The essential detox practice most women overlook (and how to do it)

The body's largest organ—the skin—is the one most in need of rejuvenating TLC. Here's how to get started.

detox practices for good skin and health

Diet detoxes—whether they’re about ditching processed foods, filling up on fiber, or full-on cleansing—continue to rage on among health-minded women looking for rejuvenation.

But there’s a big-time blind spot in many a detox regime, one that’s hiding in plain sight: Skin care.

sian sutherland founder of mio skincare

The skin is the body’s biggest organ, with the herculean task of excreting a whopping one-third of our impurities and toxins, explains Sian Sutherland, a founder of Mio Skincare—the “no nasties” line from London, which is all about ingredient-conscious body products that support skin’s ability to restore itself.

The good news is that an effective skin detox is simpler than doing a juice cleanse.

“Your skin is absolutely amazing, and if you treat it right, it knows what to do,” Sutherland says.

Women today tend to use “a helluva lot more products” than previous generations, so the goal is to really get back basics—letting skin do what it needs in order to work to its optimum, peak performance (and hopefully resulting in a Giselle-esque glow).

Here are Sutherland’s top two, can’t-live-without-them skin detoxing moves:

Dry brush like crazy. Try a body-prepping product on dry skin, like Mio’s Double Buff Dual-Enzyme Exfoliator ($33) or dry brush ($20). Body brushing removes layers of dead skin, brings blood and oxygen to the skin’s surface, and helps the flow of lymph fluids throughout the body—ushering toxins out, Sutherland says.

“[Dry brushing] completely invigorates the body from the outside in,” she raves. “And it takes no more than three minutes, so everyone’s got time to do it.”


Brush daily, Sutherland says, ideally in the morning before getting in the shower, starting at the soles of the feet and moving upwards, brushing in the direction of the heart. The practice is rooted in respect for skin’s natural ability to cleanse itself by “creating an environment where the body can do what it’s meant to,” Sutherland says.

Oil up. Swapping standard lotions for natural oils is Sutherland’s other top detox move. “If you use a really high-quality, gorgeous body oil, the skin just knows how to use it,” she says. With no extra preservatives or nasty chemicals, you’re not slathering on something that’s just going to confuse skin and stop it from letting bad stuff out and keeping good stuff in.

She personally swears by her line’s Activist Body Oil ($48)—”the one product that if my flat is burning down, I’m going to go in to save,” she laughs. “I can’t live without it. I use it every single day on showered-down skin and it sinks in super fast.”

But whatever you choose, “you want to give skin something it knows how to use, that it doesn’t have to convert, and that’s rich in omega acids 3, 6, and 9,” Sutherland says. Those essential fatty acids are totally key to maintaining skin’s strength and elasticity, but the body can’t produce them on its own, so you’ve got to apply them directly—and don’t scrimp. (Activist is loaded with organic sweet almond and argan oils, for example, which are big-time omega-boosters.)

With regular dry brushing and oiling, Sutherland says, you can expect results in 30 days. What to look for? “Your skin just glows,” she says.

(Photo: Vook via CC Flickr)


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