A new year calls for a completely fresh start for everything, including your skin. If your complexion, like the rest of you, is still recovering from 2017, don’t sweat it. We asked derms to weigh in on the best ways to completely detox your skin. (Hint: It involves more than just using the right products.) Consider this your ultimate guide to a complexion reset.
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. “Cortisol levels are naturally at their lowest when you’re asleep, and we know that elevated cortisol is bad for both the body and the skin,” explains Emily Arch, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology + Aesthetics in Chicago. (The hormone, aptly dubbed the stress hormone, wreaks havoc on your skin, increasing inflammation, oil production, dryness, you name it.) The overnight hours are also when skin repairs and regenerates itself – whether or not you give it some help with a good night cream – so resolve to get those eight hours of shut-eye.
Speaking of anti-inflammatory, sprinkle this spice on that extra plate of veggies you’re eating. “Turmeric is emerging as the new super spice, with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic benefits for your whole body, including your skin,” says Dr. Gohara. Don’t love the taste? It’s also found in pill form if you suffer from fungal acne.
Exfoliate on the regular
That means more than just a once weekly sloughing session. Both derms recommend using a product that contains glycolic acid daily. “It delivers a mild exfoliation that refreshes the skin and boosts cell turnover. In combination with a moisturizer, it’ll help brighten a dull, dry complexion,” explains Dr. Arch. Yes, please. Glycolic-acid infused pads, like Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads ($13; ulta.com), are super easy to swipe across your skin nightly.
Slather on charcoal
Now in everything from ice cream to toothpaste, the detoxifying ingredient is a great option for pulling impurities out of your skin, says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine (she calls herself a charcoal junkie, she loves it that much). Use a charcoal mask, like the Doll Face Beauty Little Black Mask ($25; dollfacebeauty.com), once or twice a week to suck out gunk, grime, and what’s left of 2017.
Eat more antioxidants
A diet rich in colorful fruits and veggies will work wonders not only on your waistline, but on your complexion, too, according to Dr. Gohara. Your skin will benefit from both their anti-inflammatory effects and their wide array of vitamins and minerals, many of which have been proven to have similar effects on the skin whether eaten or used topically. Take vitamin C, for example, which stimulates collagen (buh-bye lines) whether you eat it or apply it.
Give your face a rub-down
Your skin loves a massage as much as you do. “Massage can stimulate blood flow and lymphatic drainage, increasing circulation and detoxifying the skin,” explains Dr. Gohara. Even better: Just a few extra minutes spent gently rubbing in your cleanser as you wash your face will do the trick.
Do a double cleanse
To the point of washing your face, make 2018 the year you finally get on-board with the double cleanse. While it can seem unnecessary, Dr. Gohara advises thinking of it in terms of the macro and micro: “The first cleanse gets rid of all the big stuff on your skin – the makeup, dirt, sunscreen residue. Then, the second cleanse is what really gets deeper into your pores, removing all the little stuff that was left over.” A cleaner complexion is always a good thing.