Skin Detox – Why You Need It & How To Do It

Detoxification is an integral part of our skincare philosophy — and for the skin’s recovery process, really. It’s one of the biggest processes that’s fundamental and necessary to help us regain clear, radiant skin, but also the most heavily misunderstood. While understandable, it’s also often a misconception… so let’s get straight to the lowdown.

Credit: Dominik Martin
Losing Sleep – Vorsa

WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION?

It’s a slightly misleading term, in the sense that your skin isn’t getting rid of toxins, but rather, clearing out the impurities. This includes the most superficial layer of the skin all the way down to the deepest ones. It means the restoration of the most important thing to skin health — pH levels.

For the uninitiated, detoxification happens in the form of spots and zits. So yes — sometimes, those nasties are good things! Even when they seem to keep. Coming. Back. When you make a deliberate move to detoxify, you’re essentially purging your skin of congestion and dirt — and where else can it go but up and out? This means it’s completely normal to have your skin break out, clear up, and then break out again. It’s called waves of healing.

WAVES OF HEALING

What’s that, you ask? I liken this healing process to decluttering — you don’t stop until it’s all gone. Similarly, when your skin is done cleaning out a pocket of toxins, it starts to clear up. Then, it goes deeper to find another pocket of dust to stake, thus causing another good kind of breakout. It can be tough to ride out these waves and many give up (who likes spots?), but bear with it! Once it’s gone, it’s likely your acne will be, too — if you have patience and the discipline in following a stringent skincare regime, and staying foundation-free.

Credit: Marco Xu

We all have skin woes and goals, but did you know? To get anywhere near your skin goal (be it brightening, anti-aging or a more even skin tone), your skin needs to be as healthy, “normal” and pH-balanced as possible for it to reap maximum benefits from any treatment or product.

WHAT IS PH BALANCE?

“pH” stands for “potential hydrogen” and it measures the acidity of substances. Beneath our skin layers lie our oil and sweat glands, and these contribute to our skin’s pH level – which is approximately 5.5, making it slightly acidic. When our skin is too alkaline, it becomes dry and sensitive, resulting in faster ageing, eczema, etc. When it’s too acidic, it causes inflammation and becomes more susceptible to bacterial infection — expect enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne… Therefore, the trick to healthy skin lies in ensuring that your skin’s pH is balanced at 5.5.

Before all else, we need to get your skin ready for the good stuff. This means clearing congestion, balancing the skin’s pH and moisture levels, and renewing the skin on a cellular level. This first stage — what we call the Intensive phase — is usually the most demanding, but also essential. Basically, your skin needs to undergo a reboot so it’s a blank canvas that’s ready for revival.

One of Porcelain’s core competencies is curating personalized, holistic skincare treatment plans for our clients. All new clients first experience a three-pronged skin analysis (including the Skin Discovery) which allows our therapists to design a bespoke regimen around their skins. After that, most new clients undergo said Intensive phase of treatment cycles before progressing to the Maintenance phase. Intensive phases are intended to rejig the skin back to normalcy as quickly as healthily possible… for this reason, severely congested skin, for example, has to undergo multiple cycles of hydrating, extractions and recovery facials to restore skin back to its clear, radiant, balanced self — detoxification. A clean slate.

Credit: Gabrielle Henderson

WHY DOES DETOXIFICATION HAPPEN?

With some treatments (e.g. QuintessentialTM) and products (e.g. Balance – Sebum Control Essence), detoxification is a deliberate process we introduce to your skin to help with recovery. Again: Sometimes, it takes place in the form of a familiar, unwanted friend — zits. Your skin is simply trying to get rid of impurities, and it’s completely normal.

Here’s why / how detoxification can happen:

CONGESTION         
Oil, dead cells, hair follicles and makeup tend to collect in pores and cause congestion, resulting in breakouts and dull, dehydrated skin. Pollution is also another culprit, which is why proper skincare habits for urbanites are so important.

STRESS                 
High levels of stress do show up on your face… that skin redness you’re experiencing? That’s increased sensitivity. Pimples? That’s due to increased sebum production and slower cell turnover.

LIFESTYLE HABITS   
Alcohol, smoking, too little sleep and too little water are surefire ways to introduce toxins to the body… and you know where these tend to show up!

TOO MUCH SUGAR 
Processed sugar causes inflammation in the body and is one of the biggest contributors of acne.

Credit: Amber Lamoreaux

WHY DO WE NEED TO DETOX?

Simply because clean and clear skin is the only way for good stuff to ever penetrate. In fact, good stuff on clogged pores is only junk on junk — meaning it can trigger breakouts! In which case, it’s not so much the product that’s triggering a reaction, but your skin not being able to absorb the nutrients. If the product’s not going in, it’s staying on… meaning you’re just clogging it up more!

QUICK SIGNS THAT SAY YOU NEED A SKIN REBOOT

– Dull, sallow skin
– Uneven skin tone
– Oily skin
– Wrinkles and sagging skin
– Dry and / or sensitive skin

HOW DO WE DETOX?

So many ways!

FEEDING YOURSELF RIGHT

Are you one of those that can survive on half a cup of water each day? Start living and flushing your body with more than that (we read somewhere you should be drinking half your weight in ounces), because it aids in internal waste removal — so less toxins try to escape by popping up on your skin! Add some lemon for extra detoxing power.

And junk food? It might be hard to cut it out completely (and we won’t ask you to try), but try laying off it for just one week. These include animal fats, dairy products, white bread, fast food, and sugar. For just seven days, eat clean with fresh berries and fruits. Feel the difference.

SWEAT IT OUT

Exercise gets your heart racing and your skin perspiring, which helps to cleanse impurities. That’s a handy excuse to take up a hot yoga session or if you prefer the an even more relaxed method, hit the nearest sauna!

Credit: Haley Lawrence

FACIAL TREATMENTS

Facial treatments are one way to stimulate detoxification. For example, intensive extractions sessions help to systematically and professionally rid the skin of congestion (none of that DIY zit-popping!). With time, experience smoother, brighter and more even skin that actually absorbs all the goodness from award-winning products like ours (;

Another favourite facial treatment of ours is the ProionicTM facial. Aside from its winning anti-aging formula and benefits, it helps boost cellular ionic movement, exchange and equilibrium. Too Greek? The treatment basically helps to jiggle our cells and help our skin purge impurities easier, thus improving its overall health and metabolism.

HOMECARE

Which brings us to the next point. Products! Supporting extractions and facial treatments with a proper regime at home with efficacious skincare products helps heaps. Double cleansing, exfoliating, toning and hydrating are key to keeping the skin clear of impurities.

Double Cleanse. Doing this with a pre-cleanser thoroughly removes environmental pollutants accumulated through the day, making the same job easier for your cleanser. More importantly, pre-cleansing softens your skin so that following products can be absorbed more effectively.

Exfoliate. This helps keep your skin clear and more even as it gets rid of flaky skin cells. Look for chemical exfoliants as they do a better job of dissolving dead skin cells without irritating or damaging the skin. The exfoliator should be applied to damp skin in a gentle, circular motion. Avoid scrubbing and opt for an exfoliator for sensitive skin if you’re experiencing distressed skin, as it only serves to aggravate and exacerbate any existing skin issues.

Tone. One of the most important parts of the daily skin care routine is toning. Face toners balance the skin after cleansing, calming and lowering its pH level. Toning also helps prep the skin for any serums that follow and removes excess oil your cleanser may have missed. Another perk? It shrinks the size of your pores!

Layer Hydration. Complete the detox regimen by keeping moisture levels balanced. Opt for hydrating serums and essences that contain ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Aloe Barbadensis leaf extracts to help lock in optimum hydration.

Credit: Ameen Fahmy

Also look for:
Facial cleansers that were specifically made to deep cleanse yet feed your skin with moisture so it still feels cared for and nourished
Hydrating enzyme exfoliators so you can exfoliate the non-abrasive way
Alcohol-free toners with a low percentage of glycolic acid so it helps to further exfoliate the skin further and rid impurities without being too harsh on the skin
Face serums with pH-balancing properties to help whip skin back into a healthy 5.5. Our Balance – Sebum Control Essence is a godsend for this
Gel moisturisers with zit-busting ingredients like tea tree oil and lemon extracts to help when detoxification occurs

“I’d definitely recommend double cleansing to really rid the skin of that harmful layer of things that can settle on top.”

KIRSTI SHUBA
CO-FOUNDER, KATHERINE DANIELS COSMETICS

NOW WE’RE DONE DETOXING. HOW ABOUT SOME PROTECTION FEE FOR THE SKIN?

Credit: Mohamed Nashah

Aside from clearing the skin of congestion, we should also be working on protecting it from the likes of pollution and airborne bacteria (hands off your face, now!). Now, wouldn’t that help in creating less work for our skin in the first place?

Our best friend for that is…. Antioxidants! Aside from aloe vera, our next favourite hero ingredients are those that come jam-packed with these. Super multitaskers that they are, antioxidants fight environmental aggressors, neutralize free radicals and heal the skin.

“Products that have antioxidant properties will protect against some free radicals – mainly pollution, and in some cases, UV rays.”

DR. NATALIE BLAKELY
FOUNDER OF LIGHT TOUCH CLINIC

YOUR SKIN DETOX STARTS NOW.


Do you want to hop on the detoxification bandwagon and reboot your skin?
Curious to find out what your skin is like, and how exactly to care for it?

For a limited time only, enjoy a Skin Discovery analysis at $65 and receive a complimentary 3-piece customisable travel set (worth $102).*

What’s inside the Travel Set?
1x Cleanser,  Toner, Gel, and Travel Pouch

* $65 is redeemable for credits to offset the cost of any ala carte treatment. Terms & conditions apply.


Stay True,