How to Give Your Skin a Detox

Dirt, impurities, and pollution can turn healthy skin into blemished, inflamed, and dull skin. Detoxifying skin care products that deep clean and exfoliate can get your skin back on track after overindulgence or neglect.
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Over time, toxins, including the chemicals in synthetic makeup and skincare products, heavy metals in water, air pollution, and pesticides, can build up under your skin. And while the liver, kidneys, and digestive system remove waste and toxins from the body, you need extra help when it comes to cleaning them from the surface. Luckily, there are potent, natural ways to pull dirt and impurities from the pores and neutralize or remove environmental pollutants from the skin.

The Big Three Skin Detox Ingredients: Charcoal, Clay, & Seaweed

In cleansing products, look for activated charcoal, soft clays, and seaweed to scrub those toxins away.

Activated charcoal 

Works like a magnet to attract and absorb excess oil and pore-clogging dirt, bacteria, and chemicals. It comes in face washes, scrubs, masks, soap, and konjac sponges. Activated charcoal works best when it sits on the skin for a full minute, time enough to pull out impurities.

Soft clays

Such as bentonite and kaolin, work the same way as charcoal, by drawing dirt out of skin. But they also add the benefit of hydration, because moisturizing botanical oils such as lavender, sweet almond, and safflower are often mixed with the clay to soften it and make it easier to use.

Seaweed

Is rich in detoxifying minerals and stimulates circulation. By itself, seaweed isn’t as cleansing as charcoal or clay, but it’s often mixed with one or both of them in cleansers or masks, which boosts their effectiveness. Plus, sea algae have the antioxidant power to decrease the damage caused by environmental pollution, as well as UV rays that break down collagen and elastin.

1. Smooth, tighten, and moisturize skin with The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Firming Detox Cream. Bladderwrack seaweed naturally detoxifies and promotes skin elasticity. Antioxidant-packed green coffee beans and green tea detoxify and protect skin. Hawaiian kukui oil and aloe vera hydrate and nourish skin. A rosemary and mint essential oil blend leaves your skin freshly scented.

The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Firming Detox Cream

The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Firming Detox Cream

2. Deep clean your hair and scalp with Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Daily Clarifying Volcanic Clay Shampoo and Conditioner. This nourishing pair can remove buildup from styling gels, dry shampoo, and hair spray that make your hair look flat, dull, and dirty and your scalp itch. Volcanic clay and tropical fruit extracts clean clogged hair follicles for volume, shine, and stronger hair.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Daily Clarifying Volcanic Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Daily Clarifying Volcanic Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

3. Reviva Labs Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Gel is a gentle botanical-infused cleanser that helps to remove impurities while it deep cleanses your skin with the help of bamboo charcoal. Safe for all skin types, it’s sulfate-free and rich in natural extracts. Skin-balancing herbs and essential oils include lavender, burdock, tea tree, rose hip, calendula, and grapefruit seed oils.

Reviva Labs Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Gel

Reviva Labs Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Gel 

4. Purify your pores with Shea Terra Organics African Earth & Sea Daily Detox Face Masque. The powdered ingredients are sourced from across Africa. Ghassoul clay from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains pulls out toxins and softens skin; nutrient-rich Ecklonia maxima sea kelp from the rugged coast of South Africa draws out impurities and hydrates; Kalahari Desert mineral salt dries blemishes; and antioxidant-rich moringa leaf cleanses. Mix with water to apply.

Shea Terra Organics African Earth & Sea Daily Detox Face Masque

Shea Terra Organics African Earth & Sea Daily Detox Face Masque

5. Purge pores of oil, dirt, and toxins with Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask. Kimarine, wakame, and bladderwrack seaweeds hydrate skin and help protect it against environmental pollutants. Activated charcoal lifts out dirt, oil, and bacteria to decongest pores. Apricot seed powder exfoliates dead skin cells. Kaolin and bentonite clays absorb excess oil and impurities. It’s ideal for oily, active, or urban skin.Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask

Steam Out Toxins

The best way to detox through your skin is to sweat, and steam amps up the process. Many herbs, including turmeric, peppermint, and eucalyptus, can also encourage detoxification.

The best way to detox through your skin is to sweat, and steam amps up the process. Many herbs, including turmeric, peppermint, and eucalyptus, can also encourage detoxification. Spa Vitale, at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, uses herbal compresses in its signature Thai Herbal Poultice Massage to detox by boosting blood circulation. Poultices are made of dried chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, turmeric, camphor, peppermint, cloves, and eucalyptus wrapped in muslin or cotton cloth. The poultices are steamed, and the moist heat helps the herbs penetrate the skin.

“Steaming releases the aroma and therapeutic properties of the herbs,” says Amal Abbara, lead massage therapist at Spa Vitale. “The herbs in the compress are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, and antioxidant. After a detoxifying Thai herbal massage, you feel refreshed, relaxed, and energetically balanced.”

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