With the start of another year upon us, you’ve probably kicked off your January cleanse, given your house a spring clean and maybe even unclogged the hard drive on your computer, but there’s something you might not have thought about detoxing—your skin.
Just because we’ve all stopped wearing make-up while working from home doesn’t mean that our skin is all aglow and ready to face the new year—in fact, after staying inside more and increasing our wine and chocolate intake, not to mention the hectic 10-step skincare routines we all started in lockdown, our faces are probably more in need of a detox than ever. So while you’re sweating it out in the gym and clean eating for January, now is the best time to put your skin on a diet too.
We chatted to Biologi’s Dermal Specialist, Lucy Macdougald, to find out why our face deserves a detox, and how exactly to go about it.
Why Do We Need To Go On A Skin Diet?
“Our skin is exposed to a myriad of toxins and environmental stressors on a daily basis, whether they are found in the food we eat, the pollution we are exposed to, the air we breathe or the makeup products we use,” says Macdougald. “These things can wreak havoc on our complexion if we aren’t careful.”
Turns out, our skincare and make-up can actually be the biggest culprits when it comes to exposing our skin to toxins. Over time, these toxins can accumulate and take a toll on our skin health, giving us wrinkles and fine lines and irritating our skin. Going on a skin diet can help to restore the balance without adding even more chemicals or synthetics to the mix.
So How Do We Detox Our Skin?
Strip Your Routine Back
The first step is to ditch the 10-step skincare routine and cut it down to a few key products your skin actually needs—a cleanser, an exfoliant, a multipurpose serum and some SPF. Not that you’d know it for all the serums in your bathroom, but your skin actually functions incredibly well on its own, we just often don’t give it a chance to truly thrive.
“Products containing an array of synthetic ingredients can mess with your skin’s natural processes and your skin can be worse for it,” says Macdougald. She recommends keeping just one hardworking, multi-purpose, active serum into your routine—one like Biologi’s Bm Regenerate Anti-Ageing Serum.
Get Your Cleansing Routine Right
Cleansing and exfoliating your skin is pretty straight forward, right? Well, not always—there’s a few things to keep in mind. In the evenings, Macdougald suggests first using a microfibre cloth to remove and make-up and residue, then cleansing with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils (like Biologi’s Refresh Cleanser). And NEVER cleanse your skin until it feels tight—that’s a warning sign that you’ve over-cleansed and your skin needs extra hydration to get back to its natural level of hydration. You should also be doing a light cleanse in the mornings too—your skin tends to pick up residue from your pillow and sleeping habits overnight.
Exfoliate Once A Week
While everyone’s skin is different, exfoliating once a week is usually a good idea—it helps to remove any dead skin cells and encourages healthy cellular turnover. Just keep in mind that exfoliating too much can make your skin dry and irritated, especially if you’re using a grainy or harsh chemical scrub.
Look After Your Insides Too
It’s not just what you’re putting on the outside that counts—what your skin looks like on the outside usually tells a story of what’s happening inside, which is why that January cleanse is a great time to do a skin detox too. As Macdougald explains it, “Our gut microbiome is made up of thousands of microorganisms that contribute to our overall health. There are both good and bad bacteria and these also live on the skin. A properly functioning skin microbiome can protect skin against pathogenic organisms, whereas disruption in the microbiotic environment can lead to atopic disease.”
While you're at it, here are seven things you need to stop doing to your hair.
Image credit: Isabela Martins