Can you detox your way to healthier, glowing skin?
10th September, 2021
Most of us would agree that if we’ve been making too many unhealthy food choices, drinking too much alcohol or not sleeping properly, then after a while our skin can start to look less than radiant.
It’s tempting to think you can fix it by detoxing. But experts are divided on what detoxing actually means in relation to your skin. You can remove grime and dirt from your skin by your skincare routine, but it’s not really possible to purge toxins from the body via the skin.
Your skin is an organ that needs nourishment, and it can’t look healthy and divine if you don’t nourish your body well. So rather than looking for quick fixes, it’s better to think of detoxing your skin as more about hitting the reset button when it comes to your regular diet and lifestyle…and then adding some specific skin-nourishing strategies into your daily routine.
A nutrient-rich drink every day can be a great way to boost your intake of skin-loving nutrients, support your fluid levels and put you on the road to healthy skin…just don’t think of it as a detox!
Your body needs lots of certain nutrients to make the collagen and other structural components that are essential for healthy, glowing skin.
The big hitters for skin health in the vitamin alphabet are Bs, C and E. Vitamin C is absolutely vital for skin health. It helps to maintain the integrity of the collagen fibres which make up a large part of the structure of your skin as well as promoting the formation of collagen. Along with Vitamin E, it protects against cell damage which can lead to signs of premature ageing. Vitamin B5 enhances skin health by supporting skin regeneration.
Nutrients like collagen peptides, omega 3s and zinc also really help to support skin health. Collagen peptides are tiny bioactive fragments of collagen that enhance and support your body’s own collagen production and help to improve skin firmness and elasticity. Zinc supports collagen production and helps skin repair and omega 3s help to relieve skin inflammation.
To hydrate or not to hydrate
The skin is “hydrated” from the inside out by pulling fluid from the blood flow to your skin. So if there isn’t enough water in the bloodstream — say, if you’re dehydrated — then the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, can lose elasticity and feel dry.
In this case increasing water intake can increase skin hydration, but there's a lack of robust research showing that drinking lots of extra water directly affects skin hydration in people who are already adequately hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water is still a great thing to do for your health and your skin though. Your body needs it to flush out the toxins and waste that are produced by its natural metabolic processes and to support hydration levels in all of your cells.
You just don’t need to drink quite as much as you might think when you see all those insta-images of H2O guzzling celebrities.
How much water is enough?
The amount of fluid your body needs each day depends on several factors, such as your gender, age, how active you are, and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. For a woman 19 years or older the current Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2.1 litres of fluid a day. Fluids include fresh water and all other liquids, such as milk, coffee, tea, soup, juice and even soft drinks, but fresh water is the best choice because it’s calorie-free and is most effective at hydrating the body.
A lot of commercially bottled mineral water contains salt, so it’s a good idea to limit the amount of mineral water your drink, or choose low-sodium varieties (less than 30 mg sodium per 100 ml).
10 ideas for a daily skin-nourishing drink
Water is the gold standard for hydration. But milk, coconut water, green tea or low calorie juices are also good choices. By pimping them up with yummy extras like fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices or collagen powders you can support your fluid levels and boost your intake of skin-nourishing vitamins and nutrients.
It’s important to note though that just because you can taste the flavour of a fruit or vegetable in your drink, it doesn’t mean that you’re getting the full nutritional boost from them. If you’re using citrus fruits like lemons or oranges, then squeezing every bit of juice out is quite effective. But depending on what you’re using, blending them into your drink is a better way to get all the goodness out…or just make sure you eat them as you drink.
Most of the combos below are great sources of vitamin C. To get vitamin E into your drink use unsweetened almond milk as the base. Adding a tablespoon of chia seeds is a vegan-friendly way to get omega-3s into your drink as well as some zinc.
- Lemon and ginger
- Cucumber and mint.
- Lemon and cayenne pepper.
- Watermelon, lime and mint.
- Coconut water, lime and ginger
- Orange and lemon.
- Lemon and lime.
- Strawberry and basil.
- Green tea, apple and cucumber.
- Collagen supplements in the form of powders or liquids