What Does Detoxifying Actually Mean?

WRITTEN BY:  Zanoli Kozlowski, Senior Director of Education and Development at skinbetter science

New year, new you right?   So, the first thing on the to-do-list, is usually that we would like to attempt a detox.  ‘Cleanse’ our body and try to remove all the ahem, harm, it has endured over the festive season.  We hope that this process will be similar to ‘Ctrl. Alt. Del.’ on a computer keyboard.  Erase the bad and start fresh.  Sounds about right.  Does this work the same on the skin?  Can we detox the skin, and if so, what does that actually entail?  Is this even a possibility or is it hype?

In skincare language, the definition of detoxifying is very, very different to say, a doctor’s definition would be.  In our language, it is more about removing the pollution, makeup and dirt/debris and even ‘gunk’ from the skin so that your skin can breathe again, feel refreshed and clean.  Who doesn’t want that ‘just cleansed’ feeling?  Clean skin, free of all this stuff, results in skin that is more receptive to ingredients as well as in-office treatments; but above all, will look better.  In fact, it may make you look younger.  Your skin will be glowing.  Did you know, there is a lot of research suggesting that pollution can actually age your skin?  That news right there is enough to make me age even more.  And we can’t have that!  If you need some reminding regarding how it ages the skin – we have a blog for that!  Here, I really wanted to focus on a solution.  Let’s start the year on a positive note, right?

So, to summarize, yes, we can help detox the skin – revealing a refreshed, healthy, brighter-looking skin.  To do this, we need to remove the dirt, old makeup and pollution – you get the picture.  How?  Several ways actually.  Now this is more like it:  cleanse the skin, exfoliate the skin and use clay-based masks as well as moisturizers!  Another detoxifying agent is known as an antioxidant to fight the external, environmental stressors, (such as free radicals) that come from all that pollution.  Easy-peasy!  This is a New Year’s resolution I can stick to.

Where do we start with our checklist?  We start at the very beginning.


1. CLEANSE. Using a good cleanser that removes the debris leaving your skin clean (but not tight) is the best way to start.  We suggest a sulfate, soap-free cleanser and should be on everyone’s list of essentials.  Yes, this is where I plug the very best skincare line (biased, I know) but my favorite is the Oxygen Infusion Wash – a multi-tasking cleanser featuring slow-releasing alpha hydroxy acids and an infusion of oxygen that instantly purifies and refreshes skin for a youthful, glowing appearance.  Check. ✔️

2. EXFOLIATE.  If we feel we have more dullness and gunk than we know what to do with, we can exfoliate.  Using either beads (physical particles) or hydroxy acids such as lactic, glycolic or even salicylic acid is the general rule.  As you know, these work more effectively – helping to remove more (since a lot of the dirt and debris has adhered to our superficial skin cells), sometimes the best way is to exfoliate, removing all that unwanted baggage, thus giving an extra hand to our cleansers – the results speak for themselves.  Check. ✔️

If we want to enhance the effects of perhaps the first two steps mentioned, we can incorporate a clay-based mask.  Now there are many options to choose from.  These include natural minerals from the earth such as kaolin and bentonite clays, and even the charcoal (you have seen those black ones) in masks.  All these ingredients actually stick to the skin cells and help to remove them from the surface – leaving your skin incredibly clean and free of their burden.  Imagine a product that is both an exfoliant and clay-based mask in one – kill two birds with one stone. Having one dual-functioning product that can be customized through frequency and length of use allows us to have our cake and eat it too.  Check. ✔️

View our Detoxifying Scrub Mask Application Video

3. ANTIOXIDANTS.  Another fantastic option is antioxidants.  Pollution results in free radicals that can do a lot of damage to the skin, resulting in redness, pigmentation, aging and a slew of unrequested skin damage.  The skin looks dull, tired and dirty. Having antioxidants to help neutralize this potentially hazardous array of environmentally damaging, cell-destroying molecules allows our skin to be protected and supported.  Sign me up.  Check. ✔️

I am sure you are as interested in this last solution as I am.  Did you read that right?  Did I write that correctly?  Yes, yes I did.

4. MOISTURIZE.  Moisturizers are also a great way to help detoxify the skin?  Don’t those just sit there and make you oily, greasy and shiny?  Sometimes.  These are not the right choices.  Your moisturizer is supposed to have ingredients that help support a healthy skin barrier.  This may help reduce the harmful effects caused by agents such as pollution from getting in and wreaking havoc.  Very often what then happens is these pollution particles stick to the superficial skin ingredients in your moisturizer (the good kind of moisturizer!) and when we take our cleanser and wash our skin, these particles will be eliminated.  Ah yes, Hydration Boosting Cream which is a lightweight moisturizer, helps support a healthy skin barrier.  Check. ✔️

Personally, I think 2019 is going to be the year I keep my New Year’s resolution.  Here’s to all of us having a healthy skin year.  For more information and suggestions of products that may fill the needs suggested here to detoxify the skin, please visit www.skinbetter.com/products.



Basically, skincare can help detoxify the skin.  Let’s review the checklist to ensure we have all the steps to do this.
1. CLEANSE – Remember soap and sulfate-free cleansers are best.
2. EXFOLIATE – Removing those dead skin cells allows the skin to look refreshed and renewed.  Using natural clays and 100% spherical beads or hydroxy acids are the way to go.
3. ANTIOXIDANTS- These help prevent the pollution causing all those toxins that trigger inflammation.  Vitamin C is the obvious, but add in tumeric and acai for an extra boost.
4. MOISTURIZE – Hydration supports the barrier that is there to protect against all the damage thus preventing toxins entering the skin.

Got that?  Now take that list and let’s do this!

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