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The Skin Detox

Isabel Dexter | Inside Shiseido | Dec 12, 2019
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You’ve heard of a juice cleanse, right? Well, a skin cleanse or skin detox works in much the same way. The skin is the body's largest organ, and just like your internal organs, it needs a thorough cleaning every now and again.

“Making time for a regular skin detox is imperative to skin health, particularly for those of us living in cities with extra pollutants to fight off on a daily basis,” says makeup artist Rebecca McMahon. “A deep skin cleanse can make the difference between dull and dewy when it comes to our complexions.” According to dermatologist Dr Diane Walder, when your skin becomes overloaded with toxins, such as chlorine and phthalates, it begins to look dull and tired, and often develops fine lines, wrinkles, acne, blackheads and enlarged pores. Being around people who smoke, living in a polluted environment, and even taking super-hot showers can all contribute to skin damage.*

Protecting Against Pollutants

“Even when you’re not the one smoking, any smoke in your vicinity can cause myriad problems to your skin and overall health,” explains Dr Walder. “The chemicals in cigarette smoke constrict blood flow, reducing oxygen in the skin, which accelerates aging.” Similarly, the irritants that form urban pollution can age the skin and create other damage that we don’t yet fully understand. “White bread, sugar and other processed foods can cause inflammation, which can lead to an uneven skin tone and the formation of premature lines and wrinkles,” Dr Walder adds. The takeaway? Just as your body needs a break from sweet treats and chemically processed foods, your skin needs time off to recuperate and repair.

So can’t the skin do this naturally? The answer is yes—but as we age, our complexions may need a little more help, due to lymphatic circulation slowing down. “When the lymphatic circulation—a system that helps rid the body of inflammation, water retention and infection—slows down, so does cellular turnover, which accelerates aging,” explains Dr Walder. The solution? Make the most of your night-time skin cleansing ritual to give your skin a proper detox.

“A skin detox is simply a process of removing pollutants and impurities from the skin,” says McMahon. It doesn’t need to be complicated and, while many of us swear by a makeup-free day at least once a week, if you can’t bear to be parted from your cover-up, then thorough cleansing every night and a weekly or bi-weekly deep cleanse will serve to ensure your skin is getting the equivalent of a mini spa break.

Beauty Sleep Boost

Why carry out multiple steps in your morning skincare routine when you only need one? If your mornings tend to feel frantic and you find yourself up against the clock, forget about applying your moisturizer, SPF and base separately. Instead, use a multi-purpose product that delivers all that and more. WASO Color-Smart Day Moisturizer is a skin-tone enhancing tinted moisturizer that adapts to your own coloring, while giving long-lasting hydration and broad-spectrum SPF30 protection.

“Evening is the ideal time to put your skin detox to work,” suggests McMahon. “Ideally, do this once or twice a week, and begin by steaming your skin.” After cleansing, pour hot water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil, some herbs or green tea powder. Parsley is a natural astringent and helps with acne, while chamomile will soothe irritated skin. Lean over the bowl for 3-5 minutes with a towel over your head to detoxify your complexion. “Steaming opens the pores, so it’s ideal to follow with a mask to draw out impurities,” McMahon recommends. Try SHISEIDO WASO Purifying Peel Off Mask peels away dirt and other pollutants without stripping your skin of moisture, revealing pure, smooth-looking skin glowing with a renewed radiance.

According to recent research from the Stockholm University in Sweden, not only does lack of sleep affect our skin in the long-term, but even in the short-term, it can make us appear less attractive and trustworthy.** So schedule at least one night a week to detox your skin and get an early night. Follow your clay mask with an overnight leave-on mask such as SHISEIDO WASO Beauty Sleeping Mask. This innovative skin-soothing mask features capsules and yuzu citrus in a gel base that melts upon application, so the supercharged ingredients work overnight. The result? Hydrated, dewy, glowing skin.

“In the long-term, regular deep cleanses or detoxes combined with drinking plenty of water, cutting down on alcohol and sugar, and getting plenty of sleep will make a real improvement to your skin’s clarity, texture and tone,” advises McMahon. Your daily green juice will certainly help too. Looks like clear, clean, radiant skin is on your radar for this summer.