Friday, March 6, 2015

Summer Countdown | Time for a Skin Detox

Now let's move on to Phase II of our countdown to summer readiness plan.  But first, let me share a little story.  A couple years ago, I suffered from severe acne prone skin.  Winters were a blessing for me because my skin seemed to calm down and only break out sporadically.  Summers, on the other hand, were a constant battle as my skin was at its worst.

Then, I adjusted my diet and my focus.  I took several actions that seemed to effectively address the acne.  Summer came around, and my skin behaved.  But I observed an interesting phenomena.  Others around me, with relatively normal skin, seemed to suffer from acne breakouts as soon warm weather came around.
It was at the point that I came to the unscientific conclusion that their acne was a result of a purging.  The increased sweat, oil production,  and cell turnover increases in the spring and summer, creating the right environment for fussy skin.  And, think of all the consumption of fatty foods over the winter holidays, along with the lower amount of water intake during the winter.  Things are pretty much stagnant.

Then, all of the sudden things start moving again. It's hot, we got outside, our skin gets oily, we start sweating, then we break out.  I'm of the opinion that we break out because we haven't done our due diligence to properly cleanse/detox before hand.  So when the body does it's natural detox, our skin suffers the consequences.  And it happens at the most inopportune time.

That's why it's important to take matters into our own hands. And to do it now.  We begin the cleansing process so by the time warm weather hits, we're glowing.

No detox exists without the increased consumption of water.  While I was observing the random breakouts of my coworkers over the summer, I also became in tune to which of them were severely dehydrated.  Some, I could tell by the peeling lips, others, by their dry hands. One coworker, who I admired  dearly, showed signs of dehydration on her face.  She was younger than me but her excessively dry skin had lead to the obvious formation of fine lines and wrinkles.  Out of no where I asked her "how much water are you drinking?"  She looked down and admitted that she didn't drink hardly any water.

You will be doing yourself a favor if you increase your water intake starting now.  Once your body is adequately hydrated, it'll use the additional water intake to help start the cleansing process.  It's time to clean house and water is your best friend. Immediately after your water intake increases, you will experience a rise in the number of rest room breaks.  Some people are bothered by that. I like to think of it as something wonderful. I'd rather flush my toxins down the toilet than have them excreted through the skin.

We all can fall victim to not drinking enough water.   Heck, just a couple of weeks ago, I suffered from scaly skin after I got "too busy" to keep up with my water intake.  But I had to correct that real quick and now I'm back to my old self again.

After I rehydrated, I started the process of detoxing.  Nothing crazy, just simple steps like adding a few cups of lemon water into my daily rotation.  This is to keep the body alkaline which is it's happy place.  An alkaline environment wards off inflammation. Acne is a form of inflammation and I'd like to avoid that at all costs.  Along with lemon water, I've restocked on probiotics to further promote a healthy internal environment.  As mentioned in the last post, I'm increasing the amount of leafy greens and fruits.  And maybe, I'll squeeze in a 3 day fast before summer hits for the heck of it.

Lastly, I will make sure to head back to the sauna on a regular basis.  The point is to start sweating and clearing out the pores now.  By the time summer hits, my sweat will be "cleaner" (if that makes sense).  Problem skin happens when we sweat are the toxins through our skin.  I learned the value of sweating when after visiting the steam from for the first time.  The first couple of sessions, I could barely keep my eyes open. The salt content of my sweat stung my eyes.  But, as I continued the sessions, my sweat became much less concentrated and had no salty taste.  It's like going to the rest room when you're dehydrated.  Both the color and the scent of the urine is super strong. But, when you drink plenty of water, the urine is almost clear.   Do you want strong, concentrated sweat coming through your pores this summer or the clearer version?

And again, I'll bring up exfoliation for the 50th time.  Why?  Because it's time to remove all the old, dead layers of skin.  All the lotions + butters we slathered on for months have built up. Our cell turnover slowed down during the winter months.  Those two variables are working together to rob you of your glow.  And if you start sweating through all those layers of dirt and dead skin, you're asking for trouble.  Long ago, I would break out on my chest and back. But once I learned of the merits of hydration, clean eating, and exfoliation, those problems left my life.  As a matter of fact, the first to areas I scrub while in the shower are my chest and back.  I guess it's just habit, but it's allowed me to eliminate old acne scarring from both of those areas.  I can proudly wear a tube top without a care in the world.

Ok, to recap, PHASE II of our get ready for summer plan is all about internal cleansing so when you sweat this summer, and when your cell turnover increases, you don't have to worry about the hideous side effects of what could happen if we aren't intentional.

  1. I loooooove your blog and read it daily so it's funny to se my friends in the picture for this post. They truely have amazing skin and come to think about it it's weird i never thought of asking them for their skin regimen. Im gonna have to send them a text and ask them. As always loved the blog post, very informative and interesting. Keep up the good work!

  2. HI Anon! Don't forget to come back and share the tips even when you hear back.

  3. Hi! Great work you're doing here. I totally relate to the summer skin problems you mentioned. My acne prone yet highly sensitive skin tends to behave itself during the cooler months ( we do not quite have winter in Nigeria, but it does get cooler and a lot less sunny around November to January). Enter the hotter months and Bam! Face in peril! Thanks or the tips! Will definitely try them , though I have to go real easy on exfoliating where my face is concerned, I dont want to end up with a burning sensation and extreme photosensitivity by the time I'm through. That will be counter productive.

  4. Hi, I just came across your blog an havent had a break from reading.... its really interesting. I was wondering what lotion or cream you use after exfoliation.