We omit things from our diets all the time, but have you ever considered a skincare detox?

Unless you are a die-hard clean beauty advocate (like Germaine!), I’m guessing there are still plenty of chemicals in the products you use every day. It smells like a rotten ham sandwich and burns your skin, so must be doing something!

I admit to sitting on both sides of the fence. I imagine myself as an informed, modern beauty product consumer/blogger, who would rather not slather a byproduct of petroleum or hormone disruptors on my face, thank you very much.

On the other hand, there’s science and those alluring medical-grade products that you desire, regardless of questionable ingredients—if studies show that they appear to work.

clean beauty

Lounging with my exfoliating mask and coffee, of course.

The idea of a dedicated skincare detox occurred to me twice in 2020.

I gave up all chemical skincare for five days in both February and September while already undergoing a super woo-woo, doctor-certified nutritional mail-order detox.

The Detox 
Sakara Level II Detox is a plant-based mail-order meal program that’s both a commitment and an investment. Essentially, a luxury detox. I committed to the first one pre-pandemic (and slap dab in the middle of a Mardi Gras parade weekend, but I did it!) and then repeated the same program in the fall.

The latter was a last-ditch effort to feel human again amidst the ever-lingering, quarantine-15, wine-guzzling, freaking global pandemic. (Hello, still here!)

I sailed through the springtime detox with added support of my fellow-detoxing friend (key, highly advise), but the second one?

Whew. Horrible headaches. It was a full six months into the corona-craziness and my body apparently needed purging.

“Even if you’ve completed other cleanses in the past, your body is always changing and has completely new toxins, emotions, and stressors to work through,” noted Taylor, my Sakara detox concierge via email. “So do not be surprised by varying challenges and victories!”

It was like having the couch-ridden detox flu (dare I say “virus”) for at least four days.

Beauty + the Booze
Before we talk skincare, lemme tell you that giving up alcohol for five days on a detox is the absolute easiest part. Just hide and hibernate, 2020 style, and keep the Netflix rolling 24/7.

The absence of caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar and alcohol altogether, however, is another story.

Giving up booze alone for a long weekend is not gonna be your problem!

Detox = Skin Glow
Completing a cleanse or detox program has a fabulous side effect:  glowing skin! So why then allow topical chemicals into your bloodstream through your skincare while making such an arduous effort to flush out six months of bad habits?

That’s why I went all in, embarking on my own full-blown DIY skincare detox each time: multi-step skincare regimens for five days but all clean.

For me, that meant no SkinCeuticals or other medispa brands and only transparent ingredient skincare from Whole Foods, Sephora and direct from independent clean beauty brands.

I still teeter on that fence, but have steadily incorporated more and more natural skincare into my basket of beauty tricks and preferred potions.

Here’s my culled list of my favorite clean beauty buys going into 2021. 



Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening Exfoliating Mask

My desert island skincare pick, hands down. It’s a deep-cleaning exfoliating mask that polishes while also fighting pigmentation with the natural power of turmeric. I use it at least once a week.
Sephora or buy direct from Kora Organics.

Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Superfood Cleanser

I love the idea of antioxidants in a gentle cleanser. It’s like washing your face with an organic green salad! I pump a little on my Make-Up Eraser cloth to do a double-cleansing duty.
Sephora or youthtothepeople.com

clean beauty


So many Vitamin Cs!

No way can I pick just one Vitamin C (see 6 serum picks), but a few go-tos for clean beauty:
Kora Organics Noni Bright for superfood meets supermodel status.
Beautycounter Counter + All Brite C Serum gets bonus points for brightening turmeric.
Youth to the People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum is my current morning fave for depuffing.



Ghost Democracy Floodgate Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I discovered Ghost Democracy while looking for a more gentle, reasonably priced Vitamin C and fell for this guy in the indie clean skincare line. Can’t say I was always religious about using a pre-moisturizer booster to help hydrate, but I am now! It’s more of a pleasure than a burden adding that extra step. Use after Vit C serum and before your moisturizer.

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

I’m never really sold on a moisturizer and often forget to use one! This one got me hook, line and sinker for an all-in-one hyaluronic acid moisturizer. Ah, it has that same fresh, leafy feeling and aroma that’s light and loaded with antioxidants.
Sephora or Youthtothepeople.com
Superfood Air-whip

Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

Is crepey skin actually happening now?! After exfoliating, your skin is thirsty! I’m quenching mine daily with Weleda Skin Food Body Butter, an intensely moisturizing whipped lotion that melts into your skin.
Whole Foods or Amazon
clean beauty

EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Face Sunscreen

Buyers beware: other Elta sunscreens are chemical and contain the scary stuff, but this particular tinted moisturizer is a physical sunblock with zinc oxide. It may not be the cleanest sunscreen on the market, but this is my grab-and-go when sun exposure is inevitable.
Blackledge Face Center or Amazon.

Note: No commissions were collected through sales from links in this post.