Hello, heatwave. Goodbye, makeup routine.
Most of the country is already feeling the burn, and meteorologists predict that this summer will be one of the hottest ever. Steamier days come with a lot of perks—the heat is a good excuse to eat popsicles for breakfast and spend hours lounging poolside. But they also mean sweat. A lot of it.
The creamy concealers, liquid foundations, and illuminating powders that work so well during cooler months just don’t cut it once July hits. Summer is the perfect time to pare down an involved beauty routine and stick to just a handful of products: SPF, tinted moisturizer, and mascara. The simpler your makeup, the more your natural beauty shines through. If the idea of stepping outside without full face scares you, a full-on, inside-out detox is just the thing to get your skin glowing and give you that confidence boost you need to skip all the extras.
Skin is our biggest organ, and often breakouts and dullness are the result of what we put in our bodies. So eating foods that are detoxifying and doing some all-natural primping on the outside makes a serious difference in the look and feel of every inch of your skin. Follow these easy diet and DIY beauty tips to refine pores, clear up pimples, and leave your complexion radiant—no highlighter required.
What to eat
Here’s the fun part—you get to eat. Load up your plate with the foods below to encourage cell recovery and turnover. For extra benefits, cut out sugar and soy; sugar stokes inflammation in the body (which may bring on adverse reactions) and soy is an endocrine disruptor that can cause hormonal breakouts.
Staying hydrated is so important to full-body detoxification because it promotes optimal liver and kidney function. Cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods out there—they’re about 90 percent water. Eat a one-cup serving every day with hummus or nut butter to stay sated and improve your skin’s tone and texture.
Free-radical damage is to blame for visible signs of aging like wrinkles and discoloration, and beautifying antioxidants are your skin’s best offense and defense. They reverse cell damage and prevent it from happening in the first place. You can shell out a lot of cash for creams and serums that boast “antioxidant power,” or you can fill your grocery bag with fruits and veggies. Pick the ones that’ll give you the most bang for your buck: goji berries, raspberries, blueberries, artichokes, cilantro, and blackberries are all on the top 10 antioxidant-rich list.
It doesn't technically detoxify your body, but zinc is essential for cell growth and repair. Zinc helps transport vitamin A in the blood, in turn speeding up the growth of skin cells—and those new cells are responsible for those coveted dewy cheeks. If you’re not getting enough of it, you might fall victim to acne, psoriasis, or rosacea. Take a daily supplement or increase your intake of foods like lentils, quinoa, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
How to treat
With dietary changes, it might take a few days or weeks to see visible proof of better skin. In the meantime, indulge your face (and body!) with all-natural beauty treatments that'll encourage detoxification and cleansing.
When the temps outside hit triple digits, the last thing you probably want to do is get even hotter. But hear us out: Sitting over a steam bath for just a few minutes once every few weeks is one of the easiest ways to detox. When exposed to hot steam, pores open and the debris inside (read: dirt, oil, grime, bacteria, makeup, et al.) softens, which makes for easier extraction. Plus, it gets you sweating, another way to eliminate toxins naturally. To make the process even more relaxing, add a few drops of essential oils into the water for a little aromatherapy. Need some inspiration? Check out these three custom oil blends that suit every skin type.
Activated charcoal products are trending in both the beauty and wellness industries for pretty much the same reason. Charcoal has the ability to attract, absorb, and eliminate toxins from the body, and has the same effect when applied topically. Lift the nasty stuff out of your pores with this DIY.
DIY Activated Charcoal Face Mask
Open and empty the activated charcoal capsules (1 tablespoon is usually about three capsules) into a small bowl. Add bentonite clay.
Slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a non-metal spoon until a thick, spreadable paste forms.
Apply in one smooth layer over skin and leave on for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dry. Rinse off with warm water and a washcloth.
Picture this: you’re swimming in the ocean, when an errant piece of seaweed brushes up against your leg. Scary—not to mention gross, right? Turns out, it’s actually pretty great for you and your skin. Products with algae or seaweed stimulate blood flow and are full of detoxifying minerals. You could head to the beach and cover yourself in whatever’s washed up on shore—or reap the same rewards at home with an algae-infused face mask.
Sloughing off dead skin cells just feels satisfying, doesn’t it? Using a gentle exfoliant a few times a week can prevent clogged pores and speed up cell renewal. Try a scrub infused with enzymes for even more detoxifying action.
You’ve got your pretty face on lock, but don’t forget about the rest of your bod. After all, you want every inch of your skin to be healthy and glowy. Try dry brushing. The stiff, natural bristles encourage exfoliation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Lymphs act as a filtration system throughout the body, cleaning and clearing waste as it builds up over time. Dry brushing works best when performed daily, so take a few moments to do it every morning or evening before hopping in the shower.
Apple cider vinegar toner
We could go on about ACV’s health benefits and seemingly endless list of uses. But all you need to know for these purposes is that it makes for an effective softening toner—the acetic acid inside basically acts like a mini-peel. Just swipe some all over your T-zone using a cotton ball, step back, and admire your loveliness.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho