If your skin is dull and dry or red and oily, if you’re dealing with wrinkles or blemishes (or both at the same time, thank you Mother Nature), you probably need a skin detox. Don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you have to order some outrageously expensive face elixir or spend hours in the kitchen on a hard-to-make DIY recipe filled with hard-to-get ingredients. Nope. It’s so much easier than you think.
Here’s the secret: the best way to heal your skin is from the inside out.
Adina Grigore, author of Skin Cleanse and founder of the organic skin care line S.W. Basics, has a tried-and-true skin cleanse, in four easy steps.
Step 1: Start with a Product Journal. Like a food journal, but instead of writing down everything you put in your mouth, you record everything you put on your skin.
Step 2: Think about Your Makeup. Make sure your makeup is fresh (yes, it goes bad!), remove it every night, and keep track of how much you’re using in your journal.
Step 3: Check Yourself Into Beauty Rehab. Level 1: supplement with natural remedies (like an oatmeal mask). Level 2: go without makeup for one day. Level 3: go without all beauty products for three days (including soap and shampoo!).
Step 4: Return to your Daily Routine. Return to your usual beauty regimen—but do it mindfully, so you can measure exactly which products are helping your skin (keep ‘em) and which are hurting (toss ‘em).
Beauty rehab is my favorite step. It’s all about simplifying your usual routine. Here are three things you can do right now that will brighten your skin.
- Wash Your Face with Only Water
“Did you know that you can wash your face without soap? Water is an effective cleanser all on its own. Just make sure you follow a few basic rules. Make sure your hands are clean. You already wash them or sanitize them a trillion times a day, so chances are they aren’t dirty—but do a quick check. Splash water on your face, using your clean hands. Aim for ten to twenty splashes. (If this is your first time, I prefer you do twenty. Count them out.) Use your hands to (gently) rub the water over your face as you go. I do ten splashes where I go up and down with my hands one time per splash. This whole process should take you thirty to sixty seconds, and then your face will be clean, I swear.”
- Sleep More (Yes, Sleep Is a Beauty Product)
“Have you ever noticed that when you don’t sleep well, your skin looks dull and puffy? That is not an illusion; it’s a real thing. During sleep, collagen production accelerates. Growth hormones also peak, which helps restore and regenerate your skin cells. In fact, in a 2013 study, better sleep was linked to faster recovery from environmental stressors. Sleeping well helps regulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day, and we know that too much cortisol ages us. So turn off the TV, take your makeup off, get in bed, and have sweet dreams about beautiful skin.”
- Detox with a Chickpea-Turmeric Mask
Chickpeas are an amazing detoxifier. They pull out harmful toxins, neutralize free radicals, heal sun damage, and generally energize your skin (and your insides, too, of course). For this recipe, you can mash cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas, or you can hydrate chickpea flour (often called garbanzo flour). All three will work about the same, just use your judgment with how much water to add. Turmeric regulates oil production, reduces inflammation, and heals scars, especially those from acne. This mask can be a little drying, so definitely follow with a moisturizer.
1 tablespoon chickpea flour or mashed chickpeas
Generous pinch of turmeric powder (enough to tint the mixture yellowish)
1 tablespoon water
Combine chickpeas and turmeric in a small bowl, then stir in the water. If you’re using cooked or canned chickpeas, make sure to really mix in the turmeric. You can apply with your fingers—it will feel as if you are putting hummus on your face (you kind of are). For maximum detox benefit, let it dry before washing it off. Keep it sealed in your fridge for up to a week. Will make two to three applications.
Photo Credit: Beau Snyder/iStock