As winter sets in, give your skin a break. Try a detox so your skin has the opportunity to rejuvenate itself
The word ‘detox’ is everywhere at the moment, and detox kits are seen at most pharmacies. But, did you know that even your skin could do with a break from all the make-up you use?
Most of us don’t leave the house without dabbing on some lipstick and eye liner. Others, who like wearing make-up and have jobs that demand they look all dressed up, wear foundation, concealer, eye shadow and face powder. Of course, all this is after we have applied moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated.
Under the onslaught of all these cosmetics, the skin has no room to breathe. Clogged pores, acne, dull skin and signs of premature ageing are the result. Your skin will also give you signs that it needs a respite – you will find your eyelashes might be getting thinner, you get frequent bouts of acne or your skin feels itchy despite the regular use of moisturisers. Every once in a while, then, it makes sense to let the largest organ in our body just be. No cleansers, toners or moisturisers; no colour cosmetics whatsoever; and, a healthy diet to cleanse the skin from within.
The cosmetic free approach will take care of the top layers of the skin, while a healthy intake of food, sans fried foods and fizzy drinks, will ensure the skin gets a boost of nutrients.
The skin needs a few days to rejuvenate itself and you can opt for a variety of different methods.
The on again, off again approach
If your job makes it imperative for you to wear daily make-up, then use the bare minimum you need to during the week, and go completely natural on the weekends – by natural I mean, no cleansers, toners, moisturisers, or even a dot of concealer or foundation. If possible, stay at home so you avoid having to use even sunscreen. If you must step out, then only apply some sun protection cream to protect your skin. Avoid the use of face washes and soaps too, if you can, and just rinse your face often with cold water.
This approach gives your skin time to breathe and, without the further use of any cosmetic, the skin heals itself. You can add value to this exercise by eating only salads and fruits through the weekend, or meals that consist of complex carbohydrates, high fibre and proteins.
The Detox Diet
You can also change your diet for a time and let your skin absorb vital nutrients. This exercise will take longer to show results so you must diligently follow it for a month at the very least.
Start your day with a glass of warm water and honey as that will cleanse your system of toxins over time. This also helps to shed excess calories if combined with an exercise regimen.
For breakfast, avoid eggs and toast; stick to oatmeal and good fats in the form of almonds, walnuts and flax seeds. A vegetable and fruit cold press juice or a yoghurt and fruit smoothie is a good mid-morning snack, followed by lunch that is either carbs or protein but not both. Add a high protein dinner and that should do the trick.
Since all food categories have various options, you can mix and match so you don’t get bored or go hungry. For example, you can eat chicken for dinner one night, and a rajma curry with rotis the next. Either way, nourish your skin consciously with what you feed your body.
Go all out natural
This method, if combined with a healthy diet, is in my opinion is the best option, especially if you experience breakouts and acne. No skincare, no make-up, just the plain old water and towel routine. You can try this for a couple of days if you have a long weekend or are on leave. This approach eliminates even using sunscreen, and we all know how bad that can be if one is outdoors. At least you can stay indoors all day and keep your skin free of all cosmetics – and avoid wearing any when you go out in the evening. You don’t need sunscreen after dark, and with winter starting, the sun also obliges by setting early.
No colour cosmetics
This is for those who can go to work without wearing make-up, or as a rule, use less of it. Follow a minimal skincare routine and don’t wear any compact powder, foundation, blush, concealer, lipstick, eye liner, eyeshadow, bronzer etc. Wash your face with soap and water, or even plain water, use sunscreen and moisturiser. Keep the toners and cleansers aside too, because they all contain chemicals in some form or the other. Don’t use any face masks or exfoliating scrubs unless they are completely natural. Even the moisturiser you use should be organic or chemical free if possible. If you can’t find any on the supermarket shelf, just use extra virgin coconut oil – it is a natural moisturiser and has no chemicals.
These are some options to consider for those of you who regularly use make-up and want to rejuvenate your skin. I would recommend practicing any one of the choices given above every two to three months. If you can maintain a healthy diet throughout, that’s an extra bonus!