Here's How to Completely Detox Your Beauty Routine—And Why You Should
It's the season of fresh starts and your skin, hair, and makeup routines are primed for change.
The urge to detox this time of year isn't only a mental thing. "Many people need to get their skin and hair back into balance after the holidays, as well as adjust to the cold and dry weather," says Dara Kennedy, the founder of Ayla, a natural beauty studio in San Francisco.
To do it, you'll want to change up your beauty routine in smart, simple ways to rehydrate first, and then to brighten, smooth, tone, and more. Your makeup can also benefit from a few swaps to help you achieve an on-trend look that matches your skin tone. It's a total refresh that leaves you appearing and feeling energized, and it starts here.
It begins with a deep clean. But rather than scrub at skin (which can exacerbate its dry condition, says Joshua Maniscalco, an aesthetician and the founder of Skin Clinical San Francisco), you'll load on a cleansing oil that will hydrate, balance, and remove surface grime, makeup, and even pollution particles. Pestle & Mortar Erase Balm Cleanser ($59, bloomingdales.com) is a great one that contains grapeseed, pumpkin, and prickly pear oils. Massage it into dry skin, then place a warm, damp washcloth over your face to carefully wipe away oil and makeup. Step 2 of your reset: a detoxifying mask (like the Bioré Blue Agave & Baking Soda Whipped Nourishing Detox Mask, $8, ulta.com). One made with charcoal or clay (like the Olay Glow Boost Clay Stick Mask, $14, ulta.com) will absorb the gunk from your pores; a prebiotic formula (like the Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask, $38, ulta.com) will help to rebalance the ecosystem that lives on your skin and keeps it calm and resistant to pollution and stress. Use the cleanser every day and a mask weekly. (Related: Celeb-Approved Face Masks for Whatever Your Skin Concern and Budget Is)
To address specific skin issues, like an uneven tone, fine lines, or a lack of firmness, add one of the new targeted four-week skin-care systems to your regimen. You can start with a series of peels (which is very different from a laser treatment) that exfoliate surface cells to leave skin brighter and clearer and also help reduce necklines and large pores. Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment ($162, nordstrom.com) comes with four ampoules, each delivering increasingly higher concentrations of hydroxy acids that you apply nightly for a month. "Gradually stepping up the power of the peel helps to minimize sensitivity," says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a dermatologic surgeon in New York City. You can also zero in on a different issue every week: Each of the four serums that come in the StriVectin Skin Reset 4-Week Intensive Rejuvenation System ($139, ulta.com) contains a completely different formula, from the antioxidant-packed barrier-repair blend in week one to the peptide-packed wrinkle fighter in week four.
Washing your hair is the lowest of our beauty priorities in winter. (It's cold! And dry shampoo works wonders.) But when you don't shampoo regularly, your hair loses its bounce and shine, says celebrity hairstylist Joseph Maine, "plus, your styling products and leave-in treatments don't work as effectively." To give your hair the deep clean it needs, reach for one of the latest detox shampoos, like Color Wow Color Security Shampoo ($22, dermstrore.com) and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo ($28, ulta.com). Old-school clarifying shampoos can be drying and make strands rough and tangled, but these silicone- and sulfate-free formulas use gentle but effective sulfites to lift buildup within a few washes and bring back movement and glossiness. Want to deep clean your scalp specifically? Massage a scalp scrub into your roots before you shampoo (we like the elastin protein– and marine mineral–rich Nexxus Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub, $15, target.com). One more beneficial move: Book a haircut. "Even a trim that gets rid of split ends will make hair much shinier and more manageable," says TreSemmé celebrity hairstylist John D. (Related: Alexa Chung on Skin Care, Workouts, and the Haircut She's Dying to Get)
Other products we love are the Sauce Beauty Coconut Cream Intense Repair conditioner ($10, amazon.com) for dry strands, Biolage R.A.W. Scalp Care Rebalance Conditioner ($25, ulta.com) for moisture without greasiness, and SheaMoisture Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Hair Mud ($12, ulta.com) to balance and condition. (Also, this shampoo is definitely worth the money if you want longer hair.)
First, while your usual makeup is on, stand next to a window with a hand mirror and do a skin-tone check. Is your face a different color from your neck? If so, then your foundation shade, which may have matched your summertime skin tone, is no longer a fit. "To find your correct hue, swipe foundation swatches on the center of your neck. If a shade blends in with the skin there, it will look natural on your face," says Dior makeup artist and brand ambassador Daniel Martin, who uses his fingers to smooth a liquid foundation all over and then taps it in with a sponge. "This melds the formula into the skin so it looks completely seamless and real," he says. Because you're most likely wearing a lighter foundation shade than before, you may miss the warmth your skin had. "Remedy that with a bit of bronzer on the perimeter of your face," Martin says. (Related: The Best Mattifying Foundations, Tinted Moisturizers, and BB Creams for a Filter-like Finish)
Then, as a final update for the new season, swipe on a metallic eye shadow. "I love a cobalt blue," Martin says. "It acts like an accessory, adding a cool pop of color to an otherwise neutral face." Two of our favorite beauty products: Stila Shade Mystère Liquid Eye Shadow in Mythical ($24, sephora.com) and Diorskin Forever Fluid Foundation Glow ($52, sephora.com).