New year, new you—except, to be honest, you’re feeling kind of… tired. Which isn’t surprising, considering the month of December is full of cheer, but also constant holiday parties, family gatherings, and cold, blustery temps. In other words, not exactly a relaxing time for you—or your skin. If you’re entering 2018 with a dull, tired complexion, it might be time to consider a detox.
Luckily, no juicing is involved—just some key skincare products and a pot of boiling water (we’ll explain). Your skin will emerge from this seven-step program feeling refreshed and renewed—like it just spent a week at a Gwyneth-approved spa retreat (well, maybe not quite on that level but close). Ready to reset your skin and go back to your former glowy, er, glory days? Keep scrolling to find out exactly how to detox your skin after a party-filled month (or year—no judgment).
Step 1: Double-Cleanse
The first step to recovery? Starting with a clean slate. All that contouring, defining, and blending you did over the holiday break was great for your makeup technique—not so great for your skin. To make sure you’re cleansing your skin thoroughly and starting your detox correctly, make sure you are double-cleansing. Use an oil-based cleanser (we’re obsessed with Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48) first to melt off oil-based makeup residue, then your normal (hopefully sulfate-free) cleanser afterward. Cleansing your face twice might seem excessive (not to mention time-consuming), but it’s vital to a clear complexion—trust.
Step 2: Exfoliate (Gently)
To bring back your baby-soft skin, use a gentle exfoliator like a konjac sponge a few days a week while cleansing. This will help your cleanser do its job and help buff away dead skin cells. Avoid any harsh, grainy exfoliators in the first week—they’ll only irritate your already aggravated (and most likely dry) skin.
Step 3: Peel Away
If you’re a pro at peels, feel free to jump right back to your favorite at-home product (just don’t overdo it—stick to using it only once or twice a week at first). If you’re a peel newbie, now is the perfect time to introduce a gentle peel into your routine. Try something with fruit acids, like Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel ($85) or Rodial Glamoxy Fruit Acid Exfoliating Pads ($60)—both will leave your skin soft, balanced, and radiant, without any irritation.
Step 4: Steam Your Face
During your skin detox, it’s full steam ahead—literally. A DIY facial steam treats your pores, while also releasing toxins, dirt, and debris. Plus, the products you apply afterward will penetrate much deeper. Here’s exactly how to do give yourself an all-natural facial steam—be prepared for the post-steam glow.
Step 5: Mask It
A mask is an ultimate indulgence for your face, and it’s the closest thing you can get to a spa treatment at home. Depending on your skin needs, you’ll either want an oil-balancing clay-based mask or a super-hydrating moisturizing mask. Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack ($22) is a one-size-fits-all, helping detoxify and draw out excess oil and impurities without over-drying. Other non-drying detoxing masks we love include Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask ($55), African Botanics Marula Mineral Cleansing Mask ($85), Circcell Geothermal Clay Cleanser ($40), and CosMedix Clear ($42).
Step 6: Let Your Skin Breathe
Just breathe—the slogan for Nike’s imaginary sister yoga brand but also a mindset you should apply to your skin. After a month of heavy makeup, it’s time to give your skin a break. Forgo your favorite foundation and let your skin breathe for a day (or more, preferably). A light moisturizer, like Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer ($28) will seal in all your work in the previous steps without clogging your pores. If you must insist on some type of coverage, opt for an oil-free tinted moisturizer, like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($46).
Step 7: Don't Forget Your Diet
Glowing, radiant skin starts from within—which is why you should also consider forgoing some trigger foods like dairy, sugar, and coffee during your skin detox. (Our editor went three whole weeks without coffee—you can read her experience right here.)
The road to recovery isn’t easy—but we think you’ll do just fine (and your skin will thank you). You can read about our three-day skin cleanse journey for some inspiration.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.