The end of the summer is without fail, the time my skin decides to freak out. It’s a combination of things. I tend to travel more during the summer and all of that airplane air is kind of the worst. It somehow simultaneously dries out my skin AND makes me break out… wtf!? Another big culprit is sunscreen. It gunks up my skin and whereas my skin is usually pretty dry, it starts to act oily: clogged pores and blackheads on my nose and chin, etc. The last thing is nutrition. Whereas in the winter I’m always so disciplined. Dry January, clean eating, etc etc… summer comes around and suddenly it’s rosé all day, french fries, and refined sugar. Oy. So my skin is freaking out a little.
That being said, I am not really traveling (save for a girls’ trip out East next Saturday) for the next couple months so I am planning on hunkering down, nesting, and taking better care of myself – inside and out. It’s crazy how your body’s overall healthy can often come out through our skin. Here’s what I’m doing to detox from summer… both physically and mentally!
Causes of Skin Issues
Like I mentioned before – for me, it’s yucky airplane air, products that clog my pores (mineral sunscreen I’m looking at you!!!), and eating poorly/too much wine. Stress can also be a big factor, as can be poor gut health.
Signs Your Skin Needs a Good Detox
For me the signs are breakouts (I literally NEVER break out as my skin is dry, so when I break out I know something is seriously up). Other signs include excess oil, undereye bags, patches of redness or rough skin.
The skin is our largest organ and directly reflects what’s going on inside of our bodies, so if it is doing funny things it means something is probably happening on the inside.
How to Detox for Clear Skin
Okay so I actually hate the word detox (I don’t believe that we actually have toxic matter in our bodies), but this is more about getting the bad stuff out and the good stuff in.
Totally overhaul your diet for at least a week.
Sadly this is the biggest thing. If your skin is misbehaving it usually has more with what’s going on inside than out. Lots of greens and veggies, lean proteins, lots of water, healthy fats, etc! I love the idea of eating the rainbow – I will go to Whole Foods and just load up on produce in as many colors as I can find. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend doing the elimination diet in Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good Cookbook. This cookbook is one of my all time favorites (the recipes are truly delicious but so healthy and good for you). I know that not everyone loves Gwyneth (I’m a big fan) but this cookbook is the greatest. I bought it four years ago and it’s still a favorite.
If you have more disposable income (but less time), I recommend doing a week or two of Sakara! I am a huge, huge Sakara fan. I have done it several times now (I was an even bigger fan when I was juggling the blog with my old job at BaubleBar and literally had zero free time) and wrote about my experience with it in this post. I have a code with them for readers of my blog – TheStripe15 will get you 15% off your order. What I love about it (just being honest) is that it takes all of the work out of being healthy. Beautiful, delicious, healthy meals just show up at your door and you don’t have to think! If you work a lot or don’t have time to cook/meal prep, this is awesome.
On top of this, drink lots of water and cut out booze, refined sugar… and if you can (I can’t but I’ll drink it black) coffee!
Sometimes the problem is simple. We need to get rid of the dead skin cells that are clogging our pores. If you’ve been drinking too much and eating poorly your skin might not do as good of a job as usual. I recommend extending your next shower by 20 minutes or so to do a deep exfoliation. Start with dry brushing. I wrote a whole post about dry brushing here. I love it and try to do it multiple times a week. I use this brush. It leaves skin soft and glowy but also helps with lymphatic drainage and overall health.
Then, once you are in the shower, do another round of exfoliation. I love this body scrub (so affordable!) and this face scrub, but I just started using Cindy Crawford’s triple exfoliating treatment and am loving that too. Really put some elbow grease into exfoliating. This is honestly the most important part – even with the fanciest of scrubs you aren’t going to get much out of them if you don’t put in some effort. Scrub your face (gently) for two minutes and your body for at least five minutes. I will turn the water off in the shower and just scrub. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes when you actually spend some time with your face scrub.
Get a facial, or do one at home.
At the end of the summer/once I know I won’t be in the sun for a while or applying my really gloppy sunscreen, I try to get a facial. My favorite for pore clearing is Kiehl’s Hydrotherapy Facial – this is so good for deep cleaning your pores. They use this cool suction-y device to push and pull all the grime out of your pores. It’s disgusting but also amazing how much stuff they get out. Facials are great for your skin health + they also help with relaxation and de-stressing which is equally important! I don’t do them a lot but I always get one in mid-late September after summer has come to a close and there won’t be any more trips to the beach. For an at home treatment I still swear by my DIY turmeric mask; it’s amazing and easy + cheap to make!
Load up on Water.
I had to include something that’s at least kind of easy? Water is key to flushing out all the bad stuff in our bodies, + your skin just looks better when it’s hydrated. A lot of simple issues in the skin are a direct of dehydration and nothing else. Here is a good resource to tell if your skin is dehydrated or just dry. So try to get at least 8 glasses of water each day and drink water with every meal. Lots of water – it’s so good for you!
Add in fatty acids.
Skin care products will only get you so far… nutrition is very important! There are a lot of ways to do this (eating salmon for example) but honestly I am lazy and can’t be trusted to cook myself fish every day so I take this supplement every day. Two a day; every day. Healthy fats are so good for you; you know this though. My old nutritionist got me into this and I swear my skin looks MUCH better when I’m regularly taking them. It also helps to improve digestion.
Take a good hot detox bath.
This is another simple one that is so luxurious. I wrote about my favorite baths in this post. I also LOVE the detox baths in this post (if I had to choose, these are probably my absolute favorite) but I also love all of goop’s soaks. SO MANY BATHS!!! And if you are on a budget plain old epsom salts are also awesome! (I like to add a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oils to make my epsom salts experience a bit more of a sensory experience) Just make sure you soak for a solid 20 minutes to really sweat and get the full benefits of your soak.
My Go To Skin Detoxification Products, Tips, & Recipes
This is just a little list of resources – hopefully it’s helpful!
- Sakara – read about it here, and then get 15% off with code TheStripe15.
- Goop’s annual Detox!
- DIY Turmeric Face Mask (this can also be used as a spot treatment if you are breaking out in just one area (for me it’s my chin so I will make a tiny version of the mask and let it sit just there).
- Dry brushing – how to do it; and my favorite brush.
- Carly’s post about meditation – while this isn’t necessarily going to directly detox your skin it will help MAJORLY with stress; which is a huge culprit. Sometimes your mind just needs a detox! I also highly, highly recommend reading Dan Harris’s book, which I can . honestly say changed my life.
- My favorite baths.
- Inexpensive ways to detox.
- A favorite brand (with great detox products) that is not very expensive.
- Try an infrared sauna! This is another good way to just sweat it all out.
- Take a digital detox.
Image credit: Harper’s Bazaar.