It's that time of the year again - time to put the red wine down, cut back on the caffeine and get into some good new habits for the year ahead. A 'detox' sounds scary but it needn't be; for me, it's all about making small adjustments to your lifestyle, for the good of your health and your skin.
Most people in need of a bit of a detox quite simply look tired, utterly exhausted in fact. Their skin is lacklustre, there’s nothing dewy about it, and skin is often dehydrated. You need to replenish things and you want to be as natural as possible when detoxing, to support skin gently and nourish with natural ingredients.
A detox mask is a great first step to regaining beautifully healthy skin. Traditionally, a detox mask will contain clay, which draws out impurities in the skin. Zinc is also great for this purpose and will leave skin looking fresh and healthy. I love Caudalie's Instant Detox Mask, and for a more affordable option, the Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask is also really good - it contains French clay, and as it's a thermal mask, it warms up when you apply it to skin, which feels lovely.
One of my top tips for mask application is to really work it into the skin - which almost everyone just doesn't do. If it's not a setting mask, and instead contains a lot of oil, clay or thermals, then really massage it into the skin. Not only are you warming up your muscles and doing a little lymphatic drainage for your face, but doing this also releases more of the oils and ingredients into your skin, so you will benefit so much more from it. Massage the mask in really well, then leave for five minutes before washing it off. You'll really notice the difference!
When it comes to exfoliation and detoxifying the skin, I prefer to stick with a more natural approach, and opt for a peel. Glycolic acid is a type of AHA, so it's made from sugar. It works by bringing fresh, new skin cells to the surface, so it's good for blemish-prone skin - but remember that you must always use an SPF if you're using any kind of acid, as it tends to make your skin much more sensitive.
Using something with any kind of fruit acid is much gentler than that scratchy sensation of a scrub. And you don't need to use a peel too often - once or twice a week is more than enough, depending on how your skin takes to it.
When it comes to moisturising, look for anything containing vitamin E or vitamin C to help support and nourish the skin. And using a facial oil in the evening, over a moisturiser, is hugely beneficial, especially if you really work it into the skin again. If you can start one new routine in January, make it massaging your face with an oil at least once a day. Not only will it help to get rid of puffiness and toxins, it will also give your lymphatic system a boost. People with plump, glowing complexions often aren't born that way - they're just taking great care of their skin.
Detoxing should be all about treating your face and body kindly and gently, replenishing your skin and getting yourself into a good skincare routine for the coming year. And after all that, you should be revived and ready to glow!