To maintain a healthy, glowing complexion, detoxifying our skin – and body – is essential. So, what are the most effective ways to deep-clean our dermis and eliminate unwanted toxins?
When it comes to at-home skincare, aesthetic doctor Dr Wassim Taktouk advises against the use of harsh ingredients. “Lockdown made all of us into dermatologists”, he jokes – “And the result was patients using all sorts of ingredients that were over-stripping their skin. What’s important is that we respect the epidermal barrier – it’s there for a reason”. Humectants and products rich in ceramides come highly recommended: like Skinceutical’s Triple Lipid Restore, which is rich in ceramides and fatty acids. “Think of your skin cells as tiles and the grout is the lipids around it’, explains Taktouk. ‘Triple Lipid Repair is very good at mimicking and supporting this”.
With the epidermal barrier replenished, it’s time to bring in the skin brighteners. SkinCeutical’s CE Ferulic (a potent vitamin C packed serum) is a game-changer for a lacklustre complexion, while gentle resurfacing agents such as AHAs (acids derived from fruits, such as glycolic acid) work to refine and smooth – for unprecedented radiance. “Not only do these put the vitality back into the skin, but they can reduce inflammation”, explains Taktouk. Additional complexion calmers include Skinceuticals’ Phyto Mist (a refreshing spritz that contains botanical extracts to hydrate and reduce redness). “Keep it in the fridge, for an extra-cooling hit”, says Taktouk, who sprays the solution liberally post-procedure.
Otherwise, you might consider Purifeyes: a pH-balanced, antimicrobial cleanser, which is suitable for use around the eye area. Developed by ophthalmologists and oculoplastic surgeons Miss Rachna Murthy and Professor Jonathan Roos, it contains a blend of essential oils and plant extracts that reduces inflammation, blocked pores and dryness while restoring the microbiome.
“Our skin is the biggest barrier to pathogens entering the body”, explains Murthy – “And it’s protected by the microbiome, which is essentially a friendly colony of bacteria that prevents inflammation, infection and disease”. Much like the skin, our eyes are also shielded by their own unique microbiome, and supporting this is critical. Detoxifying measures include switching out potential toxins – for example, those found in some lash serums (“These can sometimes include an ingredient called prostaglandin, which can affect the microbiome”, explains Murthy). Those with sensitive skin might also consider hypoallergenic makeup: “We’re big fans of Eyes Are The Story”, says Murthy: “It’s an eye-safe cosmetic range including cleansers, wipes, mascara and eyeliners – and for dry eye sufferers, it’s revolutionary”. Murthy also recommends changing your mascara regularly, and supplementing with sea buckthorn and omega 6, to maintain healthy lipids in the skin as well as the eye area.
Detoxification below the neck is also important to ensure glowing, energised skin – and one of the most effective techniques is manual lymphatic drainage. Julien de Richeville, son of Martine de Richeville (who created the famed Parisian ‘Remodelage’ protocol), is renowned for his bodywork methods, which combines lymphatic drainage with abdominal massage and deep breathing. “The technique digs down the fascia – the envelope surrounding the muscles – effectively ‘unsticking’ it from the fatty tissues and releasing any toxins that have become trapped”, he explains. “This helps to reduce inflammation, water retention, muscular pain and even cellulite. After all, detoxification isn’t just about drinking green juice – it’s about working on the skin”.
Simple, at-home measure can also help, continues De Richeville. “For example, dry brushing stimulates micro-circulation at the topmost skin layer, but it also gets rid of the dead cells – so it’s great to do before applying your regular body products”. (We’re converts to the Nuori body brush, which is made with natural boar bristles, for optimal buffing). And don’t forget the power of movement. “It might sound obvious, but one hour of gym doesn’t compensate for the hours spent sat behind your desk”, says De Richeville. “Stand up every half hour and take a few steps to help your legs bring the blood-flow back upstream. Otherwise, a pair of compression tights will boost circulation and prevent the lipids from lingering at the bottom of your legs – so you can happily show them off come summer”.
Looking for further ways to brighten skin and body? Why not check out our ‘Deep Clean’ talk, which discusses simple and sustainable steps to detoxification – both inside and out.
By Victoria Smart