Can you detox the skin? Admittedly, the idea behind it sounds brilliant: With a 3-day skin detox, simply press the "reset" button and - boom! Our dull, blemished (dry? greasy?) complexions miraculously transform back into flawless baby skin. Completely clear: We are there! But there's a catch. Detoxification through the skin works differently than we often imagine. What is the real deal with detox for the skin? Now let's take a closer look.
Skin Detox: Can the skin be detoxified?
You may know this: If you are in a stressful phase, have reached for the fag too often or have gone too far over the holidays, your skin is unrecognizable. The fact is - when our body is struggling with too many toxins such as nicotine, sugar, alcohol & co., our once radiant complexion unfortunately often looks like it has been switched off.
High time for a fresh start, aka: Detox for the skin . The only problem is – from a medical point of view, we cannot detoxify through the skin . wait a minute We have broken down the topic in detail for you.
What detox really means for the skin
Our skin is exposed to harmful environmental influences on a daily basis. These include air pollution, exhaust fumes, particulate matter, cigarette smoke, but also UV rays.
The skin can detoxify , but only on one side - by reducing the penetration of environmental toxins, bacteria and viruses. It fulfills this task with the help of a healthy skin barrier.
Our skin works like a built-in protective shield against pollutants from the outside, but our body has its own special unit for the elimination of toxins . Starring: kidney and liver.
Sweat also has little to do with detox. That sweat rids our bodies of accumulated toxins is a myth that has now been debunked by science. According to studies, two liters of sweat contain only fractions of a nanogram (ie about 0.02 percent) of pollutants 1 .
To put it very simply: it is true that environmental toxins and an unhealthy lifestyle have a negative impact on the appearance of our skin. Detox for the skin primarily means protecting our skin from such influences. When it comes to pollutants, the skin is a one-way street. Toxins don't leave our body through the skin - but vice versa, they enter the body through the skin, among other things.
3 ways toxins enter our bodies
About Digestion . Pesticides and heavy metals from food, pharmaceutical residues in drinking water and medicines (did you know, for example, that painkillers such as paracetamol put an extreme strain on the liver?), but alcohol can also put a strain on our bodies.
Via the respiratory tract . Pollutants from the air such as ozone, cigarette smoke and toxic fumes from solvents enter our body via the lungs and are then also detectable in the skin 2 .
over the skin . Aggressive cleaning agents can contain substances that are severely damaging to the barrier and cause allergies. Questionable dyes and bleaches in textiles irritate the skin. And cosmetics with controversial ingredients such as nanoparticles or chemical light protection filters (which, by the way, can sometimes have a hormonal effect) put a strain on the health of the body and skin.
Bad skin caused by toxins - this is what toxins do to your skin!
If our organism is burdened by pollutants , it is usually written all over our faces. Sudden pimples, dry, itchy areas of skin and a sallow complexion are indications that our body is not in optimal balance.
We'll tell you in a moment what you can do to detoxify your skin. Let's first look at how harmful environmental influences affect the skin.
You need a few reasons to swear off the fags once and for all? There are quite a few: Smoking damages the skin's collagen fibers and hinders cell regeneration 3 . The toxins contained in cigarettes make the complexion appear greyish and sallow, and they also promote the development of wrinkles and pigment spots .
Sunscreen is considered the best anti-aging weapon for good reason. Fact is - ultraviolet radiation is responsible for up to 80% of the visible premature aging of the skin 4 . We are talking about wrinkles, age spots, loss of volume and unfortunately also an increased risk of skin cancer.
Pollutants from UV light and air mean oxidative stress for the skin and cause the skin to age faster, especially when both occur in combination. Airborne toxins can damage our skin both directly through the skin's surface and indirectly through inhalation 2 . Studies show that people living in environments with high environmental toxins have an overall higher risk of inflammatory reactions, dry skin and eczema 2 .
Fact: Too much sugar makes us look pretty old. Why is that? If we take in simple sugars (e.g. glucose or fructose), they react with certain proteins and lipids in the body. This creates glycation end products . These nasty anti-aging enemies "glue together" our collagen fibers, the skin becomes more wrinkled and loses its elasticity 5 . Incidentally, glycation end products are also produced outside of the body – they are found in the brown crust of deep-fried, grilled or fried foods.
Unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates
Do you recognize the following? If you treat yourself to a few extra portions of chocolate or give in to the craving for fast food, you can be almost certain that pimples and blemishes will not be long in coming. Fact: Foods with a high glycemic index affect the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1, which plays a major role in the development of acne 6 . Fats are also related to IGF-1. While trans fats and saturated fats promote acne 7 , omega-3 unsaturated fats can reduce acne.
A real poison cocktail: alcohol leaves visible traces on our skin. Studies show that increased alcohol consumption is associated with loss of volume in the face and a sunken complexion. Because alcohol also negatively affects collagen formation and weakens the antioxidant shield, the skin becomes more susceptible to oxidative stress 8 . And the list of disadvantages goes on. The vasodilating effect of alcohol often causes red veins on the face, which can even worsen into chronic rosacea .
Beautiful skin from the inside: This is how your built-in detox system works!
You see - your body (and your skin) is actually constantly exposed to potentially harmful substances and influences from the environment. Does that mean that detox cures have their right to exist after all? It all depends on what you mean by detox. We'll show you below what you can do if you want to optimally support your all-natural detox system. But first: How does our body actually deal with pollutants?
This is what our detoxification organs do
Our entire respiratory tract filters the air we breathe. This includes the lungs, nose, throat and bronchi. Dust particles and microorganisms are intercepted by cilia and secretions, coughing and sneezing support the self-cleaning process of the respiratory tract. Conversely, the lungs also remove toxic substances from the body via the air we breathe, e.g. B. the breakdown substances of alcohol, recognizable by the typical «flag».
Kidneys also have a filtering function. They clean the blood of toxins and ensure that these are excreted in the urine. They perform at their best: Your kidneys filter your entire blood volume 300 times a day!
Your liver is a real detox hero and is like your body's chemistry laboratory. It breaks down toxins and passes them on to the bile and intestines, where they are excreted. The liver also converts nutrients from food so your body can use them.
The gut houses up to 80 percent of our body's defense cells 9 . Toxic foods, pollutants, harmful bacteria and the like are channeled out of the body in the digestive tract.
And finally: The skin – or rather, our skin barrier. An intact skin barrier represents a protective shield against microorganisms, foreign bodies and unwanted substances from the outside. It does not conduct toxins out of the body, but should prevent them from getting into the organism at all.
Detox for the skin? With these 5 tips you can support your body and skin in detoxifying!
As a quick reminder, detoxing your skin doesn't mean sweating your heart out in the sauna (since sweat hasn't been proven to have any detoxifying properties), or living off herbal tea for a week. Other detoxification organs are responsible for the elimination of toxins . If you want to detoxify your skin, the keyword is: prevention.
1. Use cosmetics that are free from harmful substances.
If you know FIVE , you know: My skin care products consist of a maximum of five vegan and skin-friendly ingredients. For your skin health, we rely on organic cultivation of the vegetable oils used wherever possible. With gentle, minimalist skincare based on the FIVE philosophy, you ensure that fewer harmful substances get into your body and treat your skin to mild, natural wellness care.
2. Gentle on your skin while brushing.
Environmentally friendly cleaning agents such as B. Sonett brand products are usually better for your skin. If you don't use chemicals when buying cleaning products, you're doing your skin and the environment a favor. Avoid cleaning products that are sprayed on and wear gloves when cleaning - this way you keep the burden on the respiratory tract and skin low. And finally: If you use microfiber cloths, a smaller amount of product is usually sufficient.
3. Support the body's detoxification from within.
You are what you eat - this saying actually has a core of truth. If you ensure adequate fluid intake and make your body fit against oxidative stress by including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, you can optimally support the work of your detoxification organs. The less processed foods and sugar you eat, the better for your skin. Also, opt for organic foods where possible. They contain fewer pesticides.
By the way: You can support your kidneys at work with diuretic teas (e.g. nettle tea and tea made from goldenrod). Bitter substances (e.g. in grapefruit, chicory, endive, artichokes or dandelion tea), on the other hand, have a stimulating effect on the liver and bile.
4. Keep track of your nicotine and alcohol consumption.
If you want to detoxify your skin, you should see cigarettes and alcohol for what they are: toxins that can put a heavy strain on our bodies. We showed above what alcohol and the chemicals in cigarette smoke do to your skin. If you avoid such stimulants , you have taken what is perhaps the most important detox step for healthy, fresh skin.
5. Find the right balance of exercise and relaxation.
Sport stimulates the metabolism and can thus support the body's own detoxification processes . And getting enough sleep also acts like a detox cure: your skin regenerates at night and your body recharges its batteries for the next day. Taken together, the right amount of exercise and rest are fantastic prerequisites for a beautiful complexion and powerful detoxification organs.
Conclusion: If you want to detoxify your skin, you don't need a detox cure!
Detoxing for the skin and body is a controversial topic that is surrounded by many myths. With this article we have tried to bring some light into the darkness. In a nutshell: You can detoxify your skin if you protect it from pollutants. On the one hand with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, on the other hand by doing without luxury toxins and treating yourself to high-quality, pure cosmetics with skin-friendly ingredients.
All the best,
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