Staving off booze and cigarettes and keeping your diet clean can do more than just make your skin glow– it can make your eyes whiter, boost your energy levels and improve your mood. A detox is a quick way to feel and look like you’ve had your inner light switched on.
Detoxification, the process of cleaning the blood, is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, the organ that processes toxins for elimination. A detox program can help facilitate the body’s natural cleansing process by resting the organs, giving them time to work on restoring your cells, improving circulation of the blood and refueling the body with healthy nutrients. All that amounts to majorly good lookin’ skin. Here’s your step-by-step guide to detox for better skin, starting the week before you plan to detox.
Step 1: (Week prior to detox week 1) Lighten your toxin load
Prepare for your detox with a “wean week” where you faze out toxins gradually. That means coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats. Another major toxin? Stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. In small doses, this hormone can be helpful, when you need to get things done, etc. but in high-doses, it can wear and tear your adrenals down making you feel sick and tired.
Step 2: (Early week 1) Clean up your diet
Kick off week 1 by restocking your fridge. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, legumes and lean protein. Make sure you’ve got plenty of these five beauty superfoods on hand.
You’ll be getting your bod re-sensitized again, which can take time. Eventually, eating a cleaner diet and drinking lots of water will give you more sustainable energy without a crash. But this week, you’ll likely feel the slump in the afternoon hard. Drink lots of water and eat as many raw, enzyme rich foods as you can. After a few days of eating cleaner, you’ll start to adjust.
Step 3: (Early week 1) Start on three litres of fluid daily
Start each day with water and lemon juice to kick start the digestion process. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. Drink first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Aim to drink three litres of fluid daily. This will help move the lymphatic system and support kidney detoxification. Choose from water, fresh vegetable juice and herbal tea. Or make your own mega-detox brew by mixing a combination of dandelion root and nettle, calendula, burdock and red clover.
Step 4: (End week 1) Commit to 30 mins of heart-pumpin’ exercise daily
Vigorous exercise increases lymphatic flow and circulation to help sweat out toxins. Walk, run, dance, do yoga—whatever you like best to get your blood moving. Exercise for 30 minutes every day. And don’t forget weights! Aim for 30 minutes of strength training two to three times a week. Strength training keeps your metabolism on hyper-drive.
Step 5: (Week 2) Introduce natural skin purifying practices
Start to alternate between these natural beauty routines to deep clean your skin and get it glowing.
- Take a detox bath with 1 cup each epsom salt and baking soda. According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, a simple epsom salt soak is beneficial to circulatory health, helps ease muscle pain, and also eliminates harmful substances from the body. Baking soda makes bath water alkaline and leaves the skin feeling silky and soft.
- Hit a sauna or a steam room. These chambers of sweat help to clean out the cells’ toxic debris and improve circulation. If you go this route, it’s possible your skin condition may worsen before it gets better as the toxins are drawn out and may result in breakouts. If this happens, let a breakout run it’s course. You’re on the right track.
- Get into body brushing. Dry brushing supports circulation and helps circulate lymph fluid through the body and helps it to drain, strengthening your immune system in the process. Using a loofah or natural fibre body brush, brush the skin with firm circular strokes before you step into the shower. Start from the feet and hands, moving up the legs and towards the arms.
Step 5: (Week 2) Make sleep a priority
Relax! Sleep, take enough me time when you need it, take a nap, chill out. Listen to your body. Eat dinner three hours before you call it a night to give your body enough time and energy to repair and rejuvenate during the night.
Step 6: (Week 3) Give yourself major kudos
By week 3 of your detox, you’ll be feeling alive – even if you’ve messed up and eaten a peanut butter cup here and there. As long as you’ve mostly followed the above steps, your organs, including your skin, will be smiling. Coast through the rest of your final week continuing on with all the steps you’ve adopted, but also make sure to treat yourself. Splurge on a pedicure, buy a new journal or plan your summer vacation somewhere amazing.