Is it Time for a Skin Detox?

When we hear the word "detox," most people assume we're talking about detoxifying the liver. But the body's largest organ -- the skin -- needs attention, too. Here's why it may be time for a skin detox.

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Every day, our bodies are exposed to toxins and pollutants in the air, water, and the foods that we eat. As long as they are healthy, our detoxification organs – the liver, kidneys, digestive system, lungs, and skin – can filter out and get rid of toxins on their own.

“A growing body of research suggests that many of the chemicals we ingest daily can build up in our system, especially when the diet lacks certain nutrients impairing our natural ability to neutralize and remove chemicals,” says Skin Nutrition Expert and Co-Found of ZSS Skincare Paula Simpson. “Over time, they can overload our eliminative organs shunting toxins to be stored in skin or fat tissue,” she continues.

Supplements + Skin Care

Luckily, there are a few things you can do from both a diet and lifestyle perspective to keep that from happening. “Clear skin starts with rebalancing nutrition and hormonal health and reducing stress in the body that can aggravate the skin,” Simpson explains.

In other words, you are what you eat … which is why ZSS provides a “360-degree” approach to skincare with a dietary supplement plus serum solution for healthy, radiant skin.

“Both the dietary supplements and topical serum contain the carotenoid antioxidant zeaxanthin sourced from paprika peppers,” explains Simpson. “We combined zeaxanthin with complementary naturally-derived ingredients to produce a complete skin nutrition system nourishing the skin from the inside and out.”

Traditional skincare products that are applied topically don’t penetrate far enough to yield the same benefits as this “inside and out” system. While no supplements can make up for a bad diet, supplementing can fill the gaps in an otherwise healthy eating plan. Regular use of the hydrating serum along with the skin-supporting supplements gives you the healthy glowing skin you crave.

Now, about that diet …

Skip the Skin-Stressing Foods

Cut back on sugar – Not only is sugar detrimental to your waistline, it can wreak havoc on your skin as well. Digesting refined sugar leads to a spike in blood sugar levels in the body. High blood sugar levels can cause hormone levels to change, which could result in acne or breakouts.

High sugar diets can also hinder collagen from doing its job, which can accelerate the signs of skin aging.

Pass on Processed Foods – You’ve heard it before — fast food takeout, bags of potato chips, and the like are packed with chemicals, bad fats, and belly-bloating sodium. They aren’t doing your skin any favors either! To keep skin healthy, pass on processed foods and choose whole foods. “The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, monounsaturated fats (MUFAs,) and a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs,)” says Simpson.

Avoid Excess Alcohol – Sipping on one glass of red wine per day can provide an antioxidant punch against skin-damaging free radicals, but stop after one glass. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating, and an excess causes your body to stop releasing vasopressin, the anti-diuretic hormone. Not only will you end up making extra trips to the ladies room, your skin will become more dry and dull-looking due to dehydration.

Take a booze break and instead reach for mineral water with a side of lemon. The combo will boost hydration and help with detoxification.

Add These Skin-Nourishing Foods

Your body needs certain vitamins and nutrients to maintain healthy skin. According to the American Skin Association, the most important vitamins for healthy skin are: Vitamins A, C, D, and B-vitamins, especially riboflavin (B2,) niacin (B3,) and B6.

Pass the Sweet Potatoes – This Fall staple is full of skin-benefiting antioxidants. One cup of cooked sweet potatoes gives you over 200% of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin A, as well more than half of your daily dose of vitamin C to aid in skin healing.

Serve up Salmon – Fatty fish such as wild salmon packs 128% of your DV of vitamin D. You’ll also get more than half of the daily recommendation of niacin, which helps prevent damage to sun-exposed skin, as well as 38% of your B6 needs — all with just a 4-ounce serving!

Eat Your Oatmeal – Cracking and peeling around the lips and mouth could be a sign of a riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency. Grab a bowl of oatmeal to get 65% of your DV of riboflavin and the fuel you need to get your day started.

Other Detox-Do’s

Drink More Water

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends about 91 ounces of total water intake for women (20% of which comes from our food,) and around 125 ounces of total water intake per day for men. Aim for 9 cups of total beverages per day (primarily water) along with hydrating foods (like melons and cucumber) for best results.

Get Your Zzzz’s

They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep (along with nutrition and exercise) is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Your body repairs itself during sleep, so it’s critical to get at least eight hours of sleep for the detoxification organs to do their job.

Take a Soak

Epsom salt is a compound made from the minerals magnesium and sulfate, which have a number of health-boosting properties including helping to flush toxins from the body. Add two cups of Epsom salt to a hot bath and soak for at least twelve minutes to reap the benefits.

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