If you’re a beauty junkie like me, you get it. Testing out new products is what makes me want to wake up in the morning. But alas, even with the best skincare, all those new treatments can take a toll. Not to mention, all the normal stuff we put our skin through on a daily basis – from stress and hormones to diet and lack of sleep, your physical (and mental) health shows itself on your skin. Right there – for everyone to see.
I’ve been through a lot of phases with my skin – it’s usually very dry in the winter but oilier in the summer. This past summer, my skin was oilier than it’s ever been. No matter what I used, my skin was greasy and red with pesky pimples along my neck and jawline.
It had me thinking – when was my skin at its best? And the answer is, obviously, when I was using barely anything. So I decided to pare my routine waaay down and stop the vicious cycle of over-dying my skin with harsh acne treatments and then over-moisturizing it with creams and moisturizers that were way too heavy for my oily skin.
And the verdict? It’s been working for me so far. So I thought I’d document my rules for a skincare detox both for my own records and for anyone else whose skin is going through a rough time.
The 10 Day Skincare Detox
- Take a break.
When your skin has a breakout, it’s tough to resist the urge to run to the nearest 24-hour drugstore and stock up on every harsh, acne-fighting product they sell. But in reality, a lot of those products may be doing your skin more harm than good. The BEST thing you can do is to truly do nothing. LESS IS MORE.Take your usual routine down several notches and stick to just those products that you KNOW work for you. If you don’t know what works for you, you can’t go wrong with a gentle cleanser like this one from CeraVe. Only use moisturizer if you have to (if your skin feels tight after cleansing), and for the love of god, keep your hands off your face.
- Keep it clean.
This one seems obvious but I wanted to make a point of saying that, while taking a step back from all the crazy treatments and serums and scrubs, it’s still important to wash your face twice a day. Keep your hair off your face, or if you cant, be careful of your haircare products, (yes, you CAN break out from your haircare). If you want to play it really safe, change your pillowcases 2-3 times a week.
- Drink more water.
Flush the acne out. Drink as much water as you possibly can. Avoid alcohol and limit your caffeine intake. I’m a coffee addict so I get how hard that can be sometimes but there’s really no reason to be drinking more than 2 cups a day if you’re getting proper sleep, which brings me to my next point…
It can be hard to unplug, but lack of sleep can really affect your skin. A few sleepless nights combined with poor diet can be enough to make you break out. Set a timer on your phone to remind you when it’s time to start winding down to ensure that you’re getting at least 8 hours every night.
- Let your skin breathe.
This is the hardest one for me to follow – but if you truly want to detox your skin, you should avoid foundation. A lot of foundations can clog pores (even if it says it doesn’t) and in general, it’s just not good for your skin to wear a heavy foundation every day. If you can’t go totally bare-faced, you’re probably safer with a foundation powder like MAC Studio Fix Powder or my personal favorite, Kat Von D Lock It Foundation Powder. Then, wash that baby off as soon as you get home.
- Don’t. Pick.
Even when there’s a spot that’s just BEGGING to be popped (you know the ones), it’s just going to make them even more irritated and inflamed. Picking at your zits only makes them worse. If you find yourself tempted, spot conceal during the day and put a spot treatment or oil absorbing mask (like this one) on when you get home.
- Check the ingredients. Do your research.
From the very first breakout, check the ingredients on your products. You may be using something that’s irritating your skin. It’s tough to make sense of it so I use sites like Beautypedia for product reviews and Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary to determine whether or not an ingredient might be breaking me out.Some people may have allergies that affect their skin. For example, I have a soy allergy that means I shouldn’t eat anything with soy. But that ALSO means that any products with soybean in them, like so many of Aveeno’s, make my skin itch.If you are breakout prone, keep in mind that any product that you leave on your skin (ie, not cleansers) that have a thick, creamy or really moisturizing texture is more likely to break you out than one that is lightweight or gel.
- Slowly start introducing new products back into your routine – one at a time.
Find products with short ingredient lists and good reviews and start integrating them into your routine ONE AT A TIME. If you start using multiple products at once and get a breakout, you’ll have no idea what the culprit is. Now that you’ve done your detox, you’ll know what your skin’s baseline is. Give a new product at least a week before you decide to make it a regular. If you start breaking out within that time, most stores have 30 day return policies. If everything seems to be going okay, then you can introduce another product and so on.
And that’s it! My skin is a little bit on the sensitive side so I find that these rules have really worked for me. Remember peeps: when pimples attack, dial it back. 😉
What works for you when your skin is having a freak-out?