As much as we try to stay true to our twice-daily skin care routines, we’re humans, not saints. Long weekends, late nights—whatever it may be, life happens, and just like we sometimes need to go on weeks-long health kicks after French fry binges, sometimes we need to detoxify our skin, too. These five simple skin detox steps may not get you right back where you started from, but they can certainly help to counteract the negative effects of skin care neglect.
Wash your face. Twice.
If you wake up Sunday morning in the same makeup you were wearing Friday night, a one-step face wash just won’t cut it. Rather than lathering up twice, which can over-dry and dehydrate the skin, we recommend a two-step cleansing process. Begin by removing makeup and debris with an oil or cream cleanser, like Dermalogica Precleanse ($38, dermalogica.com) then follow up with a gentle foaming cleanser to rid your skin of every last trace.
Not only does steaming boost circulation and open up the pores to make skin care treatments more effective, but it’s also super-easy and ridiculously effective in detoxifying the skin. Run a clean hand towel or muslin cloth under hot water, then wring it out and lay it on your face until it cools. Repeat as many times as you like. You can also procure a bowl of hot water and drape a towel over your head as you hover your face over the bowl for a more immersive experience that also works to clear sinuses. Steaming also primes your skin for the next step…
Use a deep-cleansing mask.
Perhaps the most critical factor in relieving your skin of the past weekend’s impurities, a deep-cleansing mask will bring everything to the surface. Look for ingredients like kaolin clay and charcoal, which absorb excess oil and debris, as well as blemish-fighting chemical exfoliators like salicylic and alpha hydroxy acids. REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask ($34, sephora.com) is one of our favorite pore-purging masks: You can actually see the oils being absorbed by the mask. It’s kind of disgusting, but also pretty cool.
Get a workout in.
Sure, sweating makes your skin feel gross and sticky at first, but exercise boosts circulation and opens pores, much like a good spa steaming. Try hitting a low-impact cardio machine like the elliptical, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Sometimes a good rush of blood to the head is all you need to get your glow on when your skin is looking dull—the countless other benefits are just a happy byproduct!
Eat (and drink) right.
Skip the sugars and starches in favor of clean, healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. One of our favorite ways to get our skin (and yes, our entire bodies) back in fighting shape is by indulging in juices packed with skin helpers like berries, carrots, and aloe vera. Don’t skimp on the water, either: Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin.