You’ve heard of toxic exes, but have you heard of toxic skin?
Toxic skin won’t ghost you or “forget to reply” for a whole 36 hours, but it can pose some other problems for you. Toxic skin refers to skin that hasn’t been rid of toxins, like chemicals, pollutants, and bacteria, that inevitably end up settling on our bodies and in our pores. A buildup of toxins in the skin can lead to a host of issues, like acne, dark spots, and skin irritation in general.
Unlike your ex, you can’t cut your skin out of your life forever. But you can fight toxic skin with four simple steps that will help keep your skin radiant, healthy, and toxin-free.
Going Skin Deep
Before we get into the detox details, let’s start with a quick anatomy lesson. In order to take good care of your skin, you should have an idea of how it works, right?
It might sound a little gross, but think of your skin like a sponge; it’s porous and relatively absorbent. It’s composed of three layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer, which is sealed by a protective moisture barrier), the dermis (collagen, blood vessels, hair follicles, all that good stuff), and the hypodermis, which is made of connective fat and tissue.
The epidermis is your skin’s first line of defense from the elements, and it does a pretty good job of preventing most things from seeping below the surface. But because it’s full of pores, it can’t stop everything from entering your body. Chemicals, bacteria, and other harmful toxins can be absorbed and linger in your pores, causing skin irritations, acne, rashes, and other unpleasant symptoms. Certain toxins, like parabens, propylene glycol, and oxybenzone (commonly found in sunscreen) are known to enter the bloodstream through the skin and present potential hazards to human health.
For the most part, your skin naturally detoxifies itself, shedding around 30,000 to 40,000 old cells every minute. But there are ways you can help your skin rid itself of toxins by keeping it clean and maintained. Here are some of our tips.
How To Fend Off Toxic Skin
I. Embrace The Double Cleanse
The double cleansing method comes from Korean beauty culture; it swiftly reached the U.S. in tandem with the rise of Korean pop in the early 2010’s. Double cleansing involves using an oil cleanser on dry skin, then rinsing and following up with a water-based cleanser. Because oil attracts oil, using an oil cleanser draws oil-based impurities, like SPF and makeup, out of the skin. (Water and oil don’t mix, which is why a water-based cleanser won’t work for these types of impurities). The water-based cleanser will rid your skin of water-based debris, however, including sweat and dirt.
There are tons of reasons why exfoliating is good for you, other than the fact that it just feels good! Exfoliation is a skin treatment that buffs away dead cells from the skin’s surface. Sugar scrubs are effective, natural exfoliants that aid your skin in shedding toxins and dead skin cells. Charcoal sugar scrubs are also a fantastic way to detox your skin; because charcoal is full of tiny pores that create a large surface area, it naturally draws toxins from the body.
It’s important to buff away old cells about once a week. Otherwise, they can cause blockages in pores, which leads to acne and dry, flaky skin. Beware of over-exfoliation, however; too much can irritate your skin, causing rashes and redness.
Remember that outer barrier on the epidermis we were talking about earlier? Well, it only works if it’s properly moisturized. The barrier protects the skin from dehydration while repelling irritants or toxins from the environment. Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure the protective barrier is in tip-top shape for fighting toxins.
IV. Wash Your Hands
You’re well aware, but as we’ve had to navigate through a pandemic, we’ve learned it’s extremely important to wash our hands often and resist touching our faces. This not only helps stop the spread of deadly pathogens, but will also keep your hands from unknowingly transporting toxins to your face and into your skin.To learn more about giving your skin a proper detox, check out this article on charcoal’s natural detoxifying powers.