Detoxification: it’s the word on everyone’s lips lately. Regardless of which corner of the Internet you frequent, the conflicting opinions of celebrities, health-oriented bloggers, and doctors of various practices about “detox” juices, supplements, diets, teas, and fasts have been inescapable. Even offline we have clients here in Calgary coming in asking for our opinions on what detoxing can do for their skin!

But what is detoxification, and why do people say that it aids in weight loss, skin clearing, and the maintenance of overall good health? Today, we here at SkinScience Clinic will be discussing the most popular current detoxification modalities, what the research has to say about detoxing, and, if you do want to detox your body, how to do it safely and properly—the science-backed way.

First Things First: What is it?

Classified as either a single process or a multifaceted method, detox is, simply put, the progression of removing toxic qualities or substances from the body. This is done primarily via the liver, with aid from the lymphatic system.

If you have been part of the SkinScience Clinic family for a while, then you know how integral science is to the way we operate; in fact, our founder, Marie Bertrand, both graduated from the University of Montreal with a degree in Microbiology and Immunology and completed a research internship at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C… so you could say that being science-backed is our bread and butter!

Due to this, we wanted to weigh in on detoxification for those of you here in Calgary seeking detox-related for skin, weight, or general health reasons. We urge you to keep in mind that the majority of detoxification methods on the market may be considered unsafe depending on your current weight, medication, and existing health conditions, and to always verify your detox methods with your primary healthcare provider.

Detoxification: Fad, or Science-Backed Cure?

As of the time of publication, there have been only a minor number of human-trialed detoxification studies. As such, while they have trialed as positively impacting weight loss, blood pressure, chronic diseases, and insulin resistance, the studies themselves—as well as being few— have had their credibility questioned due to their lack of participants and peer review.

While detox methods are agreed-upon to have potential initial benefits (specifically, weight loss due to low caloric intake), there is currently no research surrounding the long-term effects of detoxification—and short-term research suggests that detoxification commonly leads to weight gain once people resume the intake of their regular calorie average.

“Marie,” you may be wondering, “does all fasting and juicing count as detoxing?” For those adhering to the ever-popular intermittent fasting, the above research will surely be ringing alarm bells; however, more research needs to be conducted to weigh in on the disease prevention, anti-aging, and weight management intermittent fasting claims. The bottom line? When done properly, fasting can be an effective fat loss method—but, when done improperly, commonly causes fainting, malnutrition, chronic headaches, and dehydration. Ensure that you consult your doctor before drastically changing your caloric intake.

Does that Mean that Detoxification is a Write-Off?

Yes and no! As with every methodology, some methods are more effective and sustainable than others; the nutrients you consume are vital for the maintenance of both your skin and long-term health, and so natural detoxes that bolster the body’s vitamin intake are not being ruled out by researchers at this point in time.

 This is especially true regarding the study of persistent toxins in the human body. In a study by the NCBI, researchers discuss the long half-lives of certain toxic compounds within the human body—such as the ones in processed foods, treated water, and cosmetic products. The study argues that these toxic compounds are transferred to fetuses in the utero when women become pregnant, and that science should conduct more research into how best eliminate these compounds so that they do not stack up multi-generationally.

“I’m Interested in Detoxification! How Do I Ensure that I’m Doing it Correctly?”

After consulting with your primary healthcare provider to ensure that you are a good candidate for detoxing, we here at SkinScience Clinic recommend remembering that detoxification entails many different methods: from fad diets, to laxative teas, to juices, to supplements, we prompt you to keep in mind that your body naturally detoxes itself via the liver. Therefore, detoxing should encompass aiding in what your liver already accomplishes for your body.

Our list of safe detoxification methods are as follows:

·        Remember you “are what you eat”: Staying hydrated, limiting your salt intake, partaking in antioxidant-rich foods, cutting down on processed foods and dairy, and limiting alcohol (as 90% of alcohol is metabolized in the liver!) are essential steps towards aiding your body’s natural detoxification and reaping anti-aging benefits.

·   Rest up: Improving your sleep duration and consistency is key to your body operating at its best.

·       Take a probiotic: Also beneficial in treating acne from the inside-out, taking a probiotic daily to stabilize your gut microflora will assist in both digestion and inflammation of the skin.

·       Get active!: If you’re seeking a metabolic boost, upping your exercise works both instead and in conjunction with standard detoxification methods; by starting to exercise and/or exercising regularly, your metabolic rate will stay higher even hours after your workout has ended. The result? More fat burned for longer!

·        Breathe: Last but not least, engaging in breathwork, meditation, and gratefulness can help reduce stress levels and, in turn, help your bodily processes function at their best.  

Want to Learn how it Can Work With YOUR Skin Care Routine?

Contact SkinScience Clinic today to hear what we recommend in terms of detoxing your skin. We look forward to hearing from you!