Whether you’re dealing with ‘iso skin’ or simply feeling a little imbalanced after the sedentary winter months, a gentle spring cleanse is the perfect way to bring your body and complexion back into balance...
The skin is a good barometer of imbalance within the body’s systems. In fact, it's often described as the third kidney or the second liver—if any of your elimination organs are overloaded and under-functioning, your skin picks up the slack by pushing waste and toxins out through your skin cells. This is a common cause underlying many skin conditions, but by assisting the body’s natural cleansing processes, you can enjoy smooth, calm and supple skin once again.
Fortunately for us, spring brings with it an abundance of cleansing fare—from sulphur-rich veggies like broccoli, leeks and cabbage, to beans, peas and young bitter greens like dandelion. There are plenty of other cleansing foods too, such as cucumbers, radishes and daikon. And of course, we can't forget CLEANSE Inner Beauty Essential, The Beauty Chef's very own comprehensive super-greens supplement, designed to help detox and purify your body. The alkalising blend features more than 35 nutrient-rich ingredients like leafy greens, algae, grasses and traditional liver-cleansing herbs. It also contains enough natural probiotic power to support the cleansing of the liver and internal organs, as well as a super-blast of digestive enzymes to help balance gut health.
While an intensive cleanse is best customised to the individual and done under the guidance of a health practitioner, these simple tips will help you boost your glow from the comfort of your own home...
1. Ditch the junk
Reduce your consumption and exposure to processed and packaged foods, sugar, alcohol, white flour-based products, cigarettes and smoke as well as chlorinated water.
2. Eat fresh
Eat a wide variety of seasonal, wholefoods. Where possible, Certified Organic is best, as is making your own ingredients, such as sauces, from scratch. The best way to do this is to prepare for the week ahead. Make fresh pestos, hummus, stews, sauces, spring veggie soup and chicken broth. Making large batches means you can freeze for convenience. Keep a cooked organic chicken and cooked quinoa in the fridge to add to salads for lunch alongside fresh nuts, hummus, carrot sticks and celery sticks.
3. Love your liver
Assist the liver’s detoxification process to ensure that toxins from chemicals, hormones, pathogens and allergenic food substances (such as salicylate, histamines, amines, sulphites and glutamates) are neutralised, mopped up and eliminated from the body. You can do this by eating a nutrient-dense, wholefood diet. Foods that are especially helpful in supporting the liver include broccoli, beetroot, fennel, bitter greens, kale, barley grass, rosemary, St Mary’s thistle and dandelion.
4. Reduce irritating foods
Avoid common skin and gut irritants, including gluten and unfermented dairy. Opt for freshly made almond or coconut milk and try eating live sprouted seed breads. They're lovely when toasted with avocado, hummus and pesto.
5. Choose quality protein
Your body needs high-quality protein to help it detoxify and repair. Good sources include organic nuts and seeds, tempeh, organic eggs, fish (avoid high mercury-containing fish), organic chicken and red meat once a week, if desired. If you eat red meat, opt for pasture-raised grass-fed meat which is rich in anti-inflammatory fats.
6. Eat lacto-fermented foods
Eat lacto-fermented foods, and food rich in prebiotics and probiotics. The fermentation process provides beneficial prebiotics and probiotics that support the detoxification and elimination pathways of the body in a number of ways. Research is constantly discovering new roles and benefits of the beneficial bacteria that naturally reside in our gut. All of The Beauty Chef's products are rich in bio-fermented goodness and brimming with good bacteria.
7. Bulk up on fibre
Fibre cleanses the bowel and helps boost digestive health, and therefore, skin health. Foods rich in fibre include leafy greens, berries, chia seeds, avocados, coconuts, artichokes, peas, okra, Brussel sprouts and beans (soaked to ensure they're more gentle on your gut). These foods support the body's natural cleansing process and help to remove toxins so they're not reabsorbed back into the bloodstream.
8. Start with lemon
Begin your day with lemon juice squeezed into a glass of water. If possible, invest in a good filter to remove chlorine, ammonia, particulate matter, heavy metals, sediment and herbicides and pesticides from your water. There are many disinfectants put into our tap water to remove pathogenic bacteria and algae, however, our body becomes the filter of these disinfectants and other impurities if we don’t filter them first.
9. Detox with exercise and body brushing
Regular, moderate exercise and dry body brushing both support the body's lymphatic system and detoxification process. Dry body brushing is a very effective way to improve lymphatic flow, eliminate toxins and help reduce cellulite. Brush in the morning, before you shower, using a light amount of pressure until you adjust to the bristles. Starting with the soles of your feet, use swift upward strokes and brush from the feet, up the legs, working towards your heart. Once you’ve covered your lower body, move to your hands and work up your arms toward your heart. Next, brush your back. Lastly work on your abdomen (moving in a clockwise direction to follow the movement of the colon), chest and neck. Brush for around 2-3 minutes, until your skin is rosy and slightly tingly.
When it comes to working out, there's a class online for everyone. Why not bookmark some workout videos on Instagram and be ready to move whenever you get five minutes to spare?
10. Clean up your skincare routine
What we put onto our skin can find its way into our body and our liver, which is why it is important to lighten your toxic load with clean skincare and personal care products. Products that have a Certified Organic logo are the kindest choice for your body.
Note: The signs of toxicity listed above may be signs of other medical problems, however, they're often your body’s way of signalling to you that it needs some cleansing from the inside out. For those with serious medical issues, a cleanse is always best done under the guidance of your health practitioner.