skin detox

How to Detox Your Skin from Head to Toe After the Holidays

Like a juice cleanse, but for your skin.

By: Isabella Sarlija

So you did it. You planned a grand feast, checked off all the people from your holiday shopping list, and have perhaps had one too many glasses of wine in celebration. Now that the joy (and, quite frankly, stress à la planning) of the holiday season is almost through (2021 is just around the corner!), you might be experiencing a few breakouts and puffiness in your face, and perhaps even severe dryness all over your body. So how do we detox our skin after days full of sodium and dairy and/or excessive alcohol intake? Holistic aesthetician Amity Murray and Athena Hewett, founder of Monastery Made Skincare and owner of Monastery Studio, have the answers.



Detox from Within

The same way those salty foods and strong spirits can cause the skin to look lackluster, puffy, and irritated, food has the power to heal our skin and bring it back to a state of balance. “It's really important to not try to treat something externally that is happening internally—you could just make things worse by doing something out of the normal to your skin,” says Murray. “Try to get back to eating clean and up your water intake until you see your skin clear.” This means eating a healthy diet full of leafy green vegetables and fruits and clean proteins like fish or tofu. In addition to fueling your body with these good-for-you foods, Hewett states, “I love juicing. It always makes me feel so much more balanced and healthy. I juice celery and carrot with ginger when Im really looking for a detox.”

In addition to eating healthy, make sure that you are keeping your post-holiday nerves at ease. When our adrenal glands are out of balance, it can disrupt many systems in our bodies, including our digestive system, immune system, and endocrine system (which controls our hormones). This can lead to breakouts, so be sure to get your daily dose of wellness in, whether it is through meditation, journaling, or going for a walk outdoors. Murray reveals, “Exercise in general is great for the lymphatic system, and if you have a mini trampoline or rebounder, those are especially good for the lymphatic system. I also love dry-brushing—it is an amazing, easy holistic habit to get into every morning.”


Take a Bath

Although taking a bath is one of our *favorite* ways to unwind and relax our minds after a long and taxing day, there are other benefits to this self-care ritual than just providing emotional relief. Both Murray and Hewett agree that hot salt bath soaks are key to detoxing the skin, as they will have you sweating all those extra rounds of holiday dinner right out of your pores. Additionally, many baths are infused with oils that can soothe your skin and help to expand your lungs with their aromatherapy benefits. Make sure to have about a liter of water next to you as you bathe; the trick to a perfect bath is hydrating before, during, and after your time in the tub.



Building Your At-Home Facial

When looking at dull skin that is sporting some serious breakouts, our first reaction might be to opt for an intense at-home facial that involves clarifying washes, at-home exfoliation treatment, and every single product in our medicine cabinets that promises to provide clear skin. Although it could be tempting to put all these things on at once, you must remember that your skin is in a sensitive state, and you need to do things to help build it back up, not continue to tear it down. To start your detox journey, consider a gentle oil cleanser that will reintroduce hydration in the skin while ridding it of grime and pore-clogging debris. And if oil cleansers are not your speed, opt for a micellar cleanser or cleansing milk.


Depending on your current after-holiday-party skin-care woes, you’re going to want to partake in a bit of a masking situation. If you are experiencing breakouts due to stress or food intake, consider a clarifying mask that will whisk all your troubles (and pore-clogging sebum) away. And if you are feeling dull from all the salty cured meats you’ve had this holiday season, consider a hydrating mask to reintroduce moisture to your dehydrated skin.

If you’re living in what seems to be a Venn diagram of skin-care ailments, consider a mask that will rebalance your skin’s microbiome. Murray states, “[A few] DIY mask favorites are Activist Manuka Honey applied as a mask, and masking with yogurt (look for full-fat, organic, whole-milk yogurt with the highest probiotic count you can find). Yogurt helps with the beneficial bacteria on our skin.”

Additionally, intense exfoliation might do more harm than good for skin that is experiencing inflammation. Hewett tells Coveteur, “Since salty foods and cocktails dehydrate the skin and body, you have to be really careful to not just dry out the skin even more with a strong exfoliant. More often than not, acids are drying to the skin; even though they remove layers, what they leave behind is often dry and stripped skin.” If you do, however, feel that your skin could really benefit from an exfoliating treatment, opt for either a PHA, as they tend to be gentle on both dry and sensitive skin, or something as gentle yet effective as a muslin cloth.

As far as treating any puffiness in the skin is concerned, Murray recommends doing a “self facial massage with some lymphatic drainage movements. I also love the jade roller from Province Apothecary for its cooling and de-puffing properties.” As with any form of facial massage or lymphatic drainage technique, be sure to apply a layer of your favorite serum or oil first. After you’re done scraping all the puffiness away, apply a cold compress to the face, as this will move excess lymphatic fluids to their drainage sites and constrict the face for a more taut appearance.

Finally, finish the entire routine off with your go-to moisturizer and an at-home LED mask. Hewett states, “We’ve been really into using LED lately at our spa. Red light [is great for] boosting collagen, and blue light calms inflammation and redness.” After a few rounds of using this, you should see breakouts lessening and skin beginning to perk back up to its usual mode of elasticity.

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