If you follow us in stories, you saw that a while back I did a skin detox. For 7 days I didn’t use any products on my skin – no cleanser, no toner, no serums, no moisturizer – nothing. I wasn’t trying to correct any issues or streamline my skincare routine, I simply wanted to see the difference in my skin if I stepped back and let it do its own thing instead of constantly putting products on it. Plus, as a busy working mom, any excuse to not have to do something is welcomed.
The premise of a skin “detox” is that we should give our skin the chance to regulate itself instead of constantly applying products to address various issues. Often we are overly aggressive in our skincare routines (over-exfoliating is a thing) and layer too many products creating new issues. The skin, like the rest of our bodies, will work to correct itself and maintain a proper state. But of course, we don’t give it a chance. I remember my mother telling me when I was young to leave my skin alone and that the more I did, the more I would have to do as I got older. As usual, Moms are right.
I picked a Thursday to start figuring that if my skin got all dry or weird I would be able to avoid public scrutiny by staying at home over the weekend.
Wednesday night I did a double cleanse using Mountain Rose Herbs organic safflower oil which is a mainstay in my cleansing routine. After the oil cleanse I followed up with the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. I figured if I wasn’t going to be using anything but water on my face for the next week, at least let me start with a clean palette.
I followed that up with a thorough application of one of my favorite skincare products the Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Barrier Restore Serum. If you haven’t heard of Marie Nadeau, you are missing out. I came across her products about 3 or 4 years ago at Indie Beauty and fell in love with her line. She then teamed up with cult holistic facialist Kristina Holey to launch a collection and between the two of them, all my skincare needs are covered.
She is a pioneer in the non-toxic skincare space. A chemist who founded her product line in 2002, she is a trained esthetician and holds degrees in Math and Science. She collaborates with her daughter, Jay Nadeau, physicist, and bio-medical engineer, to carefully choose each ingredient in her products to solve real skin issues and address the causes of aging at the source.
Their barrier repair serum is a mainstay in my arsenal just like the Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum. I like one product that can do it all, and both of those seem to do the trick for me.
In addition to the normal signs of aging, I suffer from melasma. The past few years have seen it get progressively worse and so I now stay out of the sun and use noninvasive treatments such as micro-needling to address hyperpigmentation. I was worried about not being able to use any products and if it might affect my melasma, but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome of 7 days of doing absolutely nothing.
Days 1-3 – Skin felt normal. No dryness, no nothing. It was fine. I would wipe down in the evenings and mornings with lukewarm water and keep it moving.
Day 4 – I noticed that areas of my face where there are typically clogged pores, were less clogged. It was almost like my skin knew to push everything to the surface and areas where I had been feeling clogs under the skin came right to the service and were easily removed just by rubbing or a gentle squeeze. Very satisfying.
Day 5 – At this point, I was so accustomed to not doing anything except rinsing my face that I started to question my entire skincare routine. I mean my skin looked great and I was doing nothing. Creams started to feel like a scam. It was hydrated, glowing and almost seemed rested as though it had been on vacation.
Day 7 – Total convert. I was wearing no makeup (not a big thing for me as I typically don’t wear it), spending 1/3 the time on washing my face. I figured at this rate there was a strong possibility that this new no routine routine could save me thousands on products so I started planning all the trips I would take in my mind….
I kept it going for about 10 days or so before I cycled my products back in. However, I have found myself going back to the detox one or two days a week – giving my skin (and myself!) space to breathe. I use a weekend night to do a deep dive into skincare – exfoliating, masks, moisturizing the entire thing and the rest of the week just do maintenance.
Overall its something I would do again. One unexpected benefit? Doing the skin detox broke some bad habits I had. I find that I don’t spend as much time as I used to looking into the mirror focusing on my perceived flaws – my wrinkles, my melasma, and my undereye circles. I look more at myself and my skin in a trusting manner knowing that we both have roles to play and that if I stay in my lane and take care of my internal workings, it will do its thing and take care of the external. A win-win.