Detoxification and your skin
Learn to help your body glow from the inside out. Nourish it with foods that are pure and natural. Remove harmful substances from your diet and you will notice a difference in the way you look and feel.
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is the process of removing toxins or poisons. We all know that toxins are harmful and cause damage, potentially even death if taken in certain levels. Living cells, whether in plants or in the body, are constantly in the process of bringing nutrients and fresh substrates in while eliminating by-products and waste that is not useful to the organism. Therefore, detoxification is a natural, ongoing process in our bodies.
Keeping your body healthy requires maintaining all of its systems in good working order. Minimizing the amount of toxins you take into your system is one way that we can detoxify our bodies. Benefits of detoxification may include increased energy and improved health, better breath, reduced allergies, and potentially fewer aches and pains.
Wastes leave the body in the form of gases, solids, and liquids. Carbon dioxide is the gas that we exhale. We excrete other waste from the body after it accumulates in the bladder and in the bowels.
Other organs that play a major role in detoxification include the:
Blood also plays a critical role in the detoxification process. It carries dissolved gases like carbon dioxide to the lungs, and then it is traded for oxygen through respiration. Both the liver and kidneys help to detoxify the blood by removing wastes and sending them to the urine. In the form of stool, unused solids are carried away.
Benefits for your skin via detoxification
Your skin is a barrier but it is not impermeable. Just as products that you use on your skin are able to enter your body through this physical barrier, toxins are also able to leave your body through the skin. Free radicals and UV light in the environment also damage the skin which over time cause it to show signs of premature aging.
How can detoxification help your skin? By minimizing the number of chemicals in your body, you help you body to function more efficiently. Eating well is one way to maintain healthy skin with a smooth texture, elasticity, and a proper level of moisturization. Skin complexions troubled by acne and imperfections can also benefit from the inside out with detoxification methods. For example, vitamin A reduces the amount of sebum produced by the skin cells and therefore pores are less likely to become blocked.
Ways to detoxify your body
Some of the best ways to detoxify include:
- eating a balanced diet
- juicing organic fruits and vegetables
- exercising regularly
- using organic products for personal hygiene
Before trying any detox method always be sure to check with your doctor. People with serious medical conditions should also consult a doctor as these methods are not recommended. Pregnant women should not try these methods.
Eating a balanced diet
Nutrients in foods contain many elements that can help your body and especially your skin to remain in good condition. When your body is ‘happy’ and ‘efficient’, through detoxification, it will show on the outside.
Your skin needs:
- essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) found in oily fish and flax seeds
- antioxidants vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene to retaliate against the damaging effects of UV light and free-radicals
- minerals zinc and selenium to build tissues and heal wounds. Find these minerals in foods like seafood, nuts, grains, and vegetables
- vitamin B6 to balance hormone levels, particularly for women that have pre-menstrual break-outs
- vitamin A to help reduce sebum levels on the skin
- potassium to help maintain elasticitywater to maintain hydration and flush toxins from the body
- water to maintain hydration and flush toxins from the body
Juicing organic fruits and vegetables
Have you ever tried freshly squeezed juice? It is delicious and nutritious. You get a truckload of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. The enzymes contained in vegetables and fruits help to digest your food so try drinking these natural cocktails with meals.
One important thing to remember is that you should always start with organic fruits or vegetables. Because most fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, using non-organic products means that you will be ingesting harmful pesticides too. Keep these toxic chemicals away from your cells in order to maintain their proper functioning.
Oxygen is vital to life. Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle brings this element into your body and skin. Studies at the University of Wisconsin have shown that oxygen reduces the effects of free radical damage and premature aging.
Sweating encourages the release of toxins from the skin. Working up a good sweat during your exercise program will help in the detoxification process. You could also try saunas and steambaths to encourage the excretion of toxins.
If you are not currently exercising choose something that you enjoy doing. Walking is a great way to increase your heart rate and pump oxygen through your lungs. Other ideas include yoga, swimming, cycling, and running. Whatever you do, choose an activity that you will be motivated to do on a regular basis.
Shedding skin cells is a continual process. Dead skin cells sit on the uppermost level of the epidermis and they make the skin look dull and less healthy. Our clothes play a big part in helping to remove cells on a daily basis. By sloughing off dead skin cells from time to time, you can stimulate the skin renewal process. Try any of the following methods once a week to naturally exfoliate your skin:
- briskly towel off after a shower
- use an organic scrub during your shower
- use a washcloth during your shower
- use a loofah (Important: keep it dry when it’s not in use to minimize bacterial count)
Using organic products for personal hygiene
Decreasing the number of synthetic chemicals entering your body through your food and personal products is yet another way to help detoxify. Modern research at the Herb Research Foundation found that the skin absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals in products that it comes into contact with directly into the bloodstream. This means that chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens, are entering your body and potentially causing unnecessary harm.
The next time you need to stock up on personal hygiene products, look for alternatives to the chemically items offered in most stores. Using organic products decreases the number of preservatives and chemical additives your skin comes into contact with and therefore, that may enter your body.
- www.meriam-webster.com, accessed October 26, 2004.
- www.detox.org/skin.html, accessed October 26, 2004
- www.saga.co.uk/health_news/article/D2164785-92E3-11D6-B8AC-00508BAEC55C.asp?bhcp=1, accessed Oct. 26, 2004.
- Farley, Josephine. Organic beauty: look and feel gorgeous the natural way. Dorling Kindersley, London, 2001, page 66.