Our skin is the first protective barrier our body has, and it represents 10 percent of our body weight. Being something so large and important, it makes sense to keep it healthy.
Skin is important, not only because it protects us from outside factors that might be harmful, but because it also enables us to experience pleasure, it moderates our temperature and water.
Between midnight and 4 am, a new base layer of skin cells is created. This layer grows toward the outer surface and is shed after 27 days. The characteristic of rapid turnover means the skin is an important ally during a detox because the damage that might be caused by toxins is repaired quite rapidly. But this happens if your skin is healthy.
What is toxic skin?
Toxic skin can be easily recognized as there are visible signs: dull skin, no radiance, it looks flaccid and dehydrated, thick and hardened. Areas of redness in the face may indicate internal over-acidity. Pallor may indicate unhealthy or deficient blood, commonly of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and the other nutrients required for that process.
The best way to keep your skin healthy is by being selective of the products you use. There are a couple of chemicals that should be omitted from your skincare ritual: Avoid products containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can be found in some soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste, because it alters the naturally produced fats on the skin surface, disturbing pH and consequently weakening the barrier to the outside world.
You should also avoid products containing aluminum because its toxicity has been associated with osteoporosis, cancer, senile dementia, kidney and lung disorders, and allergic reactions. It is often put on the skin via deodorants and cosmetics. Aluminium-free deodorants are available and will generally not suppress perspiration. Instead, they focus on reducing bacterial growth in the sweat to stop odors.
Synthetic fragrances are definitely something to avoid, too. Fragrances are often stabilized by a chemical called a phthalate. Phthalates are also found in skin moisturizers. This is a chemical associated with estrogen-like activity in the body and should be avoided. Also, the parabens, used as preservatives in many skin (and food) products, have been noted due to their hormone-mimicking effects.
Air bathing: a "natural cure"
As the name implies, air bathing consists of letting the naked body breathe, indoors or outdoors, allowing it to "air" for a certain period of time. Though this was practiced traditionally a couple of centuries ago, doctors still consider that this is helpful for the skin.
The best time to air bathe is first thing in the morning. Start with three minutes and build up to 20 minutes of wandering around starkers. If you do too much at once, you can become tired during the day. Avoid getting a chill, and people with kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatism were traditionally told not to take air baths.