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Cleanses, Protocols and Detox, Supplements

A Cleanse for Clear Skin

The most amazing thing about skin is its ability to reflect what is going on inside of the body. Most of the time it shows us something about ourselves that we didn’t even know was an issue. In this way, the skin is one the best predictors and indicators of health, giving us clues to how well our body is functioning. The skin uses a wide array of signs to tell us something is not right. From eczema and psoriasis, to acne and hives, the skin alerts us, tells us to pay attention to our systems and how we are treating it. In this way, the skin is a highly complex organ, reflecting the health of the system as a whole, in addition to the individual organs that make it up. That is why having a skin issue is often hard to resolve, especially when you are trying to treat it without looking beneath the skin. For example, your nagging eczema could be the result of an underlying food allergy and your chronic acne could be due to a hormone imbalance. No matter how many skin creams you try, or facial peels, the skin condition does not heal. Therefore, with this perspective in mind – that we must treat the inside in order to heal the outside – I have built a cleanse for clear skin. The beauty of this cleanse for clear skin not only gives you the outward appearance that you want, but it does it by giving you the inward health you deserve.

The cleanse for clear skin can be followed by anyone looking to address their skin issues. It is a safe and easy cleanse that utilizes the power of nutrition to clear the body of toxins that aggravate your skin, and to replenish the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats that are essential for clear, even toned, supple and glowing skin. It works by focusing on the main root factors that contribute to the outward expression of clear skin. If you currently suffer from a skin condition, then this cleanse is for you.

The following skin conditions can benefit from this cleanse for clear skin:

  • Acne
  • Acne Rosacea
  • Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Certain cases of urticaria (hives) and seborrheic dermatitis
  • Dull, dry skin

*note: always consult with your physician before changing your diet or supplement regime. This is not intended to be used for diagnosis and treatment, or a substitute for professional medical advice.

cleanse for clear skin, health naturally acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis

Photo Credit: Morre Christopher

 

The Main Pillars of the Cleanse for Clear Skin

1. Improve Digestion and Elimination

The first place to begin is the digestive system. The digestive system is master because it is in charge of extracting valuable nutrients from our food, those that will be essential to the health of all organs including the skin. It is known that certain vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, C, E and D, the mineral zinc, and essential fatty acids (healthy fats) are key players in skin health. Without proper digestion, even a healthy diet rich in these key nutrients can lead to nutrient deficiencies due to the inability to absorb them. These deficiencies can then lead to poor skin health.

The second reason that improving digestion is an essential part to the cleanse for clear skin is for the purpose of reducing toxin load. When we do not digest and eliminate our food properly, it creates a toxic buildup in the body system. As a result, these toxins overwhelm the other detoxification organs such as the liver, and circulate in the body causing an immune burden, high levels of inflammation, and thus skin disorders.

The goal of the cleanse for clear skin is to improve the ability to digest food properly and to ensure complete and thorough elimination. This will be done in part with diet (which will follow) and with supplementation. The reason we are going to include supplementation is that in most cases where skin conditions exist, the digestive system has become impaired to a point where therapeutic intervention is needed. In these cases, often a diet modification is not alone enough to cause a complete healing. Supplements are a highly effective, natural and efficient way to elicit change and healing.

Supplements

The following supplements are going to be used in the cleanse for clear skin. Each supplement is an important part of improving digestion, increasing nutritional status and clearing toxins from the body. Each of which is imperative for clear healthy skin.

HCL (Hydrochloric Acid): HCL is a natural acid that is released by the stomach. It is used to digest mainly proteins and to eliminate any harmful substances that may have been ingested. A decline in HCL levels occurs with age, as well as stress, antacid use, chronic inflammation, overeating and poor diet. Most of us are HCL deficient and can benefit from supplementation. A lack of HCL (hypochlorhydria) causes a wide range of digestive issues, and contributes to disease and skin conditions including acne rosacea, acne, chronic urticaria, dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Recommendations: HCL by Premier Research Labs

*Note: if you suffer from ulcers or acid reflux, do not take HCL. In this case, please take the supplement GastroVen as a replacement. Once taking GastroVen for 4 weeks or longer, it may be possible to start adding in a small dose of HCL with meals.

**always take HCL with a meal and with adequate water. If not, a small burning sensation may occur.

Triphala: Triphala is an ancient formula from the Ayurvedic and Vedic tradition. Triphala is a gentle, nourishing blend of the three fruits amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. It is primarily used to cleanse and support the entire GI tract, improving digestion, elimination, and assimilation of nutrients. It is also a natural source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. I love using this formula on a cleanse to promote normal bowel movements. Unlike other formulas, Triphala encourages a complete and full daily bowel movement and helps to relieve constipation without cramps, pain, indigestion or loose stools.

Recommendation: Triphala by Organic India

Probiotic: Probiotics are used to create a healthy bacteria environment in your gut. The bacteria in your digestive system fight off bad bacteria. Bad bacteria in the gut can cause inflammation, poor digestion, the development of toxins, and can suppress the immune system. Bacteria imbalance (having more bad bacteria than good) has also been shown to alter hormones, thus potentially playing a role in hormone-related skin conditions. In addition, the healthy bacteria in your gut also helps to digest and absorb food, and synthesizes vitamins as well. Probiotics are an effective way to quickly restore health to the gut and to the skin.

Recommendation: Probiotics by Dr. Ohhira’s

Note: If constipation continues after three days while on program, consider using an enema or colonic for relief

*In some cases where digestion does not improve with supplements and a change in diet, it could be due to leaky gut. Leaky gut (intestinal permeability) is a leading cause of certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and acne rosacea. In order to address leaky gut, please refer to my Intestinal Cleanse for Leaky Gut. I would suggest following the leaky gut protocol after the completion of the cleanse for clear skin.

 

cleanse for clear skin, health naturally acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis

Photo Credit: Tamara Bellis

 

2. The Cleanse for Clear Skin Diet

The main goal of the clear skin diet is to only consume foods that provide valuable nutrients that will improve the health of the skin. That includes foods that are alkalizing, low in sugar and anti-inflammatory, and foods that are rich in the key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats, which are known to promote healthy skin. This diet also aims to eliminate all foods that are inflammatory, hard to digest, high in chemical toxins and preservatives, and those that irritate the digestive process and thereby the skin.

A large portion of the foods that will be eliminated while on the cleanse for clear skin are those that many people have food sensitivities to. These include soy, gluten and dairy. While not true food allergies, these foods can still be very irritating to the body system, causing high levels of inflammation and an immune response. As a result, eating these foods can lead to a host of symptoms (many of which we never connect to the food that we are eating) such as migraines, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, arthritis, constipation, eczema, acne and psoriasis. The simple act of eliminating this foods can quickly bring relief, and long-term symptom resolution. Since the elimination of these foods will only last the duration of the cleanse, I highly recommend that you consider following the Food Elimination Diet afterwards to determine if your skin condition is a direct result of a food sensitivity.

You will be including a Radiant Skin Smoothie into your daily routine while on the cleanse. The Radiant Skin Smoothie includes the vital nutrients needed for healthy skin. By drinking one smoothie daily, you will more easily get the nutrition you need to lower inflammation, balance blood sugar and improve the condition of your skin. The recipe for the smoothie will be found below. I have also compiled a list of healthy recipes to choose from while on the cleanse for clear skin. By following these recipes it will help you stick to the guidelines of the cleanse and enjoy your new diet as well!

The Nutrients Essential for Clear Skin

The following nutrients are going to be essential for clear skin. The clear skin diet with provide these nutrients, so make sure to eat up!

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D (received from sunshine, egg yolks, salmon)
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Antioxidants
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA/DHA)
cleanse for clear skin, health naturally acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis

Photo Credit: Tim Gouw

 

3. Hormone Imbalance + Adrenal Stress

It is amazing how much our hormones play a role in the condition of our skin. Case and proof: puberty. Hormones, in particular our stress hormones and testosterone, are a huge factor in skin health, especially if you suffer from acne. If your hormones are out of balance whether it is from coming off birth control, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), birth control pills, hormone replacement, steroids, or just plain old stress and a poor diet, the skin can suffer.

Acne is considered to be an androgen-dependent condition, and androgen excess (too much of a certain androgen hormone) is associated with more severe forms of acne. Androgens include testosterone, androstenedione, DHT and DHEA. Androgens control sebaceous gland secretion, which is the secretion of an oily, waxy matter at the root of acne breakouts. An example of what happens to the skin when testosterone is out of whack is upper back acne. This is a common issue that occurs when women come off birth control. Once the testosterone comes back into balance the acne clears. That is why we are going to focus on balancing the hormones, and reducing stress as part of the cleanse for clear skin. Using supplements, the cleanse diet (which includes eliminating hormone stressful foods, soy and non-organic animal products), and reducing stress, we are going to address the hormones and promote healthy skin.

*To learn more about coming off birth control pills refer to my post here

Supplements

Maca: maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root indigenous to the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, renown for its adaptogenic capabilities. Maca helps to balance the hormones naturally, by helping the body to adapt to stress, and lowering hormones that are too high, and raising hormones that are too low. Maca, specifically the concentration of maca found in the supplement below is one of the best ways to deal with acne related to hormone imbalance or hormone swings.

Recommendation: Femmenessence MacaHarmony (for fertile women), MacaLife (peri-menopause), MacaPause (menopause +) or Macalibrium (for men)

DIM (diindolylmethane): DIM is a compound that is naturally found in cruciferous vegetables that helps to detoxify estrogen in the body. It has been shown to favor the production of protective estrogens and reduce bad estrogens. DIM lowers your excess estrogen. I particularly love using a product called DIM Detox, which in addition to the DIM, also contains nutrients to support liver detoxification. The liver is an important part of skin health because it is our prime detoxification organ and plays a role in hormone production and balance. The cleaner and the healthier the liver, the better skin health.

Recommendation: DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations 

*If you have a hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids consult with your MD before taking DIM. It might be contraindicated.

Stress Reduction Techniques

If you haven’t heard it before, reducing stress is imperative to good health. More and more research is uncovering just how damaging stress can be to our body, and it can be a root cause of your skin outbreaks. Making a conscious effort to reduce stress is necessary to getting the clear skin you desire. Choose one or more of the following techniques to reduce stress. This is not going to happen overnight, so start small and keep at it.

Techniques for Reducing Stress:

  • meditation
  • pranayama
  • walking in nature
  • yoga
  • journaling
  • reading self-help/motivational books
cleanse for clear skin, health naturally acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis

Photo Credit: Jacob Morrison

 

4. Dehydration – Get Hydrated!

One of the most profound moments that demonstrated how critical hydration is to the health and appearance of the skin was when my grandmother was in the hospital and was hooked up to IV hydration. My grandmother is almost 90 years old, and while a picture a health, her one shortcoming is drinking water. She is always dehydrated, and never has a desire to drink water. As a result, her skin is always dry and a little sunken. When I came in to visit her, hooked up to the IV and all, how her appearance astounded me! Her skin had transformed. It was like she went back in time 20 years, skin plump, wrinkles subsiding and her skin glowing. And all it took was water.

Water is not only vital to plumping up our skin, but it is the conduit from which toxins can be released and flushed from the body. Without water, the body is never going to function properly. So even if you did nothing other than increase your water intake while on this cleanse, you would see results. This is NOT a step to brush aside. This is THE basis of skin health and achieving the appearance you are dreaming of.

So how much water should you be drinking? Glad you asked. I have put together a water calculator that will tell you EXACTLY how much water you should be drinking daily based on your weight.

Head on over to the water calculator.

Once you determine how much water you should be drinking a day, stick to it. This is a very important part of the cleanse.

Also, another huge part of increasing hydration is decreasing the amount of dehydrating beverages that you are drinking. Coffee and soda are main culprits. This, among other reasons is why coffee and soda are things to avoid while on the cleanse. If you do slip and have a cup of coffee, make sure to drink 12 oz. (about 1 large glass or small water bottle) of water to follow. Great ways to get off coffee is to replace it with either Matcha green tea or Teeccino (herbal coffee – tastes so much like coffee!). These are my two go-tos that have always proven successful in getting off of coffee.

water-hydrating-cleanse-for-clear-skin naturally acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea

 

5. Natural, Non-toxic Skin Care + Treatment

Now I know we’ve reviewed a lot of information that focuses on the internal methods for improving the skin, but now we are going to address the external. Finally.

Did you know that most of all the skin care products that we use contain harmful chemicals? These chemicals have been linked to fertility issues, cancer and organ toxicity. In addition, many have be found to be irritating to the skin, being the main culprit for rashes, irritations and eczema-like breakouts. For these reasons, switching to non-toxic, chemical-free skin care products is part of the cleanse for clear skin. Without proper skin care products, the cleanse would not be complete.

Before you dismiss this part of the cleanse, convinced that no natural skin care product can work like your $100 bottle of Chanel serum, let me prove to you otherwise. The skin care industry has heard our call and has started making unbelievably safe, natural and effective skin care products. There are countless brands out there to choose from, but here are my top recommendations that I have found highly effective. You can also learn more about why you should make the switch to natural skin care and what to avoid in my article “Chemical-free Skincare.”

For acne-prone skin: Eminence Clear Skin Starter Kit

For hormonal acne-prone skin: Eminence Eight Greens Starter Kit

For rosacea, eczema or psoriasis: Eminence Calm Skin Starter Kit

eminence clear skin acne best natural skin care products

Hydrating DIY mask

During the cleanse for clear skin treating yourself to a homemade luscious mask is a great way to work on improving your skin. I absolutely love making masks out of foods such as honey or avocado, putting it on and having a little at home spa night. It is amazing how the foods that heal us from the inside can also be so beneficial for calming the skin on the outside.

Grab a recipe for a DIY food-based mask here.

Apply a mask 1-2 times a week for optimal results.

Aloe Vera Spot Treatment

If you are suffering from an irritating skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema or a rash, using aloe vera gel during the cleanse is a great way to heal and treat the skin. Aloe vera is a tried and true natural treatment for the skin. Countless studies have proven its effectiveness, which is why we are going to use it instead of the usual harsh chemical-based treatments.

Purchase either a prepared Aloe Vera Gel or an aloe vera leaf. Apply the gel after washing, directly to the irritated site. Allow the gel to absorb in. Best used at night upon going to bed. Aloe can be used daily as needed.

Wear Sunscreen!

A tried and true rule for healthy skin is proper sun protection. That is why wearing sunscreen daily is an essential part of the cleanse for clear skin, and should be continued after completion. The important thing to note is that some sunscreens are quite toxic. Just like our skin care products, sunscreen also contains harmful, damaging chemicals that we want to avoid. Almost three-fourths of the products available offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone and parabens, known hormone disruptors. That is why it is so important to choose safe, but effective sunscreen. You will want to choose a sunscreen that has mineral-based protection such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide rather than oxybenzone.

My Favorite Body Sunscreen: Babo Botanicals Body Sunscreen

My Favorite Sunscreen Stick (face, ears): Babo Botanicals Sports Stick

My Favorite Moisturizer with Sunscreen: Tomato Day Cream SPF 16

*To learn more about sunscreen check out the EWG Sunscreen Guide

cleanse for clear skin naturally heal eczema, psoriasis, acne through diet and supplementation

Photo Credit: Arkady Lifshits

Products to Order

The following is a list of products needed to complete the 4 week cleanse for clear skin:

1 box Probiotics by Dr. Ohhira 60 caps

1 bottle Triphala by Organic India 90 cap

2 bottles HCL by Premier Research Labs 90 cap

1 box, choose from following: MacaHarmony (fertile women) MacaLife (peri-menopause) MacaPause (menopause +) or Macalibrium (men) 120 cap

1 bottle DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations 60 cap

Chosen non-toxic skin care products

supplements for a skin cleanse DIM hormone balance acne testosterone

 

Cleanse for Clear Skin Menu Plan

To help make your life a little easier, I have put together a sample menu plan for you to follow. You will quickly see how delicious eating healthy for your skin can be. Each meal was chosen for its unique nutrient-rich profile which helps to support healthy skin. 

diet for a skin cleanse

Photo Credit: The First Mess

Beverage Ideas

Sparking water with a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice concentrate

Filtered water with lemon or lime

Kombucha

Fresh vegetable juice

Kvass

Herbal Tea

Green Tea

Snack Ideas

Cucumber and hummus

Avocado and sea salt

Protein smoothie

Hard-boiled egg

Chia pudding

Almond yogurt with berries and hemp seeds

Roasted sweet potato chips

Kale chips

Food bar

Raw nuts/seeds and dried fruit

Gluten free roasted strawberry muffins

Lunch Ideas

Chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes

Cucumber noodles over watermelon

Shredded Brussels sprout salad with orange tahini sauce

Kale, beet and blueberry salad

Kale Caesar salad

Triple Radish noodle salad

Quinoa, sweet potato and apple salad

Grilled asparagus with pesto

Pumpkin black bean patties

Roasted sweet potato with avocado chimichurri

Sweet potato collard green burritos

Avocado and mango brown rice sushi

Strawberry avocado toast

Collard wraps with carrot hummus

Tomato zucchini frittata

Large salad with fresh vegetables, nuts/seeds, GF grain (quinoa, rice), beans, avocado, olives and healthy oil based dressing

Dinner Ideas

Zucchini pasta with pumpkin seeds and peaches

Sweet potato carrot dal

Coconut green soup with celery, kale and ginger

Leek, fennel, turmeric soup

Chickpea, sweet potato noodle soup

Lentil and Beet Borscht

Cream of broccoli and cashew soup

Grilled vegetable ratatouille

Wild mushroom and lentil burgers with cashew cheese (gf buns)

Bean bowls with poached eggs

One pot vegetable pasta

Cauliflower stuffed poblano peppers

Lemon pesto spaghetti squash

*When dining out, use this Healthy Eating Out Guide to ensure you stay on track

natural cleanse for clear skin acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea

Photo Credit: Roberta Sorge

Questions and Answers

What if I miss my supplement dosage?

If you miss the supplements to be taken on an empty stomach, then just take them before bedtime. If you miss DIM Detox, take at the next meal. If you miss Maca, wait until the next day. If you missed HCL, then just skip.

I feel a burning sensation…

If you feel a burning sensation at mealtime, it most likely means that you did not eat enough or drink enough water with your HCL supplement. Drink more water and eat a little snack to ease the burning. Remember to eat and drink more with the HCL supplement at the next meal. If burning still occurs, back down on dosage.

What if I do not eat breakfast?

Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day, helping to break the fast and to set you up for healthy food choices the rest of the day. I urge you to try to drink some of the Radiant Skin smoothie even if just half a cup or so. You can then drink the other half as a snack later. By not drinking the smoothie you are missing out on key nutrients needed for the cleanse. In addition, you increase your risk of causing low blood sugar which can be a cause of hormone imbalance and thus skin complications.

Can I still take the supplements after the cleanse is over?

Absolutely. All of the supplements chosen for this cleanse are incredibly beneficial to the body system overall. If you feel good on them, keep on taking them.

If I am taking other supplements, can I continue taking them while on the cleanse?

Yes. If you are taking a multivitamin, vitamin D and omega 3 (fish oil), all the better. These are great skin nutrients! I would just avoid taking any additional detoxification supplement while on the cleanse though.

I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I do this cleanse?

No. It is never recommended to cleanse the body while pregnant or breastfeeding.

My skin has gotten worse while on the cleanse, what am I doing wrong?

Most likely nothing. In some cases the body purges toxins while on a cleanse resulting in what appears worse skin. This is part of the process. Or it could be that the body is finding its way back into balance in regards to hormones. This can take a little time. Be patient and stick with it! It will clear up and be better than before.

I am feeling too energized and can’t sleep. What should I do?

If this occurs it is quite possible that the maca is too strong for you. While not a stimulant, it can help your body to naturally increase its energy. I would back down to 1 capsule a day and take it first thing in the morning.

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply Adriana February 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve taken DIM detox with great success. When trying to order my next bottle, I can only find the DIM Pro Supplement by Pure Encapsulations. They are out of stock of the DIM detox. Could you explain the difference, and would the DIM Pro help with acne? Thanks

  • Reply Katie August 27, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Can you recommend a good alternative to the DIM Detox, it’s out of stock on Amazon.

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale September 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Katie, just checked and it will be in stock Sept. 8th. My best suggestion would be to wait until then (besides, it’s Labor day weekend, no time to start a cleanse 🙂 ). The combination of liver detoxifying herbs with the DIM is unique to this product so there is not any perfect alternative. Can you wait until then?

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