Do detoxifying skincare products work?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: sort of… Just not as you think.
Here’s what I mean:
What Detoxifying Skincare Products Imply
Detox: a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.
That’s the dictionary definition of detox for you. So it follows that detoxifying skincare products have some magical properties that can somehow remove all those nasty toxins from your skin.
That’s NOT how your body works. Your skin is NOT a detoxifying organ. You can’t remove toxins from it.
Good news: you don’t have to. Your body is so cool, it has its own inbuilt detox system: your liver and kidneys. Every day, they work hard to get rid of all the toxins that somehow make their way inside your body.
As long as they’re in good shape, you don’t need detoxifying skincare products, green juices or whatever other crap the detox industry is throwing at you.
Not even if you live in a big, polluted city like London or New York. A healthy lifestyle that keeps your own inbuilt detox system in top shape is your best defence against those nasty toxins.
Related: Does Sweating Remove Toxins From Your Skin?
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):
What Detoxifying Skincare Products Really Do
Skincare products can’t remove toxins. Not yet anyway.
But you know what they can do instead? They can get rid of dirt, excess sebum, dead cells and all the other crap that deposits on your skin during the day (and night).
You know where this is leading…
In skincare, detoxing has nothing to do with toxins. It just means “giving your skin a good clean”. If you use this definition, any cleanser, exfoliant and clay mask out there falls under the “detoxifying skincare products” umbrella!
Kinda disappointing, isn’t it?
But hey, at least you don’t need to splurge on special lotions and potions with the word “detox” plastered all over the packaging. Chances are, you’ve already got your own arsenal of detoxifying skincare products in your cabinet.
Phew! (I don’t know about you but another step in my skincare routine is the last thing I need).
What “Detoxifying Skincare Products” You Really Need
Here are all the skincare products that can fall under the detoxifying umbrella. I bet you’re already using them all! 😉
- Cleansers: They get rid of dirt, grime, excess sebum, makeup and anything else that gets stuck onto your skin throughout the day. If you live in a very polluted area or are wearing a full face of makeup, opt for an oil-based cleanser that melts everything away without drying out your skin. I’ve written about how to choose the best cleanser for your skin type and needs here.
- Exfoliants: They remove the dead cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin, roughening up its texture and stealing its glow. If you’ve got oily skin or are prone to congested pores, opt for salicylic acid exfoliants: salicylic acid is the only exfoliant that can get inside your pores, removing all the gunk that’s clogging them up and giving you blackhead and pimples. Check out this post for tips on how to choose the right exfoliant for your skin type.
- Clay masks: Clays like kaolin and bentonite absorb excess oil and small impurities on the surface of the skin. They may be able to get some crap out of the pores, too. FYI, if your skin isn’t oily and shiny, you do NOT need a clay mask. For the best type of mask to use for your skin type, check out my guide here.
- Antioxidant serums: If you consider the free radicals that give you wrinkles and dark spots as toxins, antioxidants are you best bet to get rid of them. Check out my top picks here.
The Bottom Line
Detoxifying skincare products can’t remove toxins from your body. But they can give your skin a good cleanse, getting rid of dirt, excess oil and grime.