Life isn’t fair. You work hard all year to let your hair down over the holidays, only to wake up in January with a burgeoning waistline, a withered bank account and a complexion to match. Indulgence and seasonal stress—let’s call it “party pollution”—can wreak havoc on our faces. “When skin is overworked, it becomes clogged and loses the ability to rid itself of the toxins that dull its radiance,” says Sisley training director Louise Tyrer. “It needs to take a relaxing break to purify itself, recharge its batteries and find renewed energy.”
So before that bright-eyed, lithe lady of last summer completely fades from memory, start the new year with a skin detox, applying the same restoratives to your face as you would to your body: gentle exercise, rest and the correct nutrients for repair.
“Treatment is necessary to detoxify, restore vitality and enable skin to once again draw maximum benefit from its daily skincare,” explains Tyrer, and picking up a powerful little device or potent solution is a great long-term investment for skin.
Gadgets such as the oscillating Clarisonic Mia 2, which work with the skin’s natural elasticity to flush deep-seated impurities from the pores, prime the skin for enhanced product penetration. Whizz it over the face for 60 seconds to remove 30 times more harmful age-accelerating pollution than manual cleansing alone.
If spring cleaning is good for our wardrobes and bodies, you can bet it’s great for our skin, too. Estée Lauder Nutritious Vitality8 Overnight Detox Concentrate is an intense detoxifying treatment designed for seasonal use. Formulated with clay, it helps to absorb impurities and purge that party pollution. Use it for 28 consecutive nights and wake up fresh-faced for February.
Resetting the skin’s radiance requires hydration and cell rejuvenation. Savvy solutions that balance soothing ingredients such as rose water with hard-working alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), as found in Le Weekend de Chanel, combat the weekly stresses we subject our skin to. Slather it on every Sunday in place of your regular routine for a skin rebirth each Monday.
2. DAILY DETOX
It is essential to include antioxidants in our diet and skincare for a dual attack on fun-induced free radicals, says Marilyn Glenville, a women’s health specialist and former president of the Food and Health Forum of the Royal Society of Medicine. This “group of vitamins, minerals and compounds fight the damaging effects of free radicals that make you more susceptible to signs of premature ageing.”
Not only great for tummies, probiotics can make us pretty, too. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser is packed with the friendly bacteria and peptides, and hydrates while removing make-up.
The creator of the Food Babe blog, Vani Hari, a food activist who has single-handedly influenced how corporate food giants create their products, gives these simple tips for glowing skin health.
- Start each day with warm lemon water and cayenne pepper to detox the liver and stimulate the metabolism.
- Eat raw where possible, cosy up to kale and fast for 12 hours each night.
- Take an occasional green juice cleanse to restore your immune system, balance your body’s pH and rest your digestive system. Try Genie Juicery (geniejuicery.com) or Punch Detox (punchdetox.com).
- Enjoy your coffee, but choose organic and don’t go overboard.
- Eat fermented food on a regular basis to increase good gut bacteria, and prevent dermatitis and acne breakouts.
Slough away each day with a gentle exfoliator. Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face removes dry surface patches and encourages cell turnover, while Bare Minerals Exfoliating Treatment Cleanser helps to reduce pore size, fine lines and wrinkles and can be used as a deep-cleansing mask. Fabian Lui, make-up director of Bare Minerals, suggests pouring a spoon-sized amount into wet hands, rubbing together to create a paste, applying for three to five minutes and rinsing thoroughly.
3. BEAUTY SLEEP
The benefits claimed for a good night’s sleep are more than just old wives’ tales. Proper sleep gives your body time to repair cells and tissue, with the added bonus of burning fat beneath the covers. After the holidays, get to bed an hour earlier than normal, British nutritionist Petronella Ravenshear recommends. With gravity and rest on your side, the skin is optimally primed to realise the power of night-time treatments.