Juice cleansing has become the go-to for anyone who wants to detox and reset their bodies. But have you ever thought about doing a cleanse for your skin? No, I don’t mean a juice cleanse that benefits your skin. I mean a legit product-free day where you actually detox your skin from any skincare or makeup, so it can reset itself and do it’s thing without any disruptions.
That’s the premise of Adina Grigore’s new book, “Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin.” Grigore, founder of all-natural, organic skincare line S.W. Basics, tried every potential lotion and potion out there to help her extremely sensitive skin. Frustrated and sick of visiting her dermatologist for yet another prescription, Grigore decided to go cold turkey — that is, she just straight up stopped putting anything on her skin. And she finally started to see results.
“It’s so unfair how we have to be annoyed with our skin our entire lives,” Grigore said to me. (Amen, sister.) “Most women, especially in their later 20s and older, deal with things and don’t know why it’s happening.” Acne, dullness, dryness, irritated spots. If you’ve ever had something happen to your skin that you couldn’t quite explain, trying a skin cleanse may be the next best step in your investigation.
“If you’re applying four products, and one ingredient is a problem for you, you’re never going to know which one it is,” Grigore noted. By taking a break from every ingredient, you’ll let your skin reset itself. “The people who break out, have uneven skintone, maybe it’s itchy, sometimes it hurts… that kind of person is just going to experience straight across relief instantly,” she said. And hopefully, when it’s done, you’ll be able to nail down what’s causing the irritation.
How a Skin Cleanse Works
The most ideal cleanse is a little intense, especially if skincare and makeup have become so engrained in your daily routine. “The most intense level usually works for people who already don’t use a lot of product,” Grigore noted. If you’re comfortable with it, this means giving your skin a break from every single product except water. Wake up, rinse your face with water, go bare-faced all day, wash again with water before bed. To wash effectively, rub your face the same way you would if you were applying cleanser, but just with pure, unadulterated H2O. “Once you get rid of that top layer, the layers underneath that we usually strip off with face wash are able to clean your skin,” said Grigore.
Sound a little too bare bones to you? Don’t worry — not everyone needs to co completely cold turkey, Grigore reassured me. Your cleanse should be individual to you, and as long as you’re taking a break from something, it counts. “Most people won’t go that far,” she said of the hardcore version. The more do-able version? Still no packaged products allowed, but you can use a DIY product or single ingredient from your kitchen. “Try a DIY recipe, smash up an avocado,” Grigore said. In her book, Grigore offers a bunch of DIY recipes that are simple, and involve ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. “It’s more about the ingredients and not the complex DIY formulas. That’s how I started my whole line.”
Many people will be happy to know that a skin cleanse does not need to involve an actual diet cleanse. But getting your eating on track will certainly help. “If you can’t get your food in order first, a skin cleanse is just going to make you feel better for a couple days, and then you’ll go back to your products and your insides will be the same,” Grigore said. Drinking a ton of water, green tea, or even a few green juices will make your complexion look that much better, but it’s not going to make or break it, she said.
What You Can Expect
While Grigore said a three-day cleanse is her dream for people to try, aiming for one will still make a difference. Some of her clients end up feeling so good after one day, that they decide to just keep going for another day or two. “Setting out for three days is really intimidating. One day sounds reasonable to people,” she said. “I don’t want it to feel like you’re going on the Master Cleanse.”
In as little as one day product-free, your pores will start to clean themselves again. Whatever irritation or concerns you had before should subside. Generally, you should be able to look in the mirror and feel good about your complexion, like your skin is “reset.” Grigore put it this way: “Your skin is like an immune system.” It builds up a tolerance to everything you do to it. So when you give it a break, it can let its guard down and refocus on its natural abilities to protect the skin.
Grigore considers a skin cleanse a success when you can leave it feeling like you don’t need to use quite as many products on a daily basis. When you do start to reincorporate products back into your routine, do it slowly, and be conscious of how your skin reacts to each product. “Wash your face, look in the mirror right after. Check your skin throughout the day,” she said. Whatever you do to it should make it look better right away. If not, maybe it’s time to ditch your arsenal for products that are more natural and beneficial.
“It’s always fun to find something new, so go find something that actually works for your skin,” Grigore said. “Skincare should never be something that’s making you so committed that you don’t want to switch.” In fact, Grigore recommended to treat skincare like your diet — use a variety of products that you rotate every so often. (Just avoid what she called “The Birchbox Effect,” aka, constantly swapping products around on a daily basis. You should use it consistently for a few weeks before swapping to something different.) As long as they have good-for-you ingredients and don’t contain anything that will irritate you, you’ll notice huge benefits.
Bottom line: Undertaking a skin cleanse can get you more in touch with your skin’s unique needs. If you can start back at the ground floor and learn what products and ingredients jive with your skin and which ones you’re better off without, you’ll be on the road to great skin. Be conscious of what you’re putting on your face just like you are about what you’re putting into your body. And if your favorite product isn’t all-natural, but really makes your skin glow, don’t stop using it. Find a few products that work, and don’t be afraid to cheat on your favorite product or brand if it’s not working for you. “Skincare should be fun, luxurious, and feel awesome, not stressful.” By doing a skin cleanse once a month, or even once every couple of months, you’ll keep yourself in check and see incredible results.