Beauty Solutions: Easy Beauty Detox for 2009

by Sonja on January 8, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new! It’s time to detox and spruce up for 2009 by sloughing off flaky, dry, dead, damaged skin cells (blech). A wonderfully easy way to make skin more youthful and healthy is to exfoliate. It’s especially good this time of year when skin gets dried out by moisture-sapping cold weather and dry, indoor heating. And surprise, surprise! Did you know that it helps you detox and improve your overall health?

You don’t have to do anything fancy, just grab an exfoliant for your face and one for your body and make sure to use them regularly. Here’s more information about the benefits, some experts tips for improving the health and beauty of your skin, and a list of excellent products to try.


Detox. I recently chatted with Kathy Nelsen, Director of Spa Services for Joie De Vivre Hospitality. She told me something that I found to be fascinating: exfoliating detoxes. It does more than make skin look great, it improves our health. By sloughing off dead skin cells, we help skin rid itself of toxins absorbed from the environment and pollutants that clog pores. As we help the skin function better and “breathe,” the entire body is better able to eliminate the gunk that builds up.
Moisture. As we usher out the bad stuff, we make it easier for the good stuff to get in. Hydrating moisturizers can penetrate better so they can be more effective. They’re not just sitting on a stifling barrier of dead skin.
Glow. By exfoliating, we also reveal brighter, healthier skin and encourage the regeneration of new cells, which slows down as we age. It also helps smooth away discoloration and fine lines from sun damage.

Spa Treatments and At-Home Care

For a special treat and professional care, head to a spa, like Kabuki Springs & Spa, for a facial and body polish. But exfoliation isn’t something you do every so often. It needs to be done regularly so get some goods to use at home.

How Often

If you have oily skin, exfoliate four to five times a week. If you have dry or sensitive skin, opt for one or two times a week. I have combination skin so I exfoliate about three times a week. These are general rules though. Products can vary greatly so be sure to check the label. Also keep in mind that it’s good to exfoliate more often in warmer months when we sweat more and when skin produces more oil. Of course, most of us aren’t sweating much this time of year so you can just file away that last bit of information for later.

Don’t Overdo It

Have you noticed the number of exfoliating products these days? It seems like everyone wants to scrub away the past. In our excitement for brighter skin, it’s easy to go overboard and create more problems than we started with. For example, it’s especially important to exfoliate overactive oily skin, because oil makes it harder for dead skin cells to escape and pores get clogged. But it’s easy to aggravate sensitive, inflamed pimples. Overexfoliating can also dry out the skin, causing it to produce even more oil in oily skin so go easy.


When exfoliating the delicate skin on the face, use something that is gentle yet highly effective. Here are some exfoliants that I’ve found to be wonderful.

Non-Abrasive Scrub
Mario Badescu Almond and Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub. Mario Badescu has so many great ways to exfoliate that I’m including three on my list of recommendations. This one is great for all skin types. It naturally buffs with finely ground almonds and cornmeal. It also moisturizes with honey extract. This stuff leaves my face soft as a baby’s butt. This also doubles as a mask so it’s a beauty bargain. $15.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Face Wash is good for all skin types but especially good for oily, congested skin. It deep cleans with glycolic acid instead of scrubby grains, which can aggravate blemishes. It also contains soothing herbal extracts. I like to use this on lazy days, because it cleanses and exfoliates in one easy step. $15.

Gentle Polishing
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. This elegant, eco-chic, award-winning cleanser is a concentrated cream that you use with a soft muslin cloth to cleanse and gently polish. It removes stubborn eye makeup and smells soooo good with its eucalyptus essential oil, which leaves my skin feeling wonderfully cool and refreshed. $24.50 for a starter pack that includes the cleanser and two muslin cloths.

Salt for Your Lips
The Lip Scrub. Give your lips some love. I’m guilty of licking my lips way too much. This causes moisture to evaporate. Combine this with winter and I’ve got some dry, flaky lips. Fortunately, Sara Happ has created a fabulous scrub just for lips that does an amazing job. It’s basically a sugar scrub. But she’s come up with the perfect formula. Try it. You’ll love it. $24.


Skin on your body is thicker so it’s okay to be more aggressive. But don’t get crazy, ladies. No need to rub yourself raw. Kathy reminds us to tend to the upper chest, or décolleté. She says this area ages quickly, because it’s exposed to the sun more. But it’s delicate like your face so be gentle.

Manual Scrubs
Weleda Birch Body Scrub. Good morning! This scrub is a real picker upper. It has an uplifting, botanical fragrance. It also does a great job exfoliating with natural plant wax pearls as it soothes with pure plant oils. $15.
Naturally Green Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub. This is delightfully 100% organic and very refreshing. Naturally fragranced with lemongrass and lavender oils, this is a well-balanced blend of salt and oils so it moisturizes as it exfoliates. It’s not overly oily like a lot of salt scrubs. Use it as a last step so you don’t wash off the oils. $27.50.

Dry Brushing
EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Brush. Kathy recommends dry brushing the body daily. When I first learned about dry brushing, I thought it would be too harsh. After talking to Kathy, I tried it and found that it’s actually quite nice. She says to brush toward the heart, start lightly and brush for about a minute, then work up to five minutes each day. I use EcoTools’s brush, which is made of the highly sustainable resource bamboo, has natural bristles, and can easily be found at drugstores. (Ever since I learned about this, I started brushing my cat more regularly so he can detox, too.) This brush lists for $24.29. But you can get it for a limited time in a holiday set for $14.95 at The Ultimate Green Store.

Dermelect Thermaj Self-Heating Total Body Polish. If you don’t want to scrub or brush, opt for this thick, rich body polish that smooths away dead skin and cleanses with papaya and pineapple enzymes while jojoba butter beads moisturize. This is especially good for rough spots on elbows and heels. I love the initial burst of heat, which is awesome at soothing my neck and shoulders. $40.
Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap. This is another non-scrub exfoliator that breaks down dead skin with fruit enzymes. Papaya and grapefruit extracts also give it a lovely citrus fragrance. This is ideal for sensitive skin and areas with blemishes, because there are no scrubbing grains and it contains soothing oat protein. I totally grab this when I’m short on time and want to exfoliate and cleanse all at once. $8.

In the Buff

Skin is your largest organ. Take care of it. Spend a little bit of time to buff away the old so you can usher in the new and have more beautiful skin and better health. Fortunately, it’s a resolution that’s easy to keep.

P.S. Be sure to check out our new, regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some fantastic beauty deals.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Market Publique January 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

I love Mario Badescu! I’ve been using them for years! All of it: face wash, toners, moisturizers, the magic blemish thing…

Best part, you can get amazing facials at their clinic for $65! Steal!


2 Mer January 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

oh, fantastic! I never used this product, should I try it?

I need a detox, but it means: diet! (or at lease, less cava :-P


3 Sonja January 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

❤ Market Publique, isn’t MB fab? I used to get their facials all the time when I lived in NYC. They were always great and the price amazing.
❤ Mer, which product are you referring to? And yes, I need to do some diet detox myself. :)


4 kezia January 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm

great post! i need a detox, yep.


5 Gaby January 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I’m still going to say, products are awesome. They smell awesome and are all natural. I’m addicted. Plus they have great seasonal scents. I gave my mum the Grundy Smooch and Whipped for Christmas. Yum.


6 Heather January 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Perfect timing… I could use a nice detox. And Mario Badescu! I “heart” MB. I used go to the spa on the East Side… love their stuff.


7 Frankie - Swell Vintage January 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Love Liz Earle! Good call x


8 Sonja January 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

❤ Kezia, me, too! Thank goodness exfoliating is so easy. Some of the food stuff… not so easy.
❤ Gaby, I’ve tried a few things from Villainess since you last wrote and will be writing about them soon. Thanks for the great tip!
❤ Heather, I TOTALLY miss living in NYC and getting those great MB facials!
❤ Thanks, Frankie! Me, too!


9 wendy January 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

oh, and don’t forget the most important exfoliating rule: don’t exfoliate and then go out, especially if you have sensitive skin. I looked CRAZY one day after exfoliating in the morning, until a friend told me that everyone should be exfoliating at night before bed, so they don’t have crazy exfoliant face like I did that fateful day.


10 Sonja January 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm

❤ Wendy, I usually exfoliate my face at night before bed but I’ve never heard of such a thing. You must have really sensitive skin. What are you using? Perhaps it’s too strong for your skin type.


11 sugar_ray_detox78 June 25, 2009 at 9:06 am

when detoxifying the body, i find it much better to use natural products rather than those synthetic detox products. that is why i always go after the natural detox way.
but for convenience. those commercial detox kits are pretty much better.


12 Sonja June 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

❤ sugar_ray_detox, I agree with you. Makes sense to stick with natural products. Seems like synthetic ones defeat the purpose of the detox! :)


13 Stacy Gills December 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I goto my spa for detox stuff. They have these detox drinks. They are kind of expensive but i feel alot better and ive had liver problems and since ive been drinking the stuff my toxicity levels have gone down.


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