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Why does the skin detox when moving to organic products? I’ve heard this question so many times over the last 12 years since I’ve switched to organic skincare. It’s a valid question. I’d love to help you understand how incredible skin is and what happens when you switch to organic skincare.

The skin

Let’s start off with looking at a simplistic view of the skin. Take a look at yourself in the mirror. What you are seeing is the body’s largest organ, the skin. But you are only seeing the top layer of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum. It’s about 5 layers of compacted dead skin cells.

Just beneath the upper layer of the epidermis, you’ll find the skin’s basal layer. This is where new skin cells are made. They take about a month to travel to the skin’s surface.

The middle layer of your skin is called the dermis. I like to think of this as where the magic happens! This is where your collagen and elastin live. It’s full of blood vessels and oxygen. You’ll also find hair follicles, oil glands and sweat glands. And connective tissue and lymph vessels. The dermis helps to support the structure of the skin that we can see.

Then you reach the hypodermis which is a juicy layer of fatty tissue. It provides insulation and protects your organs.

Skin facts

Now that you are clear on the basics of your skin’s structure, let’s take a deeper dive into the role of your skin. It’s not just a layer between your inner organs and the outside world. The skin is one of the body’s five organs of detoxification. If you had to lay your skin out flat it would take up about two square metres. You shed about 30 000 dead skin cells every minute. And you have about 17 kilometres of blood vessels in your skin.

Did you know that women use 12-15 personal care products a day which may include up to 500 chemicals? Imagine the chemical load your skin and body need to work through to function well?

Why does skin detox?

Remember the dermis we spoke about earlier? When your skin is not functioning optimally, there is stagnation in the dermal layer. This may mean that toxins have taken up residence where the fresh oxygen and blood should be. When you switch to organic skin care products, you allow your skin the opportunity to work hard to clear the toxic load. This may result in detox symptoms. Remember that the skin is one of the body’s five organs of elimination so detoxification is one of its crucial jobs.

Is skin detoxification normal?

Let’s compare this to your body when you stop drinking coffee. It may freak out a little right? If you are quitting coffee because you would like to have a healthier and more energised body and mind, you stick it out. You deal with the headaches and irritability. You even deal with the afternoon slump. Then one day, you wake up feeling great! You don’t crave your morning cappuccino and you know that you’ve made it through your caffeine detox. This is because your liver has worked hard and is now able to function as a healthy liver without the stress of too much caffeine.

Skin detoxification is normal and you may even want to celebrate it because your skin is now able to do its job well.

What does a skin detox look like?

Skin detox symptoms are typically small breakouts on the skin. They can last from days to a few weeks. They can also show up as skin sensitivity, an excess of oil or even dryness. Your skin is busy repairing its protective barrier which may take around 36 hours. Then it also needs to remove toxins from your dermal layer, which may excrete through your skin. Some toxins are also removed through your lymphatic system and blood vessels.

What about bacteria?

An important factor that has been researched more recently is your skin microbiome. When you switch to an organic product, namely a probiotic product, your skin will recolonise to an optimal amount and ratio of beneficial bacteria called probiotics. Imagine what must go on when your 10 trillion skin microbes battle for dominance?

Supplementing your skin with probiotics enables the skin to finally come to balance. Probiotics are key to healthy skin and a healthy skin knows how to age well. Skin probiotics also affect collagen and elastin, skin hydration, pH balance and so much more.

Probiotics are key to helping your skin detoxify. They metabolise toxins and balance your skin’s immune system.

How can I help my skin detox?

You can make food and lifestyle changes to help your skin detox so that it can emerge healthier. Include lots of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink more water and herbal teas. Reduce sugars, junk food, caffeine and dairy. And when you look at yourself in the mirror, how about saying something positive about yourself?

Lastly, no-one likes to experience any type of detox, but think about how happy your skin will be when the symptoms subside. You’ll have equipped your skin and body to act as a healthy skin should. And a healthy skin knows how to age well, how to respond to external toxins and how to look plump and smooth.

Louise Pitot helps women live agelessly. She combines organic beauty including probiotic facials and face yoga with Eating Psychology and Functional Medicine coaching. Looking at balanced hormones, ageless beauty strategies and a nourished body, Louise believes women can create holistic health and even age backwards!


Detox Photo by Vegan Liftz on Unsplash