If you spend a considerable amount of time online, you may have seen several headlines detailing the importance of “detoxing” your skin. And “detoxing” your home, your friendship group, pretty much your entire life.
Detoxing has become an overused term. But, just like clean beauty and the growing wellness movement, “skin detoxing” is seen as a bonafide trend.
All, however, is not what it seems when you delve a little deeper.
What does “detox” really mean?
To detox, in simple terms, means to remove toxins from the body. These can come from the environment, from your diet, and from lifestyle choices such as smoking.
Your lungs, liver, kidneys, and colon have the ability to remove harmful substances all by themselves. (Substances in alcohol and cigarettes can, however, cause lasting damage.)
But that hasn’t stopped people from embarking on juice cleanses and fad diets in a bid to fully “detox.”
The trend has also encouraged the beauty industry to adopt detoxification. And there can be quite a bit of confusion over what this means.
Because the skin is the largest organ in the body and can therefore pick up dirt and grime, some believe it is possible to “purge” the skin and remove all the “bad” stuff that’s clogging pores. This isn’t really true.
“There’s no such thing as skin detox from a medical perspective,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey.
What you can do though is protect it from potential environmental toxins, such as pollution and UV rays.
All of these things — along with a poor diet and excessive cleansing and exfoliation — can deplete the skin’s outermost layer.
Also known as the stratum corneum or skin barrier, it helps keep skin healthy by blocking substances that can cause premature aging, among other damage.