The term “detox” has become quite the wellness and beauty trend in recent years. In fact, the concept of detoxing has seemingly become synonymous with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From detox teas to detox face masks, there’s no doubt you’ve seen this beauty craze circulating through your social media feeds. With so many detox products out there, chances are you might be wondering what the deal is with all these so-called cleanses, including whether or not they actually work. Below, we’re sharing the science—and lack thereof—about detox drinks, including waters, teas, and cleanses, as well as recommending a few detox skin care products to try.
WHAT IS A DETOX CLEANSE?
Before we get into the details, let’s go over what exactly a detox, or a cleanse, is. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), detox diets are popular dieting strategies that claim to accelerate toxin elimination and weight loss, supposedly promoting health and well-being. The theory behind detox cleanses, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is that the elimination of solid foods or specific food groups allows your body to eliminate toxins, giving your digestive system a break so that it can function better and absorb nutrients in the future. There are several different detox diets that people typically follow, from solely consuming fluids to loading up on veggies. Solid foods are often replaced with drinks such as water with lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, green tea, or freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. These detox diets can last anywhere from one day up to one month, per the Cleveland Clinic. There are other variations of detoxes and cleanses, according to the NIH, including fasting and using dietary supplements. The terms detox and cleanse are umbrella terms used to describe all of the many different diet variations that are intended to help eliminate toxins.
ARE DETOX DRINKS, LIKE DETOX WATER AND TEA, SAFE?
While detoxes, including detox water and detox tea, have become increasingly popular, the question as to whether or not they are completely safe is still up in the air. The Mayo Clinic recommends that those considering a detox diet get the OK from their doctor before beginning, as detox diets can have serious potential side effects. For example, detox diets that severely limit protein or require fasting can result in fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic, while long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For these reasons, many commercially advertised detox and cleansing products have actually had legal action taken against them by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission, according to the NIH.
While the safety and efficacy of specific detox waters and teas could be dependent on the individual product, the Cleveland Clinic points out that these products typically lead to short-term, non-sustainable weight loss—AKA their temporary benefit may not be worth the risks in the long run. The bottom line: It’s impossible to make a final call on whether or not detox drinks are safe or effective since they aren’t all the same and there is so little scientific research about them. For all of these reasons, you should always consult your doctor before starting any type of detox or cleanse diet.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF DETOX DIETS?
We touched on the purported benefits of detoxing briefly, but let’s dive into more detail. While the Mayo Clinic notes that there is little evidence that detox diets actually eliminate toxins from the body, they do result in some people reporting that they feel more focused and energetic. The Mayo Clinic explains that people tend to feel better during a detox due to the fact that these diets typically involve eliminating highly processed foods that contain solid fats and added sugar. Moreover, individuals who take part in a cleanse may take in more vitamins and minerals, either naturally from juiced fruits and veggies or supplemented from drinks, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, detox diets can aid in identifying food sensitivities by eliminating certain foods and gradually reintroducing potential trigger foods. Of course, not only positives come from detox diets. Since these diets tend to be low in calories as well as protein, they provide little energy to exercise and can disrupt your metabolic rate and blood glucose levels, per the Cleveland Clinic.
CAN DETOX WATERS AND TEAS BE GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN?
Detox waters and teas are primarily used as a way to promote weight loss, though they could result in increased water intake, which is beneficial for skin’s appearance. A study from the NCBI found that consuming more water in one’s regular diet might positively impact normal skin physiology. Aside from increased hydration, there is little research on the benefits of detox water and teas on skin’s appearance as a whole.
OUR BEST DETOX SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
Phew—that’s a lot of info! Now that you know more about detox waters and teas for your body, what about your skin? There are other ways you can detox your skin, such as using skin care products formulated to detox and clarify skin’s appearance. Below, find two options to try in your routine.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser: Formulated with three pure clays and charcoal, this facial cleanser goes beyond daily cleansing to brighten and detoxify skin. Immediately, skin is purified of dirt, oil, and pollution and is left with a clean, clear look. Dull skin appears more radiant and luminous. Use once daily, squeezing product into your hands and adding water to transform the cleanser from clay to mousse. Gently massage onto face using circular motions, avoiding the eye area. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask: Our indulgent and powerful face mask formula provides a luxurious experience while potent pure clays and charcoal act like a magnet to clean out pores and draw-out and capture deep impurities such as dirt, oil, and pollution. This creamy charcoal mask leaves skin feeling clean and glowing while addressing dull, tired skin to reveal a purified, even, and radiant complexion. With continued use over time, this face mask cleanses skin as if detoxified and skin feels as though it can breathe better. To use, apply an even layer to clean dry skin, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with water. For best results use three times a week.
A detox diet may not be for you, but don’t rule out changing up your diet completely. Consider enriching your diet with some of the delicious eats mentioned in our article, Beauty Foods: Beauty from the Inside Out.
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