This time of year is particularly difficult on our skin. The holidays are usually preceded by a period of intense work, stress and self neglect as everyone tries to wrap up work before the Christmas break. Add to that the indulgence and hedonism during the holiday period and your skin maybe feeling and looking a bit worse for wear. Not to worry though, we've put together this skin detox which will get your complexion to peak health and glow. Even if you've been good and followed our holiday skincare tips, you can use this skin detox to elevate the appearance of your skin so that it positively gleams this winter. All you need is a few minutes to figure out your skincare needs, a few potent products and a little time set aside each day. Remember that little (in terms of skincare products) and often (daily) is far superior to using a whole skincare line every now and again! Also, make sure that whatever you do to your face to also include your neck.
The 7 Day Skin Detox
Preparing For You Skin Detox
Before you do anything, spend a few minutes figuring out your skin type and deciding what your skin detox goals are. Cleanse your skin by removing any trace of makeup then using a gentle facial cleanser. Leave your freshly cleansed skin alone for 5 minutes (perfect time for a cup of tea) then look at your face in the mirror. If your entire face appears oily and shiny then you likely have oily skin. If on the other hand your skin appears dry and even flakey, then you have a dry complexion. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle with some oil production in the t-zone area and dry skin on the cheeks and outer areas of the face. This is often termed combination skin or if the excess oil or dryness is only modest, then it is usually called "normal skin". The next thing you should do is identify your top 2-3 skin concerns or goals. This might be to smooth the appearance of lines or wrinkles and brighten dull skin. Or another example is to control excess oil production and outbreaks, unclog and refine texture. Now that you've identified your skin detox goals, you can start to put together a programme.
Healthy Skin Lifestyle Tips
So this isn't an actual diet and more of a little lifestyle modification. For the duration of the skin detox (and hopefully long afterwards) we advise a few little additions to your diet to help with your skin regeneration.
First of all hydration is key. Your skin needs water to help with cell regeneration and repair. If you haven't already, check out our post on keeping hydrated in order to ensure that you drink your minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. Food wise, there are definitely a few dietary modifications that can help nourish and restore your skin's health. Although there isn't any one singe "magic skin superfood", increasing your general intake of fruit and vegetables. Check out our guide to healthy eating for more on how to incorporate skin nourishing foods into your diet.
Of course, there are two more important skin saving steps which are really important to fully detox. Both smoking cessation and sun protection are a must. Check out our previous post on how to avoid the deadly sins of skincare if you're really keen to pup your game.
The Skin Detox Programme
Day 1 (The Reset)
This day is incredibly important as it creates the base for your skin detox. After identifying your skin type and skincare goals, you want to create the foundations for your detox programme. This involves resurfacing the skin and nourishing it. The best way to do this is by having a bespoke facial either professionally done or if that's not possible then you can also do one at home.
If you're keen to have a professional facial make sure that you go somewhere where they will perform a bespoke facial designed around your skin type and needs. A good facial should involve resurfacing (this is usually an exfoliant for a regular facial or a superficial chemical peel if you have an advanced clinical facial). There is also an extraction step to clear spots and clogged pores and a hydrating bioactive mask. An advanced facial is then finished off with massaging nourishing peptides and skin boosting ingredients in to the skin. There are also other treatments that can be added to an advanced clinical facial including microneedling or red light therapy to further optimise the treatment.
If you can't have a professional facial then you can create your own at home bespoke treatment. Start off by double cleansing your face using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to remove makeup and dirt. Follow up with using Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser if you have dry or normal skin. For oily or acne prone skin use Cetaphil DERMACONTROL™ Oil Control Foam Wash to remove oil and impurities without stripping away moisture. If you have ageing, dull or rough textured skin (e.g from scarring), opt for NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash. Once your skin is cleansed, resurface using an exfoliator. We recommend Grounded Activated Charcoal Blackhead Removing Face Scrub for oily or combination skin as it removes dead skin, unclogs pores and hydrates the skin. Massage it on to wet skin and leave on for 10 minutes before washing away. For dry, dull or ageing skin, opt for glō therapeutics Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub which gently removes dead cells and stimulates cellular regeneration. We don't normally recommend performing your own extractions as you can end up damaging the skin. If you are keen however, check out this guide on performing extractions first. In general our top tips to doing your own blackhead extractions are:
- Make sure that you steam your face first (either using a face steamer, taking a shower or carefully pouring boiling water into a bowl and placing your face above the steam with a towel over your head) for at least 5 minutes
- Apply a rich moisturiser on to the skin to keep in the heat and moisture
- When squeezing use gauze pads or towels to avoid injuring the skin with your nails
- When extracting, space your fingers as fr as you can and gently squeeze at 3 o'clock, 7 o'clock and 11 o'clock. If this isn't successful then give it up
When you've finished extracting (or if you're skipping this step), use a toner to further clear out the pores and rebalance the skin. We're absolutely in love with PIXI Glow Tonic for all skin types. This toner contains 5% glycolic acid which will further chemically exfoliate your skin and loosen dead cells as well as brighten the skin, clean pores and smooth lines.
Next up is the fun bit; multi-masking! We recommend starting off with REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask which is fabulous for treating all skin types. It clears blemishes, acne and clogged pores. In addition, it helps brighten the face and smooth away fine lines or wrinkles. Leave this mask on 10 minutes then wipe off with a damp towel. Afterwards, use a second mask up to hydrate and soothe the skin. We quite like Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask for oily or combination skin (its also great for ageing skin). If you have dry skin, then you'll like Skin Laundry Hydrating Radiance Facial Treatment Mask as it provides long lasting moisture and hydration. Also don't forget about your eyes! SKYN ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels will reduce puffiness, brighten dark under eye circles and plump up under eye skin. Leave the second mask and under eye masks for 10-15 minutes before removing.
Finish off your facial by applying face serum and moisturiser. For serums, we recommend using Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum which contains a stable complex of high concentration Vitamin C that will firm up, brighten skin and banish the signs of photo-ageing. Don't try to add in any other serum at this point as you want to challenge your skin gradually rather than overwhelm or sensitise your skin. Follow up with Hyasoft The Hero Project gel which contains hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 if you have oily skin. For dry or ageing skin, try Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief which also contains hyaluronic acid for all day hydration. For the yes, apply Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate which will depuff, moisturise and fade away dark under eye circles.
Start your day by double cleansing your face and then using your toner. If your skin is dry or dehydrated or if you really want to up your skincare game, then adding in face essence is a complete game-changer. We are absolutely infatuated with Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence because it soothes, hydrates and helps skin regain its elasticity over time. Massage on your Vitamin C serum and once thats absorbed put on your moisturiser. For your eyes, wear your under eye masks after you've cleansed, toned, applied essence then serum. Apply your under eye cream then finish off with sun screen all over your face.
You can apply your makeup (if you want) but for best effects try to stay makeup free. If you do want to wear foundation opt for a lightweight formulation like Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 or Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder . Even better, try a complexion enhancer like La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur for acne-prone or oily skin or Erborian BB Crème Au Ginseng for all other skin types.
At night time, double cleanse, tone and apply essence like the morning step. Follow up with a retinol face serum like The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. For the eyes, try Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum. Massage your day time moisturiser and eye cream then try to get some sleep!
Repeat this day and night skin detox routine every single day for the next 5 days and always remember to wear SPF during the day.
By the seventh day of your skin detox, you should definitely notice fresher, brighter and more radiant skin. On this day, you should perform an at home facial as described in the steps for day 1. In addition to the Vitamin C serum, you can also add your retinol under eye and skin serum this time. As with the first day, don't apply any makeup on day 7 and don't wash your face till the next day.
After 7 days your skin will be noticeably better looking and feeling. To continue, try to perform the facial step every week. If you're having a bespoke advanced clinical facial or chemical peel, have one of those every 4-6 weeks to begin with which can be extended to every 6-8 weeks after 3 facials. Remember to be consistent with your skincare routine and to ensure that your skin is used to all of the above products for a few weeks before introducing any more serums or products. If you've tried a skin detox please let us know below what you did and how you found it. Also, let us know if you try our detox and what you thought of it!!
To find out more about the benefits of double cleansing and toning, check out our latest post.
For the low-down on glycolic acid and its skin resurfacing benefits, check out our guide.