Your skin was designed to self-heal, self-moisturize and self-exfoliate.
But all of the products you use end up taking over these functions. And your skin becomes dependent on them in what’s known as tachyphylaxis.
There’s new buzz about a skincare trend called a “detoxing face" fast. It basically means you stop putting any products on your skin.
No cleansers, moisturizer, scrubs or makeup — nothing. All you do is wash your face with warm water.
It may sound like a good idea. But I don’t recommend it.
It’s true that most of the skincare products on the market today damage the skin. We’ve talked about them before.
But… your skin still needs a layer of protection between it and our toxic environment.
My suggestion is to skip the fast and go on a skincare “diet” instead.
You see, the average man or woman applies between nine and 12 products to their skin daily.1 That’s way too many.
Eliminating the overuse of products — especially those with dangerous and damaging ingredients — helps your skin develop a more diverse microbiome.
This in turn, will allow your skin to become more self-rejuvenating and allow it to detox and heal.
Most skincare products simply sit on the surface of your skin. And this damages your skin’s delicate microbiome. This microbiome consists of billions of friendly living microorganisms called the skin flora. They work together like an invisible eco-system to keep your skin healthy, youthful and in perfect balance.
This invisible eco shield also prevents dangerous “bad” bacteria from getting under your skin. But your face still needs protection from the destructive effects of aging.
The sun, poor nutrition, pollution, smog, and other toxins in the environment attack your face in the form of “free radicals.” Free radicals damage the skin’s DNA and attack healthy cells. This speeds skin aging.
You need a layer of protection between your delicate microbiome and the outside world. I recommend a skincare "diet.”
Go on a Skincare “Diet”
There are many products out there that no one should put on their face. They contain dangerous ingredients. Some are even considered “hazardous” on warning labels. These include lathering agents like sodium lauryl sulfate; ethanol, methanol and other alcohols; petroleum-derived mineral oil, and soap (except for hand washing). Here’s what I recommend:
- Wash with a probiotic cleanser. Look for a cleanser that contains a probiotic called bifidobacterium longum. It helps form a natural protective barrier on you skin that boosts immunity, blocks environmental damage, repairs DNA and improves hydration.
- Apply a CoQ10 toner. CoQ10 keeps older cells functioning like younger cells. This in turn, helps your face look younger and protects it against future damage.
- Attract more moisture to your skin with hyaluronic acid (HA). HA holds 1,000 times its own weight in water. Found in every tissue, this gel-like matrix sits just below the surface of your skin. It surrounds the collagen fibers that give your face its shape. HA levels are high when you’re young — but drop off with age. And the loss of HA brings the appearance of dry skin and wrinkles, as well as sagging, drooping skin. HA replaces the water you lose with age.
- Skip the commercial skincare junk. Look for an antioxidant moisturizer with all-natural ingredients.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Westervelt A. “Not so pretty: Women apply an average of 168 chemicals every day.” The Guardian. April 30, 2015.