Beauty Detox First Stop: Going Clean
It feels good to swap toxic ingredients for gentler alternatives.
January is unofficially known as “Detox Month” and one of the easiest ways to clean up your act is to clean up your skincare. Since beauty is a wildly unregulated category in the marketplace, many conventional products contain harmful chemicals which can cause everything from endocrine disorders to cancer (google “The Dirty Dozen” for the list of ingredients to avoid at all costs). Fortunately, the clean beauty-sphere has made great strides in recent years, now offering up products in every category that are effective, nutrient-packed and gorgeous to boot. We’ve rounded up ten of our favorites that do everything from eliminate toxins to boost circulation, giving your entire system a loving upgrade. A giant bonus? A healthy mind and body means a top to bottom glow for the new year.
The Body Buddy
SALT’s Turmeric Neem Body Scrub detoxes skin by sloughing off dead cells, dirt and oil. It also helps to balance pH levels (that can unknowingly be re-jiggered by environmental pollutants). Turmeric, long-hailed for it’s anti-microbial properties, heals and calms skin by lowering inflammation levels.
The Shower Essential
Powerful natural ingredients like plantain skins, coconut oil and cocoa pods (when sun-dried, roasted and cured) became so popular in local West African markets that cultures wound up using them for centuries. 54 Thrones Detox Bar Soap hails from the founder’s Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. It is celebrated for improving skin tone, fading discoloration and reducing inflammation. Double down on its detox properties by teaming it with the brand’s exfoliating mitt.
The Scalp Reviver
Should you treat your scalp with the same level of attention you do your face, you might be looking at your best hair ever. Products like dry shampoo and environmental aggressors cause build up that can clog follicles. Eventually, it can congest your scalp and block healthy follicle development. Sunday Riley’s Scalp Detox uses rose clay to suck out impurities, glycolic and salicyllic acids to exfoliate, and niacinamide to promote healthy re-growth.
The Complexion Corrector
When mixed with water, this charcoal powder from May Lindstrom forms a mousse that draws impurities from the skin and attacks everything from breakouts to clogged pores. Hard-working clays such as Rhassoul and Fuller’s Earth absorb oil. Anti-fungals like nutmeg and clove put an end to acne. Raw cacao is jammed with stress-reducing antioxidants. It also lends this mask an intoxicating scent. Finally, the star ingredient bamboo carbon charcoal releases essential minerals when activated with water. These minerals produce the deepest cleanse possible. Use it to spot treat any problem areas or as a mask for all-over radiance.
The Great Neutralizer
With anything, consistency is key. Think of Linné Botanicals’ Purify Face Wash as your daily dose of gentle detoxification. Ingredients such as French green clay, jojoba oil and dead sea salt neutralize free radicals. Additionally, these ingredients even out skin tone and boost circulation. Made in small batches from native, wild-harvested organic plants, you can count on each wash to be nourishing on the highest level.
The Fragrance Reboot
Even though your favorite perfume might remind you of your chic grandma, it’s probably laden with everything from hormone-disrupting chemicals to formaldehyde (and plenty of awful stuff in between). Forest Lungs by clean well-being brand, The Nue Co., is not only free of harmful hexanes, parabens and phthalates, but it also replicates the healing effects of nature that is scientifically proven to ease stress and anxiety.
The Palette Cleanser:
India has been practicing the Ayurvedic ritual of oil pulling for centuries. Oil pulling is essentially the swishing around oil in the mouth in order to eliminate toxins and impurities. UMA supercharges this process with vital oral health ingredients like Neem and Clove Oil. Both work to kill bacteria and help fight gum disease. Mint and clove freshens breath and peppermint oil leaves a lasting cool note.
The Skin Resurfacer
Glycolic acid is hailed because of its re-surfacing properties. However, many of the products on the market include health-wrecking formaldehyde. Enter: Monestary’s XXRose Gel. This product uses an all-natural fruit-based AHA that was formulated by the company’s founder, an herbalist and aesthetician (along with a chemist). This miracle product uses a base of soothing rose water to keep skin hydrated during exfoliation, ultimately quelling acne and imparting that coveted glow.
The Brush with Greatness
Dry brushing is a cornerstone of any detoxification because it boosts lymphatic drainage to help eliminate toxins. Use Organic Pharmacy’s version to brush upward toward the heart (always in circular motions) to promote circulation, as well as bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Then, use your favorite body oil first for extra nourishment.
The Clean Candle
Not so-fun-fact: most conventional candles contain carcinogenic chemicals that waft through your space upon lighting. Easy fix: Nette. This new candle brand is not only gorgeous in a minimal-chic way, but it uses a non-toxic coconut soy wax blend. Additionally, its scents are derived from essential oils. Not to mention it uses a certified organic cotton wick to boot one of the main sources of pollutants.
Feature Image Credit: Katrin Hauf
Zoe Schaeffer is a former Condé Nast Beauty Editor who moved to Los Angeles to develop style shows for VH1 and later, fashion trend-forecasting. After opening her own boutique, Presse, she returned to her writing roots by launching a lifestyle blog, Macaroon Original, to share travel, home and wellness obsessions. Today she consults for beauty brands and freelances for sites such as Goop and The Helm. When she’s not pouring over her 1stdibs discoveries, she’s most likely planning a trip. Zoe lives in Los Angeles with her husband, dog, and three daughters, Gemma, Rafi and Cleo. Keep up on her Instagram here!