Natural skin detox

Shahnaz Husain

It's the beginning of summer.  As the days lengthen and the weather becomes warmer, environmental pollution, hectic lifestyle, unhealthy dietary habits and contaminated water make the skin lifeless, tired and extra dull. Pollutants and dirt from the environment clog your pores, and toxins from your diet can cause your complexion to darken especially those with olive, brown or black skin.  
The skin is the body's largest organ which eliminates impurities and wastes from the body mainly through perspiration.
It also plays a significant role in regulating body temperature, sensation, insulation, and vitamin D production.  
The body also eliminates toxins through the lungs, intestines,  lymphatic and kidneys to get rid of the body’s waste products and impurities for naturally detoxifying the body in order to brighten skin and reduce acne and redness. Sometimes, if your system is overwhelmed then it shows up on our faces with signs of blemish, redness, dry patches etc due to an increase in inner toxic load in the body. These disrupt the normal balances of the skin, leading to premature ageing signs, skin sensitivity, rashes, pimples and acne. The skin looks dull and lacks vitality. What is the solution ?
So, if your skin isn’t looking or feeling as good as you would like, a summer skin detox is a great way to help restore your skin to a more vibrant and healthy state.
Many theories abound, but it's best to go nature’s way and detox the system with minimal effort, to look and feel good. Skin detox is crucial to get rid of these contaminants.
Glowing, radiant skin starts from within—which is why you should consider forgoing some trigger foods like dairy, sugar, alcohol, processed food and coffee during your skin detox.
Bring about changes in your diet. Foods rich in fibre and antioxidants like dark leafy greens, cabbage, beets, apples, garlic and onions are known for their skin-cleansing properties. Include raw, natural foods and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Not only do they detoxify the system by promoting the elimination of wastes, but also bring about a sense of well being. Include fresh fruits and lightly cooked vegetables, unprocessed cereals, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, yoghurt. Fresh juices of fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes. Recently cold-pressed juices have become popular. Experts say that cold-pressed juices contain more nutrients.  Stay off  “congesting” foods like animal fats, dairy products, white bread, fast foods, and sugar.
Drinking water/coconut water, which is high in potassium and electrolytes, is the best detox for your skin. Beverages like alcohol, coffee, and sugary juices are dehydrating liquids. For a detoxing boost, sip plain hot water every 10-15 minutes through the day for the week.
Have the juice of a lemon with a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. They’re packed with antioxidant vitamin C and have an alkaline effect on the body, so it can help restore the body's pH balance, benefiting the immune system. Lemons naturally promote healthy digestion.
For external skin detox, deep cleansing and exfoliation with scrubs help to cleanse the skin of dead cells. Look for cleansers containing sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, neem, tulsi, aloe vera, lemon etc. Their anti-toxic and tonic properties help to clear skin congestion and eruptions. Mix raw honey with brown sugar. Apply the mixture on your face, neck and uncovered areas around the face.  Let it settle on your skin for 30  minutes, then wash the mask off with lukewarm water.
Skin “brushing” helps the elimination of toxins. It is used in the treatment of cellulite, which is caused by deposits of water, fat and other wastes collecting in pockets beneath the skin The entire surface is brushed, using a rough cloth, or a natural bristle brush. Begin from the feet and go upwards. Then brush from lower to upper arms. Go across the shoulders and back. Brush gently on the chest and abdomen. Remember to exfoliate gently and not to overdo it to avoid a red, raw look.
Clay masks help clean your skin of toxins. A clay mask works by drawing all of the impurities to the surface, thus leaving your skin feeling cleansed.
Skin fasting will help detoxify your skin from the inside out. Let your skin breathe naturally and throw the toxins out by avoiding the dependency on the skin care aides. Without the overload of products, the pores will become healthier and the skin will retain its natural oils. You can do this every other weekend.  
Nowadays, activated charcoal is used to detoxify the skin, because it purifies the skin similar to the clay one, drawing out toxins and impurities. It also refines the pores and removes dead skin cells. This actually brightens the skin. Activated charcoal can be used in face masks. Mix activated charcoal with aloe vera gel and rose water. Apply a thin layer on the face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. For acne-prone skin, add 3 to 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil and rose water to activated charcoal, for a face mask. Wash off the masks after 20 minutes. Activated charcoal may be available at a chemist shop.
It is especially recommended for those who live or work in metropolitan and big polluted cities, as it is highly effective at removing dirt from skin pores and eliminate common signs of tiredness, such as dark circles under the eyes.
Take up yoga
Exercising is an integral part of skin detoxification. When you exercise, your skin perspires and heart races. It helps flush out unwanted waste, toxins, and impurities.
Take a brisk walk, go for a morning jog, take up power yoga, exercise in your local gym—do whatever it takes to make sure you sweat to help release toxins from your body. Regular exercise and physical activity also helps boost blood flow to the organs and keeps stress and mental health risks at bay.
The exercises or “asanas” are particularly beneficial for strengthening the body, making it flexible, supple and youthful. They are combined with breathing exercises, improving oxygenation, purifying the organ systems and inducing relaxation of body and mind. There is no feeling of fatigue. Instead, there is physical and mental exhilaration. Indeed, according to Yoga, the body is the temple of the soul.

The author is an internationally famed beauty expert and is called Herbal Queen of India