the increase of the stress hormone cortisol which can cause excess inflammation including the stimulation of conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Nurture your soul with self-care activities
Because stress hormones in the body can make significant changes to our skin, it is important to work on our mental health just as much as our physical.
Self-care activities are key to emotion management, reducing anxiety, strengthening inner confidence and therefore, relationships and the experiences around us.
One of my favourite daily acts of self-care are applying skincare (obviously), keeping a journal which you can learn more about here and working out or following a yoga tutorial.
Self-care can be the simplest of things. Taking a walk, phoning a friend, giving yourself a blow dry, making some good foods, anything that lights you up inside.
Set some time for yourself daily to commit to some of these things mindfully, and you will glow inside and out.
For quick ideas on self-care activities, read this blog post.
Be patient with your skin’s healing process
This is a super important fact to remember and something to constantly remind yourself on a daily basis. I don’t how many need to hear this, but your skin has many other functions besides looking good.
Our skin is a wonderful organ, the body’s largest, it allows us to feel sensations, gives the body movement, regulates temperature and water loss, protects us from the environment.
Perfection is an unachievable goal. Why would anyone want to look perfect anyway? Your face tells a story, and many of my clients that I speak to are often charmed by other people’s facial quirks yet not their own.
If something truly bothers you, know that you can improve it with skincare, treatments, but also YOUR BODY’S NATURAL HEALING SYSTEM. Your skin will heal, your breakouts will fade eventually. It takes time, skincare takes time, healing is a process, so just remember all of this when scrutinising monthly breakouts, scarring, sensitivity, discoloration and other imperfections.
Did you enjoy this blog post? Comment below to share your favourite ways to detox your skin, mind and body below, I would love to hear from you. You can also find me on Instagram.
You can also access other wellness articles I have previously wrote here.