Removing toxins from your body is not the job of your skin. Your kidneys and liver are in charge of that. When we talk about naturally detoxing your skin what we are referring to is protecting your skin surface and building a skin defense against toxins. Even as the skin releases about three ounces of water a day through sweat, the sweat does not contain toxins. What the skin is good at is shedding dead cells and exerting a barrier against infection. Every minute your skin sheds tens of thousands of dead skin cells. This process slows when we don’t take the proper steps to protect our skin and as we age. Skin also acts as a physical defense against harmful microbes. Reducing exposure to toxins from the environment, our diet and lifestyle choices can result in brighter, healthier skin.
Anti-oxidants can prevent or decrease the impact of certain environmental pollutants, but they don’t remove the free radicals that cause damage to the skin. Ingesting foods or applying natural skin care products that contain antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals. Vitamins A, C and E are rich in antioxidants so look for foods and skin care products containing these vitamins.
Avoid sun exposure, smog, cigarette smoke, and use of pesticides to reduce the environmental impact on your skin. Twice daily washing followed with applying natural moisturizers, sunscreen and serums to create a protective layer can keep pollutants and chemicals from settling deeply into skin.
Replace products filled with artificial chemicals that touch your skin with products containing natural organic ingredients. A friend who suffered from eczema for years went to her doctor three times a year to receive steroid injections to soothe her symptoms. Recently, the doctor told her to try replacing all products containing perfumes, dyes, coloring, and artificial chemicals in soaps and lotions with those containing only natural organic ingredients. After doing so, her eczema went away. “It changed my life,” she said. It’s important to work with your doctor or dermatologist when assessing how to proceed with any skin condition.
A natural skin care routine
Cleanse. This does not mean just washing, which you should do morning and evening. Drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day to help your body flush out toxins from the inside.
Hydrate. Apply moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate to boost hydration levels and lock moisture in.
Protect. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you venture outside. Even with an overcast sky, the sun’s rays are absorbed by your skin. Damage to your skin accumulates over the years and can lead to cancerous lesions.
Diet. Minimize foods containing high amounts of sugar, refined carbs and dairy. Alcohol also has a negative impact on skin. Eat the recommended amount of five servings per day of fruits and vegetable.
Product and cell buildup
Skin care products do not remove toxins. What products can do is reduce excess sebum (body’s natural oils) and dead skin cells. Product buildup hinders the skin’s ability to absorb it. Rubbing is not the solution. The product collects on the top of skin. This can happen when using too many products or using them in the wrong order. Skin care products should be applied from thinnest to thickest. For example, start with a water based serum and end with a thick cream.
Exfoliate. Skin care products are less effective when encountering a build-up of dead skin cells. Dead cells dull the complexion and can lead to breakouts. The natural way to combat dead skin cells is to use a dry bristle brush on the entire body before showering. This action also improves circulation and stimulates lymphatic fluid. Be gentle with the brush. Don’t overdo it. Same holds true for scrubs used on the face. In India, a popular scrub is made by grinding walnuts into a paste, mixing in some sugar and a few drops of olive oil. They scrub the face for 10 seconds twice a week. Products containing alpha and beta hydroxy acids are good for removing dead skin cells.
Massage and facials
Massage skin with almond, coconut or olive oil. Olive oil’s high content of vitamin E and antioxidants promotes cell regeneration. For facials, Kaolin and Niacinamide clays can help refine pores and balance skin tone. Charcoal masks can clean and smooth skin.
Learning how to naturally detox and protect your skin will provide years of enjoying the skin you’re in. YASOU!
(Photo: Elias Ficavontade | Pexels)