Skin detox – the essential guide

Natural ways to detox the skin

Understanding what habits accelerate or decelerate age is the first step in getting a year-round glow. Shannon Dunn shares tips on how to detoxify your skin, gently.

In a world where beauty is widely considered skin deep and models are airbrushed to unrealistic perfection, it’s little wonder many of us are driven to the nearest cosmetics counter in search of a quick fix.

From sunspots and wrinkles to lines and sags, most of the biggest beauty woes are often put down to the effects of getting older, to be covered up with foundations, concealers and topical fillers. But what if the answer to vibrant, youthful skin, from head to toe, has nothing to do with creams and serums, beauty therapists or aestheticians?

How we age

How we age actually has very little to do with time and more to do with how we nurture and nourish our bodies. As the body’s largest organ, our skin is a mirror of our internal health. It also serves as a major elimination tool, ridding the system of environmental build-ups, fast-ageing free radicals and toxins that we ingest daily through food, water and air.

It’s when we start to be mindful of what goes in our mouths and learn how to support our skin in its detoxification efforts that skin begins to take on a more youthful appearance, eyes begin to sparkle and energy levels stay even.

A new you

Every 90 days, the body maintains its health (or lack thereof) with a new bloodstream, made from what we eat and drink as well as the air we breathe. It’s from this blood that the body’s cells, including the skin, are made and nourished. In just 11 months, the body has produced a completely new set of cells. Every seven years the whole body is regenerated (or degenerated) with new bones and hard tissues.

By supporting the body and skin through daily detox as a matter of habit, the body moves more fluidly, the mind becomes clearer and the skin begins to glow from within. Ageing or staying youthful literally starts at the dinner table: what we eat and drink counts.

Foods to avoid

Any products that are heavily processed not only foster ill health, they also have devastating effects on the skin. These low vibrational foods have little to no nutritional value. They also make the digestion sluggish, are often made with chemical additives and preservatives, don’t enable the body to operate optimally and are age accelerators.

Beauty and 
personal products

Synthetically and chemically produced cosmetics are absorbed via the skin and enter into the bloodstream, producing a chemical cocktail that may lead to illness and accelerate skin ageing. A simple rule of thumb when wondering what’s okay and what’s not: if you can’t naturally eat it, don’t put it on your skin.

Also, all chemical household cleaners should be disposed of, as these are absorbed through the skin, or ingested when sprayed. Most cleaning jobs can be done with mixtures of vinegar and baking soda.

The dos of skin detox

While everyone has nutritional needs specific to them, there’s great importance in building a solid health foundation that is applicable to everyone who wants to feel better, look healthier and live longer. Adding nourishing foods to your daily regime will naturally help the skin eliminate and detox. According to health pioneer and naturopath Dr Patricia Bragg, when someone eats only foods and drinks that are high vibrational, the body becomes a “self-starting, self-governing, self-generating instrument”.

Love your lemon

The belief that everyone needs a hearty meal upon waking can actually be detrimental to digestion, taking away vital energy in order to process dead foods such as toasted breads, processed cereals and milks, all while making the skin suffer.

After an average eight hours of sleep, hydration is the most important step you can take to give your body and skin a helping hand in its detox endeavours. Freshly squeezed lemon into warm water every morning is a great way to get on the path to pimple-free skin that glows.

High in vitamin C, the lemon is nature’s natural blood purifier and detoxifier, ridding the body of toxins and free radicals, while flushing out bacteria and toxins. Follow this routine with helpings of fresh, organic fruits. Fruits are naturally fibre-rich and work as an intestinal broom, sweeping the colon free of debris from years of bad food habits. However, be sure to only ever eat fruits on an empty stomach to ensure fermentation (the kind that causes bloating and gas) doesn’t occur.

Shannon Dunn is a wellness 
writer and eco beauty editor. 
Find out more at or email her at

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.