The Best of the Best Natural Ingredients to Detox Skin

By Dana Poblete
Masks
credit: LEAFtv

Oil, dirt, sweat, dead skin, blackheads, environmental toxins—these are the impurities that could be clogging your pores, like, right now. And not only does that mean breakouts and a dull complexion, but also that the expensive products you might be using to try to treat skin issues probably aren't absorbing well enough to do their thing.

If you aren't already masking at least once a week to give pores a deep clean, time to get on that. It makes all the difference in skin being dull and bumpy or vibrant and clear. Your choice. Luckily, there's no shortage of natural ingredients that can cleanse and clarify like magic. Here are the mega all-stars of detoxifying skin care.

Rhassoul Clay

French pink clay and bentonite clay seem to get all the glory. But rhassoul clay, sourced exclusively from beneath the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, has been a staple among women of that region for centuries. Like bentonite clay, it works thanks to its negative electrons that attract and absorb positively charged dirt and toxins. Once all the bad stuff is out, the clay replenishes skin with its unique blend of nourishing minerals like silica, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. Try it in Root Science's Reborn face mask.

White Kaolin Clay

This one's for the sensitive types. Ever-so-gentle white kaolin is ideal for those who need just a mild detox without irritating or parching temperamental or dry skin. It's super softening and stimulates circulation, imparting a gorgeous glow. I mean, this stuff is also used in making porcelain and fine china, which gives you a visual idea of the purity of this clay. For the simplest, most delicate way to use it, combine white kaolin clay powder with water to make a paste, smooth it onto your face, and rinse off after five to 10 minutes.

Seaweed and Sea Algae

There's a reason why people are crazy for thalassotherapy (from the Greek word meaning "sea therapy") in Europe. Seaweed and sea algae purify the ocean, and it can do the same for skin. These marine plants boast chlorophyll and minerals, known to have detoxifying properties, and they're among the richest sources of iodine, a mineral that can help purge environmental toxins. Their antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids are also great for boosting hydration and skin elasticity. Seaweed extracts combined with kaolin clay in Alba Botanica's Even Advanced Deep Sea Facial Mask tighten and brighten your complexion like no other.

Activated Charcoal

Appearing in everything from masks to lemonade, activated charcoal has been a star of skin and body detoxification for a while now. In fact, hospitals have used it in the emergency room for a long time to treat certain types of poisoning. It works by attracting positively charged toxins with its own negative charge and then trapping them in its tiny pores. Wash the charcoal away and the toxins go right along with it. Pretty cool, right? However, please don't walk over to a grill and start rubbing burnt charcoal on your face. Purchase activated charcoal that's specifically for ingesting, or in products like Kani Botanicals Black Magic Charcoal Detox Mask.

Sea Salt

Ever emerge from a swim in the ocean feeling like your skin is softer and plumper? That's cause salt water is naturally exfoliating, and one study even found that soaking in sea salt could strengthen the skin's moisture barrier, which keeps dirt and impurities from penetrating the pores. Not to mention the wealth of minerals sea salt reintroduces to your skin. Harness its healing power with Kypris Deep Forest Clay. Fresh mermaid skin: check!